It seems like food halls are popping up all over and with good reason. Diners love variety and choices. The latest chef to throw his hat in the ring is Jose Andres. He’ll be opening up a 35,000 square foot market and dining project, devoted to Spain, in the Hudson Yards development on Manhattan’s West Side.
He’s following in the footsteps of fellow chef Mario Batali, who with Lidia Bastianich, brought Eataly to New York’s Flatiron District in 2010. Eataly is made up of a variety of restaurants, counters, cafes, markets, a wine shop and a cooking school. The original location in Torino, Italy, is supposedly the largest Italian marketplace in the world. Other locations include Chicago, Boston and soon to open Los Angeles.
Another well-known chef, Anthony Bourdain, is working on a project at Pier 57 on Manhattan’s West Side called Bourdain Market. Scheduled to open in 2019, it will consist of about 100 vendors. He’ll be bringing food partners in from around the world.
In Washington, D.C., chef and restaurateur Mike Isabella is set to open Isabella Eatery in the fall of 2017. Located in Tyson’s Galleria, it will be made up of about 8 different restaurants, a cocktail bar and private dining space.
Chef Michael Mina will be opening two new locations of his food hall concept, The Street, in Honolulu and Los Angeles. They’ll be mall-like areas of different restaurants (stations) with everything from poke to burgers to ramen.
Washington, D.C. will be getting another marketplace featuring Latin cuisine courtesy of Philadelphia based chef Jose Garces. This project, scheduled to open in 2018, is one street over from the eclectic Union Market, which opened in 2012.
Food halls are definitely a welcome trend and with good reason. Everyone’s tastes can be accommodated with the many options available. We are also a culture that loves small plates and sampling good authentic food in a casual atmosphere. That can be seen by the amount of tapas/small plate restaurants that have popped up in recent years. The United States is finally catching up with the idea of food halls, which have been extremely popular in other parts of the world for a long time.