Who doesn’t love a food hall? A one stop shop for a mix of delicious food. Now, before we dive into where food halls are headed, lets take a look at where they came from. Believe it or not, the history of food halls dates back all the way to the second century. This was the first time we saw this concept put into place at Trajan’s Market in Rome, Italy, where goods like oil, wine fruits & veggies were sold or traded. Later in 1461 The Grand Bazaar of Istanbul, which is still in operation today, became a hub for selling and bartering items like kebabs, weapons, sweets, jewelry and so much more.
Today, food halls are focused on the future, and finding ways to not only serve the needs of their vendors, but also support and represent the community. Building a connection with the people in the surrounding neighborhoods is vital for food hall survival. Offering foods and goods from the countries that embody the people of the area has been successful for places like the Worcester Public Market located in Worcester, Massachusetts. You can find a melting pot of flavors as you make your way through the bustling aisles. Delicious Venezuelan empanadas and mouthwatering West African Waakye bowls are a must try for any newcomer!
Other food halls are highlighting one specific culture and everything they have to offer. For example, Le District in New York City is bringing the wonders of France to the big city. Visitors will find beautiful restaurants, culinary-specific food stations, a fresh market with marvelous meats and cheeses, and a gorgeous outdoor patio. Guests can indulge in delicate crepes or delectable pomme frites while feeling like they've been transported to Paris or Marseille.
Now, if you can't tell, food halls are not a trend. They have been around in one form or another for hundreds of years, and it doesn't look like they are going anywhere any time soon. In the future we will see more and more halls hitting cities both big and small with the same goal in mind. Bringing the community together through food and culture.
If you are thinking of opening a food hall, or looking to join an existing one, you'll want to know all of your options. Ventless equipment makes it easy to implement a foodservice program in just about any location, especially food halls.