The 50 Best Food Halls in America 2016 (Slideshow)
May 2, 2016
Food halls are becoming increasingly popular around America every year; here are the ones you have to check out
#50 Public Market, Emeryville, Calif.
Emeryville is getting a major update in the form of Public Market, which is currently undergoing renovations — but is still open for business! Current tenants include award-winning Sorabol Korean food, Shiba Ramen, Hot Italian, and assorted other international choices. In exciting news, Koja Kitchen (of the famous food truck we named the 48th best in the country for 2015) recently set up shop in the Public Market!
#49 Berg’n, Brooklyn
Berg’n Brooklyn’s ranking near the bottom of this list is no slight to the solid vendors within — Mighty Quinn’s, Samesa, Lumpia Shack, and El Meat Hook — but compared to the rest of the competition, having only four vendors gives Berg’n a bit of a disadvantage, even though it is absolutely still worthy of a visit. The venue first opened in 2014 as a beer hall courtesy of the good folks behind Brooklyn Flea and Smorgasburg.
#48 Oxbow Public Market, Napa, Calif.
While there’s no shortage of fine food and wine in Napa, tourists and locals alike have been flocking to the indoor/outdoor Oxbow Public Market for years. Several Yelpers were even sent there by area vineyard owners, which gives one an idea of the quality represented by the products. A focus on sustainable food (with ingredients obtained from the market itself) offers this space excellent sources to pull from, and the 19 vendors include C CASA Latin cuisine, Gott’s Roadside burger joint, and Ca’ Momi, a mini food hall in and of itself that offers pizza, a pastry counter, a wine bar, and a full-service restaurant.
#47 Locale Market, St. Petersburg, Fla.
A newcomer to the list, Locale Market (which opened at the end of 2014) gives the folks of central Florida something to be excited about. Award-winning celebrity chef Michael Mina and Don Pintabona (formerly of Tribeca Grill) are behind the whole thing, which features a farm-table experience in addition to 10 market options offering food of all types, ranging from meat, seafood, and bread, to cheese, ice cream and gelato, and Italian specialties.
#46 Liberty Public Market, San Diego
As we previously reported, a new food hall and marketplace called Liberty Public Market has been on the way in San Diego for the last couple years, and it has made quite the splash since opening earlier this year. The space, which is housed in a 22,000-square-foot former warehouse on Historic Decatur Road, already has 23 food and drink vendors and restaurants, with a fantastic variety of cuisines represented. There’s Wicked Maine Lobster, grass-fed burgers from the food-truck-born Stuffed!, desserts from Le Parfait Paris, Grape Smuggler wines, or you can simply opt for Mess Hall, which offers an ever-changing menu and sources all of its food from the market.
#45 The Source, Denver
The Source is a group of food artisans and merchants gathered into a circa-1880s brick foundry building in Denver’s River North District. Their 15 merchants include nine food-and-drink-based tenants, like Acorn (a contemporary American restaurant), Comida (a Mexican taquerEia), Babettes (a boulangerie focusing on French country-style breads), and Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project.
#44 St. Roch Market, New Orleans
Although the St. Roch Market was originally built in New Orleans in 1838, it has only existed in its current form since 2015 (it was vacant for decades prior), when the city and FEMA invested $3.6 million into its renovation. The market now contains 13 vendors, with unique highlights including Elysian Seafood (and Elysian’s Oyster Bar), Korean-meets-Creole fusion at Koreole, California- and Texas-style Mexican at La Mezcla, and a cocktail bar called The Mayhaw. Head to the market during happy hour (4-6 p.m. Monday through Thursday) for diverse deals across the entire space.
#43 Latinicity, Chicago
The idea of an entire Latin-themed food hall might seem like overkill of a single cuisine, but each of the counters at the newly-opened Latinicity in Chicago offers something a little different. Tortas & Cocas has sandwiches, Chaufa – Wok serves Peruvian-style stir fry with Asian flavors, Saladero grills up Brazilian steak, Machefe does tacos and burritos, and Sushi & Ceviche has… well, you get it. The individual menus at each of the vendors are limited, but that’s why there are 13 of them (including Pata Negra, the full-service tapas restaurant).
