Fancy new stand-alone food courts, called food halls (evoking the famed hall at London’s Harrods department store), are popping up around the U.S. faster than you can say “artisanal and locally sourced.” There were 135 food halls in the U.S. at the end of 2017, according to the commercial real estate company Cushman & Wakefield, which predicts we’ll have 250 by the end of 2019.
The halls are often housed in large industrial-looking, high-ceilinged spaces and are full of stalls serving different cuisines, usually by local chefs, so they’re an easy way for a visitor to get a taste of a city’s eats. You might find deliciousness such as freshly made pasta, Vietnamese banh mi (a spicy sandwich) or ice cream in cool-weird flavors such as black sesame. New York already has a bunch, including the 30,000-square-foot Plaza Food Hall below the Plaza Hotel and more established spots such as the Italian Eataly (now in Boston and Chicago, too) and Chelsea Market. Chefs José Andrés and Anthony Bourdain are planning to open their own Manhattan hall.
Some newer food halls worth a detour: