Dining out with a large group can be cumbersome, especially when you have picky eaters or friends with dietary restrictions. But an increasingly popular concept in Dallas-Fort Worth, the food hall, could ease the woes of choosing a single restaurant.
Window shopping and menu hopping make food halls fun. Even if all the members of a hungry group go for different dishes, they can eat together in a shared dining area or patio. In essence, food halls are like mall food courts, but much more distinguished: They're often focused on fresh ingredients and locally-based brands over chains. And their buzzy chefs would like to think they're much more delicious.
Dallas-Fort Worth is starting to see more food halls, modeled after their European counterparts, pop up with a variety of restaurants and cuisines all under one roof.
Hope you're hungry: Here are three food halls open now in Dallas-Fort Worth and one to look forward to in late 2017.
The Market at the Dallas Farmers Market
The Dallas Farmers Market isn't just for urbanites shopping for Texas grown produce. Since the Market food hall opened in late 2015, it's also become a dining destination. The 26,000-square-foot space is home to an array of cuisines, from seafood and sweets to Cajun, Caribbean and artisan cheese. Last November, Dallas brewery Noble Rey Brewing Co. opened a satellite beer bar there, too. And the Market isn't just for diners. After grabbing a bite, visitors can shop numerous local vendors such as saucy T-shirt company Bullzerk or soap and candle shop Abundantly Aromatic. A furniture store, Urban Farmhouse Designs, is expected to open in an adjacent building in June.
The Market at the Dallas Farmers Market is located at 920 S. Harwood St., Dallas. Hours of operation are Saturday through Thursday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Friday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; however, each restaurant maintains its own schedule. See a full list of times here.
Uptown Urban Market
Uptown is stocked with restaurants, but few offer the grab-and-go structure of Uptown Urban Market. Opened in late 2016, the market was designed to cater to residents in the area -- that's why it's located on the ground floor of the Gables Villa Rosa apartment complex. Inside, patrons will find pint-sized versions of Fireside Pies pizzeria, La Duni Baking and Coffee Studio, and Buda Juice. The Hot Counter serves sliders and tacos, and former Top Chef Tiffany Derry sells pre-packaged meals in a refrigerated area. It has two bars — a walk-up counter in the food hall and an attached pub that's open late — though Uptown Urban Market does not sell alcohol to-go. Outside, customers can rent bikes courtesy of the Local Hub Bicycle Co.
Uptown Urban Market is located at 2600 Cedar Springs Rd., Dallas. Hours of operation are Monday through Thursday 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., Friday 7 a.m. to 11 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. and Sunday 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. One of the bars operates on its own schedule. See the hours here.
Unlike other local food halls, Americado in Fort Worth houses one concept -- Mexican street fare -- and splits the experience among several walk-up counters. The best way to navigate it is to pick your protein: chicken, seafood or red meat. Not sure what you're in the mood for? Peruse the menus at each station. The menus includes staples such as tacos, quesadillas and tortas alongside more intriguing dishes. (Shark empanadas, anyone?) Wash it all down with a fresh juice, horchata or something with a buzz from the bar. In addition to a dining room, Americado has a delightful patio.
Americado is located at 2000 W. Berry St., Fort Worth. Hours of operation are Sunday through Thursday 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Friday through Saturday 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Plano's forthcoming Legacy Hall is poised to be a magnet for local foodies. Scheduled to open this fall, the massive food hall inhabits 55,000 square feet on three floors at the Legacy West development, which will also bring shopping and other stand-alone restaurants to the northwest edge of the suburb. The owners have tapped local chefs including John Tesar (Knife) and Uno Immanivong (Chino Chinatown) to bring miniature versions of their acclaimed eateries to the hall. Owners anticipate having 18 vendors that will sell foods including Belgian waffles, quesadillas, shwarma, yakitori, Indian wraps and Cajun food, among other options. Legacy Hall will also operate a craft brewery called Unlawful Assembly Brewing Co., in addition to a full-service restaurant.
Legacy Hall is located at 7800 Windrose Ave., Plano. Hours of operation are expected to be Sunday through Wednesday 7 a.m. to midnight and Thursday through Saturday 7 a.m. to 2 a.m. It's expected to open in October.