Originally published in October 21, 2016 by Micheala Trimble

There’s a reason people love frequenting Europe for the food. Wandering aimlessly for hours in outdoor food courts has been a European way of life for generations, and this time-honored tradition is finally finding a place in America’s leading urban metropolises. Simply put, long gone are the days of boring lunch breaks: Upending the typical weekday fast dash to the cafeteria are urban food halls, thoughtfully offering local fare from each city’s best restaurants in one convenient and delicious stop. Here, discover the best new openings around the country and a guide to eating your way through each.

Denver Central Market, Denver

With its opening this September, Denver Central Market brings a gourmet food emporium and community meeting place to the heart of Colorado’s capital city. It’s housed in an industrial 1920s building in the city’s River North Art District, where chef Jeff Osaka, owner of Denver-based Osaka Ramen and Sushi-Rama, curated the all-local selection of vendors. Upend the traditional dining order with dessert first at High Point Creamery. Take your pick from a selection of ice cream flights, sorbets, and custom sodas. And save room for the Ice Kouign sandwich, a thick slab of ice cream tucked between a delectable pastry from Izzo Artisan Bakery. Try a classic meat and cheese charcuterie board at Culture Meat & Cheese Shop or opt for the best meatball sandwich at The Local Butcher. Get your caffeine fix at Crema Bodega. All coffee blends are sourced from the finest small-batch roasters in the country, and each latte comes equipped with photogenic coffee art design. Make your last stop the market’s central meeting point, Curio, which serves effervescent cocktails like the Fancypants, a blend of vodka, lime juice, and bubbly poured atop passion fruit pearls.

Revival Food Hall, Chicago

At the base of a 20-story historic 1907 bank building in Chicago’s Central Loop district is the new Revival Food Hall, serving locals-only fare from the city’s most acclaimed restaurateurs. The hall boasts a 24,000-square-foot marketplace at the base of an office building in Chicago’s central business district, making it an easy stop during the workday hustle since its opening this August. During a visit, order the perfectly plated Aloha Bowl at Aloha Pokē Co. Your choice of ahi tuna, salmon, or tofu is topped with pineapple, cucumber, and jalapeños for the perfect savory and sweet snack. Your only regret may be not getting the 24-ounce kahuna size, the largest bowl available. For something heavier to aid in weekend recovery, order the Cheddar cheese­–topped grass-fed beef burger from Graze Kitchenette or the decadent chorizo and egg empanadas at Antique Taco Chiquito. For a lighter lunch, grab a freshly made nut milk or one of 12 rotating fruit and root juices at Harvest Juicery. For your sugar fix, Revival Café-Bar & Bakery has you covered. Order a mix of holiday-themed sweets like the heirloom pumpkin butterscotch pie or the heart-centered lavender sugar donut, a year-round favorite.

Pine Street Market, Portland

Just blocks from Portland’s waterfront, Pine Street Market is the first food hall to grace Oregon’s capital city, curated by Mike Thelin, a cofounder of the city’s highly-touted Feast food and drink festival. The market opened this May in the restored United Carriage and Baggage building in the downtown district, boasting an open-concept, communal layout, perfect for sharing a meal among friends. For a taste of Barcelona, order a Spanish-style rotisserie chicken, bacon-wrapped dates, and other tapas favorites at Pollo Bravo. Korean-style street food bowls with your choice of smoked meat, cured fish, or mushrooms are on the ready at Kim Jong Smokehouse. No matter your order of choice, you must get a fried egg on top. Bringing handmade Japanese ramen to Portland is Marukin Ramen, the first stateside location of the famed Tokyo eatery. Wash down a hummus and falafel pita with imported Middle Eastern beer at Shalom Y’all, and finish your food crawl of Pine Street Market trying grown-up renditions of soft-serve dipped cones and sundaes at Salt & Straw’s Wiz Bang Bar, which elevates traditional chocolate shells to flavors like lavender white chocolate and Oregon black raspberry.

