Big things are happening in Florida this weekend—literally. Delray Beach Market, the state’s largest food hall, is swinging open its doors on Saturday, April 24, and pulling out all the stops for its big debut. Starting at 11am, folks can grab free donuts followed by a superhero show to kick things off at noon. Plus, a performance by the Atlantic High School Eagles Marching Band, whose credentials include pep rallies and the Super Bowl. The Casa Bella Express, a specialty vintage train, will offer rides to attendees throughout the day. Oh, and Governor Ron DeSantis is rumored to be making an appearance at some point.
If it sounds like a lot, well, it is. And so is the food at this sprawling 150,000-square-foot-space, which boasts 27 vendors and three bars spread out across four floors. From Indian and Italian to pizza and burgers, nearly every cuisine is represented. It’s a great place for people who enjoy variety but could also be a nightmare for indecisive eaters. Has the panic set in yet? We had the privilege of taste-testing our way around the Delray Beach Market ahead of Saturday’s opening and created a dining game plan for you. Below, a look at the must-eat dishes to try at the South Florida market.
Ferdos serves real-deal, stick-to-your-ribs Middle Eastern cuisine. We tried the lamb plate and were very impressed by the size as well as the quality and tenderness of the meat. It was grilled to perfection.
Remember when restaurants made guac tableside and how fun that was to watch? Guaca Go recreates the experiences and lets you customize your avocado creation. There’s nothing we wouldn’t pair with fresh avo, which is why we suggest going full hog with the toppings. More is more here, and you won’t regret any mix-ins.
Tekka Bar offers the freshness of an omakase experience with the more approachable format of a hand roll made for you on the spot. It’s the best of both worlds, especially if you’re pressed for time. The signature tekka roll is filled simply with raw tuna and a house-made spicy sauce. We could’ve had five of these but saved room for other varieties, like the lobster. Tekka boasts a selection of sake and Japanese beer, which can only mean one thing—bring on the sake bombs.
Get the complete diner experience at Dad’s, chef Daniel Diaz’s ode to the American classic. The smash burgers are sold as singles but we urge you to get two as they’re on the thin side and one patty really won’t be enough. Skip the cheesy fries and get a side of plain spuds to go with your bacon double.
If you love your cookies thin and chewy, Lovelee is the spot for you. The sugar cookie is excellent and holds up well as a dipping vessel for the cupcake frosting, but the shop also sells brownies, chocolate chip sea salt cookies and cinnamon buns. Prepare for a sugar overload.