Chicago's Best Food Halls: Local, Authentic Bevy of Options

The shopping mall food courts of old that housed the same old national fast food chains ("hey, let's grab a gray pad of meat on a bun followed by corporate cookie") begat a blitz of lively, delightful and convenient food destinations called food halls.

In typical Chicago fashion, we improved the concept by riffing on America’s great market halls (Boston’s 1742 Faneuil Hall and the century-old Grand Central Market in LA, for example), added just a smidge of mall food court – for convenience and speed – and filled the spaces with the inimitable eats of both established, emerging and one-off Chicago eateries.

Chicagoans and visitors now find themselves saying, "Hey let's grab labneh on local bread with a side of greens" or "I must have some Southern fried catfish and collard greens." Wander Forum 55, Revival Food Hall, Wells Street Market, Chicago French Market or Foodlife in Water Tower Place. 

Some of the eating atriums don’t necessarily house offspring of Chicago restaurants (see the ethnically specific Eataly, Mitsuwa  or Seafood City for Filipino food lovers) but they are just as fun, even more surprising and serve as a mini-international travel jaunt. The trend hasn't peaked, either, with largest food hall opening in 2019 in the Fulton Market district. 



Located on the first floor of the 40-story Marriott Marquis Chicago, Showroom Food Hall is inspired by the golden era of automobiles. Five eateries steered by Furious Spoon alumnus, Chef James Kerwin, offer handcrafted, American comfort...  Read More

Albany Park


It's the food found everywhere in the Philippines, such as Jollibee, the Filipino McDonald's - plus two bakeries (Red Ribbon and Valerio's Bakery); Grill City serving chicken and pork skewers, grilled fish, classic dishes like Silog (garlic...  Read More

Arlington Heights


It's fun to get lost in the large, popular Japanese superstore gazing at burdock root, daikon, other-worldy looking mushrooms, sukiyaki or shabu-shabu meats plus Japanese comic books, kitchen utensils and cosmetics. But it won't be long until...  Read More



What Mitsuwa is to Japanese goods and food, Eataly is to Italian products and cuisine, only three times larger. The marketplace and food emporium offers four sit-down restaurants (Osteria di EATALY Chicago, Bierria, Baita, La Pizza & La...  Read More

The Loop


Open weekdays for morning, lunch and midday meals and snacks, Forum 55 is a food hall in the heart of the Loop offering convenient order and pay counter-service. Restaurants include Broken English for tacos, burritos and quesadillas; Flame...  Read More

The Loop


A tasty trip to Latin America, Latinicity Food Hall and Lounge, located inside of the Block 37 building, has a roster of eight creative kitchens, a coffee café, full bar and lounge and a sit-down eatery, Pueblo featuring Mexican home cooking....  Read More

Gold Coast


Located inside Water Tower Place, Foodlife was the original Chicago food hall opening nearly 20 years ago. With 14 distinct kitchens, you can start your day at Sacred Grounds Bakery & Café and Intelligentsia and La Colombe coffees with...  Read More



Wells St. Market, a food hall and market, is just across the street from the Riverwalk and Merchandise Mart. The diverse offerings work at any time of day, from a quick lunch to cocktails after work or before a show. There are nine fast-casual...  Read More



Chicago's first food hall dedicated to International cuisine will celebrate its 10th anniversary in 2019. Chicago French Market is a European-style indoor marketplace with than 30 vendors offering freshly made international cuisine for...  Read More



Revival Food Hall is what others aspire to with food by acclaimed local eateries al under one roof. The 24,000 square foot venue, in e heart of the Loop on the ground floor of The National, an historic 1907 Daniel Burnham-designed building....  Read More


Meet Jacky Runice

Born in Bucktown when bulletproof was a home safety choice and not a coffee order, Jacky Runice has been knocking around Chicago as a professional print, online and broadcast journalist and...  More About Jacky