Free-standing food courts are one of the hottest trends in the hospitality industry. They were starting to take off when the pandemic hit.

But as dining restrictions have eased up, we’re seeing some new places open and some veterans in the field rebranding themselves. Here are a few we’re excited about.

The Wharf 
20 W Las Olas Blvd.

Thursday 4 p.m. – midnight 
Friday 4 p.m. – 3 a.m. 
Saturday noon – 3 a.m. 
Sunday noon-midnight 
Street parking available

A recent addition to the Himmarshee Village area, The Wharf is focusing on event programming and cocktail hours. It has partnered with iconic Broward and Miami-based chefs, and restaurateurs to offer rotating pop-ups including Even Keel’s seafood concept by chef-restaurateur Dean James Max, Mrs. Balloo pan-Asian fare by chef Timon Balloo, The Lunchroom with American food by Be Nice Restaurants, and The Pie Father, a pizza & pasta food truck concept, by world-renowned chef Jose Mendín.  

Among some of the regularly scheduled events are “Knot Your Average Thursday” with $1 Wharf lagers and $3 wine by the glass, from 4-7 p.m.

Friday’s “Riverfront Happy Hour” starts with $4 – mules, mojitos + margaritas, prices increase $1 every hour – ’till 7 p.m., and Sunday night’s “Industry” event with discounted Tito’s vodka cocktails for those in the hospitality industry (with proof of employment), from 6 p.m. to closing.

Sistrunk Marketplace 
115 NW 6th St., Fort Lauderdale

Thursday 4-10 p.m. 
Friday & Saturday 4-10:30 p.m. 
Sunday 9 a.m.-9 p.m. 
Valet and street parking available

Perched on the north end of FAT Village, Sistrunk Market is a dining and event venue offering a variety of dining experiences. Plenty of outdoor seating is available as well as inside the air-conditioned former warehouse. Among the dining options are Senbazuru featuring lunch bento boxes, ramen, and Asian fusion tapas, Needa' Pita with authentic Mediterranean dishes, The Chop Shoppe featuring dinner from your neighborhood butcher with house-made bratwurst and sausages, aged sirloin steaks, lamb chops, pork tenderloins.

The Empanada Bodega dishes up baked empanadas using authentic Latin American inspired dough, Nellie's Southern Table prepares family recipes, while Fuoco focuses on classic Italian fare.  

HotLime is a craft taco and ceviche concept, and Poke OG specializes in make-your-own bowls and five signature dishes. Osom Crepes offers everything from savory to sweet enveloped in a delicate crepe, while Bean and Rose Coffee is the newest project by the couple behind The Little Sugars.

Delray Beach Market
33 SE 3rd Ave., Delray Beach

Open daily 9 a.m.-11 p.m. 

Parking is $3 an hour, $18 daily max, and 50% off with validation from vendors.

A new entry to the attractions in Delray Beach is already causing a lot of buzz. Delray Beach Market is an expansive retail space and food hall ready to satisfy any craving; craft cocktails, visionary art, immersive pop-ups – here they all collide in unexpectedly delightful ways, creating a unique and playful destination. The sheer variety and number of offerings guarantee something for everyone.

Among the dining options are Alpine 210 with sausage links made in-house, Big T's Deli offers traditional and specialty sandwiches and Bona Bona from chef Nick Di Bona features small-batch ice cream. Cellar and Pantry is a wine, cheese, and charcuterie bar, while Central Bar, a chic cocktail bar, is quite literally the center of attention inside Delray Beach Market.

Circus Eats features creative and fun circus-style foods and County Line offers classic Southern fare. Dad's Favorite is an old-school, no-nonsense classic burger joint, which goes well with Delray Craft beers. Ferdos Grill is an outpost of the popular Fort Lauderdale spot featuring a wide array of delicious Mediterranean dishes.

Guaca Go serves healthy foods and fresh guacamole, while IncrediBowl is a chef's take on the meal in a bowl concept. Lovelee Bakeshop offers everything from tiered cakes to brownies and chocolate chip cookies. Professor Pops is a Florida-based gourmet ice pops company and Roots is the place to go for hip and unique plant-based eating bliss. Salvo’s Pizzeria has a big personality and even bigger slices.

Sorella’s is a pasta company offering build-your-own pasta and fresh pasta to take home. Surry Co. Smoke House offers classic Q, while Tanuki has unique Asian and Hawaiian-inspired savory and dessert offerings.  

Tekka Bar has hand-rolled sushi, The Modern Rose is a unique cafe serving locally roasted coffee, organic teas, vibrant and beautiful drink creations, as well as empanadas, avocado toasts, vegan and gluten-free treats. Tiffin Box brings the fast-casual concept to Indian cuisine. Tip To Tail is a sustainably sourced retail fish market with a raw bar and prepared seafood dishes and Vote for Pedro New York is a Mexican cantina.

The Yard

2430 NE 13th Ave., Wilton Manors

Open daily from 8 a.m.-9 p.m. (although not all shops are open all day)

Parking is available on Northeast 13 Avenue, Northeast 24 Street, and at the former Lauderdale Lumber located next to The Yard.
For a long time, it was Fort Lauderdale’s best-kept secret. Then known as Eucalyptus Gardens, it was a secret oasis of hippie-dom, featuring everything from vegan fare to French cuisine, to pan-Latin food and a giant warehouse where you can buy everything from vintage furniture and clothing to shea butter and candles.

It was only a matter of time before it was discovered by the hipsters, and, while it still retains that hippie vibe, it now has a hip new name The Yard. Luckily the name seems to be about all that’s changed. It is still a beautiful place for anyone to come and unplug and unwind!

The urban oasis amid majestic rainbow eucalyptus trees hosts several shops including The Alchemist Coffee & Slicers specializes in open-faced sandwiches and fresh-roasted coffee, while Voo La Voo offers classic French crepes and more.

New Day Desserts Bakery, Seed of Life Vegan Restaurant, Chateau D'vine Wine, Beer & Tapas, EG Farm Store, Zen Orchids, Leviathan Plants, Lola's Market and Sofla Urban Farms, and the trendy La Mexicana for classic Mexican-American cuisine.

Rick Karlin is SFGN's food editor. Visit to read his previous reviews. Have a culinary tip to share? Email Rick at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..