If you think eating at a food court means you have to choose between a soft pretzel dipped in cinnamon sugar at Pretzel Time or a Whopper and fries from Burger King, think again. The food court, once a staple in suburban mall culture, has matured and found a new life in New York City. In the past decade, food courts and food halls have spouted up all over Brooklyn.
The newest food court to open in Brooklyn is the famed DeKalb Market Hall, which has transformed downtown Brooklyn with its mega food hall housing outposts of some of New York City's most beloved restaurants including the legendary Katz Deli (you might remember it from the classic scene in When Harry Met Sally), fried chicken sandwiches from Wilma Jean, Key Lime Pie from Steve's, BBQ from Fletcher’s Brooklyn Barbecue, among many others. The DeKalb Market Hall, located in City Point, is just one of many incredible food courts and food halls in Brooklyn.
This year, there is another big opening, when the Brooklyn Navy... Yard's Building 77 transforms into a large food hall. In addition, the recently open Gotham Market at the Ashland is delighting diners in Fort Greene with many artisanal vendors. If you want to sample some of the best cuisine Brooklyn has to offer, the food court is a great way to try out various restaurants without having to commit to an evening in one place.
From old favorites like Smorgasburg the weekly famous food festival to authentic asian eats at a food court at a supermarket in Brooklyn's Chinatown, here's your guide to food halls and food courts in Brooklyn.
01 of 07
In addition to the permeant eateries at this 16,000-square-foot hall located on the ground floor of a posh Fort Greene apartment building, the Gotham Market at the Ashland, periodically hosts pop up restaurants for local chefs. However, you don't have to wait for a local celeb chef to start dishing up culinary sensations, because the regular vendors at the Gotham Market at the Ashland stand out as some of the best in Brooklyn. From the tasty brick oven Neapolitan-Style pizza at Apizza Regionale to the Southern comfort food at Mason Jar, this new food hall is teeming with some of the best food in Brooklyn. Breakfast aficionados must head to Egg at the Bird, opening in the early spring, where you can start your morning with egg sandwiches, granolas, frittatas and house-made breads, baguettes and bialys, along with coffee from Devoción in Williamsburg. The space recently opened this winter and is attracting crowds. Conveniently located steps from BAM and a short walk to Barclays... Center, this is the perfect spot to enjoy a decadent meal that won't break the bank before a performance. Of course, you don't need tickets to events at neighboring venues to enjoy Gotham Market at the Ashland, because this food hall is a destination in itself.
02 of 07
DeKalb Market Hall, Brooklyn’s "newest innovative culinary destination" located in Brooklyn’s City Point opened to the public in spring 2017 as "notably one of the largest food halls in the country, offering a distinctly Brooklyn point of view." The 33,000-square-foot space is home to almost 40 local and regional food outposts including The Arepa Lady, Steve's Key Lime Pies, Wilma Jeans, Hard Times Sundaes, Ample Hills, Bun-ker, Wilma Jean, Fulton Landing Seafood Company, and Katz’s Delicatessen’s where the famed deli will expand and open its first new outpost after decades at the a Lower East Side location. If all of this food isn't enough for you, DeKalb Market Hall hosts daily entertainment programming in its two dedicated spaces: a custom-built show kitchen and an event space, DeKalb Stage, as well as a 40 foot bar designed by Brooklyn artists. Serious home chefs will love the nose-to-tail grass-fed butcher, a fishmonger, an artisanal cheese counter and an... on-site bakery. After you've had your fill of good eats, see a flick on the oversized screens at the Alamo Draft House or bargain hunters will enjoy pursuing the racks at Century 21, both of these are also located at City Point.
