10 Destination Food Halls Around the Country
The latest openings in the food hall movement.
By Anneliese Klainbaum
Food courts are no longer the fast-food lots of yore. Across the country, European-inspired food halls bring together top eateries in artfully designed spaces that draw locals and tourists alike.
For a new taste at every turn and a glimpse of the latest trend hitting food retail, these 10 destinations are just a sampling of what’s bringing the humble food court into the modern ages.
Mario Batali’s second stateside superstore is even bigger—and more popular—than the flagship New York location. At a whopping 63,000 square feet, this two-story wonderland in Chicago’s River North is home to 23 eateries and seemingly endless aisles of specialty goods imported from (you guessed it) Italy. A fish butcher, focaccia stall, mozzarella lab, fresh pasta counter and the ever-popular Nutella bar are just a few of the main attractions at this food lover’s theme park. 43 East Ohio Street, Chicago, IL; 312.521.8700
French Market, Chicago
Now in its fifth year, this West Loop market has evolved over time into much more than a commuter food court. The Bensidoun family, operators of more than 100 markets throughout the U.S. and Europe, have made it their business to attract Chicago foodie favorites like Stephanie Izard’s Little Goat Bread, Beaver’s Coffee & Donuts, and Ben’s Soft Amish Pretzels, putting this 30-vendor market on the food hall map. Don’t miss stellar bites from vendors who have been there from the start, including the bahn mi from Saigon Sisters. 131 North Clinton, Chicago, IL; 312.575.0306
Grand Central Market, Los Angeles
Downtown L.A.’s revamp has finally hit Grand Central Market, an arcade in continuous operation since 1917, which is now welcoming a fresh wave of vendors like Eggslut, Press Brothers Juicery, and Valerie Confections to join the ranks of the market’s pupuserias, produce stands, and Chinese food joints. The new mix of high and low is the real draw here, creating a food hall distinctly representative of its community. Where else can you find moles and dried chiles alongside coddled eggs and cappuccinos with housemade almond milk? 317 S. Broadway, Los Angeles, CA; 213.624.2378
Hudson Eats, New York City
Opening June 2014
A dining hall overlooking the Hudson River is swinging open its doors this spring at a shiny new waterfront complex called Brookfield Place in downtown Manhattan. Num Pang, Dig Inn, and Blue Ribbon Sushi are among Hudson Eats’ 14 inaugural eateries, which lean fast-casual. Plans are in motion for additional full-service restaurants and Le District, an expansive French market slated to open at Brookfield in 2015, piling on the foodie appeal at this newcomer hotspot. Brookfield Place, 200 Vesey St., New York, NY
Krog Street Market, Atlanta
Opening: Summer 2014
With its doors set to open this summer in Inman Park, this much-anticipated 30,000-square-foot culinary hub will bring in market stalls, outdoor patios, and sit-down restaurants featuring food from local culinary celebs. Former “Top Chef” contestant Eli Kirshtein will be opening brasserie The Luminary, while Cardamom Hill chef Asha Gomez will debut Spice Road Chicken. The market, situated near local favorites Rathbun’s and Krog Bar, is part of a larger revamp of a 9-acre lot that includes the historic Stove Works warehouse. 99 Krog Street, Atlanta, GA
Melrose Market, Seattle
On a triangular block in this Capitol Hill neighborhood, you’ll find the city’s most carefully curated selection of local food purveyors, anchored by the wood-burning oven at chef Matthew Dillon’s restaurant, Sitka & Spruce. Melrose Market has some impressive non-food indie vendors, too, but The Calf & Kid’s cheese counter, Rain Shadow Meats’ cured meats, and Still Liquor’s stiff drinks are what drive loyal locals to this other Seattle food market. 1501 Melrose Avenue, Seattle, WA
Reading Terminal Market, Philadelphia
Following last year’s $3.6 million renovation project, one of the oldest and largest American public food markets joined the modern food hall revolution. This 1892 Philly landmark houses 80 vendors and sees more than 100,000 visitors a week in the former Reading Terminal railway station. The market’s new era has rushed in a mix of tenants that include newcomers The Head Nut, The Tubby Olive, and Wursthaus Schmitz. Unsurprisingly, Pennsylvania Dutch merchants from Lancaster County remain the gems of Philly’s culinary crown. 51 North 12th Street, Philadelphia, PA; 215.922.2317
The Source, Denver
With more than 25,000 square feet of artisanal provisions set in an 1800s foundry with an industrial feel and tons of natural light, this foodie destination is a welcome addition to Denver’s River North neighborhood. The collective of buzzed-about Colorado brands includes Acorn, chef Steve Redzikowski’s full-service restaurant, and Comida, a Mexican taco truck–turned-cantina. Americanum Provisions sells produce from nearby farms, Boxcar Coffee Roasters crafts the perfect, high-altitude brew, Western Daughters Butcher Shoppe focuses on High Plains cuts, and Crooked Stave pours the sour beers both Denverites and tourists alike travel for. 3350 Brighton Blvd., Denver, CO; 720.443.1135
Union Market, Washington, DC
Nearly 40 purveyors selling everything from barrel-aged vinegar to Korean tacos to classic egg creams make up the new Union Market, which was recently built atop the site of the original 1930s Union Terminal Market. Small plates and, of course, oysters, are on the menu at the Rappahannock Oyster Bar. Chef John Mooney’s signature gin-and-tonic salmon is served at one of the market’s formal restaurants, Bidwell. Pop-up shop Thread, drive-in movies, and Sunday Supper events at Dock5 all draw in the crowds on the weekends. 1309 5th Street NE, Washington, D.C.
The Pioneer: West Side Market, Cleveland
This age-old market proves that what’s old is new again. Bon Appétit calls this market, which dates back to 1840, one of the five best food halls in America. Food Network Magazine calls it the best food lovers’ market. The recently renovated historic, vaulted train station and iconic clock tower, coupled with the market’s outdoor arcade, bring a sense of grandeur to this sprawling, bustling market, which carries a pleasantly surprisingly ethnic mix of foods. Pierogi, pig’s feet, Cambodian sticky rice, Caribbean fruits, and Mexican chile peppers can all be found at this esteemed Cleveland food hall. 1979 West 25th Street, Cleveland, OH; 216.664.3387
Photos: Galdones Photography; French Market; Grand Central Market; Hudson Eats; Krog Street Market; Graham Baba Architects; Reading Terminal Market; The Source; Union Market
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