Best Food Court Fort Lauderdale and Palm Beach 2006 - Swap Shop
Forget Sbarro's, Starbucks, and Ben and Jerry's. Every food court in every two-bit mall in the nation holds out those same few fast-food chains to their captive audiences of weary shoppers. Only in the chaotic, Third World atmosphere of the Swap Shop do the conformist food pods give way to something different. The main food court floor in the center of the sprawling flea market empire is given over entirely to homegrown chrome-and-neon-plated eateries with unfamiliar and slightly suspect names like "Grecian Delight" and "Fish 'n' Things." At the beat-up tables that line the floor, you can munch on a conch fritter and nurse a Bud while ogling owner Preston Henn's exotic cars on display in the center of the court. Down the hallway, you can pick up an ice cream cone and a Coke from freezers while browsing for just the right black-market cologne. And outside, you can chase down your empanada with some farm-fresh produce -- or bring it all right back up on one of the carnival rides. And the only place to get Starbucks coffee is from a van near the entrance that also sells snow-globes and Hebrew National hot dogs. That's how it was meant to be.