8 of America’s Best Food Halls (for Drink Lovers)
The craze for urban food halls continues to sweep the United States, and new multi-vendor markets seem to open every month. Portland’s Pine Street Market will have its grand opening on May 1. In San Diego, Liberty Public Market opened in March to solid reviews.
These European-inspired markets tend to be anti-chain and pro-farmer, focusing on items like Gulf oysters or Japanese ramen noodles. They also offer excellent wine and cocktail experiences. Here are Wine Enthusiast’s top picks for drink-focused food halls in America.
Avanti Food & Beverage, Denver
A self-described eating and drinking collective, Avanti’s unique wine and food philosophy makes it a worthy stop. A bonus: no food items are priced above $15.
Seven restaurant concepts are housed within a collection of repurposed shipping containers. Each draws broadly from global influences, like Japanese noodles and “Mexi-terrean” bites. There are also two bars, one on the rooftop.
Among the pours to peruse: 17 wines by the glass, including several selections from Colorado’s own winery, The Infinite Monkey Theorem; 20 craft beers on draft and a number of creative cocktails.
East End Market, Orlando, FL
Nestled in the Audubon Park Garden District, this food market encompasses 10 culinary merchants (as well as many other boutique shops), a food incubator/commissary kitchen, demonstration kitchen, event space and garden.
A hub for the growing local culinary scene, wine can be found at several locations. Local Roots is a restaurant that’s passionate about Florida produce. La Femme du Fromage deals in fine wine and cheese from around the world and holds pairing classes, while Txokos Basque Kitchen offers 20 by-the-glass wines from Spain.
Liberty Public Market, San Diego
Opened in March, Liberty Public Market has more than two-dozen food vendors, a local produce stand, floral shop, bakery, butcher and a pet-friendly outdoor patio that’s perfect for soaking up the sun.
Wine lovers can head directly to the Grape Smuggler, an 800-square-foot wine shop and bar run by industry veteran Greg Majors. The small space has big plans, including a wine cellar that aims to contain nearly 5,000 bottles. Expect educational wine seminars and eclectic pours from the Valle de Guadalupe, Canary Islands and other emerging wine regions.
Locale Market, St. Petersburg, FL
Gourmands can find ice-cream sundaes created with liquid nitrogen, Florida-focused farm produce and extensive wine offerings at this multi-level market, founded by chef Michael Mina and New York restaurateur Don Pintabona.
The ground floor includes upscale pantry items like fig vinegars and truffle butter, and a butcher shop with a salt locker that showcases smoked bacon, dry-aged beef and housemade sausages. Upstairs, you’ll find a 200-bottle wine shop and 140-seat restaurant, FarmTable Kitchen, serving dishes packed with regional ingredients like Gulf strawberry grouper.
Nashville Farmers’ Market, Nashville
Music City’s farmers’ market is located just north of downtown, and its outdoor farm sheds are stuffed with artisanal cheeses, meat, milk and fresh produce. A plethora of prepared food vendors wait to be discovered inside the Market House.
Its food stalls offer a variety of cuisines, including pulled -pork sandwiches from B&C Market BBQ, Caribbean comfort food at Jamaicaway and wood-fired pizzas at Bella Nashville. Explore Tennessee’s growing craft-beer movement at The Picnic Tap, where guests can grab a seat on wooden picnic tables and try a regional brew flight or 15 draft options.
Ponce City Market, Atlanta
Opened in 2015 in the landmark Sears, Roebuck & Co. building, this mixed-use market has more than 20 food stalls, with more scheduled to debut this spring.
Biltong Bar has a robust selection of South African wines. Owner/restaurateur Justin Anthony curated the wine list to promote his home country’s excellent wines. Look for wine-friendly snacks from the region like beef jerky and hand pies.
Don’t miss a stop at Brezza Cucina, the Italian and New American restaurant by chef Jonathan Waxman. More than 60 wines by the bottle and 16 by-the-glass options accentuate dishes like gnocchi with dandelion greens and crispy prosciutto pizza.
St. Roch Market, New Orleans
Located on the site of the historic 19th-century food market of the same name, the St. Roch Market is a bustling hub for artisanal food and drinks in the trendy Bywater neighborhood. Shuttered following Hurricane Katrina, it was completely revamped and opened in 2015 with an airy floor plan and 13 food and drink stalls. St. Roch Forage operates a unique produce stand with small-producer fruits and veggies than span the Gulf Coast.
The market’s in-house bar, The Mayhaw, delivers a seasonal cocktail list that utilizes local ingredients. Its eclectic wine collection includes 70 labels for sale by the bottle, and 11 by-the-glass choices from a variety of wine regions. And, being New Orleans, visitors are free to ask for wine in a to-go cup and stroll the market, beverage in tow.
The Source, Denver
Housed in an industrial-chic brick building that dates to the 1880s, the market includes more than a dozen vendors. Highlights include Mondo Market, a cheese and spice shop; Comida, an eatery serving Mexican street food; and Western Daughters, a whole-animal butcher shop.
Wine lovers should stop by The Proper Pour, a bottle shop catering to wine geeks that focuses on natural offerings and hard-to-find producers. Another prime spot is Rino Yacht Club, which offers “wine and brine” drinks meant to complement the Club’s raw bar concept—think Sherry, bubbles and white wines.
- 1Avanti Food & Beverage
- 2East End Market
- 3Liberty Public Market
- 4Locale Market
- 5Nashville Farmers’ Market
- 6Ponce City Market
- 7St. Roch Market
- 8The Source