14 Essential Food Halls to Visit in NYC
From seasoned chefs expanding their repertoires to innovative new concepts making their debuts, food halls have it all.
In case you’ve missed the reignited city-wide buzz, across the boroughs there’s been a noticeable influx of food halls. And we’re not talking about the nostalgic suburban shopping mall food courts of our childhood hometowns. These culinary playgrounds are a mecca for talents ranging from seasoned chefs expanding their repertoires to innovative new concepts making their debuts.
The sky’s the limit when there’s counter service omakase, artfully crafted crêpe cakes, and piping hot fried chicken being served up all under the same roof. Whether it’s OGs like Chelsea Market to newcomers like Citizens NY and Urbanspace, there’s a food hall (and stall) for just about everyone these days.
So, let’s agree that there’s a beauty to not knowing what you’re in the mood for. It’s time to revel in the unknown and set out on a food discovery mission with our top picks for buzziest food halls in NYC. And look out for a bunch more in the works for fall and beyond including one from the James Beard Foundation.
Situated inside the Manhattan West development, which opened last year, is the Citizens NY food hall. Founded by restaurateur Sam Nazarian of the C3 group, the space features nine stands for a range of fast-casual choices. Along with popular grab-n-go spots like Umami Burger and Sam’s Crispy Chicken, two sit-down options of Spanish tapas eatery Casa Dani from the renowned chef Dani Garcia and the Japanese fine-dining destination, Katsuya, offer guests an upscale dining experience.
The latest addition to Midtown East’s food hall journey is The Hugh. Expect a total of 15 restaurants and bars to explore, including a wine bar and craft beer taproom, as well as an artfully decorated two-story, 30,000-square-foot interior complete with murals and botanics. Amongst the real trees that dot the atrium, snag a seat for Weekends at The Hugh which includes pizza making classes by PDA Pizza and beer tasting at Joseph Brothers. When you’ve worked up an appetite try out a Pinocchio (prosciutto, sopressata, mozzarella) from Italian sandwich shop Alidoro or opt for the Seafood Tower from Greenpoint Fish & Lobster Co.
Jacx & Co.
Opened at the end of 2020, by real estate development company Tishman Speyer, the bi-level, 15,000-square-foot Jacx & Co. food hall debuted as a hub for international cuisine on Long Island City. With intentions of attracting office lunch hour crowds and local residents alike, there’s a total of seven operators in the building. Snag a Brown Sugar Boba Milk from Biao Sugar; a Pink Pineapple Tart from pastry chef Ghaya Oliveira’s bakery, Ghaya; or a Pork Char Siu Bowl from Cantonese barbecue spot Lotus + Cleaver. On the beverage side, the latest addition of The Bar at Jacx & Co. serves up signature cocktails, wine, and locally-sourced beers to accompany your bites.
Canal Street Market
Located on the busy edge of Chinatown is a merging of retail, food, art, and community at the Canal Street Market. Nestled along narrow hallways are 12 food vendors ranging from milk-tea experts Boba Guys and Mediterranean street food courtesy of ilili Box to baked goods from Domi. A wide berth of retail options include Brooklyn-based Dandy Farmer Bonsai Shop and sister-owned home goods store Mogutable. Also, stay up to date via Instagram for upcoming Small Business Saturday announcements.
Finding high-quality goods at Chelsea Market is the norm, with fishmongers, whole-animal butcher counters, artisanal cheeses, locally-sourced produce, and imported ingredients at the ready. After gathering your carefully selected dinner party necessities, there’s a variety of eateries to sate your appetite such as the top-tier taqueria Los Tacos and its sibling Los Mariscos; Mediterranean-influenced street food from Miznon; and pasta hotspot La Devozione. In addition, while you’re wandering around the space, drop by Artechouse for the latest exhibit or find your next read at family-owned Posman Books.
DeKalb Market Hall
Spread out over 27,000 square feet beneath the City Point development in Downtown Brooklyn is the ever popular DeKalb Market. With a large focus on displaying NYC’s diverse community, the market flaunts an extensive roster of local and regional vendors, such as Lower East Side legend, Katz’s Delicatessen, and their signature heaping deli sandwiches. Other familiar names include: Ample Hills Creamery, Arepa Lady, and Bunker. Also, on any given day the market hosts daily entertainment and programming, with a custom show kitchen and a stage for live concerts.