St. Roch Market, New Orleans

The newly restored St. Roch Market in New Orleans’s Bywater district is a local hit, having revived a former market held in a
19th-century building and serving modern takes on classic Southern food—you certainly won’t leave St. Roch hungry. In true New Orleans fashion, start with the famed rib-and-okra–topped Bloody Mary, a collaboration between The Mayhaw bar and Brügger’s Barbecue, the latter of which serves a mouthwatering cold smoked beef slider with horseradish aioli that’s a must-order item. Follow the cocktail with Haitian fare at Fritai. Order the smothered greens, baked crab macaroni and cheese, or a classic New Orleans po’ boy with a side of Haitian-inspired plantain chips. For dessert, venture to Bittersweet Confections for a salted caramel bourbon brownie, and stay late for 75-cent happy hour oysters at Elysian Oyster Bar.

The Bowery Market, New York City

In the midst of large food hall openings in midtown Manhattan, The Bowery Market flew largely under the radar during its opening this July, but this Noho locale is not one to miss. Located in a former auto repair shop at the intersection of Bowery and Great Jones Street, The Bowery Market is entirely outdoors and open year-round. Drop in for omakase-style boxes at Sushi on Jones, the first-ever outdoor sushi bar to hit New York. Owners of the New York favorite The Butcher’s Daughter have an outpost in the market serving acai bowls and avocado toasts, and the famed Alidoro Italian sandwich shop offers more than 20 freshly made sandwiches and salads, such as the Sofia, a cold sandwich made with salami, fresh mozzarella, artichokes, and olive paste. Order carne asada tacos made with organic tortillas from Pulqueria, and end your meal with a maple cortado from Champion Coffee, a beloved establishment that has a flagship location in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.

Pearl, San Antonio

Pearl is more than a food hall, it’s a neighborhood spanning 16 blocks that houses the city’s revered Hotel Emma and the best shops and restaurants in this trendy Texas town. Beautifully located along the San Antonio River, Pearl boasts the first
year-round farmers’ market in the region and is home to French-favorite Bakery Lorraine, where sweet potato mille-feuille and gourmet Pop-Tarts are always on the ready. At Botika, sample the Peruvian-Japanese fusion cuisine known as Nikkei and the Peruvian-Chinese cuisine of Chifa with favorites like the Al Tumbo deep-fried ceviche dish with green onions, sesame seeds, and yucca. Order handcrafted cured meats and vegetables at Cured, and sample Mexican street food classics like mole sopes with spicy chocolate sauce at La Gloria. End with a late-night residency at Southerleigh Fine Food & Brewery for the best draft beers in San Antonio.

Ponce City Market, Atlanta

Housed in the historic Sears, Roebuck & Co. building, Ponce City Market in Eastside Atlanta is the area’s largest adaptive reuse project, which includes everything from luxury loft-style apartments to the local favorite Central Food Hall. Created by the same developers of Chelsea Market in Manhattan, the vibrant market brings together James Beard Award–winning chefs and Atlanta’s finest up-and-coming restaurateurs. At the Prohibition-inspired 18.21 Bitters, you’ll find tinctures, shrubs, and old-fashioned tonics at the base of cocktails like the Black Havana Daiquiri, made with rum, blackberry peppercorn shrub, and fresh lime juice. At Honeysuckle Gelato, order delicious shakes that blend flavors like fresh peach and cheesecake gelato, and get your fix of artisanal kimchee, sauces, and Korean steamed buns at Simply Seoul Kitchen. Order deep-fried chicken biscuits from James Beard Award–winning chef Linton Hopkins at Hop’s Chicken, and stop by another James Beard Award–winning chef’s stall at W. H. Stiles Fish Camp by Anne Quatrano. At this communal fish shack, order the Crispy Sandwich, featuring a daily rotation of seasonal fresh catch.

Liberty Public Market, San Diego

Located at San Diego’s Liberty Station and adjacent to Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens is Liberty Public Market, offering the best cuisine from produce sourced locally in Southern California. The complex has been open every day of the week since its grand opening this March, and you can eat your meal in the sun on its 3,000-square-foot outdoor lawn. To begin, stop by Paraná and order your morning coffee with a delicious South American pastry stuffed with champignon, portobello, and porcini mushrooms, mozzarella, and Parmesan cheese. At Attic Salt Sandwiches, you’ll find cleverly titled sandwiches like the Gobsmacked, made with soppressata, mascarpone, and roasted peanut chili oil. For dessert, order a French éclair from Le Parfait Paris, and cap off your meal with a daily wine tasting at Grape Smuggler or a San Diego–made craft beer at Bottlecraft.