#42 4th Street Market, Santa Ana, Calif.
The slogan for 4th Street Market in Santa Ana, California, is: “Where food creators come to learn and grow, and foodies enjoy the fruits of that labor.” Fitting, but a more accurate tagline for the one-year-old food hall might be: “How to ruin your diet in 16 awesome ways.” Not that the food is all terrible for you, but more so that almost every one of the vendors serves comfort food of some sort — meaning those without exotic taste buds will feel right at home. Sure, there’s seafood at MAR and Vietnamese at Sit Low Pho, but the remaining vendors hawk homemade ice cream sandwiches, s’mores, ice pops, tacos, pizza, sandwiches, and two types of barbecue… so I don’t want to hear any complaints!
#41 Fulton Street Food Hall, Las Vegas
If you were of the misguided opinion that Las Vegas didn’t have enough quality dining options, prepare to have your world rocked. Within Harrah’s Las Vegas now resides the Fulton Street Food Hall, a small market offering gamblers nourishment through the late nights and early mornings. Make sure to grab a build-you-own pizza, sushi or a bento box from the sushi bar, a noodle dish from the neighboring stall, or anything from the newest addition to the hall, Tacos Burritos & Crêpes. Like all good things in Vegas, the food hall is open 24/7.
#40 Mercado La Paloma, Los Angeles
Mercado La Paloma, located in South Los Angeles, is a project through Esperanza Community Housing Corporation, which provides affordable retail opportunities and creates living wage jobs. The food hall contains seven restaurants, mostly a mix of Latin and Asian flavors. The most notable is Mo-Chica, which is headed by former Food & Wine magazine best chef winner Ricardo Zarate.
#39 Sweet Auburn Curb Market, Atlanta
Located inside Atlanta’s 1924 Municipal Market building, the Sweet Auburn Curb Market is home to 24 different businesses, from meat and produce merchants to a full service bakery and restaurants, including Afrodish (Caribbean and African cuisine), Arepa Mia (Venezuelan), the popular Bell Street Burritos, Sweet Auburn BBQ, and Grindhouse Killer Burgers. And in what other food hall can you also find a bookstore and pharmacy?
#38 Pine Street Market, Portland, Ore.
Pine Street Market has only been open for a month, but the consensus so far has already put Portland, Oregon, on the food hall map — finally! And for good reason, as its eight offerings add up to one of the best market debuts we’ve seen in a while. Brass Bar comes from the same genius behind the incredibly popular and critically-acclaimed Barista, Common Law joins together French and Asian cuisine with the forces from Paley’s Place and Langbaan, and James Beard Award-winning author and baker Ken Forkish introduces Trifecta Annex. Literally every one of the market’s tenants deserves a mention, but we simply don’t have the room. Coincidentally, not having enough room in your stomach is the only problem encountered at Pine Street Market.
#37 Todd English Food Hall, New York City
Designed by renowned architect Jeffrey Beers, the Todd English Food Hall resides in the basement of Manhattan's iconic Plaza Hotel. Celebrity chef Todd English offers up a wide variety of impeccably prepared food that is fantastic, but a bit pricey, even for the quality. Diners can choose between nine food stations: ocean grill & oyster bar, noodle & dumpling bar, pasta bar, sushi bar, a grill, a taquería, pizza, cheese & charcuterie, and a wine bar and patisserie. Not only is the food gorgeous, but the Central Park-adjacent location is stellar.
#36 Joan’s on Third, Los Angeles
Joan’s on Third is a jam-packed, rather expensive Los Angeles eatery sharing quarters with a bakery, a cheese/charcuterie counter, a café, a gourmet grocery, a breakfast bar, anda sandwich and salad spot. It offers a mix of raw materialss and prepared foods and there are always daily specials. Make sure to try the short rib sandwich, which was featured on the cover of Bon Appétit.
#35 East End Market, Orlando
East End Market is located in the Audubon Park Garden District of Orlando, Florida. This central Florida location is both a market and a food hall, incorporating 10 restaurants, a garden, and a community kitchen. The cuisine variety ranges from Japanese to Italian and includes shops specializing in everything from artisan cheese to coffee to baked goods.
#34 Eden Center, Falls Church, Va.
If you find yourself in Washington, D.C., and lusting after authentic and affordable Vietnamese food, venture out to the suburb of Falls Church, Virginia (aka “Little Saigon”), and try out Eden Center — which actually offers a variety of Asian cuisine types, so there’s still some diversity. It’s absolutely the opposite of fancy, and there aren’t any especially famous eateries, but it consistently earns rave reviews from patrons and critics alike. Eden Center itself has been voted Best of D.C. numerous times, and Anthony Bourdain visited the bakery Song Que here on his trip to the capital for an episode of No Reservations. With over 100 restaurants, cafés, and other businesses, there’s something for everybody.
#33 City Kitchen at Row, New York City
Times Square packs a little bit of everything in a relatively small area, and the City Kitchen at Row does this on an even smaller scale. The food hall offers seven different dining options, but each is trendy enough to be famous, but not widespread enough that everyone is sick of them. Azuki, ilili Box, Dough Doughnuts, Gabriela’s Taqueria, Kuro Obi, Luke’s Lobster, and Whitmans burgers are all present and accounted for here, and each one offers a larger menu than you’d expect to find at some food halls. City Kitchen has only been open for a year, but its success has already shown it can roll (or row) with the big dogs.
#32 The Plaza Food Hall, New York City
Remember when we told you about the Todd English Food Hall in the Plaza Hotel? (It was like two minutes ago...No. 39) Well, there’s actually a second food hall in the hotel, and it’s even bigger (and arguably a bit better) than that one. Known as The Plaza Food Hall (because “Creativity Food Hall” must have been taken), the space features a whopping 20 different vendors, with familiar names like La Maison du Chocolat, Luke’s Lobster, and No. 7 Sub holding court alongside Ora di Pasta, Vive la Crêpe, and YoArt frozen yogurt. Combined with Todd English, you now have at least 29 good reasons to visit The Plaza — 30 if you count reenacting scenes from Home Alone 2.
#31 The Packing House, Anaheim, Calif.
In Anaheim, home of Disneyland, you’ll find a lovely food hall called The Packing House, operating out of a historic structure that’s one of the area's few remaining old citrus packing houses, first opened in 1919. The Packing House has two levels and a huge atrium, communal dining, 20 restaurants, cafés, and vendors. If you want to get away from typical California fare for a change, try Adya for Indian, The Chippy for fish and chips, Sawleaf Café for Vietnamese, and Georgia’s for Southern-style comfort food, like pulled pork BBQ, fried catfish, and macaroni and cheese.
#30 Essex Street Market, New York City
23 independent merchants (19 food-related) make up the cast of players at New York’s historic Essex Street Market, created in the 1930s by mayor Fiorello La Guardia as a place for former street vendors to sell their goods on the Lower East Side. Nordic Preserves is a cool place to find unusual Scandinavian goods, Boubouki has unbelievable pies, and it’s hard not to fall in love with Shopsin’s General Store’s menu of more than 100 comfort food dishes, as well as iconoclast Kenny Shopsin himself yelling from the kitchen. Mac and cheese pancakes, doughnut sliders, Frito pies, and Kenny make for an incredibly unique dining experience. The market also has numerous meat, fish, and cheese vendors.
#29 UrbanSpace Vanderbilt, New York City
The famous Grand Central Dining Concourse (more on that later) is great and all, but what if it’s a nice day and you want to stretch your legs for one block? You’re in luck, because the UrbanSpace Vanderbilt opened up in September 2015, and so far nothing is stopping it from becoming another food hall behemoth in the middle of Manhattan. Although the venue hosts pop-up food markets several times per year, this new space boasts 20 permanent eateries, including Brooklyn pizza darling Roberta’s, sushi burritos from Hai Street Kitchen & Co., premium-tinned seafood at Maiden Lane, Red Hook Lobster Pound, and Sigmund’s famous pretzels.
#28 Industry City Food Hall, Brooklyn
A historic manufacturing complex turned mixed retail space, Industry City has a long-standing love affair with Brooklyn. Formerly a hub of for all kinds of industrial tycoons (including Topps baseball cards!), it is now home to a host of creative tenants, not least of which is their food hall. Liddabit Sweets, Colson Patisserie, Blue Marble ice cream, and Steve & Andy’s Organics, among others, are some of the newer hall tenants, with more slated to join soon.
