In addition to gourmet fast casual and fried chicken, there's been no bigger trend in dining than the rise of the food hall, gourmet food courts and restaurant concepts that eschew traditional dining models in favor of more casual, drop-by service. There's the older guard like Chelsea Market, Eataly, and Grand Central Terminal, which combine the food court concept with gourmet grocery stalls and fine dining restaurants. And then there's the new wave, which is all about getting a quick meal pieced together from multiple vendors, if that's what you're in the mood for.
Below, a guide to the city's food halls and what and when to eat at them. We've also included a list of forthcoming markets, as this concept is by no means hitting the skids anytime soon.
Notable Purveyors: Ed & Bev's, Mighty Quinn's, Samesa, Lumpia Shack
Unique Items: Seek out Eli and Max Sussman's chicken shawarma at Samesa, where they're cooking up fresh pitas in a former pizza oven.
Good For: Berg'n mostly serves as a beer hall and bar, so it's a great place for a group outing when people want to maybe snack on some things but mostly drink and hang out.
899 Bergen Street between Classon and Franklin; website. Open 9 a.m. Tuesdays through Fridays and 10 a.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Closed Mondays.
Notable Purveyors: Delaney Chicken, Roberta's, Mimi's Hummus, Mayhem & Stout, Ovenly, Toby's Estate
Unique Items: Daniel Delaney's fried chicken project has been a big hit so far, especially the spicy chicken sandwich. No. 7 is doing an all vegetarian program, where you can sample their excellent veggie burger and their broccoli tacos. And up until recently, one had to travel to Ditmas Park to nosh on Mimi's Hummus, so definitely try their excellent hummus and pita pockets.
Good For: Midtown office workers who are sick of Pret A Manger; grabbing a snack before heading out on Metro-North.
230 Park Avenue, (646) 747-0822; website. Open Monday to Friday 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Notable Purveyors: Black Seed Bagel, Little Muenster, Blue Ribbon Sushi Bar, Umami Burger, Northern Tiger
Unique Items: Because of its out-of-the-way location, Hudson Eats doesn't get the crush of foot traffic, especially when officer workers vacate for the weekend. That makes it a great time to visit for Black Seed's excellent bagel sandwiches without braving an insane line of hungover people at their other two locations.
Good For: Taking out of town visitors who insist on visiting nearby tourist hotspots like Wall Street and the Statue of Liberty.
Hudson Eats is located within Brookfield Place at 200 Vesey Street; website. Open Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Saturday 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Sunday 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Notable Purveyors: One Girl Cookies, Taco Mix, Ends Meat,
Unique Items: Because many of the vendors use the IC as a commissary, you'll often get a behind-the-scenes look at them prepping items to send elsewhere.
Good For: The Sunset Park neighborhood and the people working and living there.
The Food Hall is located adjacent to planted courtyard and Factory Floor event space at Industry City, located at 36th Street between 2nd and 3rd Avenues in Sunset Park. Hours vary depending on the vendor, but most stalls open up between 8 a.m. and 11 a.m. during the week and close between 4 p.m. and 5 p.m. On the weekends, one or two of the vendors might be open but it's hit or miss.
(courtesy City Kitchen)
Notable Purveyors: Luke's Lobster, Whitman's, Dough, Kuro Obi
Unique Items: Whitman's makes a mean "Juicy Lucy" cheeseburger and the duck shawarma from illi box is kickin', but the ramen from Kuro Obi (a spinoff of Ippudo) is the big draw. They're offering three different bowls of superlative ramen—with noodles designed to stand up to transportation—plus toppings, pork buns and Japanese beers.
Good For: Tourists could do worse than stopping by for a quick meal but Times Square denizens and workers are likely thankful for an option beyond the usual chains and delis. Doesn't make for a terrible pre-theater bite, either.
700 8th Avenue. Open 6:30 a.m. - 9 p.m. daily
Notable Purveyors: Epicerie Boulud, Lady M, No. 7 Sub, Tartinery, Ora di Pasta
Unique Items: Unlike a lot of the more casual food halls, many of the vendors have special seating for diners and employ real cutlery and dishes, making the experience a little bit more formal. Most over-the-top of them all: Olma Caviar Bar, where you can order Beluga Caviar, White Sturgeon Caviar and even humble Paddlefish Caviar.
Good For: Impressing somebody, because it's very nice-looking. Also good for buying gourmet food items for a hostess gift.
