Food halls and pop ups are now a staple of a city’s dining stock and have won favour amongst millennials and young urban professionals looking for more vibrant, interesting and Instagram friendly locations than traditional fine dining establishments can offer.
The popularity of these venues derives from their ability to offer diners a plethora of food and drink options. This allows groups of friends to convene in one location and each individual can eat and drink what they fancy on the night, be it a burger or pizza, Japanese or Mexican, vegan or not.
With each food hall hosting five plus traders all vying for business, competition is fraught, so the quality of the food is second to none. Additionally, ambitious restaurateurs use these opportunities as a launch pad to test their concepts and build their client base, so they want to impress.
Of course, our capital plays host to a vast number of food halls and markets popping up across each of the boroughs. We have shortlisted four that we love but there are dozens we haven’t covered, all equally as impressive as these lot.
With three London sites, in Victoria, Fulham and the West End, Market Halls only launched last year with their company aim of “turning unloved public spaces of special architectural or historic interest public again.” Their venues are stunning and the food equally so! We've helped fund fit out for an independent F&B operator trading out of their Fulham Broadway site.
Incipio, the team behind The Prince in Earls Court have combined four terraced houses and the old Prince of Wales pub in West Brompton. They have hollowed out the space and created a hospitality venue to rival all others, with a pub, a large in-door-out-door beer garden with a retractable pergola, hosts 3 restaurants, currently Patty and Bun, Edu and Coqfighter and a coffee shop, Over Under Coffee.
Opened in 2015, Pop Brixton is actually a creative business hub created out of disused shipping containers on disused land, it hosts over 10 independent restaurants housed in these steel boxes, with treats from Love Churros to entirely plant based burgers by Halo burger.
We’ve cheated slightly, as the brains behind Street Feast actually run five food halls across London, Dinerama, Giant Robot, Hawker House, Public and Model Market. Showcasing dozens of unique food concepts, covering the range of cuisines, you won’t be trying to find something you want, you’ll be hard pressed to stop yourself trying everything. We've worked with London Union, the company behind Street Feast to help fund the build and fit out for Giant Robot.
Digbeth Dining Club
Digbeth Dining Club promotes 42 traders, open two nights a week just outside the city centre, locals come to sample the cuisine laid on by the midlands’s best chefs. Launched in 2012 the DDC was ahead of its time and was winner of both the 2013 and 2014 best Street Food Event in the UK.
Stockport Market Place
Stockport’s Grade II listed Produce Hall, is currently being transformed into a 150 seat food hall, with 8 restaurant’s and bars and a plan for a rotational schedule to keep the offering fresh. We can’t wait to visit when the venue opens shortly.
Mackie Mayor is housed in Manchester’s former Grade II listed meat market on Eagle Street which originally opened in 1857 and served the city till 1972. After years of dereliction, it received a £175,000 revamp and is now a magnificent 500 seat food hall with 10 traders offering international cuisines from Italian with Honest Crust to Chinese with Baohouse. FIN which offers diners sustainable day-boat fish, from UK shores cooked whole over their chargrill gives a subtle nod to the buildings history as a former market.
Trinity Kitchen can be found in Leeds’s £350 million Trinity Shopping Centre development which opened in 2013. Trinity Kitchen’s concept is to offer diners a bimonthly rotation of 6 food vans. Located on the second floor of the shopping centre, the developers Land Securities installed huge industrial doors on the side of the building to hoist the vans up, allowing easy rotation of different cuisines six times a year. This creates fantastic opportunities for traders to test their plates and even better for diners who have a plethora of new offerings every other month.
Grand Central Hall
This iconic Liverpudlian building, Grand Central Hall is a hub of hospitality flare, with a food hall, hotel and events space, this is a one stop shop for a good time in the north western city. Like the Market Halls of London or Mackie Mayor of Manchester, the team behind Grand Central Hall have revived and repurposed this building for 21st century life. The food section, now known as the Grand Central Bazaar is a Gaudi inspired mecca for food lovers who have a selection of 12 restaurants to choose from as they dine within the psychedelic interiors of this 1905 Grade II listed building.