If variety is the spice of life, the best food halls in Chicago are hotter than a Carolina reaper pepper. These culinary destinations gather some of the city's finest restaurants under one roof, allowing diners to choose from ramen, sushi, pizza and some of the best burgers in Chicago. Though the heaviest concentration of food halls in Chicago can be found in the Loop, it's worth venturing to Pullman, West Loop and Streeterville to check out the other options on this list. From an Italian superstore that's brimming with authentic eats to a high-tech foodie destination that's powered by an app, the best food halls in Chicago are sure to satisfy your craziest cravings.
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The best of the city under one roof
Last year, we unveiled Time Out Market Chicago at 916 W Fulton Market, bringing together some of the city's brightest talent under one roof. We're talking about Abe Conlon, Brian Fisher, Thai Dang, John Manion and Zoe Schor—and then some. The 50,000-square-foot, three-story culinary playground is home to 18 acclaimed chef vendors, four bars and a demo kitchen that will be activated all year. We like to think of it as a living, breathing, delicious version of our storied magazine.
The best food halls in Chicago
Loop workers are spoiled with this 24,000-square-foot food hall that houses mini-outposts of beloved local concepts like Antique Taco, Furious Spoon, Aloha Poke Co. and Lito's Empanadas. On weekday afternoons, the space swells with 9-to-5ers grabbing lunch to go. If you're looking for a quieter moment, return for happy hour around 4 or 5pm, when cocktails go for $8 and select bottles of wine are discounted to $20.
Politan Row may be imported from New Orleans, but the concepts inside this sprawling West Loop food hall are 100 percent Chicago-born. Peruse cuisines that span the globe, including Bumbu Roux's Cajun-Indonesian eats, Mom's Japanese comfort food and LaShuk Street Food's Israeli dips. The beautifully designed space is anchored by a massive bar with killer happy hour deals on weekdays, and when the weather cooperates, a sunny beer garden is the place to be.
Futuristic family the Jetsons might be jealous of the technology being employed inside Hayden Hall, a food hall from DMK restaurant group (Ada St., Fish Bar, County BBQ). Guests who frequent the space, which is nestled inside the CNA Building in the Loop, use the Grubhub app to monitor food-prep times and order eats from the hall's 10 stalls. Hayden Hall offers a hodgepodge of brand-new collaborations, revivals and DMK spinoffs. In addition to the main lineup, there's a first-floor coffee bar and bakery as well as a fully stocked salad bar upstairs. Also located on the second floor is a new outpost of beloved restaurant Ada St., complete with 75 seats, a beautiful cocktail bar and lunch and dinner menus.
Acting as an incubator for small, South Side producers, One Eleven Food Hall is home to three unique concepts that stand out from the crowd. Majani proves that vegan cuisine is anything but boring with its health-conscious menu that sources ingredients from nearby farms. If you're still craving meat, Lexington Betty Smokehouse saves the day with succulent rib tips and lip-smacking pulled pork. And no trip to this Pullman food hall would be complete without a sweet treat from Laine's Bake Shop, where owner-baker Rachel Bernier-Green whips up the dreamiest red velvet brownies.
You could easily spend an entire day wandering around this two-story Italian superstore, but we recommend planning your trip around lunch or dinner to get the full experience. Grazers can snack on charcuterie and cheese, beer fanatics can belly up at in-house microbrewery Birreria, and leisurely diners can book a table at Osteria del Mercato, a full-service restaurant that showcases the market's freshest produce. On your way out, grab a Italian bottle of wine and a cannoli to go.
Brendan Sodikoff—the guy behind Chicago institutions Au Cheval and Bavette's—offers his take on the food hall with this 12-stall stunner that spans two floors of Mag Mile mall 900 North Michigan Shops. The kitchens here are all operated by Sodikoff's restaurant group, Hogsalt Hospitality, so don't expect to find any old-school Chicago gems. Even so, there's plenty to ponder, with eats that range from cheeseburgers and maki rolls to pulled pork and rigatoni alla vodka. Guests order from sleek touch screens before making their way to the corresponding "vault" (or kitchen) to pick up their grub. From there, head up to the sixth floor for a cocktail at the bar and stellar views of the Mag Mile below.
Situated on the north side of the Loop, along the Chicago River, this small but mighty food hall is home to nine vendors. Guests can choose from doughnuts at Firecakes, hot chicken sandos at Fry the Coop and bento boxes from Tabo Sushi. 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.
What this West Loop food hall lacks in atmosphere it makes up for in vendor variety, with a whopping 29 stalls offering everything from sushi and crepes to empanadas and lobster rolls. There's a kosher deli, a vegan kitchen and packaged raw treats to go. Best of all, the French Market's proximity to Union Station and Ogilvie makes it a top choice for those catching trains in and out of the city.
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.
What sets this Loop hall apart from the competition is its incubator program that supports women- and minority-owned food startups like Elsie Mae's Canning & Pies and Agortles Dessert Shop. The subterranean venue is also equipped with a sprawling salad bar, a grab-and-go marketplace and lesser-known vendors like Beast BBQ, Prelude Breakfast and Sandwich Shop.
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.
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.