Best of Miami

Top Five Gourmet Markets: Beyond Best of Miami 2011

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:

​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.

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.

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Miami New Times' restaurant reviewer for the past decade, and the world's indisputable master of disguise.
Contact: Lee Klein

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