Do you ever feel like it’s impossible to pick a restaurant that your entire family or group agrees on? Me too! That’s why I love the amazing food halls popping up all over NYC. Here are 5 of my favorites:
Chelsea Market - This is a food hall on steroids in the heart of the Chelsea neighborhood. Home to the Food Network, this old warehouse (formerly the Nabisco factory) has been transformed into a foodie paradise. With over 45 unique places to eat, you’re sure to find something to please everyone in your group. My recommendation is to scout out the whole market first, making note of what you might want to try and then go back and create the ultimate tasting menu for yourself. I’ve seen the Food Network taping segments in some of the restaurants so always be looking out for the cameras and your favorite celebrity chefs roaming around.
My recommendation: An apples and brie crepe from Bar Suzette and mini-doughnuts from Doughnuttery are my go-to. My dad and husband love to get a whole lobster from Lobster Place.
Brookfield Place - If you’re in lower Manhattan, perhaps visiting One World Trade or the 9/11 Museum, I highly recommend stopping at the Hudson Eats food hall in Brookfield Place for a bite to eat. While not as large as Chelsea Market, Brookfield still has 20+ restaurants to choose from and the view of the Hudson River while you eat cannot be beat. Yes, you can even see the Statue of Liberty if you get the right table. If it’s a nice day, there are tables outside by the water that you can enjoy as well. If you go during peak eating times tables can be hard to find since all of the professionals in the surrounding buildings often go there for their lunch breaks or after work, so I recommend going on off-times when it’s not as crowded.
My Recommendation: I always go for the Coconut Tiger Shrimp Bowl at Num Pang and often can’t help but follow that up with a cupcake from Sprinkles.
City Kitchen - Don’t want to eat at a chain restaurant while in Times Square? City Kitchen has you covered. When you’re on the corner of 44th St and 8th Avenue, look up - City Kitchen is on the 2nd floor, connected to the Row NYC Hotel. Eat burgers, lobster, tacos, ramen, sushi and doughnuts in peace all while watching people scurry around Times Square.
My Recommendation: The Truffle Lobster Roll from Luke’s Lobster is really yummy.
Eataly - If you love Italian food then Eataly is your place. You could spend hours eating your way around either the Flatiron or Downtown locations. There are several counters you can walk right up to and order your favorite parm sandwich or make an antipasto platter with your favorite Italian meats, cheeses, olives and crackers.
My Recommendation: If you want a truly beautiful (and, ok, somewhat pricey) experience, be sure to book a table at Serra on the Roof at the Flatiron location. Always impeccably decorated for the season, Serra will give you that memorable, Instagrammable meal you’ve been wanting.
The Pennsy - Located close to Madison Square Garden and Penn Station, this may be an easy location to add to your trip itinerary. The 6 restaurants located inside cover a wide variety of food options but the beer garden may be right up your group’s alley - especially before a concert or game at MSG.
My Recommendation: The French Roast Beef Sandwich from Pat LaFrieda is a winner.
*Narrowing my list down to just 5 food halls was tough so here are some honorable mentions that will also make your group and your tummy happy:
TurnStyle - located in the Columbus Circle subway station
The Plaza Food Hall - located under the famous Plaza Hotel
The Great Northern Food Hall - located in Grand Central Station
Gansevoort Market - 353 W 14th St
Berg’n - 899 Bergen St in Brooklyn
Image by BreathofO2