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Apr 10, 2004 03:59 PM


  • j

Is there any sort of substantial Asian market around? Having a hard enough time finding a Chinese one, but what I really want is Korean, specifically bottled kimchee. (Don't tell me to make my own!)

I am staying in Miami proper (between the arenas). I thought I'd find something in Bayside Market, but unless my eyes are bad, I didn't. Should I head over to SoBe? I assume that's the only place around to find a Korean restaurant, let alone a market.

By the way, where is this "International Mall" I see mentioned in the (suburban) Korean restaurants thread below? Is that my best bet?


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  1. s
    s.m. koppelman

    Have you tried a yuppie/gourmet grocery store?

    I don't know of any Korean restaurants or groceries in South Beach, but who knows? Korean food isn't at all trendy here in South Florida. It's still pretty much unknown outside Korean immigrant communities.

    I'm up in Fort Lauderdale so I don't know where all the Miami-area Korean hubs are, but there's at least one Korean grocery (and exactly one Korean restaurant) on NE 163rd St. in North Miami Beach. I haven't driven through the garment district north of downtown lately, but I know there are a couple of Korean greasy spoons around there that cater to area workers; maybe there's a grocer somewhere in there too.

    8 Replies
    1. re: s.m. koppelman

      Vin-ah (sp?) asian market for Kimchi on 163rd in North Miami. One block away from Vin-ah is Kyung-ju, a Korean restaurant that seems to the longest standing Korean restaurant in Miami-dade. I haven't been there for a while but you really don't have many other options. Good luck.

      1. re: rich

        163rd North, is that the "garment district" mentioned above?

        And are you talking about Miami or Miami Beach? The last poster just mentioned a place on NE 163, which I guess is NoBe. Coincidence that they're both on 163, or does the district stretch across the causeway?

        So...lone Korean place (or two), or bustling Asian district? Forget the Korean for a moment, any place I can find Japanese, Thai, Cambodian, etc.?

        For starters, how about something Chinese? I still haven't even found that yet! I know there's no Chinatown per se, but is there any Chinese market worth the bus ride anywhere? Something beyond the Mom & Pop level.

        1. re: Jane Trynle

          No, not NoBe. North Miami. Take 95 North if you're coming from South Beach. 95 North to 826 East.

          Kyung Ju -

          Chinese - King Palace Bar-B-Q (**NOTE not KING PALACE BUFFET
          King Palace Chinese Bar-B-Q Restaurant
          330 NE 167th St
          Miami, FL 33162-2303
          305) 949-2339

          At king only order from Chinese menu. The noodle soups, duck, fish ball hot pot.

          1. re: Jane Trynle
            s.m. koppelman

            I don't know of any East Asian ethnic grocery stores anywhere on the Miami barrier islands, from South Beach all the way up 20-odd miles to Golden Beach. The smattering of Asian groceries and restaurants along NE 163rd St. and NE 167th St. are on the mainland, maybe a mile or two west of the Intracoastal.

            I don't know of any in inner-city Miami, either. You might want to hit the yellow pages section on grocery stores and look for appropriately-named businesses. And then call ahead.

            To get you started in a lame way, here's the entirety of the Bellsouth category for Chinese groceries. There's no category for Korean, and only one (Chinese) grocery under Japanese.


            If you don't want to schlep to North Miami Beach or Kendall or whatever, you may want to call the businesses on NE 2nd St. (which looks like a wholesaler, alas) and the one on NE 72nd. (which is maybe a 15-minute cab ride if traffic's not bad).

            But again, if it's just kimchi you want, check gourmet and yuppie grocery stores. There's a Wild Oats right there in South Beach on Alton Rd.

            P.S., some geography notes: North Miami Beach is *not* on the beach and it is not the same thing as northern Miami Beach (AKA "North Beach"). It's a dense suburb just inland about 15 miles north of you. And the garment district is nothing to see. Just some shmatte factories, warehouses and wholesale closed-to-the-public showrooms around NE 5th Ave. in the 20s. Since so many people in the business are Korean, there are a couple of lunch joints catering to them. That's about it.

            1. re: s.m. koppelman

              LOL - nothing says Chinese food more than "Money Exchange Jamaican".

                1. re: insurance

                  If you'll agree Levittown is a bag of donuts and Chicago is a lunar colony, I'll play.

                  1. re: hatless

                    Miami (Metro-Dade) is a completely different animal. Give me an example of an urban area and a suburban area in Miami. Don't say North Miami Beach and North Miami Beach, now.

        2. Pacific Time on Lincoln Road presents Kimchee as a condiment with their breadsticks etc.

          1 Reply
          1. re: ez

            I ate at Pacific Time last Sunday. There was no sign of kimchi anywhere and the entire meal including the service was a big dissappointment.

          2. Actually, there are a lot of Asian Markets in "Miami." As someone else poited out, saying "Miami" is a lot like saying "Los Angeles" for all its environs. I realize that Glendale is not Los Angeles, but in my ignorant visitors context, it is. In any event, many of the "ethnic" Chinese in Miami are migrants from Jamaica. Yes, it gets confusing. Miami does require a car to get to the kinds of places you indicate. Again, there are many Asian grocery stores in Miami, some with foods from a number of Asian countries (and you can get kim chee). Luckys is on SW 40th Street about 82 Ave which IS in Miami but not very close to you. There is another Chinese grocery store ( with live fish and other Asian cuisines ) on Sunset Drive ( SW 72nd Street) about 97th Ave. You are correct about trying to find these places in the phone book. The only thing International about International Mall is the clientele.

            9 Replies
            1. re: Karl

              > I realize that Glendale is not Los Angeles, but in my ignorant visitors context, it is.

