12 NYC Food Halls to Eat Your Way Through
NYC boasts more than 20 food halls, with a handful of newcomers in 2017, and the long-awaited Hudson Yards opening in 2018.
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Photo By: KBBQ by Korilla
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Dekalb Market Hall
This long-awaited food hall in downtown Brooklyn, part of the new City Point complex, boasts 40 well-curated and destination-worthy food options. (City Point also includes Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, Century 21 and more.) But the biggest buzz at Dekalb surrounds the first Brooklyn outpost of legendary Katz’s Deli (pictured), a long-time Lower East Side staple for Jewish deli. Don’t leave without ordering the hot corned beef or pastrami on rye, although each will set you back about $20. The iconic Arepa Lady is another exciting addition since fans will no longer have to trek to Queens for the savory corn cakes. Speaking of schlepping, the addition of Steve’s Key Lime saves the trip to a remote part of Red Hook for some of the best key lime pie outside of Key West. Definitely get the Swingle, a chocolate-covered key lime tart on a stick.
The Plaza Food Hall by Todd English
The Plaza Food Hall by Todd English is arguably the most upscale of the city’s food halls, but this is The Plaza after all. Located on the basement level, there’s plenty of seating among its marble floors and stained glass ceilings, or weather permitting, grab some goods to enjoy across the street in Central Park. You can find some vendors, like Luke’s Lobster, across the city — although you can never go wrong with a lobster roll. Others, like French bistro Vin Sur Vingt's are a far cry from typical food hall fare, especially with its 50+ wine list. Billy’s Bakery stands out for its 1940s-era vibe, from its decor to its baked goods. And if you have a hankering for caviar, head to Olma Caviar Boutique and Bar for its caviar-laden menu, from caviar-accented sandwiches to a full-on Beluga caviar platter. If you’re not lucky enough to stay at The Plaza, you can at least visit the food court open daily from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Turnstyle Underground Market
The long-barren passageways underneath Columbus Circle are now filled with stores and 15 on-trend food vendors. Instead of rushing to catch the train, budget time to visit all-star favorites like Bolivian Llama Party for Bolivian saltenas, Doughnuttery (pictured) for addicting bite-size doughnuts in flavors like purple pig (maple, bacon and purple potatoes) and By Suzette for thick savory or sweet crepes. Don’t try to resist the Nutella cookie crepe. Hours vary by vendor, but most are open morning through evening seven days a week.
Although it’s now several years old, the upscale Hudson Eats, located in the equally recent Brookfield Place in lower Manhattan, is continually evolving. For example, David Chang's Fuku, specializing in all things fried chicken, opened in December 2017. Hudson Eats is also convenient for those visiting the 9/11 Memorial or One World Observatory, but, with 35,000 square feet of food options, it’s also a destination in its own right. Head to the second floor for about 20 food options, such as Black Seed Bagels, from the owners of Mile End Deli and The Smile, Blue Ribbon Sushi Bar from renowned sushi chef Toshi Ueki, and Num Pang for Cambodian sandwiches. Just take note that seating is limited during the weekday lunch rush.
For a long time, Penn Station, and the surrounding area, have left something to be desired in the food arena. Luckily, this is slowly changing and the recent addition of The Pennsy — above Penn Station and next to Madison Square Garden — is a welcome addition. Here, you’ll find six food vendors including the Cinnamon Snail, a popular vegan food truck that now has a permanent home. In fact, its heaping barbecue tempeh sandwich is good enough to convert die-hard carnivores. Pennsy also offers Neapolitan pizza at Ribalta (pictured), healthy tacos at Taco Dumbo and meat galore from famed butcher Pat LaFrieda. There’s also a large bar area, which is perfect for those attending an event at MSG. Be aware that The Pennsy is open between 11 a.m. and 2 a.m., so no breakfast, and food service ends at 9 p.m.
Wear comfortable shoes to navigate Urbanspace Vanderbilt, a new 12,000-square-foot food hall just a few blocks north of Grand Central. More than 20 in-demand food vendors fill the cavernous space, from Japanese-Mexican tacos to small-batch coffee. Urbanspace is the same company behind Madison Square Eats, a popular bi-annual food pop-up in the city. If you’ve ever visited the former, you’ll recognize Roberta’s pizza, beloved for its farm-fresh ingredients on naan-like crust, making it a standout in a city already blessed with tons of great pizza. There’s also the first permanent location of popular food truck Korilla, called KBBQ by Korilla (pictured). Order the bulgogi burrito, filled with thin strips of marinated meat and bacon kimchi fried rice. Other notables are Kuro-Obi by Ippudo, a fast-casual outpost of the always busy local ramen chain, and Dough, known around town for its small-batch, cake-like doughnuts in unexpected flavors like horchata and hibiscus.
