This should come as a surprise to approximately no one, but my new (not-that-new) favorite thing is the food hall. What is a food hall you ask? Well friends, it's basically a glorified, standalone food court but devoid of the Chick-Fil-A and Dairy Queen you will find at your average mall food court.
Instead, the ones I've been to are bountiful havens of high-end noms. Not that I don't love me some waffle fries, but it's a beautiful thing to have been able to celebrate my birthday and my boyfriend's birthday with a bunch of friends who could choose from an array of dinner options including but not limited to fried chicken, Korean BBQ, poke, matzah ball soup, and arepas accompanied by creative, seasonal cocktails. #heaven
This year I eschewed the responsibility of planning and making reservations and opted for an evening at R. House, a sleek, newish space in Remington for Baltimore's up-and-coming chefs to launch their concepts and feed me delicious food.
Jen and I have visited some food halls/marketplaces abroad, and I am proud to say Baltimore is the home of not one, but two!
Mount Vernon Marketplace, another favorite I haven't visited nearly enough, features ramen, oysters, burgers, beer, smoothies, dumplings, ice cream and more.
Of course New York has quite a few of its own, including one in the works by the one and only Anthony Bourdain. Not that I don't love my New York friends to pieces, but I really might make a trip to NYC when this opens just to sample the food.
Currently open and excelling in NYC is Mario Batali's Eataly, where Jen, Sabrina, and I killed some time before, uh, eating.
TBH, I'm not sure if this is totally considered a food hall since, yeah, there are stalls, but there is also a full-blown grocery store inside and a legitimate rooftop bar, but but but! Look at all the fine Italian foods you can get!
Jen and I hit the food hall jackpot on our 2015 HTJL trip to Madrid and Lisbon. Madrid is home of the downright amazing Mercado de San Miguel, which features a whopping 16 stalls. And you KNOW they are good because the food in Madrid is unbelievable.
We particularly liked Mozheart, a stall dedicated ONLY TO MOZZARELLA CHEESE. You KNOW Jen be poppin' that Lactaid. Give your bitch some burrata!
And even though we didn't LOVE the food in Lisbon as much as we did in Madrid, the Time Out Market Lisboa was pretty much unbeatable. While I love the concept of R. House acting as an incubator for new chefs, I also love the Lisbon market's concept -- to bring Michelin-quality food to the masses at affordable prices. Legit, every stall belonged to chefs who had earned Michelin stars. Sold.
Which food halls are your favorites?