#27 Gotham West Market, New York City
New York’s Gotham West Market is a new kid in town comparatively (it opened in Hell’s Kitchen in 2013), offering nine vendors with plenty of amazing food. A world-renowned ramen expert, Ivan Orkin, has set up his Ramen Slurp Shop at Gotham West, inspiring rapture among Yelpers. Additionally, if you want a ton of variety with your meal, The Cannibal offers up small plates and a curated beer and bourbon list; you can’t go wrong with chef Chris Jaeckle’s sushi at Uma Temakeria; and Ample Hills is still making the best ice cream in the city.
#26 Krog Street Market, Atlanta
Previously owned by Tyler Perry Studios, this Atlanta-area food complex opened in 2014 with 10 restaurants and assorted retail shops. Lovers of charcuterie should check out The Cockentrice, sandwich fanatics need to stop at Todd Ginsberg’s Fred’s Meat and Bread, while those with stars in their eyes should go to French-American brasserie The Luminary, the first restaurant by Top Chef contestant Eli Kirshtein. Krog Street Market is the first food hall of its kind in Atlanta, and it has been very well received by both tourists and locals. Gaining popularity every day, the sky is the limit for this nine-acre complex.
#25 The Pennsy, New York City
Finally there’s a place to get fresh, healthy, high-quality food quickly near Penn Station — or, in this case, inside it. Pennsy only offers a bar, a coffee shop, and five eateries at this time, but each one comes equipped with a hefty dose of star-power. Franklin Becker brings The Little Beet’s gluten-free fare, Marc Forgione represents Lobster Press, Mario Batali and Mary Giuliani team up for Mario by Mary, butcher Pat LaFrieda peddles his famous meats, and vegan food is prepared by The Cinnamon Snail, whose food truck gets consistently ranked as one of the best in the country (we had it at No. 4 last year). Never before has such a small decision been so difficult.
#24 Ottenheimer Market Hall, Little Rock, Ark.
This food hall adjacent to Little Rock’s River Market holds 15 vendors, including Bangkok Thai, Casa Manana Taqueria, Sweet Soul Southern Cuisine, vegetarian items, Middle Eastern cuisine, and coffee shops. Jay’s Pizza is actually owned and operated by the former head chef of the Arkansas governor’s mansion, and there’s a beer garden in the market as well. We probably should have just led with “pizza and beer,” right?
#23 Melrose Market, Seattle
When Matt Dillon, the head chef and owner of Sitka & Spruce (and also a Food & Wine Best New Chef nominee in 2007), decided to relocate his gorgeous restaurant to Seattle’s Melrose Market in 2010, the move would propel the space into trendiness and popularity. Now Melrose Market houses a total of eight vendors who all use each other’s products when possible, including Still Liquor, The Calf & Kid cheese shop, and Taylor Shellfish Farms seafood.
#22 Union Station, Denver
It’s not news that Colorado is full of great restaurants and health-conscious diners. The most exciting news currently, however, is that several food halls have popped up around the state in the last few years. Union Station in Denver is a cultural center within a recently-revitalized train station, which includes nine restaurants under its roof. Chef Jennifer Jasinski (of Rioja), a James Beard Award-winner for Best Chef: Southwest in 2013 and a Top Chef alumna, runs Stoic & Genuine, a seafood and oyster bar, and Award-winning chef Alex Seidel runs Mercantile Dining & Provision, an “elevated comfort food” spot. With these stars on board, we’re down for a visit anytime.
#21 French Market, New Orleans
If you’ve never heard of Café Du Monde, it’s been the place for coffee and beignets in New Orleans since 1862, hidden among about 20 other gems in the city’s sprawling French Market complex near the Mississippi River. Other highlights include Evans Creole Candy Factory (voted one of the 10 Best Candy Shops in the U.S. by Bon Appétit), Alberto’s Cheese and Wine Bistro, Cajun Café, and Loretta’s Pralines.
