|Great Northern Food Hall, Grand Central Terminal|
Once upon a time, Chelsea Market was the main go-to food market, even when its vast converted building was located next to an abandoned elevated rail line. Now, that rail line is The High Line, and the market continues to change and thrive with many new vendors and visitors. Other food halls have attracted mostly locals for some time, including the Essex Street Market on the Lower East Side and the Arthur Avenue Market in the Bronx. More food halls are on the horizon, near and far.
|Los Tacos No. 1 in Chelsea Market|
Food halls often present an ideal choice for people gathering in groups, because a place with many dining options can solve contentious or rambling discussions about where to eat. For solo travelers, the hall can serve as a suitable place to enjoy a variety of foods and explore the local culture. For the food vendors, a place in a food hall can serve as a stepping-stone from food truck to full-blown restaurant. Even people outside the restaurant business know opening a new eating establishment is risky business, especially within the context of soaring city rents, so food halls make sense economically.
|Gotham West Market, Hell's Kitchen. 600 11th Ave.|
Big cities across the country are moving in the food hall direction, often recasting historic spaces into something new. For example, the developers for New York's Chelsea Market have opened Atlanta's new Ponce de Leon Market in that city's old Sears, Roebuck & Co. warehouse and showroom.
|The Plaza Food Hall, basement of The Plaza Hotel. 1 W. 59th St.|
The contemporary big city "food hall" tries very hard to distinguish itself from the "food court" that was once a staple of the suburban mall. Those courts often included only chain restaurants, matching the sort of chain stores in proximity. The new food hall caters to new tastes for local fare, or farm-to-table, or whatever new trend presents itself. The Barclay's Center in Brooklyn was one of the first big venues in the city to showcase the emerging food culture of Brooklyn.
One of the most beautiful halls is the Great Northern Food Hall in Grand Central Terminal. Set under the high ceilings of Vanderbilt Hall, this spot by Claus Meyer is dedicated to the New Nordic cuisine. Counters for baked goods, open rye sandwiches, a grain bar, and other fare highlight healthy, wholesome, and fresh ingredients. It's all very "hygge," the Danish word for that cozy feeling produced by candles, comfortable socks, warm woolen mittens, whiskers on kittens, and that sort of thing. Wait. Sorry. This new cuisine is largely a recent invention, a kind of charming food culture made up out of Nordic myth-making, yet it stays within an authentic farm-to-table tradition.
|Turnstyle, underground at Columbus Circle, is adjacent to the subways.|
Most of the markets and food halls listed here are indoors, yet very good outdoor markets may be found in season, such as Mad. Sq. Eats at Madison Square Park.
The map and listings will be updated as more halls open, and as some of the existing markets will (likely) re-market themselves.
• The Bowery Market, Bowery and Great Jones Street. (Open-air market.) thebowerymarket.com
• Canal Street Market, 265 Canal St. canalstreet.market
• Chelsea Market, 75 9th Ave. www.chelseamarket.com
• City Acres Market, 70 Pine St. cityacresmarket.com
• City Kitchen, Times Square. 700 8th Ave. citykitchen.rownyc.com
• Le District, Brookfield Place, 225 Liberty St. ledistrict.com
• Eataly, 200 Fifth Ave. eataly.com Another location in the Financial District.
• Essex Street Market, 120 Essex St. Note: The legendary Shopsin's diner is located here. essexstreetmarket.com
• Gansevoort Market, 353 W. 14th St. gansmarket.com
• Gotham West Market, Hell's Kitchen. 600 11th Ave. gothamwestmarket.com
• Great Northern Food Hall, Grand Central Terminal, Vanderbilt Hall. greatnorthernfood.com
• Hudson Eats, Brookfield Place. 225 Liberty St. brookfieldplaceny.com
• The Pennsy (Penn Station area), 2 Pennsylvania Plaza, thepennsy.nyc
• The Plaza Food Hall, basement of The Plaza Hotel. 1 W. 59th St. http://www.theplazany.com/dining/the-plaza-food-hall/
• Turnstyle, Columbus Circle. 1000 S. 8th Ave. turn-style.com
• Urbanspace Vanderbilt, East 45th & Vanderbilt Ave urbanspacenyc.com
• Arthur Avenue Market, 2344 Arthur Avenue. http://www.arthuravenue.com
• Berg'n Crown Heights, 899 Bergen St., bergn.com
• DeKalb Market Hall. 445 Albee Square West. dekalbmarkethall.com
• Brooklyn: Gotham Market at The Ashland. This sister market to Gotham West Market includes tapas bar Boqueria, Flip Bird, Mason Jar & MJ Station, and more. Plus a pop-up market for Brooklyn-based chefs. 590 Fulton Street (at Ashland Place) https://www.gothammarketashland.com/
• Williamsburg: North 3rd Market, 103 N. 3rd St. http://north3rdstreetmarket.com/
Images by Walking Off the Big Apple.