              Yeah but, in my 3 years in L.A., I never once made it there or to most of the other suburbs. Car or no car, L.A. had everything right downtown.

              Start in Chinatown, walk to Alvarez, stop in a couple of Japanese hotels (bookstores, supermarkets), hop a bus to either Koreatown or Fairfax/Hollywood. The idea that it is "too spread out" is wildly exagerrated.

              Are y'all telling me that Miami is that much *worse* than L.A.? I see that Little Haiti (per my map) is up around the area where you've mentioned Korean malls. Is that basically the "center" of town, and I'm actually too far south, down here by the arenas?

              There's a time and a place for SoBe - like Glendale - but I want to see *Miami* first. Rich millionaires on a beach...not really my first priority.

              The Bali Cafe (other post) was a great suggestion. I'll be there for lunch tomorrow. Keep em coming, folks!

              I would especially like more suggestions about entire "districts" (like Little Havana, Little Haiti), not just one-off restaurants. Are there any Italian or Jewish zones, for example, other than those of the rich and retired?

              1. re: Jane Trynle

                I have lived here for over 30 years and am not sure to which "Jewish and Italian zones" for the "rich and retired" you are referring.

                1. re: Jane Trynle
                  s.m. koppelman

                  You are looking for walkable immigrant neighborhoods like you find in New York, Chicago, Boston, SF/Oakland, and to some extent in LA. I don't think it's a stretch to say there are none whatsoever in Miami. Well, all right, there's Little Havana. But that's it.

                  The Korean markets, the Halal butchers, the Yemeni/Israeli shawarma places, the Trinidadian roti shops, the Brazilian churrascurrias, the Colombian bakeries, the botanicas, the Vietnamese noodle shops, the classic Jewish delis, the Haitian takeouts, the Romanian sausage shops and the Greek tavernas are all here. They're not in walkable "ethnic neighborhoods" for the most part, though. Some are in strip malls, some are a short walk from the beach, some are tucked between muffler shops and used-car lots, and some are in touristy areas, you name it.

                  You asked for a Korean grocery store. The ones around here are in suburban strip malls. They might be within 100 yards of a Korean restaurant, a Korean hair and nail salon, a Korean book and video store and a Korean storefront church. In front of them you'll find ample free parking abuting a 4- or 6-lane divided main road. Turn the corner and you'll head into a subdivision built around 1978. If you want to make a day of walking around it, go right ahead.

                  Chowhounding here, in its hardcore ethnic dive and taco-truck sense, is not not the exploration of grids as it is in NYC, SF, Chicago, etc. It's the exploration of the older strip malls that line those 4- and 6-lane arteries cutting through the older suburbs. It's linear. And when it's not that it's a matter of keeping your eyes peeled for the tenacious hangers-on and the odd anomaly in gentrified tourist and yuppie enclaves, like the good old Peruvian and Cuban joints in South Beach or the vegetarian luncheonette in Coconut Grove or the Indonesian place downtown that you're trying tomorrow. :)

                  1. re: s.m. koppelman

                    OK, thanks. You're the first person who's really convinced me, specifically due to your "and to some extent L.A..." line. Everyone else keeps saying "you need a car like in L.A.", when in fact, you really *don't* need a car in L.A.

                    I guess when you really get down to it, California is "older" than the sense of Pacific immigration and the whole gold rush thing. Hadn't really occured to me before.

                    BTW, thanks for the (even better) post ["Nobody's dismissing Miami..."] in the other thread. I think I'm no board now!

                    1. re: Jane Trynle

                      "on board", not "no board" - how does one edit one's posts here?

                      1. re: Jane Trynle

                        Sorry to burst your bubble Jane, but koppelman doesn't sound like he knows much about Miami or the general Metro area. There's definitely a Haitian neighborhood. And theres somewhat of a Nicaraguan neighborhood left. Everything else is pretty much scattered about. But the chances of finding a "Korean restaurant, a Korean hair and nail salon, a Korean book and video store and a Korean storefront church" are slim to none. Your only resource is to look for asian or oriental groceries in the phone book (or online) and checking it out in person. And in case you're wondering, there aren't any specifically Korean groceries. And there is only one Korean restaurant.

                        1. re: insurance

                          there is an EXCELLENT korean restaurant in Doral. at dinner time, it is full of Koreans. its located on the corner of nw 107 ave and 41st next to the don pan in the winn dixie parking lot. it says korean BBQ and it has been a "grand opening" for several months. been several times.
                          they have a great kimchee,tofu and pork casserole.

                          luckys oriental mart on bird road sells Kimchee in a jar.
                          i dont think its too difficult to make yourself , asia market on on us1 and 160th(colonial drive) sells the korean chili sauce.
                          while your there, right next door is a great vietnamese hole in the wall w/ great pho.

                          1. re: dbellas

                            Yes! The pho at Pho Thang is excellent. That place has got to be the most authentic Vietamese in Miami-Dade. I didn't know about the Korean place in Doral, thanks.

                  2. re: Karl

                    I agree with Karl. I believe the best market I've found is Lucky's on 40th street. Quite a haul from downtown.

                  3. If you're willing to go slightly further north, there is a very very well established asian community and therefore series of restaurants along 441 north of commercial blvd. Pho Hoa is amazing authentic vietnamese - you will ONLY find asians there, for the most part. The Ban Xeo is out of this world. Silver Pond is the most famous, authentic chinese restaurant - ask ANY chinese person where THEY eat, and that's the place. For example, they have winter melon soup. While not my cup of tea, this is more authentic than you'll find in 99% of most chinese restaurants. There are some asian markets as well in the area. Good luck!