#20 Central Food Hall, Ponce City Market, Atlanta
Ponce de León never found the Fountain of Youth, but Georgia residents have found the Fountain of Food at Ponce City Market’s new Central Food Hall in Atlanta’s enormous, fully-renovated, former Sears, Roebuck & Company building. The folks who brought you Chelsea Market in Manhattan (more on that later) are behind this new space, which opened its doors in the fall of 2015. There are now a total of 22 restaurants and vendors here, with more are being added every month, it seems. Visitors can dive into lobster rolls at W.H. Stiles Fish Camp, Korean fare at Simply Seoul Kitchen, or scrumptious sandwiches at H&F Burger, with Ton Ton Japanese and City Winery slated to join them soon.
#19 Chicago French Market, Chicago
Featuring 30 restaurants and vendors, Chicago’s French Market is located in the MetraMarket development in the West Loop. Diners are able to browse local favorites like Pastoral cheese shop, Fumare Meats, Buen Apetito Mexican grill, Saigon Sisters Vietnamese cuisine, and Da Lobsta seafood. According to the market’s website, the Bensidoun family (managers of scores of open-air markets in and around Paris since 1953) co-developed the market with Chicago-based U.S. Equities Realty, and operates and manages it. Sounds like an impressive résumé to us!
#18 The Original Farmers Market, Los Angeles
Operating since 1934, The Original Farmers Market in Los Angeles hasn't been an actual farmers market for many decades, but it has plenty of great food shops and stalls, including a multitude of enjoyable sit-down and takeaway restaurants. Some chains are included in the count, but all-in-all there are over 50 different food and drink vendors to experience. Find what you need in terms of sushi, fine meats, or a unique dining experience like Singapore’s Banana Leaf, because let’s be honest, who doesn’t want to eat delicious treats off a banana leaf? Since this market has been patronized by stars like Marilyn Monroe, The Beatles, and Frank Sinatra, we’re pretty sure it will pass muster with you, too.
#17 Eataly, Chicago
The brainchild (at least in its American translation) of none other than Mario Batali and Joe and Lidia Bastianich, Eataly got its start as a food hall in Italy, with 11 locations currently in that country. There are also Eataly outposts in Japan, Dubai, and Turkey, proving that a love of Italian food, when done extraordinarily well, is universal. And they certainly do it extraordinarily well at their Chicago outpost: There’s a sprawling market selling high-end Italian goods; a gelateria; stands selling fresh meat, fish, vegetables, pizza, pasta, focaccia, panini, and pastries; and a handful of full-service restaurants including the lively Baffo Ristorante, the James Beard-dedicated J.B., and La Birreria, a microbrewery and beer-themed restaurant.
#16 Eastern Market, Washington
A perfect blend of old and new, D.C.’s historic Eastern Market attracts hordes of tourists and locals alike, especially in the warm summer months. After a fire devastated the building in 2007, it was rebuilt and now holds 12 indoor food merchants and several sit-downs, including Fine Sweet Shoppe, Canales Delicatessen, Market Lunch, which is famous for its buckwheat blueberry pancakes, charbroiled burgers, and seafood sandwiches. Outside, there are many more vendors, and in an adjacent parking lot, shoppers can browse through the Eastern Market Flea Market.
#15 Westfield San Francisco Centre, San Francisco
Amongst the routine mall fare of Starbucks, Jamba Juice, and Chipotle, the Westfield San Francisco Centre offers up some real gems. Among the 43 restaurants and cafés lives celebrity chef and James Beard Award-winner Martin Yan’s restaurant, M.Y. China. Shoppers can also take a break and dine at French-Scandinavian brasserie Volta, Tap , and a host of other high-end eateries. The crowning feature is the building’s iconic 102-foot-wide glass dome, under which all the restaurants are located.
#14 Quincy Market in Faneuil Hall, Boston
Among the ranks of the biggest attractions for food-lovers in Boston is Quincy Market, located in Faneuil Hall, which first opened almost 200 years ago. Among over a dozen restaurants and pubs, you’ll find an outpost of the place where everybody knows your name: Cheers! You can also choose to eat under the iconic glass canopies or at one of the outdoor cafés if the weather is good. If you include the food vendors inside the Quincy Market Colonnade (like Fisherman’s Net for seafood, MMMac N’ Cheese, and Boston Chowda), the total number of eateries is 57, which makes Quincy Market the largest food hall in New England.
