What’s Fueling Miami’s Food Hall Frenzy?


Food hall madness is sweeping the nation’s major cities, and now Miami is driving the culinary trend with six new food halls opening their doors in the city’s urban core over the past year (and more to come!).

From three-floors of upscale Italian offerings at La Centrale in Brickell City Centre, to Wynwood Yard’s outdoor dining scene, the seafood-inspired Wharf on the Miami River, and Asian street fare at 1-800-LUCKY, these culinary hotspots are reshaping the way Miami dines. There’s more options on the way, with a new health-oriented food hall opening in the Miami Health District over the coming months.

Italian food hall, La Centrale, is located in Downtown Miami’s Brickell City Centre.

What’s driving Miami’s food hall frenzy? The answer — according to real estate and restaurant experts — are changes in Miami’s demographics, new trends in real estate development, and smart business sense.

According to the Miami Downtown Development Authority, the population in Miami’s urban core has doubled in the past 15 years – with more than 90,000 residents now living in and around Downtown- roughly 50% of these residents fall between ages 20 and 44.

This young, professional demographic is overwhelmingly mobile and armed with discretionary income; according to the Miami DDA, Downtown residents spend over $1,000 dollars, or 23% of their monthly budgets, on food and entertainment. Another round, please!

The affordable, chef-driven restaurants popping up at food halls, like Chef Chloe and The Vegan Cafe at Miami Design District‘s St. Roch Market, are breathing new life into commercial properties and entire neighborhoods.

Zack Winkler, SVP and Retail Market Lead at JLL says the food hall trend is a win-win for developers and property owners. Beyond eliminating the cost of building out new commercial kitchens and dedicated restaurant spaces, he explains, food halls create a diverse tenant mix that drives foot traffic and maximizes underutilized space.

With foodie customers eager to try new and innovative dishes, the food hall model allows restaurateurs and chefs to test new concepts efficiently without incurring the high cost of outfitting, leasing and marketing a new space.

Not sure where to start? Take a tour of Miami’s food halls below!