There are plenty of buzzed-about restaurants to visit in New York City, but food halls give eaters a unique atmosphere along with diverse food options. They offer diners a chance to experience a throwback to a bygone era, where people could find everything they needed under one roof, with products sold by different vendors who were actively involved in the production process. Today’s food halls have a modern bent, focusing on local sourcing and artisan craftsmanship, and they follow a shift in dining habits. Diners want more variety and less formality, and foods halls are the perfect solution. We put together a guide covering the best food halls the city has to offer.
1000 South 8th Avenue | Columbus Circle, Manhattan
Leave the swanky Columbus Circle shops and eateries and head south for this underground gem. Getting there can be a little confusing, since it shares space with the subway, so use the elevator at 8th and 57th. You’ll find 38 establishments to visit, 20 of which are food and beverage vendors, including Boil Boil Ramen, Bolivian Llama Party, and Doughnuttery.
What to order: Beef saltenas from Bolivian Llama Party
1 W 59th Street | Central Park South, Manhattan
Seeing as it’s located underneath the luxurious Plaza Hotel, the Plaza Food Hall has some more opulent offerings (like $300 caviar), but it also offers more budget-friendly options like authentic dim sum from Chi Noodle and Dim Sum Bar. There’s a good amount of seating too, so you don’t have to worry about scarfing down a sandwich while standing.
What to order: Green tea mille cake at Lady M
600 11th Avenue | Hell’s Kitchen, Manhattan
Gotham West Market isn’t the biggest food hall, but it has some major players. Grab a slice of traditional-style pizza from Corner Slice, or slurp down some ramen at Ivan Ramen Slurp Shop. Gotham West Market also has some lighter fare, like the veggie-packed salads at Genuine Roadside, and seafood dishes at Seamore’s.
What to order: Tomato garlic bread and charcuterie at El Comado, ramen from Ivan Ramen Slurp Shop
700 8th Avenue | Times Square, Manhattan
If you ever find yourself entertaining out-of-towners and can’t figure out what to eat around Times Square, City Kitchen on 8th and 44th is the perfect solution. It still might be inundated with tourists, but you can skip the extra cheese often associated with Theater District restaurants, while making sure that everyone in your party can find something delicious to eat.
What to order: Ramen from Kuro-Obi, fish tacos from Gabriela’s Taqueria
East 45th Street & Vanderbilt Avenue | Midtown East, Manhattan
This Midtown food hall hosts over 20 vendors, including some of the city’s most loved spots like Dough, Mimi’s Hummus, Ovenly, Takumi Taco, and Roberta’s. For those who work in the Midtown area (or commute home through Grand Central), it’s a spot worth knowing about.
What to order: A classic margherita pie from Bushwick favorite Roberta’s
Grand Central Terminal – 89 East 42nd Street | Midtown East, Manhattan
From famed Danish chef Claus Meyer comes Great Northern Food Hall, a Scandinavian-inspired spot in Grand Central. All the food can be packaged up and taken to go, so you can have an amazingly refined desk—or train—lunch if need be. If you have time to sit and eat, do so, and enjoy some noteworthy people-watching.
What to order: Any of the smørrebrød, maple-whiskey tart
75 9th Avenue | Chelsea, Manhattan
One of the city’s oldest food halls, Chelsea Market is a popular attraction off the High Line, but battle through the crowds and you’ll find options aplenty thanks to the 38 food vendors. If you can’t find a place to sit, take your food up to the High Line or the grass near Chelsea Piers and enjoy the Hudson River views.
What to order: Tingly Cumin Lamb Soup at Very Fresh Noodles, Adobada Taco at Los Tacos No. 1, Tahini Soft Serve from Seed + Mill
353 West 14th Street | Chelsea, Manhattan
Close to Chelsea Market is Gansevoort Market, which has a smaller—but no less impressive—selection of vendors. The food here definitely veers toward the more indulgent side, with vendors like Hold My Knots, Chip NYC, Wing Club, and Burger, Inc. selling burgers, fried chicken, and ice cream.
What to order: Eggplant parm slider at Hold My Knots
348 Bowery | East Village, Manhattan
An open air food hall in the heart of NoHo, Bowery Market is a far cry from some other food halls. There are only three vendors: Sushi on Jones, The Fruitsand, and L’Arte del Gelato, but what the market lacks in space, it makes up in flavor. You might forget you’re even in the city while surrounded by the beachy white shacks.
What to order: Omakase from Sushi on Jones, Stracciatella from L’Arte del Gelato
120 Essex Street | Lower East Side, Manhattan
Essex Street Market is hard to miss, given its brightly colored, instagram-friendly exterior. Inside you’ll find an old-fashioned market with specialty stores, including a greengrocer, fishmonger, cheesemonger, and butcher. Go there for the fresh ingredients, but as you shop, grab some snacks from the prepared food vendors, all of whom have delicious offerings.
What to order: Carbonara arancini from Arancini Brothers
265 Canal Street | Chinatown, Manhattan
Canal Street Market has both great shopping and great food. There are plenty of options in the 12,000-square-foot space, including already-established vendors like Boba Guys, Nom Wah Kuai, and Ilili Box.
What to order: Sea Salt Chocochata at Boba Guys
899 Bergen Street | Crown Heights, Brooklyn
Located in Crown Heights, Berg’n is more beer hall then food hall, but it still makes the list due to its extensive collection of drinks. Go for the endless list of micro brew craft beers, but stay for the food from some of the city’s best vendors: Mighty Quinn’s BBQ, Landhaus, and Maizey Sunday Tacos.
What to order: Beef ribs from Mighty Quinn’s
45 Albee Square West | Downtown Brooklyn, Brooklyn
One of the newest additions to the Brooklyn food hall scene, DeKalb in Downtown Brooklyn is a massive space with 40 vendors. It brings together some of the best-known spots from other boroughs, like Katz’s and Arepa Lady, with Brooklyn favorites like Ample Hills Creamery and Bunker.
What to order: Arepa de Choclo at the Arepa Lady, Potato Pierogis at Pierogi Boys
136-20 Roosevelt Avenue | Flushing, Queens
Unlike the other food halls on this list, which are more pristine and curated, the New World Mall Food Court in Flushing is hectic and crowded. But there’s no better place if you’re looking for authentic Asian food. Everything under the sun can be found here, from dumplings to takoyaki to scallion pancakes to noodles. Sample Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and Taiwanese food from over 30 food stalls, with most dishes costing just $15 or less.
What to order: xiaolongbao from Tao Rice Rolls, dim sum from Clay Pot