Aventura Mall vs. Dadeland: Which is the true mall of Miami?

Kendall loves its Dadeland, but Aventura has a free slide. Which is your favorite?
Kendall loves its Dadeland, but Aventura has a free slide. Which is your favorite?

The results of our deeply important Miami mall investigation are in.

Suck it, Dadeland. Aventura Mall is the best mall in Miami-Dade.

Look, we know Kendall loves Dadeland. And we can see why. At least it’s not a strip mall.

But we have to be honest. In spite of being in a maddening state of perpetual construction, home to one of the most annoying movie theaters on the planet and located in a city founded on the principle of giving out red light camera tickets, Aventura Mall wins by a mile. Here’s why.

Read more: Tell us your favorite mall, and we’ll tell you something about yourself

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Both malls have Macy’s, the usual Urban Outfitters and – somewhat inexplicably – a Tesla store. Both have packed Apple stores and empty, echo-filled Microsoft stores.

But only Dadeland has an entire wing devoted to waxing and pedicures. That’s some real strip mall nonsense, Dadeland. Also, real malls don’t have a CVS. Not that we didn’t run in and buy some Halloween candy.


Advantage: Aventura

Food courts

This is what you get at Dadeland’s food court:


At least you can charge your phone as you eat your sad pizza.

This is what you get at Aventura’s Treats food hall, which was named Best Food Court in Florida by The Daily Meal:


Yep. Shake Shack. Also GoGo Fresh, Poke 305, Figs + Mozzarella, My Ceviche, Zuuk Mediterranean Kitchen and more. No sad pizza.

Advantage: Aventura

Food court skylights

Dadeland has this:


You can gaze up at it as you forlornly eat your uninspiring eggrolls from Mandarin Express.

Aventura has this:


The skies are always blue when you’re shoving a lobster roll from Luke’s Lobster in your face.

Advantage: Aventura



Both malls have a Cheesecake Factory, as required by law.

But Aventura also has Pubbelly Sushi and Genuine Pizza.


Advantage: Aventura



Dadeland’s location right off the Palmetto makes for easy entrances and exits. Of course then you have to get on the Palmetto. Aventura Mall requires you to drive in Aventura, also an unpleasant experience and one virtually guaranteed to end in you paying a ticket.

Advantage: Dadeland



The entire southern end of Aventura Mall is filled with cranes, dirt piles and “Road closed” signs. While we are sure this only means something wonderful is coming, we have to admit that Dadeland is easier to navigate.

Advantage: Dadeland


Dadeland’s fountain is…well…a fountain:


Aventura’s fountain is a whimsical wonderland:


Advantage: Aventura


Aventura has a cool slide.


Dadeland has a play pit, ala Mall of the Americas.


Advantage: Aventura