Hey, Miami. You know how you think Bayside Marketplace is a giant 305-themed tourist trap?
You’re not wrong.
Look, we’re not saying that there is absolutely nothing worthwhile about Bayside, located on Biscayne Boulevard near downtown Miami. We’re just saying that we couldn’t exactly find anything worthwhile when we looked.
Back when it opened in April of 1987, in an ancient time without cellphones, internet or Cardi B, people who lived and worked in Miami actually went to Bayside. Get this: PEOPLE ACTUALLY ATE IN THE FOOD COURT. And they were excited about it, because back then lunch options were limited in downtown Miami. Things were tough in the ’80s and not just because people were still attempting to wear acid washed jeans.
Now, though, trendy food halls are popping up in Brickell, Wynwood, the Design District and Miami Beach, so getting excited about the food court at Bayside is a little tough. Possibly because there aren’t many choices.
But we are nothing if not optimistic. Tourists do seem to love the place, after all. It’s ground zero for boat tours of the bay, and there is a daiquiri bar virtually every 15 feet. Brickell City Centre doesn’t have a daiquiri bar every 15 feet, does it? There’s even a Crocs store. You won’t find that in the Design District.
Here are some of the other wonderful things you can find at Bayside:
The majestic orange awnings make a statement, and that statement is: we have wings and attractive waitstaff and also a pretty good view.
Ample number of photo booths
Take a picture of the best day of your life.
Great Florida souvenirs
Gator heads or a puffer fish? So hard to choose.
Pirate ship rides!
Johnny Depp sold separately.
Easy access to pain relief
Does Lincoln Road have one of these? I think not.
These massage chairs
Tired after walking from the Disney store to Bubba Gump’s? Have a seat. If people aren’t sleeping in them.
You can pose for a photo with a bunch of birds (for a price)
Still cheaper than Jungle Island and practically required if you’re visiting from out of town.
If you are eating at the food court and don’t want to look out the window at the Hard Rock Cafe, you can look at this painting of it instead
Yes – the Hard Rock Cafe is still there, though not that guitar, famously dissed by Kurt Cobain during a long-ago Nirvana show at Bayfront amphitheater. #importantmiamihistory
So much Britto
Can you ever have too much Britto? We have the answer here.
If this reminds you of Mall of the Americas, you are not alone.
This daiquiri bar
There aren’t many days when a frozen drink doesn’t sound good at Bayside.
This other daiquiri bar
Party boats that ply you with mojitos
There are worse places to be than on the bay with a mojito. Like shopping in the Crocs store.
We can’t even make fun of this. Well played, Bayside.