1 W 59th Street, 212-986-9260; website. Open Monday thru Saturday 8 a.m. - 9:30 p.m.; Sunday 11 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Double Dashi Ramen from Slurp Shop (courtesy Gotham West Market)
Notable Purveyors: The Cannibal, El Colmado, Ivan Ramen Slurp Shop, Choza Taqueria
Unique Items: Ivan Ramen's special breakfast items are worth a trip unto themselves, namely the very sexy Breakfast Ramen, which comes in a cheddar fondue and strips of New Jersey staple Taylor Ham. Even better: the Breakfast Ramen is available whenever the shop is open, regardless of the hour of the day.
Good For: A pit stop after a run along the Hudson River Greenway or before/after an event at the Javits Center.
600 11th Avenue, 212-582-7940; website. Open 7 a.m. on weekdays; 8 a.m. on weekends until 11 p.m. every night.
Notable Purveyors: Palenque, Ed's Lobster Bar, Mission Ceviche, Dana's Bakery, Tacombi
Unique Items: The Bruffin Cafe, that hybrid brioche-muffin in savory applications; Donostia, a pintxos counter serving cured, dried, pickled, and preserved ingredients; Myers of Keswick, serving British specialty foods
Good For: If Chelsea Market is too crowded, this is a great alternative. The space is unique for food halls, offering a little more curb appeal than the average—there's even an VW Bus serving tacos!
52 Gansevoort Street between Greenwich and Washington Streets; website. Open 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily.
Notable Purveyors: Amy's Bread, Bar Suzette, Corkbuzz Wine Studio, Cull & Pistol, Los Tacos No. 1, Lucy's Whey, Takumi
Unique Items: Spit-roasted adobado tacos from Los Tacos; fresh pastas from Giovanni Rana Pastificio & Cucina; vegan sushi from Beyond Sushi
Good For: The railroad-style market is beautiful just for a stroll on a weekend afternoon, though it can get crowded. Great lunch spot for inspiration to cook at home, as many of the vendors are retail. There are also vendors selling clothing, jewelry and gifts.
75 Ninth Avenue; website. Monday - Saturday 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Sunday 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
GRAND CENTRAL TERMINAL
Notable Purveyors: Oyster Bar & Restaurant, Shake Shack, Irving Farm Coffee Roasters, Two Boots Pizzeria, Central Market New York
Unique Items: There are rumors of its demise, but for now, the Two Boots Pizzeria is a sneaky spot to grab a quick slice and, more importantly, a cardboard cup of booze for the train. Stop by the energetically designed bar space on your way out of town and snag a Pork Loin sandwich from Central Market for the perfect meal on-the-go. It's also the only place outside of JFK to score Shake Shack breakfast sandwiches.
Good For: Fueling up for an LIRR or Metro-North trip; sneaky beers on-the-go.
89 E 42nd Street, 212-340-2583; website. Dining concourse operates 6:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays; 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sundays.
Notable Purveyors: Rosticceria, La Pizza & La Pasta, Bierreria, La Piazza
Unique Items: Their seasonal truffle restaurant Il Tartufo is good when the expensive mushrooms are in season; the rooftop brewery is a collaboration between American brewery Dogfish Head and Italian breweries Birra Baladin and Birra del Borgo; and their porchetta sandwich will transport you to Rome.
Good For: Just about everything, including parents, in-laws, dates and anyone who appreciates good Italian food. Because most everything in Eataly is at a generally high price point, the Market section is good for speciality Italian products for gifts and the like. The restaurants are in the thick of it, so good for people-watching and eating in a lively environment.
200 5th Avenue, 212-229-2560; website. The Caffee Lavazza opens daily at 8 a.m. and the Market follows at 10 a.m.
Notable Purveyors: Depends on what you're in the mood for: cheese from the Fromagerie; oysters from Le Comptoir; Steak Frites from the Boucherie.
Unique Items: L'Appart Chef's Table is good for a more intimate dining experience; you can point to a piece of meat in the Boucherie and the chef will cook it on-site; there's also a cocktail bar and outdoor seating overlooking the Hudson during warm seasons.
Good For: Stocking up on a gourmet picnic; sating steak cravings.
- Anthony Bourdain's hawker-style market at Pier 57.
- Danny Meyer's giant new food hall in Hudson Yards.
- The Nordic food hall possibly coming to Grand Central Terminal.
- The subterranean food court Turnstyle coming to Columbus Circle.
- Dekalb Market Hall, which'll have a Katz's outpost, among other things.
- And finally, an Eataly Downtown coming to 4 WTC next spring.