Top Five Gourmet Markets: Beyond Best of Miami 2011

Categories: Best of Miami
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Lee Klein
Laurenzo's Italian Market copped our 2011 Best of Miami award for finest gourmet market. As far as Italian imports and products go, it can't be beat locally. We have a few other noteworthy gourmet markets in town -- very few. And, quite honestly, we do not have a single world class food store -- the sort (like at Harrod's) so extensive that Laurenzo's could fit in one of the corners and be referred to as "the Italian section."

But be that as it may, during this Thanksgiving season let's be grateful for the fact that we have access to just about any cool food item we could want -- just not necessarily under the same roof. Here is a quintet of our finer food emporiums:

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George Martinez
Joanna's
​5. Joanna's Marketplace
Walk into Joanna's in the morning and you might at first think you've wandered into a country-store -- but then the aroma of steamed cappuccinos wakes you up to the fact that there's a lot more going on here. Prepared foods are cooked fresh daily and dished at very affordable prices (two reasons the Marketplace received our nod for Best Prepared Foods 2008). The aisles hold a decent selection of oils, vinegars, coffees, teas, wines, and all the other stuff you find in such markets, but Joanna's is best for its baked breads and pastries. One of those frothy cappuccinos sure tastes good with a Belgian-chocolate-filled almond croissant.

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Marky's Mark & Mark
4.Marky's Gourmet
In the early 1980s, Mark Zaslavsky and Mark Gelman opened a caviar business up on Northeast 79th Street in Miami. They send reps to Russian fish farms on the Volga River regularly in order to select the finest fish eggs. There is no better place to buy caviar than Marky's -- but we told you that long ago when Marky's got our Best Caviar in 2004 nod. Along with the caviar the two Marks added a retail section with all manner of imported delicacies -- much of it from Russia. Specialties include high-grade duck and goose foie gras; smoked salmons of shockingly good quality, smoked fish of other types; truffles, natch; and an underrated cheese section (except by New Times, which handed Marky's a Best Cheese 2007 trophy.

Location Info

The Fresh Market

2640 S. Bayshore Drive, Coconut Grove, FL

Category: General

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Reverend Thomas Goodhair
Reverend Thomas Goodhair

I like the selection at Koo Koo Korner in Medley. They offer raccoon pate and palmetto bug jerky.

First Tuesday
First Tuesday

i mostly agree. laruenzo's is just a treasure. great place -- CHEAPER than supermarkets for a lot of stuff. epicure is great, but pricey. marky's is unique. norman's has good produce, too. 

exceptions: i'd include delicias de espana on red road and bird road. a smaller, spanish version of laurenzo's.

i also would add one of the various kosher markets for their meats, especially veal that's real veal, and you can get less common cuts you can't get anywhere else such as veal brisket and breast of veal.

as for cutting your list.... Joanna's just isn't what it used to be. it's still decent, tho their prepared foods are probably their weakest area.

the fresh market "butchers" -- rather, meat dept. personnel -- in the grove store don't know squat about meat. they just take out meat from big cryovac packages and put them into smaller packages.

Lee
Lee

I was considering Delicias, which is one of my favorite spots, but it isn't as wide-ranging as the others (even Laurenzo's). Same goes for kosher markets, although truthfully I didn't think about those; maybe a separate Top 5 Kosher Markets is in order. If there are 5 left.Finally, I agree with you that Joanna's ain't what it used to be, and also agree that their prepared foods are the weakest part. 

In other words: Great comment!

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