We've all been there: You’re heading out to lunch with a group of people when someone asks, “What are you hungry for?” Everyone responds at once: “Italian!” “Chinese!” “Sushi!” “I could go for a burger!” Well, now what? Thanks to food halls, you no longer have to choose just one. Here are five food halls across the North- east that will satisfy everyone’s cravings (and possibly serve as your next meeting venue!).
Holmdel, New Jersey
Located in the heart of the Bell Works, a local destination full of businesses, startups, tech companies, retail shops and a new public library, Bell Market is a destination within itself. Since opening in summer 2018, Bell Market serves more than 1,000 lunches every day, and its catering for companies inside and outside of the building has gained popularity.
Chantelle Corbo, one of the owners of Bell Market and RBC Hospitality Group, says one of the most important qualities that sets Bell Market apart from other food halls is its hospitality.
“At Bell Market, we strive to create inspired, nourishing, craveable food daily. We own and operate all five operations in our 6,000-square-foot food hall, and our team works seamlessly together to deliver delicious food with a high level of quality and service,” Corbo says.
Bell Market connects with local farmers and purveyors to showcase New Jersey agri- culture and to support the local economy. It partners with companies like Local 130, Zone 7 and Harvest Drop. Restaurants at Bell Market include Broadfork, Bubz Deli, Corbo & Sons, Honeybell Bakery and Jozu.
The space was designed with Nema Workshop to create a banquet hall filled with comfortable chairs, shelves filled with cookbooks and live plant chandeliers. Bell Market also features 30-foot-long communal tables with charging stations and free Wi-Fi to encourage gathering and private events.
“We host a number of different private events and buyouts inside our food hall. We host seated dinners for up to 40 people, and cocktail parties/receptions for up to 150 peo- ple,” Corbo says. “We’ve had rehearsal din- ners, graduations, baby showers, corporate events, holiday parties and brand launches.”
Additionally, Bell Market’s Chef Team has partnered with Events at Bell Works, which caters meetings and events in the conference space, roof deck, atrium and ballroom, which can accommodate up to 2,000 people.
Since opening in December 2018, Federal Galley has become one of Pittsburgh’s top eateries. From locals to tourists, Federal Galley is a popular spot for family brunches, date nights and everything in between.
“Federal Galley’s prime location next to Pittsburgh’s two main sporting arenas attract a great amount of foot traffic,” says co-founder Ben Mantica.
In comparison to traditional food halls, which can often be crowded and more on the casual side, Mantica says Federal Galley provides a unique, hospitality-driven experience. “Our chefs have the liberty of creating dishes that you may order from a sit-down restaurant while our bartenders craft creative, seasonal cocktails,” he says.
Though food halls have become synony- mous with a quick, convenient stop, Federal Galley serves as more of a gathering place for longer periods of time.
“Given the influx in food halls across the country, popularity will continue to rise, and expectations will be raised for service, quality of food and atmosphere,” Mantica says. “With so many options to dine and drink, guests are less willing to sacrifice quality in exchange for convenience, and they should not have to.”
Federal Galley caters to the trend of “experiential dining,” as there is a constant rotation of new offerings with food, drinks and programming, Mantica says. Federal Galley offers 6,000 square feet of bright, open space and several package options for large-scale events.
The space is large and highly customizable, so Federal Galley hosts a wide range of event styles. Buyouts of the entire space are available, as well as various event options from family- style dinners to hors d’oeuvres and several beverage packages.
“We are seeing more and more guests interested in less ‘stuffy’ corporate events with white tablecloths and bite-size food,” Mantica says. “People are craving comfort, delicious food and an atmosphere that’s inviting.”
New to Hartford, Connecticut, is Parkville Market, which just opened this past December. The 20,000-square-foot food hall and European-style market offers food, retail and communal seating.
“Parkville Market is expected to become a popular destination, attracting visitors not only from the Greater Hartford region, but from throughout Connecticut and the Northeast, as well,” says Chelsea Mouta, director of operations.
Mouta says the food hall is aiming to pro- vide an assortment of food,
products and experiences for the local community, including families, young professionals and univer- sity students throughout the area.
One of Parkville Market’s greatest attractions is its convenience. With more than 180 parking spots and a location that’s only 100 feet from a CTFastrak stop, Parkville Market is easily accessible to people from across the country.
Parkville Market features approximately 50 vendors of culturally diverse, delicious and affordable food offerings—many of which are under $10. There are also multiple bars with locally made beverages, and community retail and event space, which is offered for co-work- ing or meeting spaces throughout the week.
“As the first market and food hall of its kind in Connecticut, Parkville Market is a gather- ing space for the community where folks can eat, work and engage,” Mouta says.
Parkville Market has a 1,500-square-foot bar and event space that can be used as a meeting room during the week and an event venue on nights and weekends. Another 500-square-foot event space offers a more open setting that can be reserved for private parties.
“It seems like great employers today are working hard to create engaging and creative environments for their employees, and part of that is getting outside of the office to meet, brainstorm and ideate,” Mouta says. “Food halls and markets provide inspirational spaces with a high concentration of entrepreneurs and great food to enrich a meeting experience and potentially even support team bonding.”
New York, New York
Open every day of the week from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m., The Pennsy serves as a New York staple for a meal at any time of day (or night). The food hall features a variety of restaurants including The Cinnamon Snail, Pat LaFrieda Meat Purveyors, Ribalta, Sabi Sushi and Taco Dumbo.
If you aren’t there for the food, The Pennsy Bar will surely give you something to talk about. Open during all hours of the food hall, The Pennsy Bar is a convenient spot to grab a drink any time from happy hour with coworkers to the middle of the night with friends.
The Pennsy Bar serves a wide range of cocktails including classics like mimosas and bloody marys as well as some original sips like the Pink Diamond (Absolut Peach, Crème de Pêche, pink grapefruit juice, simple syrup) and the Pennsy Long Island (Titos Vodka, Bombay Gin, Bacardi Rum, Cazadores Tequila, triple sec, blood orange soda).
The Pennsy also serves as a unique event space with The Platform At The Pennsy. This 6,000-square-foot private event space can be combined with the 8,000-square-foot food hall for large events. There is also an adjacent 4,000-square-foot outdoor terrace with tent- ing capabilities.
The Pennsy’s location above Penn Station offers direct transportation from the Long Island Railroad, New Jersey Transit, and 1, 2, 3, A, C and E subway lines, making it a convenient location for travelers coming from all directions.
Like Federal Galley, Smallman Galley is a food hall in the Galley Group located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Open since December 2015, Smallman Galley is located in the historical Strip District and features 6,000 square feet of space available for private events, buyouts of the entire space, and other packages.
Smallman Galley’s food offerings include tacos at BA-CO, American comfort food at Home, salads, sandwiches and bowls at Steel City Subs, and a pastry-centric menu at Sultry. The food hall also features a full bar of beer, wine and cocktails, and Commonplace Coffee. “It really has something for everyone, and that stands true for any type of larger event or meeting that we host as well,” says co-founder Ben Mantica.
"With four distinct restaurant concepts, a full bar program, and ample indoor and out- door space, food halls—particularly Federal Galley and Smallman Galley—are ideal for event and meeting customization, without having to worry about any lack of quality or service,” Mantica says."