Miami, the food halls are taking over.
The question is: have we jumped the shark? Apparently not. They’re everywhere.
So what exactly is a food hall? Isn’t it basically what we’ve been a calling a food court at our local mall for decades? Turns out the answer is a hard “no.” Food courts feature fast food chains. Food halls are a mix of local artisan and boutique concepts that don’t include things like Auntie Anne’s pepperoni pretzel nuggets. (Not that there is anything wrong with Auntie Anne’s pepperoni pretzel nuggets.) After all, there’s a time and place for everything, people.
So here are Miami’s food halls and what you’ll find there.
Time Out Market Miami
The food hall to conquer all food halls, Time Out Market Miami features 18 vendors including some of the top chefs in Miami (Jeremy Ford, Norman van Aken, Michael Beltran and Giorgio Rapicavoli among them). There’s a demo kitchen with residencies from top chefs (for the next three months it’s Miguel Massens). Most dishes are priced between $15 and $25, and there are three bars, with specialty cocktails created by celebrated mixologists from Broken Shaker, Sweet Liberty and the Generator Hostel. The Time Out Market in Lisbon, Portugal, where it all started, is now a tourist destination. Will Miami’s version turn out to be the same?
Time Out Market Miami, 1601 Drexel Ave., Miami Beach
This food hall at Sunset Place in South Miami features six restaurants - including Cracked by Chef Adrianne, Dr. Limon Express and the pride of Kendall, Killer Melts. There’s also a bar, The Tonic, which features happy hour from 3-7 p.m. At Yumbrella you don’t wander the vendor counters to order. A hostess will seat you, and a server takes your order.
Yumbrella, Sunset Place, 5701 Sunset Dr, South Miami
This food hall in the Little River neighborhood also features a marketplace space for pop-up vendors and, eventually full-time vendors. There’s also a rooftop bar and event space.
The Citadel, 8300 NE Second Ave., Miami
The rooftop bar isn’t open yet, but this food hall a block off busy Lincoln Road features such vendors as Cake Thai, TYO Sushi, Chill’N nitrogen ice cream and Necessary Purveyor.
Lincoln Eatery, 723 Lincoln Lane, Miami Beach
St Roch Market
Finding delicious food at the new St. Roch Market in Miami’s Design District is not hard. You can walk up to practically any of the counters manned by some of the most promising chefs in South Florida and walk away happy.
This is no surprise: St. Roch – a New Orleans-based concept – features counters manned by chefs trying out their ideas before launching stand-alone restaurants. You’ll find everything from Vietnamese fare to vegan cupcakes. See, St. Roch is more upscale than your basic food hall. You’ll pay more, but you’ll eat better.
St. Roch Market, 140 NE 39th St., Miami; open 8 a.m.-10 p.m. Sunday-Thursday and 8 a.m.-11 p.m. Friday and Saturday; 786-566-6656
Wynwood got its first Asian-themed marketplace this past November in the form of 1-800-Lucky. The seven vendors at this 10,000-square-foot indoor/outdoor venue are supplying the Miami masses with what they want: delicious dim sum, sushi, banh mi, poke bowls and a highly Instagram-able matcha green tea ice cream in a fish-shaped cone. Home to a karaoke bar, a vinyl shop and Wynwood’s first convenience store, the space is frenetic and loud. But conversation is overrated, anyway.
1-800-Lucky, 143 NW 23rd St., Miami; 305-768-9826 or www.1-800-lucky.com
Each of the three floors in this Italian behemoth features a different dining experience, including five bars, 14 different eateries (everything from grab-and-go food counters to casual dining eateries to upscale, sit-down restaurants). But you’ll also find a marketplace with more than 1,000 Italian retail products and a 500-label strong wine shop. In a rush? The personal shopper program should help. Select a few items on a special grocery list menu, hand it over your waiter and have a shopper pick up your goods while you enjoy your meal. Bet you didn’t know multitasking could be so delicious.
La Centrale, 701 S. Miami Ave., Miami; www.lacentralemiami.com
Casa Tua Cucina
Located within the swanky Saks at Brickell City Centre, this 18,000-square-foot Italian food hall from South Beach’s Casa Tua Restaurant features 10 different Italian and Mediterranean dining stations, a restaurant and a full bar. The sleek gray-and-white space also features a flower market and a home goods shop selling kitchen accessories, in case you had the urge to recreate one of the dishes at home — or at least make it look like you know what you’re doing.
Casa Tua Cucina, 70 SW Seventh St., Miami; 305-755-0320 or casatuacucina.com
Treats Food Hall
Because of its location inside Aventura Mall, the temptation to label this one a food court is strong. But the lack of a Sbarro and Chick-fil-A should grind that thought to halt. Nearly a dozen local and national artisan eateries call Treats home, including Figs by celebrity chef Todd English, My Ceviche and Hank & Harry’s Delicatessen. The indoor/outdoor space includes communal seating, intimate banquettes, shared bar tables and the 93-foot tall tubular “Aventura Slide Tower” that can be enjoyed from a distance or experienced by sliding down the sculpture. It all depends on how ballsy you’re feeling after eating that half-pound hot pastrami sandwich.
Treats Food Hall, 19501 Biscayne Blvd., Aventura; 305-935-1110 or www.aventuramall.com/dining
If your food hall checklist includes things like waterfront views, cornhole and seafood from local fav Garcia’s, The Wharf has your back. But it’s not just Garcia’s that you’ll find on the docks of this 30,000-square-foot space. Depending on the week, you might find barbecue from King of Racks and crazy pastry concoctions from Mojo Donuts to go with your stone crabs. The Wharf also features a regular rotation of popular local chefs that who host one-night special engagements for the curious of palate.
The Wharf, 114 SW North River Dr., Miami; 305-906-4000 or wharfmiami.com
El Palacio de los Jugos
You can say that Palacio de los Jugos was a food hall before food halls became cool. That’s right. All those brightly painted spots that dot Miami’s landscape house several different vendors under one roof. How do you know who to pay? Look at the employees’ shirts. This is the place to go when you want pounds of Cuban eats and fresh fruit juices but your abuela is not in the mood to cook.
El Palacio de los Jugos, various locations in Miami; www.elpalaciodelosjugos.com