South Florida’s food scene is a magnet for the food hall craze. Dozens of urban markets have popped up over the past year, but South Beach’s latest addition—Time Out Market Miami (1601 Drexel Ave) — proves to reign supreme. The method behind Time Out’s madness? Grab a 17,500-square-foot space, build 20 food stalls and hire Miami’s most acclaimed chefs with specialties ranging from tacos to ice cream. Fairly simple, right?
Time Out first originated in Lisbon, Portugal in May 2014. Soon after opening, the market rapidly became the city’s finest culinary attraction and has since expanded to include more than 50 vendors. This past May, the food hall extended to Brooklyn and Miami Beach, and pop-ups in Chicago and Montréal are slated for later this year. The wildly successful food market attracts locals and tourists alike and will give University of Miami students just one more reason to explore SoBe.
Ready to dive in, but don’t know where to start? Distraction has expertly taste-tested and reviewed Time Out’s five must-try places and their most tempting plates!
The Local Cuban
What’s a food hall in the 305 without some fiery, authentic Cuban cuisine? Kitchen mastermind Alberto Cabrera exceeds Miamians’ expectations with a sophisticated menu featuring all the Latin staples–Cuban sandwiches with an elevated caviar-seeded mustard spread, arroz con pollo, sweet plantains and an assortment of croquetas. While the dishes are loaded with meat and not particularly veggie-friendly, the Cafecito won’t fail to disappoint anyone. Served piping hot, one shot supplied the perfect boost of espresso to kickstart our afternoon at Time Out and make a Cuban coffee lover’s dreams come true.
Coyo Taco’s Mexican street fare is as genuine as it gets. Dedicated to serving high-quality food, this divine eatery boasts handcrafted tortillas, 100% locally-sourced natural ingredients, and a freshness factor to its eats that can’t be beaten.
For starters, the hand-smashed guacamole—which was labeled as mild, but had a little kick to it—was generously showered with cilantro and lime juice, and its chunky/creamy texture was right on point. You could taste the mashed-to-order freshness in this green goodness, which paired wonderfully with the salty, crisp and delightfully non-greasy tortilla chips.
As for the tacos, the pollo al carbon—grilled chicken marinated in a savory, tomato-based blend of spices, topped with queso fresco, house-made pico and red salsa—was a solid choice of entrée. The hard, corn shells were crunchy, not drenched in oil. We accompanied ours with some roasted pepper and green tomatillo salsas from the sauce bar for extra oomph!
Mouth already watering? Head over to Coyo Taco’s newly-opened Coral Gables location (120 Giralda Ave) for some freshly-mashed guac and tacos–just a short drive away from campus.
Wabi Sabi by Shuji
Move over, poké: Chirashizushi is the latest emerging bowl concept taking over the culinary world. A product of the “Chipotle Effect,” Wabi Sabi by Shuji puts an American fast-casual spin on Japanese dining by serving classic sushi ingredients in a trendsetting bowl.
Plant-based eaters will appreciate the Yasai bowl, a hearty concoction of yuzu-infused avocado, carrot, cucumber, edamame, radish, scallion, shiitake mushroom and three varieties of seaweed: clear noodles, green salad and wakame. Choose from a selection of bases—we went half-and-half with mixed greens and multigrain (a house blend of whole grains like brown rice, quinoa and farro)—and curated sauces to customize your order.
While the Yasai was a little on the pricey end for a meatless option ($11), each bite was tasteful, memorable and well worth every penny. Despite being the least spicy option, the sesame ginger dressing provided just enough kick to further amp up the flavor profile.
Azúcar Ice Cream Co.
Azúcar was founded in 2011 in the heart of Little Havana, Miami’s historic Cuban neighborhood. Whether it be the original creamery or the market boutique, an excursion to this adorable, little ice cream shop is worth the sugarrush!
A visit to Time Out Miami must be finished off with a scoop of Azúcar’s famous Abuela Maria! This vanilla ice cream mixed with guava, cream cheese and Maria cookies is a prize-worthy indulgence to die for. Its intense, cheesecake-like texture paired beautifully with the more subdued Dulce de Leche which, contrary to our expectations, wasn’t overly sweet. That’s because Azúcar doesn’t add any extra azúcar to its ice creams. Ironic, right?
If your taste in dessert is a bit more refined, a decadent treat by pastry chef Antonio Bachour will please your sweet tooth. A rainbow of delicate confections behind the display case — coconut cheesecakes, dark chocolate croissants, berry-infused macarons and gianduja mini-cakes — left us drooling, but since we were too full to consume another bite, we got a classic, buttery croissant to-go. Its textbook golden-brown flakiness was nothing short of a mesmerizing eating experience.
Like Coyo Taco, there’s no need to travel far to sample these temptations yourself. Bachour’s namesake Coral Gables bakery (2020 Salzedo St) serves breakfast, lunch, weekend brunch, and of course, his signature sweet creations.
A final cool asset of Time Out is the Demo Kitchen, which invites special guests—the world’s most esteemed chefs and promising young stars—to host exclusive presentations and cooking classes. It also previews local and international restauranteurs who may make a future appearance at the Miami market! Currently, the open counter is showcasing La Gringa Tostaderia, a tostada-inspired concept.
No matter what vendor(s) you go for, Time Out Market is a can’t-miss, upscale dining experience for your next adventure in Miami.
words & photo_gianna milan