Following the food truck boom of the early aughts, indoor food halls are springing up all over the nation—and Old City is expected to get its first one midsummer. The home of this tasty endeavor is the Bourse, a striking red-brick and terra-cotta structure that looms over Independence National Historical Park. The building was first a commodities exchange, but since 1979 it’s played host to a mix of drab office spaces, a grim food court geared toward Liberty Bell gawkers and, most notably, an art-house movie theater.
The food hall will be located on the fully renovated first floor of this Old City beauty, welcoming a mix of local and out-of-town vendors. Some brick-and-mortar restaurants, such as Indian street-food spot Chaat and Chai and brunch purveyor Grub House, have left their South Philly storefronts in favor of a spot in these sure-to-be-high-trafficked digs. The former will resurrect its menu of creative chaats and curries, while the latter will crank out breakfast fare all day. Others are using the food hall as a jumping-off point for new concepts. Stargazy’s Sam Jacobson is joining forces with Mighty Bread Company’s Chris DiPiazza for Mighty Melt, a grilled cheese shop. Chef Sylva Senat, the former Top Chef contender who most recently opened from Maison 208, is fusing bao and sliders for Baby Buns, where you’ll find steamed buns filled with an array of international ingredients and frosé flowing all summer long.
Longtime Philly favorite Scoop DeVille is the food hall’s designated dessert option, with sundaes and custom ice cream creations. Caffeine hounds will find plenty to love at outposts of Menagerie Coffee and Pure Blend Tea.
Maryland and D.C. are getting in on the fun, too, with Prescription Chicken, a year-round purveyor of delicious chicken soups, and Mi & Yu Noodle Bar, another soup-centric stall, will serve up ramen, udon and pho. Abunai Poke and Rebel Taco are two of the latest D.C.-based restaurants announced for the Bourse.
Looking for booze? Phoenixville’s Bluebird Distilling will be in the house pouring out the libations, and will also open a bottle shop, which will offer a full line of its local-made spirits.
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