Best of Broward / Palm Beach

15 Best Specialty Food Markets in Broward and Palm Beach

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7. Jan's Homemade Candies
4327 N. Ocean Drive, Lauderdale-By-the-Sea. Call 954-202-9495, or visit janscandies.com.
Best for: Handmade, small-batch chocolates.
For the past 12 years, anyone stepping into Jan’s Homemade Candies in Lauderdale-By-the-Sea has had a serious task at hand: try to resist owners Jan and Bob Lendi’s proposition to sample anything on display. That amounts to dozens of beautifully handcrafted chocolates available in almost every shape, flavor, and design you can think of. Here, Jan produces everything in small batches, all of it made with all-natural ingredients free from preservatives. The couple also do personalized chocolates, just in case you're in need of an extra-special customized treat. You can feel good about your purchase, too; for the past several years, the duo has been shipping their candy to wounded service men and women at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland.

6. Kim & Lee Oriental Mart
4850 N. University Drive, Lauderhill. Call 954-747-7740, or visit orientalmartmiami.com.
Best for: Almost any Asian food product you can imagine.
Believe it or not, this is considered the largest Korean market in South Florida. The store is huge, aisle after aisle offering all manner of Asian grocery items from prepared food like homemade kimchi in giant glass jars to candies, canned goods, teas, exotic produce, frozen seafood, and specialty items like mochi ice cream. They even have a large assortment of cookware. A prepared food section lets you sample a variety of Korean fare made fresh daily. The place also gets major bonus points for handing out complimentary Yakuruto Korean yogurt drink at checkout.

5. Oxtails & More Discount Foods
2835 N. Military Trail, West Palm Beach. Call 561-616-0776, or visit oxtails.com.
Best for: A solid selection of Caribbean and Jamaican ingredients and foods.
Does oxtail come from an ox? Is breadfruit a type of bread? What is cow cod? If you've ever wondered — even for a second — as to the correct answer to any of these questions, a trip to Oxtails & More in West Palm Beach is certainly in order. The Caribbean grocery offers a large variety of goods shipped straight from Jamaica, many of which might need a dictionary description before purchase. That includes specialty goods like Milo (a malted-chocolate, fortified drink from Australia), ribena syrup (a cordial made from blackberries), festival mix (a flour-like dough that can be fried and served with fish), geera (an East Indian spice of cumin and coriander), lalu (a Haitian plant similar to collard greens), and Matouk's Flambeau (a hot sauce made from aged pickled Scotch bonnet peppers). You might be more familiar with the store's Econ-O-Paks of meat: two to four pounds each of various cuts of chicken, beef, turkey, and pork. And if all the shopping is making you hungry, a full Jamaican menu of prepared foods is offered from noon to close daily (or until food runs out) with dishes like oxtail and curry goat or snapper escovitch.

4. The Spice Quarter
1044 E. Oakland Park Blvd., Fort Lauderdale. Call 954-652-1025.
Best for: Hard-to-find spices and herbs.
As Fort Lauderdale's first (and only) spice shop, there's probably nothing you're looking for that you won't be able to find at owner Paul Rydza's boutique. For the past five years, the store has been offering a robust selection of more than 500 items including flavored oils and balsamic vinegars, sugars, salts, spices, herbs, chilies, and hot sauces. Some of the store's more unusual finds aren't spices at all, but grains: green bamboo rice, purple heirloom rice, or tawny-colored sweet potato orzo. Everything is organized into easy-to-shop sections, and reasonable pricing makes it affordable on almost any budget. The best part: You can try before you buy so you're not disappointed when you get home and discover that rare or hard-to-find spice or infused oil you've always wanted to sample isn't quite what you were expecting. The only exception might be bhut jolokia, or ghost pepper, considered among the hottest peppers on the planet with a 1,001,300 Scoville heat rating.

3. Smitty's Old Fashioned Butcher Shop
1980 NE 45th St., Oakland Park. Call 954-771-9341, or visit smittysmeatsandwines.com.
Best for: Special cuts of meat with classic butcher shop service.
For those of you who are never quite satisfied with the Publix meat selection, perhaps a trip to Smitty's in Oakland Park is in order. Of all the area's old-school butchers, owner Dave Crumbaker's shop is the most traditional, a professional service he's honed from many decades' worth of a loyal clientele. Here you can order the best meat they've got in the house; the high-end cuts sell the best, from hefty porterhouses and perfect filets to fat-ribboned Delmonicos and dry-aged strip. If you've got questions, the staff will be happy to help; go ahead and ask how long that steak's been aging, where it came from, and how it was raised. There's also a good selection of seasonal and local game meats like boar, gator, and venison. And, just because no meal is truly complete without a good wine to go along with it, the shop also has a solid selection of vino to pair with any meat you purchase.
 
2. Triar Seafood
2046 McKinley St., Hollywood. Call 954-921-1113, or visit floridaseafood.com.    
Best for: Finding a large variety of fresh seafood. 
For over 20 years, Triar Seafood in Hollywood has been a go-to for fresh fish, featured in the Miami Herald, the New York Times, and Gourmet for its stellar service and product. Be sure to call Triar before heading to their warehouse to find out what some of the fresh catches of the day will be (there are often more than 60). Then place an order and head over to pick it up Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Friday from 8 to 10:30 a.m. If you're in the mood for seafood, they often have everything from uber-fresh red mullet, barramundi, and bronzini to strawberry grouper, turbot, or even Tasmanian steelhead. There's no retail "market" really, so you might have to wait a few minutes for your order if you don't call ahead (and wear sneakers if you want to go in the back to check out what's available). It's all worth the wait, though. Aside from having one of the most impressive seafood selections you'll ever lay eyes on, there's also a good selection of high-end products like caviar and tobiko, the flying fish roe you see on sushi. 

1. House of Caviar & Fine Foods
2801 SW Third Ave., Fort Lauderdale. Call 954-462-0533, or visit bemka.com.
Best for: Fine foods and high-end items.
Looking to impress a dinner guest or two? This is your go-to spot. Since 1984, Bemka Corporation — the parent company for House of Caviar & Fine Foods in Fort Lauderdale — has been supplying some of the country's most prestigious hotels, restaurants, country clubs, and gourmet shops as a fine foods distributor offering a number of epicurean items. An online store offers a wide range of delicacies that can be shipped directly to your door — items like pure saffron and bourbon vanilla beans, imported sea salts and chocolates, dried and frozen truffles, various pates, and duck foie gras. Locally, the Fort Lauderdale-based office is best known for providing one of the area's largest selections of caviar from Kaluga, Royal Imperial, Russian Ossetra, and Royal Siberian to White Sturgeon and wild American caviar sourced from the Mississippi River (along with salmon, whitefish, flying fish, and trout roe).

Nicole Danna is a food writer covering Broward and Palm Beach counties. To get the latest in food and drink news in South Florida, follow her @SoFloNicole or find her latest food pics on the BPB New Times Food & Drink Instagram.
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Nicole Danna is a Palm Beach County-based reporter who began covering the South Florida food scene for New Times in 2011. She also loves drinking beer and writing about the area's growing craft beer community.
Contact: Nicole Danna