Great Northern Food Hall
Yes, major food hall Urbanspace Vanderbilt is nearby, but Great Northern Food Hall in Grand Central’s Vanderbilt Hall is noteworthy since all of the eight food options in the 5,000-square-foot section are Nordic-centric, and it’s the brainchild of Claus Meyer, co-founder of the legendary Noma restaurant in Copenhagen. What’s the difference between Nordic and Scandinavian you ask? Well, Scandinavian generally refers to Denmark, Norway and Sweden, while Nordic encompasses Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland and Iceland. Although the dining options actually skew toward Danish, such as the gourmet Danish Dogs (Yes, hot dogs are a thing in Denmark too). Meyers Bageri is a great option for Nordic breakfast buns and cinnamon swirls, and it also supplies freshly-baked potato buns to Danish Dogs. Nordic dining isn’t complete without smorrebrod (open-face) sandwiches. Luckily, you can find them at Open Rye.
Industry City, found far off the tourist path in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, is really a city within a city. The 35-acre, mixed-use space encompasses an art gallery, high-end retail skewing toward home decor (ABC Carpet & Home), ongoing events like live music and trivia nights, and yes, about 20 dining options — many of which you won’t find anywhere else. In fact, Avocaderia (which sounds like a Harry Potter spell), claims to be the world’s first avocado bar. Featuring all things avocado, you can order way more than avocado toast here, such as the avocado burger pictured. Kotti Berliner Doner Kebab is one of just two locations serving the Turkish chicken sandwich that’s popular in Berlin. Then there’s Yaso Tangbao serving Shanghai street food, such as plump blue crab and pork soup dumplings, and Brine & Dine, a vegan cafe in a pickle factory. Grab some whiskey sour pickles before leaving. You can even take cooking classes at Brooklyn Kitchen, from knife skills to Korean 101.
Gotham Market at The Ashland
Gotham Market at The Ashland in Brooklyn is the new, smaller cousin of the original Gotham West Market in Midtown West, which itself is worthy of a visit if you happen to find yourself on the far edges of Midtown West. Brooklyn's version offers six food vendors in a luxury apartment building, conveniently located near Barclays Center and the Brooklyn Academy of Music. Boqueria is among the main draws since this is the first Brooklyn option from the in-demand local tapas chain. Bar Granger (pictured) hits all the right notes for its craft cocktails, and, since this is Brooklyn, the aptly named Mason Jar is a good bet for all things beer, bourbon and barbecue.
Le District, which is sort of like a French Eataly, occupies a good chunk of the first floor in tony Brookfield Place. (Food hall Hudson Eats is upstairs.) Le District is divided into four districts: the cafe, where you can find crepes, pastries, coffee, and a glee-inducing candy section, the market for specialty stations (sandwiches, fresh bread, French fries), the garden, for fresh produce and high-end groceries and finally the restaurant housing two bars and two restaurants. In fact, one of the restaurants, L’Appart, is a Michelin-star restaurant. The other, Beaubourg, is ideal in warm weather, as its outdoor seating takes full advantage of Hudson River views.
Part of Row NYC, just off of Times Square, City Kitchen is ideal for a quick bite before or after a show. You can find half of its seven food vendors at other food halls around the city (Dough, Luke’s Lobster, Kuro-Obi), but you can also find less common options, such as homemade corn tortillas at Gabriela’s Taqueria or Lebanese street food at ilili BOX.
Canal Street Market
This new addition to Chinatown is a hybrid of high-end craft stalls and nine notable food vendors. Come here for Boba Guys, possibly the king of bubble milk tea, whose drinks are made with organic, almond, soy or rice milk. You can also find homemade syrup and homemade almond and grass jellies. Try the chocochata or strawberry matcha latte. Nom Wah Kuai, an offshoot of longstanding favorite Nom Wah Tea Parlour, is another standout. It’s a good bet for the days you can’t get a seat for dim sum at the original since you can make a meal of Nom Wah Kuai’s shrimp and snow pea leaf dumplings and pork siu mai. Leave room for Oppa, which describes itself as next-level kimchi and spins a modern take on Korean BBQ by incorporating burritos, tacos and fried chicken.