Ponce City Market in Atlanta, Georgia
Far from the boring cafeterias and food courts of yesterday's shopping malls, eclectic and adventurous food halls are popping up all over the South. A combination of food stalls, mini-restaurants and retail food vendors, they offer a convenient way to experience different meals and snacks in one place.
Eater notes that the food hall dining trend is especially picking up steam in the South, as nine developments are expected to open throughout the region by the end of 2017. Atlanta alone is on its way to opening its sixth food hall and there are more than 100 new food halls currently operating throughout the country. That number is expected to double by 2019, according to data from commercial real estate firm Cushman & Wakefield as cited by the Wall Street Journal.
But what is so appealing about this new dining style?
Food halls allow diners an affordable taste of local or foreign cuisine, and some celebrity chefs have even jumped on the bandwagon. People like to have options, and a food hall that offers everything from wine and barbecue to lobster and beer sounds like a good time. This new model also gives restaurateurs a chance to offer a taste of their food to customers without the burden and cost of opening a full restaurant.
Here are some of the newest food halls to check out throughout the South:
Pizitz Food Hall in Birmingham
The Barn in Lexington
St. Roch Nashville in Nashville
Workshop in Charleston