03 of 07
The Brooklyn Navy Yard is an important part of Brooklyn's history and in recent years has undergone a transformation becoming home to Brooklyn Grange, a rooftop farm and Rooftop Reds, a rooftop vineyard, as well as a film studio, a museum about the Navy Yard's history and many other spots. Now they are embarking on yet another venture when they open a 60,000 ft food hall at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. The highly anticipated food hall is scheduled to open later this year. The food hall will house outposts from numerous local restaurants. Grab a smoothie from Brooklyn Greenery, dine on Caribbean food at The Food Sermon, enjoy some Korean BBQ from We Rub You, and many other vendors. Although we do have to wait before the grand opening, it will be worth it. Soon, you'll be able to have another reason to visit this historic space. The anchor restaurant at the Food Hall is from Russ & Daughters, the famed Lower East Side appetizing store, and is sure to please the brunch... loving crowd. Don't forget to order some lox to go.
04 of 07
This Crown Heights Beer Hall, from the folks at the Brooklyn Flea and Smorgasburg, also houses a well curated food court. If you want to taste some of the best food to come out of the Smorgasburg, head to Berg'n and order some decadent BBQ from Mighty Quinns, a beef and onion pie from Dub pies, a grilled cheese supreme from Landhaus or a pork lumpia from the lumpia shack. Don't forget to wash it down with a beer. It's not just about the food and drink at Berg'n, the atmospheric spacious hall and event space has a calendar packed with events including drink and draw nights and Tuesday trivia nights. Berg'n is also a great place to watch awards shows, the Super Bowl and basketball games on their big screen. It opens at 9am, so you can start your day with a coffee and one of their five dollar breakfast sandwiches. Just to note, Berg'n is closed on Mondays.Continue to 5 of 7 below.
05 of 07
Food Court at Fei Long Market
Foodies flock to the food court attached to the Fei Long Supermarket. With nine choices including the popular Shanghai Dumpling House and Sakura known for its teriyaki; you can feast on a variety of Asian specialties at the food court. Grab a seat as you dine on noodles, rice dishes, soup dumplings (warning, the soup dumplings are addictive and there is usually a line for them) and other good eats. Although there are vegetarian options, vegetarians should be warned that there is a large display of roasted ducks at the food court. Bubble tea fans must stop by Mango Empress for an assortment of flavorful bubble teas like a taro milk bubble tea. If eating dumplings and other Asian cuisine inspires you to cook, you can easily spend hours perusing the aisles of the Fei Long Supermarket, packed with specialty items and everything you'll need to make your own dumplings at home. This food court is deep into Brooklyn, but worth the trip. An added plus, they have a parking lot... (it's five bucks for an hour). If you take the train, spend the afternoon strolling down bustling Eighth Avenue in Sunset Park's Chinatown.
06 of 07
If you have a sweet tooth, you should spend an afternoon at the Food Hall in Industry City. The Food Hall on the ground floor of this mammoth industrial home to artists and makers has outposts of Blue Marble, Colson Patisserie, One Girl Cookies and Liddabit Sweets, all of which could satiate any fan of sweets. If you're looking for savory fare, pop into Ends Meats for a sandwich made with Italian style meats. I should note that the Food Hall is open weekdays, and on weekends some of the restaurants are closed. Industry City is also home to numerous food festivals throughout out the year, check their website for a list of upcoming events. If you do head to Industry City on the weekend, you can enjoy a cocktail at the Industry City Distillery.
07 of 07
Any foodie visiting Brooklyn must make a pilgrimage to the famed Smorgasburg. This weekly food festival run by the folks at the Brooklyn Flea, is the ideal spot to sample the best of Brooklyn’s artisanal food scene. In the winter months, the popular food market is housed indoors at Sylight One Hanson Place near Barclays Center. In the spring through fall, the Smorgasburg sets up at their outdoor locations on Saturdays, they set up on the waterfront in Williamsburg at East River State Park—Kent Ave. and N. 7 S, and on Sundays in Prospect Park at Breeze Hill. The weekly food festival started in 2011 and in the past six years the Smorgasburg has launched careers for many chefs, like the guys at Pizza Moto and many others, who have opened restaurants around Brooklyn due to their popularity at the Smorgasburg. The vendors range from sweet to savory. Stop by Ramen Burger for a tasty Ramen Burger or Wowfulls for authentic 1950’s-style Hong Kong egg waffles, which make the ideal dessert.... Whatever pleases your palate, be sure to come hungry!