#13 Hudson Eats, New York City
Hudson Eats’ highly anticipated opening in 2014 had New Yorkers abuzz, with rave reviews pouring into Yelp on its opening weekend. Diners were floored by the variety and quality offered by vendors such as Mighty Quinn’s BBQ, Black Seed Bagels, Dos Toros Taquería, and Umami Burger — and the options just keep getting better and better. There are a very few chain options like Starbucks, but don’t let that deter you!
#12 Midtown Global Market, Minneapolis
An internationally themed public market and food hall located in Minneapolis, Midtown Global Market features about 30 bars, restaurants, and other vendors, including several award-winners. Brothers Sade and Jamal Hashi hawk East African cuisine at Safari Express, chef Michelle Gayer-Nicholson (formerly of the famed Charlie Trotter’s) offers up pastries at the Salty Tart Bakery, while A La Salsa, helmed by award-winning chef Lorenzo Ariza, lures you in with central Mexican cuisine. With all of these international restaurants and gift stores, there really is something for everybody.
#11 Union Market, Washington
If you’re looking for a slice of market life in our nation’s capital, look no further than Washington’s Union Market. This revamped historical building in D.C.’s NoMA neighborhood houses a whopping 36 restaurants and vendors, plus a variety of pop-up artisans including Arepa Zone (a food truck that came in at No. 95 in our best-of list for 2015) and Republic Kolache. You’ll also find Rappahannock Oyster Company (recipients of the 2005 Food & Wine Magazine “Tastemaker’s Award”), DC Empanadas, and TaKorean, serving Asian-inspired tacos.
#10 The Ferry Building Marketplace, San Francisco
The historic San Francisco Ferry Building Marketplace, open since 1898, now offers around 40 restaurants and specialty food purveyors. Receiving rave reviews along the way, the Ferry Building houses both The Slanted Door and Out the Door, Vietnamese eateries by James Beard Award-winner chef Charles Phan; the Cowgirl Creamer’s Artisan Cheese Shop and their restaurant Sidekick; and Hog Island Oyster Company, among others. Also, try the burgers and shakes at Gott’s Roadside for a low-key meal that doesn’t require reservations. The lively Saturday farmers market outside the building is a must for any food-loving visitor who ends up in San Francisco on a weekend.
#9 Market House at the Nashville Farmers’ Market, Nashville
At the Market House at the Nashville Farmers’ Market, there are 32 restaurants and shops offering everything from Cajun dishes to cupcakes. Some notable ones include the Sloco sandwich shop by James Beard-honored chef, author, and Chopped champion chef Jeremy Barlow of Tayst; Jamaicaway, serving traditional Jamaican and vegetarian fare that was featured on Guy Fieri’s on Diners, Drive Ins and Dives; and B&C (bacon and caviar) Market BBQ.
#8 Grand Central Dining Concourse, New York City
Although the thought of eating in the perpetually-busy Grand Central Station in New York City might sound insane, you won’t be sorry we clued you in on this food hall, which is located on the terminal’s lower level as well as main concourse level. If you’re hanging out or just passing through, there are plenty of choices — 40 in all! Downstairs, you can find New York institutions like Magnolia Bakery, Shake Shack, and Junior’s cheesecake, there are also several spectacular originals, including the now-legendary Grand Central Oyster Bar. And while you can’t sit down and dine in the market upstairs, you’ll find food vendors ranging from Murray’s Cheese, to produce stands, butchers, bread-makers, and fishmongers. With legendary bar The Campbell Apartment located a couple flights up, as well as restaurants like Cipriani and Michael Jordan’s The Steak House, you can actually call the entire terminal a food hall!
#7 Grand Central Market, Los Angeles
This 99-year-old food hall is revamping its image and attracting young food entrepreneurs to the historic space. Grand Central now has some 35 food and drink vendors, with notable inclusions like Sticky Rice’s Thai street food (which now occupies two locations in the market), Anya Fernald's Belcampo butcher shop and food stand, the awesomely-named Eggslut, chef Ilan Hall’s vegan Ramen Hood, and G&B Coffee, whose iced lattes were recently called out by the New York Times as the best in America (and made our past list of America’s best coffee shops).
