They aren’t new, but they’re arguably improved. We’re talking about food halls, and they’re continuing to pop up all over the United States in major cities, especially New York. While the traditional concept remains, these new halls are putting a twist on an old classic with top-notch vendors, high vaulted ceilings, handmade wood furniture, and custom marble counter tops, among other hot décor themes. Food halls aren’t just great because of their diverse, delicious food options and trendy atmospheres. They’re also particularly good for neighborhoods in transition by creating a destination where it did not previously exist.
Consider the introduction of Gotham West Market on the ground floor of the Gotham West rental development in Hell’s Kitchen, which helped kick off the transformation of the Far West Side from a no man’s land into a top residential destination. In fact, the concept worked so well that Gotham Organization included a new outpost, Gotham Market at The Ashland (which just opened and is still adding vendors), in its plans for The Ashland in Fort Greene, Brooklyn. So, whether you’re going for the food or looking for a great, gastronomically diverse neighborhood to put down roots, here are some of our favorite food halls in NYC:
The Plaza Food Hall: Open daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner, The Plaza Food Hall is comprised of specialty food purveyors, including Italian fare from Ora di Pasta; delectable lobster rolls from Luke’s Lobster; and sweets from Billy’s Bakery and La Maison du Chocolat.
Todd English Food Hall: Also located at The Plaza Hotel, this European-inspired food hall offers a wide variety of options for every palate by Chef Todd English, who is known for his interpretation of Mediterranean cuisine.
City Kitchen: Row NYC’s answer to the Plaza Food Hall, City Kitchen boasts bringing “New York’s most desired and hyped food concepts to the bull’s eye of NYC – Times Square.” The hall’s well-known vendors include Dough, Luke’s Lobster, Whitman’s and Kuro Obi, which bring in big crowds seven days a week.
Hudson Eats: Located at Brookfield Place, this modern food court doesn’t just offer a long list of delicious options including Num Pang Sandwich Shop, P.J. Clarke’s and Le District, but comes with a breathtaking view of the Hudson River.
Gansevoort Market: This food market has a long history in Manhattan, dating back to 1884. The most recent iteration, opened in 2014, creates a modern place to eat and relax with a design that pays homage to its roots in the 19th Century Meatpacking District. Vendors include Burger, Inc., Taco Delicatessen and Big Gay Ice Cream.
Urbanspace Vanderbilt: Located on East 45th Street & Vanderbilt Avenue, Urbanspace Vanderbilt is one of multiple Urbanspace locations – which also include Mad. Sq. Eats, Broadway Bites and Holiday Shops at Bryant Park – and is a short walk from Grand Central Station. Featuring a rotating selection of vendors, Urbanspace offers a great option for delicious over-the-counter food if you’re in the area.
The Pennsy: If the name is any indication, The Pennsy is located right above Penn Station. You can find gluten free at The Little Beet, vegan at The Cinnamon Snail, and seafood at The Lobster Press, as well as Pat LaFrieda’s first brick-and-mortar location and Italian fare by Mario Batali, all under one roof.
Chelsea Market: Talk about multi-tasking. Chelsea Market is an office building, television production space, food space, and shopping mall all rolled into one. Its restaurants and food kiosks have made it a legendary tourist spot, but its position along the High Line is what makes it truly special.