Posted Dec. 3, 2018
By ANNALISE IRAOLA
Located in Miami Beach, this iconic street named Lincoln Road provides visitors and locals alike with plenty to do and see. This stretch of land has restaurants and stores packed in tight, by what seems like an almost every other store front pattern. It provides the perfect balance of shopping and dining while only being minutes from the ocean. Visitors to Miami might pick any day of the week to visit but locals know that the best day to visit is during the Lincoln Road Farmer’s Market, and that only comes once a week.
Every Sunday, the street is full of white tents housing some of the best locally grown vendors, and fresh organic eats that the city has to offer. I spoke with vendor owner Ivan Comas about his stand, “Campo’ de Oro” which means field of gold in English. From my first impression of the market and the people who own/work there I noticed they all spoke with passion about the products and goods they were selling.
“I started with an umbrella and two tables,” said Comas when I asked him about how he got his start selling fresh fruits. Campo’ de Oro is around 90 percent certified organic, Comas tells me it’s been family run for about 15 years, while being mainly organic for about eight. Here they serve whole, fresh fruits or, in an assembly line fashion, workers chop up and put freshly cut fruits in a cup that you pick and choose down the line.
Comas tells me that the switch came almost a decade ago when people really began making the change from non organic to organic fruits and vegetables.
“Greens give you more energy, not to mention the benefits they can do for your body too” said Comas.
Here in Miami people take appearances very seriously, so it’s no wonder that healthier options at the market like this stand have been so successful over the years. I thank Ivan for his time, and promise to buy something on my next visit to the market.
After three years of living in Miami, I try not to take the market for granted. It’s always worth it to make it out of bed on Sunday for some fresh food and time spent on beach, not to mention the shopping that’s also available.
There’s a wide range of stores there, from those you can find anywhere in the country like Adidas, Victoria’s Secret, and Zara or ones that are unique to Miami, like Dog Bar a pet boutique or Dylan’s Candy Bar. The clothing and other stores here are open every day of the week, the market is just on Sundays. So I kept my focus on the less permanent, promising myself some department store time when the weather outside was less inviting.
My first few hours spent at the Lincoln Road Farmer’s Market were hectic. Both sides of the street are filled with people. Some pushing strollers, some walk their dogs, while others dine and people watch at the many outdoor seating area’s restaurants here provide. There are restaurants lining both sides of the street, with styles of food that comes from places all over the globe like Cuba, Spain and Japan.
Later, I meet up with my good friend Marie Breguet for a quick meal. Marie is originally from Switzerland, but for the last six years she has called Miami home. We decide to get brunch at Paul, a French restaurant located on the corner of 450 Lincoln Road. I’m famished from my previous hours wandering the market. She is fresh off her new scooter and wearing pink, fuzzy slippers. “I’m such an idiot, I completely forgot to change my shoes before I left my apartment,” she said looking down.
Marie works at clubs doing promotions for Miami nightlife, it’s one of the few times I’ve ever seen her sans high heels. Inside Paul, I order an omelette with fresh orange juice, Marie settles on a chocolate croissant. Paul’s is a fast casual restaurant with food runners and cashiers, instead of servers. We seat ourselves outside and while waiting for our food, catch up on the past few months away from each other. Marie has just gotten back from Switzerland and complains to me about how pale she’s gotten being away from Miami.
Suddenly we’re interrupted by loud barking from the distance. I look up to see two homeless men arguing, in the hand of one man is a leash that restrains a particularly unthreatening, medium-sized black dog.
Although Lincoln Road is home to some luxury stores and expensive dining, being so close to the ocean it’s not unusual to see all kinds of people there. It’s a street that serves as a pedestrian outdoor mall, but it’s fairly common to see people dressed in swimsuit tops and shorts, or shirtless paired with a swim trunks and rollerblades.
After brunch we make our way through the market and head for the beach. Along the way we stop at more stands, one belonging to Melanie Vozzo and Johan Perez. It’s a company called, “Plant Mia.” Melanie tells me that her family has been in the food production business for forty years, but she’s been making plant based food for three years. “We cook traditional recipes and make them plant based” say’s Melanie. I try a sample they have on the table, roasted corn and diced tomato on bread. It’s juicy and, being a pescetarian, I appreciate the fact that it’s a plant based stand. Their focus is “local sustainability” and the slogan of Plant Mia is, “Love through food, empower through plants.” Marie seems impatient to get to the beach so we leave and continue walking down the street.
It’s not long before I have to stop at another stand not only because of the product, but also because of the energy of the person working there. He is the owner, and his name is Malik Jamal. He calls himself “ the hot sauce boss” the products sold here are also named this. Malik tells me that his uncle made hot sauce in Nicaragua.
“I used to be a musician in Chicago and but now I make and sell hot sauce here in Miami,” he stated.
He added that it is a family-run business but they don’t have a location yet. They only sell at markets and it’s a small operation, which makes it similar to the other stands there.
Marie and I are almost towards the end of the market and surprisingly close to the beach. I remember my first time at Lincoln Road happened to be on a Sunday, and when I had walked through it all I ended up at the beach. I was completely unaware of how close I had been to the ocean the entire time. The entrance to the beach is on on the same street as Lincoln Road, you walk with the Ritz Carlton on your left and suddenly you’re at the beach.
It might be my favorite part about going to Lincoln Road on a lazy Sunday. I always make sure to wear or pack a swimsuit knowing inevitably I will want to stay at the beach. If you ever go I highly recommend doing the same. The Lincoln Road Farmer’s Market is a place where all kinds of people from all walks of life come to interact and if you’re visiting or live in the city many would agree that Sunday during the Farmer’s Market is the best time to go.
If You Go
Lincoln Road Mall
- Lincoln Rd, Miami Beach, Fla. 33139
- Open Everyday: 10 a.m.-11 p.m.
Lincoln Road Farmers’ Market
- Lincoln Road between Washington Avenue and Meridian Avenue
- Hours: Every Sunday from 9 a.m.- 6:30 p.m., year round
- Operated by The Market Co.: for questions, call 305-531-0038
- 450 Lincoln Road, Miami Beach, Fla. 33139
- Hours: Open everyday, hours vary
- (305) 531-1200