#6 Eataly, New York City
Mario Batali? Check. Joe and Lidia Bastianich? Check. All the Italian food you could ever want? Check, check, and more check. Similar to the newer Chicago location (see #18), the original New York branch of Eataly includes a restaurant, beer hall, numerous counters, and a large amount of stands, stalls, and carts, and is considered one of the first major food halls to open in the U.S. The massive hall features restaurants that focus on offering fresh ingredients for sale in markets next to each restaurant (for instance, Il Pesce offers fresh fish, which is also for sale at the Eataly Seafood Counter). It fills up quickly and wait times can get pretty long, but there’s such a wide selection of cheeses, meats, and other specialty food items that you’ll feel like you’re inside a culinary museum. And don’t forget to check out the adjacent La Scuola, where classes are occasionally taught by Batali and Lidia themselves.
#5 West Side Market, Cleveland
Cleveland’s oldest publicly owned market, West Side Market is home to more than 100 vendors and restaurants. The market has been featured on the Travel Channel and Food Network, and it’s estimated that they received over a million visitors per year. While pretty much any ingredient can be purchased from the market vendors (pumpkin spice bacon from J & J Czuchraj Meats, anyone?), make sure not to miss the restaurants. Steve’s Gyros is a popular spot, as is Maha’s Falafel, Johnny Hot Dog, and Frank’s Bratwurst (serving in the same spot since 1970!). We seem to be sensing a trend in some of these names…
#4 Rockefeller Center Dining Concourse, New York
As if the Rockettes, skating rink, and the Christmas tree weren’t good enough reasons to head to Rockefeller Center, the Rockefeller Center Dining Concourse has an astonishing array of amazing restaurants on hand. A lot of chains (Au Bon Pain, Chipotle, Pret A Manger, Starbucks, etc.) are located in the space, but with almost 50 eateries in all, there are still plenty of standouts. Some of the better choices on the concourse include Laurent Tourondel’s Brasserie Ruhlmann, Harry’s Italian Pizza Parlor (from Nick Angelis), Dean & DeLuca, and Jacques Torres Chocolate. Of course, extra time should be allotted to explore this famous and historical building too!
#3 Chelsea Market, New York City
This famous food hall is located in New York City’s Meatpacking District inside a building that was once home to the Nabisco factory, and its meandering passageways are home to dozens of dining options — over 50 in all! Tourists and locals alike flock to the historic building to take advantage of the huge array of vendors, all of which have their own storefronts inside the building: Amy’s Bread, Bar Suzette, Cull & Pistol Oyster Bar, Doughnuttery, Fat Witch Bakery, L’Arte del Gelato, Los Tacos No. 1 (which was ranked by us as having the 20th best tacos in America last year), Num Pang, Takumi… the list goes on and on. While in the area, check out the adjacent High Line, an out-of-use railroad trestle converted to a beautifully landscaped public park and walking trail.
#2 Reading Terminal Market, Philadelphia
The next time you’re feeling indecisive about dining options in Philadelphia, have no fear: Reading Terminal Market, housing over 60 restaurants and merchants, features tons of different options, including numerous Pennsylvania Dutch specialties. With so many quality eateries, the only question is where to start. If you’re in the mood for something critically acclaimed, try the roasted pork and broccoli rabe sandwich at DiNic’s: It was crowned the best sandwich in America by the Travel Channel’s Adam Richman.
#1 Pike Place Market, Seattle
Seattle’s original farmers market, Pike Place Market, was founded in 1907, but you might know it best as the location of the very first Starbucks. Today, it continues the tradition of offering local wares, and has expanded to include more than 50 restaurants and countless merchants. While you might be most familiar with the fish-tossing fish mongers, Pike Place’s food is beloved by tourists and locals alike, with an average of 10 million visitors annually — making it the 33rd most-visited tourist attraction in the world. From the authentic Café Campagne French Bistro to Matt’s in the Market (where you’ll find the freshest produce around) to Beecher’s Cheese (where you can watch the cheese being made by hand), diners and shoppers of all kinds can find just about anything they want to buy here. Actual local farmers still set up stands daily in the annex.