By Alona Abbady Martinez
Food halls have been all the rage in cities across the U.S. and now Miami is getting in on the trend, offering a wide array of tasty eating venues opening up within the last year: Here’s a quick rundown of where to go.
Lovers of Asian street food will rejoice in this Wynwood space featuring seven vendors specializing in unique culinary fare. Lotus+ Cleaver serves Chinese BBQ and Peking duck, Hayato Miami has Japanese ramen and Les Banh Amis offers life-altering banh mi-traditional Vietnamese sandwiches- made on crusty Sullivan St. Bakery bread. There’s also sushi, dim sum and poke bowls as well as soft-serve ice cream inside warm, fish-shaped waffle cones (or get the slushy with the unicorn floatie) for the most Instagrammable dessert. 143 NW 23rd St., Miami, 305-768-9826; 1-800-lucky.com.
Casa Tua Cucina at Saks Brickell City Centre
The brainchild of Miky Grendene and wife/former model Leticia Herrera, founders of the iconic Casa Tua Restaurant, this Italian food market focuses on gourmet Italian and Mediterranean food and features 10 dining stations, a full bar, a flower market and a home goods shop. There are stations to nosh on charcuterie, sample Northern Italian pizza, or enjoy heartier dishes like lasagna, rotisserie chicken, grilled meats and fish. Casa Tua’s pasta classics are available as is a salad, juice and smoothie bar for those seeking a healthy option. Saks at Brickell City Centre, 70 S. W Seventh St., Miami, 305-755-0320, casatuacucina.com.
Opened in April 2018, this wellness-focused food hall offers six healthy food concepts, a Positivity Libra1y (a thoughtful collection of books) and a grab-and-go market for those on the run. Offerings include Middle Eastern fare at Levante, Hawaiian poke from Little Island and upscale deli foods at Leo & Bloom Delicatessen. The second locations of della bowls and CHARCOAL (both respectively launched at The Wynwood Yard) are here as well. Radiate Apothecary + Bar serves as the centerpiece for the hall. Visit The Garden Box, a colorful retail kiosk parked outside the hall that sells gifts from local artisans.
Civica Center, 1050 NW 14th St., 786-529-3013; jacksonhallmiami.com.
It will take several visits to get a complete hold on this upscale, three-floor Italian hall in Brickell City Centre. Executive chef Vincenzo Scarmiglia is the man overseeing all 14 authentic eateries, including the three full-service restaurants Pesce, Stagionale and Carne, as well as the 5,000-square-foot Mercato, which has a bakery, mozzarella bar and takeout meals. On the third floor, The Enoteca houses the hall’s wine bar, retail wine shop, bar, wine vault, private dining and cooking school, La Cucina. There’s plenty to explore, drink, and eat in this 40,000-square-foot space.
Brickell City Centre; 601 South Miami Ave., Miami, 305-720-2402; lacentralemiami.com.
St. Roch Market
Modeled after the popular New Orleans St. Roch food hall, this chic, contemporary Design District newcomer features dishes for all palates. Twelve vendors cover the gamut of tastes: New Orleans Elysian seafood serves po’ boys and charbroiled gulf oysters, Jaffa prepares hummus and falafel, and Coop serves Southern fried chicken and biscuits. There’s pasta, a selection of Asian cuisine as well as vegan baked goods made by chef Chloe Coscarelli, and tucked away in the corner; a worthy coffee spot.
Miami Design District, Palm Court, 140 NE 39th St., Suite 241, Miami, 786-542-8977; miami.strochmarketcom.
Situated on the iconic Miami River; this 30,000-square-foot, open-air pop-up hosts popular food trucks on a regular rotation along with one-night special engagements curated to please the foodie community and a fish market and raw bar by the local seafood landmark Garcia’s. There are five retail huts and three bars, with lounge seating on a wooden deck as well dining areas boasting unbeatable views.
114 SW North River Dr., 305-906-4000; wharfmiami.com.
The Wynwood Yard
This outdoor concept focuses heavily on community, with food trucks and Charcoal Garden Bar + Grill, the first full-service restaurant at The Yard (and the only one in Miami built out of modified shipping containers.) Food concepts include della test kitchen, offering plant-based “healthy bowls of happy”; Kuenko, the Japanese-Spanish fusion fare conceived by Michelin-starred Chef Ricardo Sanz; and Caribbean-inspired soul food by World Famous House of Mac. Shop for natural beauty products at PopUpStream Retail, housed in an Airstream, or buy your own prototypical container home designed by start-up Wyn-Box.
56 NW 29th St., Miami, 305-351-036, thewynwoodyard.com.
Mason Makes Its Debut
An inventive new dinner captures the heart and palate of Miami.
Chef Brian Nasajon, the force behind Wynwood’s successful cocktail-centric hotspot Beaker & Gray, is taking fast-paced Miami diners into a simpler, homey food journey with his new diner-style restaurant, Mason, which opened in Midtown this June. Delving into his Jewish and Latin roots, Nasajon offers creative spins on traditional American diner fare. Everything is homemade, from the bagels and breads to the smoked deli meats and condiments.
Dishes include bagel bites with garlic churros, Nova lox and dill cream; buttermilk biscuits with leek gravy; and sandwiches like the Reuben on rye, piled high with sauerkraut, pastrami and Thousand Island dressing. Egg lovers, rejoice- the beloved protein is highlighted beyond breakfast hours in dishes like Goopy Egg, served with manchego, sour cream and a bagel chip, and the Pastrami Hash made with Yukon gold potatoes, garlic mayo and a fried egg. Nasajon’s inventive spirit places out-of-the-box diner specials like Mussels and Clams served with coconut, saffron, and beer, and Oxtail Pot Pie with sourdough puff pastry, corn and bacon on the front burner.
In true diner style, decadent sweet breakfasts are plentiful, courtesy of pastry chef John Maieli. Count on Belgian Waffles or Buttermilk Pancakes drizzled with maple syrup, salted butter and jam, Challah French Toast with powdered sugar and maple syrup, and a prerequisite to any and all diner visits, the milkshake, which comes in the classic three flavors: vanilla, chocolate and strawberry.
Need more? There are cookies, bars (think Gold Rush with caramel, peanut and pretzel) and a variety of Jars, like the Ice Cream Cookie with crushed chocolate chip cookie, vanilla soft-serve, cookie dough and chocolate-covered chocolate cookie crunchies, and Peanut Butter Pie, with peanut butter cookie, chocolate crumble, ganache, peanut butter mousse, vanilla chantilly and roasted peanuts, and Red Velvet with milk chocolate mousse and cream cheese icing.
Mason breaks the diner mold with its beverages too, offering an array of wines by the glass, craft beers and cocktails invented by Beaker & Gray’s co-owner and bar manager, Ben Potts, ensuring something much more memorable than black coffee.
3470 North Miami Ave., Miami, 786-618-5150; masoneatery.com.