Why choose one restaurant for dinner when you could choose dozens? There’s a food hall and farmer’s market renaissance happening around the country, and if you visit any of these locations, you’ll want to make sure you start with an empty stomach.
Eataly in New York city is a gigantic food hall that contains market and food stalls as well as restaurants, all featuring fresh produce and imported products from Italy. It’s co-owned by Mario Batali, Lidia and Joe Bastianich, and Eataly in Italy. You can buy fresh pasta and mozzarella made on site, or dine in. Try the beef tartare at Il Manzo, or go for a veggie-forward meal at Le Verdure – either way, there’s something for the whole family.
In operation since 1917, Grand Central Market in downtown Los Angeles is made up primarily of restaurants, though meat, cheese, and other grocery counters dot the aisles. Grab breakfast at Eggslut (if you don’t mind the long line), try the vegan ramen at Ramenhood, a grass-fed burger at Belcampo Meat Co., or grab a pupusa at Sarita’s – you’re bound to leave satisfied.
Reopened in 2015 after it was shuttered in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, St. Roch Market has everything you could want from a New Orleans food hall. You can buy flowers, dairy, and produce to enjoy at home. But if you want to dine in, choose from oysters at Elysian Seafood, Haitian street food at Fritai, classic creole at Fete au Fete, or enjoy a cocktail at The Mayhaw.
Sure, it’s full of tourists, but Pike Place Market in Seattle has remained a favorite among visitors and locals alike for a reason. Part farmer’s market, seafood market, and food hall, you can bring home some of the freshest food available in the North Pacific, or dine at one of the 30+ restaurants that use products from the market. Grab some authentic Filipino food at Oriental Mart, sip a drink at Zig Zag Cafe, or go with a steaming cup of chowder from Pike Place Chowder. Trust us, battling the crowds is worth it.
You can shop for cheese at Cowgirl Creamery, fresh seafood at San Francisco Fish Company, and heritage beans at Rancho Gordo – or, grab a bite to eat. There’s Hog Island Oyster Co. where you can feast on oysters every which way, empanadas at El Porteño, and meze at Boulibar. Best of all, you’ll have a view of the bay – look for a bench and eat your food outside.
With more than a hundred merchants to choose from, Reading Terminal Market has something for everyone. Most exciting to those from away are the Pennsylvania Dutch stalls and restaurants. Grab breakfast or lunch at Dutch Eating Place, homemade doughnuts at Beiler’s, or chicken to-go from Dienner’s BBQ. Or, you can go with that other Philadelphia classic, and grab a cheesesteak at Spataro’s (or The Trainwreck at Beck’s Cajun Cafe for a spicy twist).
A relative newcomer on the food hall scene, Union Market is perfect for those days when you’re craving a drink from the old fashioned soda fountain at Buffalo & Bergen, a flight of artisanal cheese from Righteous Cheese, or some fusion tacos at TaKorean. This modern market was reopened following a 2011 fire, and the interior was completely redesigned, making this one of the swankier food halls in the country.
Modeled after the open-air markets of Paris, the Chicago French Market offers so much more than French aspirations. Pick up fresh doughnuts for breakfast at Beaver’s Coffee + Donuts, knishes at Bebe’s Kosher Deli, or stop at Frietkoten Belgian Fries & Beer for, well, fries and beer.
Named the “Best Food Lover’s Market” by Food Network Magazine, Cleveland’s West Side Market offers a bevy of dining stall options. Grab a gyro at Steve’s Gyros (celeb chef Anne Burrell’s favorite), some bratwurst at Frank’s II, or go for the sticky rice wrapped in banana leaf at Kim’s SE Cambodian Cuisine. You’ll be surprised at how much this 100+ year old market has to offer.
You can’t visit Krog Street Market in Atlanta without getting some barbecue. Try the brisket sandwich at Grand Champion BBQ, or opt for the massive molasses-chipotle short rib at Superica, served with fresh tortillas and grilled veggies. Ticonderoga Club offers up perfectly crafted cocktails and a menu featuring everything from sweetbreads to a vegan noodle bowl, and you can stop at Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream for dessert.
Justina Huddleston is a food writer living in Los Angeles. When she's not writing for Menuism or SheKnows, she spends her time in the kitchen creating both virtuous and decidedly junky vegan food. Buffalo chickpea pizza, anyone? She's also been known to eat a plain block of tofu or beans straight out of the can for lunch, but somehow those culinary adventures don't make it to her Instagram. You can follow Justina on Twitter or see what's cooking in her kitchen on her blog A Life of Little Pleasures.