Given Miami’s significant Latin American and Caribbean populations, you might expect the city’s trendy food halls to capitalize on those influences. But while some of these popular, social media-worthy culinary venues do offer dishes and ingredients from countries like Argentina, Brazil, and Cuba, they also offer plenty of other tantalizing options.
Here’s a guide to the global cuisine you’ll find in Miami’s best food halls.
Get Lucky, Go Asian
1-800-LUCKY opened on a side street in the whimsical arts district of Wynwood, about a five-minute Uber or Lyft ride from either the DoubleTree by Hilton Grand Hotel Biscayne Bay or the Hilton Miami Downtown.
The food hall’s exterior is so unassuming that it’s easy to walk by if you’re not looking for the pop-art sign (keep an eye out for a school for the arts and a Salvation Army and you’ll be in the right place). But inside is a far more colorful story. The industrial interior – designed with concrete, iron, neon signs, and polished wood – gives it a funky vintage feel. Enter through LUCKY records, which also streams the venue’s music, and enjoy your food – ranging from sushi and dim sum to banh mi and poke – either at the tables perched throughout the center or in the adjoining garden. You might also like to round out your meal with a Japanese fish-shaped ice cream cone from Taiyaki (if only for Instagram purposes).
1-800-LUCKY also runs a convenience store as well as a karaoke bar and a private theater. In addition, owners Sven Vogtland and Alan Drummond, in partnership with Gaby Chiriboga, have a handle on what’s hip and happening around town, so during events and festivals like Art Basel, expect DJ takeovers and live performances.
The Italian Spirit
Just across the causeway from the Bentley South Beach, downtown Miami’s high-end shopping complex Brickell City Centre hosts two Italian food halls. La Centrale – Italian Food Hall takes up three floors and is a veritable extravaganza of Italian fare from fresh pasta to espresso.
The 40,000-square-foot space, conceived by New York City restaurateur Jacopo Giustiniani with food hall expert Matthias Kiehm, grabs your attention with imaginative design details. For those looking to grab a photo of the space for social media, it’s difficult to decide what to hit up first. The hard-to-find imports and traditional, wood-fired pizza ovens on the first floor? The plates served in the beautifully designed, full-service restaurants Pesce, Carne, and Stagionale? Or the Aperitivo Bar, surrounded by 14-foot olive trees, on the second level? And then, of course, there’s the gorgeously designed Enoteca, which looks like a Tuscan winery, and the La Riserva vault with terracotta tiles.
All in all, La Centrale covers 20 regions of Italy in its 14 individual concepts. Since it’s too difficult to conquer all of them in one visit, this food hall summons you back for another tour – or the makings of a meal if you’re staying somewhere close by with a full kitchen, like Homewood Suites by Hilton Miami Downtown/Brickell.
In a neighboring building, Casa Tua Cucina at Saks Brickell City Centre sounds like a similar concept, but the vibe is entirely different. A more compact model (at 18,000 square feet) that builds on the esteem of local Miami Beach restaurant Casa Tua, the food hall partners with retailer Saks Fifth Avenue. Luxury products abound, and it’s a treat to roam from counter to counter, even if it’s just to browse the ultra-fresh raw materials or sniff the fragrances emanating from the flower market.
Although seating for 300 scatters throughout the dining room, the best seats in the house are at the full bar. Here, you can order from any of the 10 dining stations – which range from Prosciutto e Formaggio to Crudo + Grill – and have it served by the bartenders (Il Bar also has its own menu of tapas and canapés). So you can eat lightly as you sip more than one of 60 wines by the glass, or really dig in with a full meal and a curated cocktail program.
A Slice of the Big Easy
St. Roch Market debuted in New Orleans in 2015 to immediate success. Similarities between New Orleans and Miami – historic buildings, vibrant architecture and design, eclectic culinary communities – led founder Will Donaldson and partner Barre Taguis to set up shop in the Magic City’s Design District, which is a pleasant walk on a cool day from the Hampton Inn & Suites Miami Midtown.
St. Roch Market Miami accommodates 12 vendors with various offerings. Among them, Hot Lime is a home-grown, Peruvian/Argentine-influenced ceviche and craft taco shop, Elysian Seafood is a New Orleans import, and Chef Chloe and the Vegan Café offers inventive fare that uses no animal products. For internationally oriented cuisine, this microcosm of the city’s culinary scene is the food hall to try.
St. Roch also has a craft cocktail bar that serves up spirits with a contemporary edge, or visit The Mayhaw for a 55-label wine list heavy on the rosés and bubblies.
Healthy All the Way
Sure, food halls tempt you too much for your own good. That’s partly why Della Heiman, the creator of The Wynwood Yard, and her business partner, Ken Lyon, invented Jackson Hall.
The wellness-based food hall thrives in the city’s public Jackson Health District. If you’re in town for business or for treatment, and staying at the Embassy Suites by Hilton Miami International Airport or the Hilton Miami Airport Blue Lagoon, Jackson Hall is where you can nourish your tastebuds.
A few of the operations in the 10,000-square-foot space, including Della Bowls and CHARCOAL Rotisserie, are extensions of health-based businesses that already exist (or have existed) at the experimental launching pad of Wynwood Yard. Radiate Apothecary + Bar claims the center of the hall, offering tonics, juices, smoothies, and more, while a deli, a Middle Eastern kebab concept, a counter for poke bowls, and a grab-and-go market surround it. Jackson Hall also features the Positivity Library – a collaboration with the city’s independent bookstore chain Books & Books – and an artisanal gift shop housed in a repurposed shipping container.