Since its inception in 1818, when it started as a covered market on Grand Street between Essex and Ludlow Streets, Essex Market has gained recognition for their beloved vendors and affordable prices. A century later, the market has transitioned into a new contemporary space in 2019, directly across the street from its predecessor. The more than 30 vendors provide a variety of can’t-miss stops, like tropical fruit-centric Luna Brothers Fruit Plaza and family-owned New Star Fish Market in the grocery section, and specialty section standouts such as husband-wife duo-owned Ni Japanese Deli or floral arrangement experts at Saffron. The prepared food options tout homestyle Indian cuisine from Dhamaka; Italian comfort classics at MilleNonne; and Ukrainian fare from Veselka.
Gotham West Market
In 2013, Gotham Hospitality marked its first venture into food halls with the opening of Gotham West Market in Hell’s Kitchen. The expansive space is spread out over the entire ground floor of the block at 600 11th Avenue and is packed full of choices ranging from seafood, pizza, and moles. Most popular go-tos chef Barbara Sibley’s La Palapa taco bar; the chef's counter at the Italian-centric Dell ‘anima; and the 12-course omakase experience from Sushi on Jones X Don Wagyu. There’s also a large outdoor seating area for when you want to snack while enjoying the fresh transition into spring weather.
When the food hall is spread across 40,000 square feet, it’s pretty much a sure bet that any appetite can be appeased. In the main hub of the Industry City food hall, located in the Sunset Park neighborhood of Brooklyn, there’s loads of cuisine from a total of 12 food vendors. Among crowd favorites are: flame-broiled burger spot and speakeasy Burger Joint; the first NYC location of Germany-based Kotti Berliner Döner Kebab; and whoopie pie experts, One Girl Cookies. As you explore the rest of the development there’s fast casual spots like Yaso Shanghai Street Food and sit-down eats like the Southern pit-smoked meats hub of Hometown Bar-B-Que. Sprinkled around the development, you’ll also find fine-goods retailers like the vinyl-stocked HiFi Provisions Record Store. On the second floor, there’s also the recently debuted Japan Village to explore, which contains its own array of food vendors, tea rooms, and shops.
Led by restaurateur Peter Poulakakos (Dead Rabbit, Pier A Harbor House), Battery Park’s Le District food hall is a major 30,000-square-foot venture. The industrial-style market is French cuisine focused and splits into three distinct districts: Cafe, Market, and Garden. Within these sections you’ll find a bakery, café, meat and cheese stalls, fish counter, and open-air grocery. Two dine-in restaurants make an appearance as well with classic French brasserie called Liberty Bistro and an upscale seasonal concept by executive chef “Nico” Abello at L’Appart.
Mercado Little Spain
Founded by well-renowned chefs José Andrés, Albert Adrià, and Ferran Adrià, Mercado Little Spain is a hub for Spanish food, drinks, and culture. Kiosks specialize in singular food items like empanadas; bravas (spicy fried potatoes); churros; ham and cheese; paella; and pastries. Along with four distinct bars, there’s the casual Iberian concept Spanish Diner; grill- and meat-focused eatery Leña; and tapas spot La Barra.
Turnstyle Underground Market
Connected to the Columbus Circle Station, is a subterranean stop for shops, kiosks, and eateries, Turnstyle Underground Market. Taking up the length of a full city block, the casual market is a global dining excursion with options ranging from Lisa’s Dumplings and Empanadas Criollos to Frankie’s Dogs and Champion Pizza. While you’re supporting these small business eateries, take some time to explore the retail shops scattered about like The Harlem Soap Maker and Hell’s Kitchen Hot Sauce.
Urbanspace Lexington Food Hall
Located in the historical General Electric building at 570 Lexington Avenue, is the art-deco adorned Urbanspace Lexington Food Hall. The second of three NYC developments, the Midtown East location is home to nine grab-n-go eateries. Start off the day with The Convict (toast topped with vegemite) at Australian-influenced Little Collins or stop by for post-work decompression with a glass of wine and Lil’ Stinker Pizza (tomato, mozzarella, garlic, onion, pepperoncini) from Roberta’s.
After undergoing a massive renovation back in 2016, the second floor of Queens Crossing is now home to a curated collection of food vendors. Of the currently 12 open vendors, the fare features mostly Asian cuisine which includes: renowned chef Richard Chan’s Singaporean Hawker fare-influenced, Sin Kee; Instagram-famed South Korean Oh-K Dog & Egg Toasts; and Sichuan mini hotpot spot, Spice Bowl. The dine-in restaurant options are Cantonese seafood and dim sum eatery, New Mulan, along with the all-you-can-eat buffet at Spring Shabu Shabu. Also, make sure to keep tabs for news on the reopening of K Show Karaoke bar, as well as the upcoming debut of Yasubee Ramen.