When you can't decide on pizza or ramen, head to one of Chicago's many food halls for a taste of everything. Over the last five years, the city has seen a huge influx of these concepts, which house a handful of dining options under one roof. The culinary emporiums attract busy downtown workers and tourists who are looking to sample Chicago's diverse food scene in a single afternoon. From an Italian superstore with pizza and pasta stations to a Loop lunch destination stocked with dishes from some of Chicago's best restaurants, the best food halls in Chicago are sure to satisfy your craziest cravings.
Food halls in Chicago
Come 2019, Time Out Group is launching an expansive new food and cultural experience in the West Loop. Time Out Market Chicago will put down roots at 916 W Fulton Market and host the city’s top restaurants, bars and culture under one roof. We like to think of the 50,000-square-foot food hall as a living, breathing version of our Time Out magazine and website—a place where we can highlight the very best of the city. And we’re not skimping on anything; our editors will curate the vendor lineup to ensure a truly authentic Chicago experience. Keep an eye out for a lineup of chef-driven eats coming in 2019.
If you're craving something for lunch, chances are Revival Food Hall in the Loop has you covered. The massive space hosts 15 stalls with top eats from across Chicago, including Aloha Poke, Antique Taco, Furious Spoon, The Budlong, The Fat Shallot and Union Squared. For a group of Loop lunchers with varying tastes, there's no better option. Expect lines throughout the day, and head back after work for top-notch cocktails at Revival Cafe-Bar.
Chicago's newest food hall is small but mighty. Hungry visitors can grab bites from 10 vendors, including doughnuts at Firecakes, sandwiches at Tempesta, gyros at Piggie Smalls, maki rolls at Tabo Sushi and fresh, seasonal salads at Fare. The sunny space is also home to Flowers for Dreams, offering sweet and stunning floral arrangements on the go. There's plenty of seating inside the hall, but if the weather's nice, take your meal to go and have a seat along the Chicago Riverwalk, located just steps away from this Loop cafeteria.
You could easily spend an entire day wandering around Eataly, but we recommend planning your trip around lunch or dinner to get the full experience. The bustling two-story destination offers a variety of restaurants, counters, bars, cafes and marketplaces. Hungry visitors can take their pick of Napoli-style pizza, house-made pasta, boards of salami and an endless selection of gorgeous pastries. Spend the second half of your trip browsing the market on the second floor, where you'll find imported pastas and olive oils, Italian wines, cheeses and more (a.k.a. everything you need for dinner).
Whether you're entertaining out-of-towners or looking for lunch in the West Loop, the Chicago French Market has over 30 local food vendors to choose from. Nosh on lobster rolls from Da Lobster, grab a smoothie to go from Loop Juice and finish it all off with something sweet from Lolli and Pops. Other stalls include Aloha Poke, Flip Crepes, Lito's Empanadas and B.I. Tea and Dim Sum. The best part? This food hall is located near Ogilvie Transportation Center and Union Station, making it a worthwhile destination before hopping on a train.
Situated just west of Millennium Park, Forum 55 feeds busy downtown workers and savvy tourists. Inside, guests will find six options, including Broken English, Friends Sushi & Ramen and Pork & Mindy's. The food hall is also an incubator for women- and minority-owned food startups and restaurants, offering space for owners to introduce their products to customers.
Whether you're looking for tacos or sushi, this sprawling Latin street food cafeteria from chef Richard Sandoval has a little something for everyone. Located on the third floor of Block 37, the space hosts 10 different kitchens that specialize in grilled meats, salads, fresh seafood, burgers, soups and beyond. Plus, the space is equipped with a full bar and a coffee shop, providing sips all day.
Unlike the massive food halls on this list, 3 Greens Market has a short list of vendors—but rest assured, they still pack a serious punch. Think of it as a restaurant offering Brendan Sodikoff's greatest hits: Small Cheval burgers, Dillman's pastrami, Doughnut Vault treats and a fully stocked salad bar. And when we say salad bar, we don't mean limp lettuce and watered down dressing. Expect sesame broccoli, soba noodle salad, fried chicken and Thai turkey meatballs.
To say there’s something for everyone at this expectation-defying food court in Water Tower Place is an understatement. You won’t find any outposts of greasy chains here. Instead, this Lettuce Entertain You entity runs its own show with upmarket stalls, including an Asian noodle bar, rotisserie, soup station and even a healthy-eats area. Most stalls turn out surprisingly tasty fare, so expect longer-than-life lines on busy shopping days.