Oprah-Bankrolled True Food Kitchen Opens First Miami Outpost

A mural by Cinthia Santos adorns a wall at True Food Kitchen’s new Miami location.
A mural by Cinthia Santos adorns a wall at True Food Kitchen’s new Miami location. Photo courtesy of True Food Kitchen
Much buzzed-about and backed by Oprah, True Food Kitchen has opened its first Miami restaurant at long last.

Located at the Falls in Kendall, True Food Kitchen’s sixth restaurant in the Sunshine State and 42nd location in the United States welcomed its first customers on June 27. The opening marks True Food’s third South Florida location, joining siblings in the Square in West Palm Beach and at Town Center at Boca Raton.

“We’ve been open for about two weeks and already starting to see guests for the fifth, sixth, and seventh times,” reports Marie-Laure Chaigne, general manager of True Food Kitchen’s Kendall outpost. “Part of our success is that we are an approachable concept to everyone, whether you’re vegan, have a particular allergy, or just want to have lunch. Food should not only be nutritious but delicious, and we’re ready to accommodate anyone.”

True Food Kitchen prides itself on being a from-scratch kitchen and juice bar — meaning its menu is seasonally inspired and dishes can be tweaked based on customers’ palates and dietary needs.

The concept originated in Phoenix in 2008, based on the principles of Dr. Andrew Weil’s anti-inflammatory food pyramid. The pyramid exists to mitigate — via a healthy diet — the chance of developing serious illnesses from heart disease to several types of cancer. Through the years, True Food Kitchen has attracted high-profile investors, notably Oprah Winfrey in 2018.

For many, including Chaigne, who recently moved to Miami from Fairfax, Virginia, where she managed a True Food Kitchen, it was love at first bite.
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A brunch spread at True Food Kitchen
Photo courtesy of True Food Kitchen
“When I settled in Virginia, it was one of the first restaurants I dined at, and I just loved the concept and wanted to be a part of it,” Chaigne says. “Immediately, I noticed the good energy and, that first time, I got to sit just off the kitchen — being able to see everything being made right there is pretty incredible.”

The Miami location includes an open kitchen so diners can watch as their dishes are concocted, a green goddess-inspired mural by local artist Cinthia Santos, and seating for nearly 400. Environmentally friendly materials were used in its construction, from the chairs made from recycled soda bottles to indoor/outdoor gardens where fresh herbs are grown.

In addition to seasonally curated items, staples on the True Food Kitchen menu include edamame dumplings with white truffle oil ($13), an ancient-grain bowl with miso sesame-glazed sweet potato ($16), and a weekend brunch menu that features strawberry lemon pancakes ($14) and smashed avocado toast with smoked gouda ($14.50).

While there are no confirmed plans to open more True Food Kitchens in South Florida, there are efforts to continue attracting the masses to this shiny new spot.

“We do have a private dining room and can section out parts of our patio, making it a great place for private events,” Chaigne shares. “We have a lot of private events scheduled in the coming weeks, and that is a focus now for sure. As we get grounded and more people know we’re here, we look forward to meeting many more of our neighbors.”

True Food Kitchen. 8888 SW 136th St., Ste. 340A, Miami; 954-585-9933;
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Jesse Scott is a Fort Lauderdale-based contributor for Miami New Times covering culture, food, travel, and entertainment in South Florida and beyond. His work has appeared in Condé Nast Traveler, Lonely Planet, National Geographic, and his hometown newspaper, the Free Lance-Star, among others.