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Jul 3, 2009 11:24 PM

Miami Market Recommendations - Fruit/Veggies, Meat, Seafood, Ethnic

Responses in another thread have led me to posting this one. I am a new resident to Miami Beach, and am looking for places to find fresh seafood, good butchers, good fruit and veggie markets, and great ethnic markets. The closer to the beach the better :) I found Epicure to be a fairly good location, but prices seem quite inflated... There have to be many local suppliers due to the amount of restaurants in the area.

• Fresh Seafood - Mainly fresh fishes and head-on shrimps!
• Butcher - would like to develop a relationship with a good butcher that puts out good volume.
• Fruit/Veggie - pretty much any will do. Market on Lincoln seems like left over produce from walmart...
• Ethnic Markets - primarily an Asian one - many have fresh seafood veggies etc... (where i'm from at least), and Spanish one (have been informed of Xixon and Delicias De Espana - which is 'better').

Thank you to you all for your continued input and patience!

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    1. re: ddoonie

      You will be incredibly disappointed with the dearth of butchers, fresh fruit and vegetables markets, and, incredibly enough, seafood markets in Miami. Here's a rundown of what I can suggest:

      Seafood - there are 3 or 4 fish markets by the Miami River downtown, the most popular of which is Casablanca. They used to be on Watson Island (same island where Parrot Jungle is now) but the city forced them out to lease the land to a developer who was going to build, what else, high priced condos. Market tanked, no development happened, and Casablanca is now by the River. Many people here don't appreciate local seafood and would probably prefer salmon to snapper.

      Butcher - I get most of my meat from Costco (trust me, it's better than what you'll find at the supermarket chains here). If looking for a butcher, look for any Argentine market. Graziano's is a local Argentine restaurant/market chain. Original on Bird Rd. is a restaurant with a great market/butcher/bakery about 1/2 a block away. Great place to get meat as well as Latin American supermarket items. Also has a great selection of South American wines at really good prices.

      Fruits/veggies - there's little hope unless you want to pay dearly for it at Fresh Market, Whole Foods or Epicure. The farmer's markets here are sorry at best. Suggest you join a CSA to get good produce in season (which is from October to April. Between May and October, all we can grow here is tropical fruit as everything else dries up in the heat.).

      Ethnic markets - here's something we excel at. Sedano's is a local supermarket chain catering to the Latin market. There's the aforementioned Graziano's for Latin (mostly Southern Cone) staples. For Asian, closest to the beach is a Japanese Market on the 79th Street Causeway. Forget the name, but there's a small counter with a sushi chef called Sushi Deli. They have fresh vegetables once in a while plus the usual noodles, sauces, etc. It's pretty expensive. Lucky Oriental Market on Bird Rd. near 87th Ave (and down the street from the original Graziano's) is probably the most complete of the Asian markets here and my go to one. There's also an "Asia Strip" on NE 163rd St. where there are various Asian markets and restaurants (PK Oriental Market, Ving Anh(sp)). My suggestion is to stick with the markets in this area and avoid the restaurants at all costs). Xixon and Delicias will fill your Spanish fixes (Delicias being a bit larger, and the one in Doral being the bigger of the two).

      That's what I got. Good luck in your explorations.

      1. re: lax2mia

        My husband is in Miami for the weekend (we lived there for six years, during my pre-Chowhound days) and I have a couple of questions. Is Norman's still around for produce? I recall them being expensive, but good. (Though, of course, far from Miami Beach - I soon learned that having a car is key in Miami.) Does Casablanca still have those wonderful fish empanadas? I also remember a great Argentinan place for meat called Don something or another, I think - in South Miami, or west of there.

        1. re: MMRuth

          Norman Bros. is still around, still somewhat expensive, still good, and still far from Miami Beach. Not sure what Argentine place you're thinking of but there are many.

          In answer to the original question, it is sad but true that there is little in Miami in the way of specialists like fishmongers, butchers and the like. L2M, wasn't there a fish market up in Hollywood that you recommended? Aside from Grazianos there's also Estancia Argentina for Argentine butchers. There's a kosher butcher in Surfside area I've been meaning to check out.

          Produce likewise is generally either the big chains or expensive boutique type places like Epicure in South Beach (and now Sunny Isles as well). Norman Brothers in South Miami, as noted above, can be good. I was just there this weekend.

        2. re: lax2mia

          "My suggestion is to stick with the markets in this area and avoid the restaurants at all costs)."

          Hey, chowhounds recently pointed me to King Palace Chinese Bar-B-Que restaurant on 163rd St. Fantastic Chinese bbq there, the likes of which I haven't had in a long time.

      2. The wealth of information on these boards never ceases to amaze me! Thank you for the great run down! I'm going to have to look into a Costco membership. I didnt expect the meat to excel way beyond the supermarkets, but great to hear!

        Will definitely makea few visits to Casablanca. Quite shocking there are not more options for fish mongers!

        Fruits/Veggies, guess i'll stick with Publix for now, and grow some herbs on my balcony...

        I guess for Asian markets, i'll have people bring me stuff when they come visit :)

        PS, when I was at Xixon, one of the ladies stated that they are moving to a much larger location down the street, and will include a much larger market :)

        Thank you all once again!

        1 Reply
        1. re: ddoonie

          Actually, it's easy to get most anything here in Miami when it comes to fish and meat. I live south, and Golden Rule, Captain's Tavern, and a few other strange out of the way industrial section fish markets sell nearly anything you want. There are lots of Argentine butchers around town, and bigger places like La Estancia Argentina and of course Whole Foods have a lot of healthy choices. In the Redlands in winter, the vegetables become great. It could be worse, like our bakery situation.

        2. If I were a meat eater I think I would purchase all my meat at Doris Italian Bakery. The closest one to Miami is in downtown Hollywood, and def worth the drive. The meats look fresh and the butchers seem very knowledgable. I've hear them advise customers on cuts of meat and how to prepare meats. They also make their own sausages . I do buy fish, and Doris's always have beautifully fresh seafood--especially local fish.

          They have good buys on veggies, fruits and fresh herbs too. Their tomatoes are always priced lower than Publix, and they have a very nice bakery and ready to eat hot deli.

          1. Am amazed that no one mentioned Penn Dutch to you , it really is worth it to you to give it a try, they just about have everything one needs,plus the butchers will do special cuts any way you want it, it is in Hollywood, so I't is a little drive, and if you go on a Saturday be preparred to struggle with wall to wall people.Here is their , I now live in Arkansas and really miss my place,and when I do come back to Miami I bring my huge cooler to buy all my meats,which they will cryvac even keep the cooler in their freezer til I'm ready to go.Please give it a try, and give us feedback .

            1. Any suggestions on where to find really good fresh kielbasa / Polish sausages?

              2 Replies
              1. re: racer x



                Emil's European Sausage Kitchen

                124 North Federal Hwy.
                West Marine / Buena Vista Plaza
                Deerfield Beach, FL 33441



                1. re: advisor_Girl

                  Thanks, AG.
                  I was afraid you would say that. Deerfield Beach is a bit of a drive.