Variety is the spice of life and Chicago’s food halls are chock-full of many quality options. Instead of settling for just one menu, downtown diners can sample some of the city’s most popular restaurants inside these following venues. From fried chicken and burgers to sushi and tacos, there’s more than enough to satisfy everyone. And if eaters can’t decide between the numerous options, the solution is simple: Try them all.Read More
The Eight Essential Food Halls in Chicago
Find outstanding burgers, sushi, pasta and more under one roof
1. Aster Hall
Chicago, IL 60611
Located inside the 900 North Michigan Shops, Aster Hall brings a touch of elegance to the food hall experience with posh furnishings and digital self-service kiosks. The lineup is curated by Hogsalt Hospitality and touts 16 different “vaults.” Don’t feel like waiting hours in line at Au Cheval? Order a cheeseburger from Small Cheval instead or try one of the various new options like The Rotisserie Waffle Fries and Chicken’s crunchy fried chicken sandwich.
Also Featured in:
Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises is one of Chicago’s most prominent restaurant groups so it’s only fitting it runs a bustling food court inside Water Tower Place. Take a break from shopping and head down to the mezzanine level for 14 distinctive kitchens. They range from a robust salad bar to Chinese selections by Big Bowl, such as orange chicken and fried rice. The process has also been streamlined for efficiency: Guests receive a card upon entering, swipe it for purchases, and pay on the way out.
Whether guests are looking for lunch or a bottle of olive oil, they’ll find it at the Italian marketplace. Eataly’s two floors house multiple restaurants and food counters, such as La Pizza & La Pasta, a sit-down experience serving Neapolitan pies, cacio e pepe, and more. After taking down a hearty meal and perusing the aisles, stop by Gelato Bar on the way out for some housemade frozen treats.
4. Wells Street Market
Sandwiches are a reliable, albeit mundane, choice for a quick lunch. Luckily, this new food hall in the Loop is home to vendors that offer exciting, top notch versions of the dish. Explore Mediterranean flavors with pork gyros and other Greek fare at Jimmy Bannos Jr.’s Piggie Smalls. For a twist on the classic Italian sandwich, get the Dante from Tempesta Market — a mouthwatering combination of hot sopressata, mortadella, salami, coppa, porchetta, and ‘nduja aioli.
Also Featured in:
5. Chicago French Market
Commuters appreciate this OG European-style marketplace located under Ogilvie Transportation Center for its breadth of options. Didn’t have time to pack a meal or looking to kill time before departure? Stop by and grab flaky pastries from Lito’s Empanadas and luxurious lobster rolls from Happy Lobster. It’s a much better alternative to subsisting on protein bars.
Renowned chef Richard Sandoval brings a host of cross-cultural flavors to Block 37. Focusing on Latin American street food, Latinicity features eight kitchens, a sit-down restaurant, a full bar, and more. Build the perfect taco or burrito combination at Machefé Taqueria or indulge in Chaufa Wok’s Peruvian-style stir fry.
7. Forum 55
Catering primarily to office workers, this 10,000-square-foot dining hall is open Monday through Friday for breakfast and lunch. Eaters use automated kiosks to place orders from the stalls, which include Pork & Mindy’s and its signature “Bao to the Pork” sandwich (smoked pork shoulder topped with plum sauce, pickled daikon and carrot, and cucumber and jalapeno relish on a bao). There are also rotating pop-ups, dubbed the Apron Exchange, aimed at highlighting women- and minority-owned businesses.
8. Revival Food Hall
This busy Loop destination was the first of several dedicated food halls to have opened in the past few years. Some of Chicago’s most popular restaurants have outposts here, including Smoque and the Budlong. So if folks are suffering through a long workday, tender brisket and Nashville hot chicken can help make things better.