Sipping and savouring in food halls has been a European pastime for years and, recently, has experienced something of a revival in North America. From seasoned institutions, to budding newcomers, here are four of our favourite food halls to visit on your next vacation.
1. Avenida Food Hall & Fresh Market, Calgary, Alberta
Calgary’s food scene continues to shine and this fresh food hall, which opened in December 2018, is one of the latest additions to the city’s culinary fold. Set in Lake Bonavista’s Avenida Village, it is the first of its kind in Calgary and brings together some of the city’s best chefs, such as Foreign Concept’s Duncan Ly, to rub shoulders with artisan butchers, up-at-dawn bakers and many an artful maker.
2. Selfridges & Co., London, England
Make your way to this historic department store’s food hall for a glass of bubbles and fresh oysters at the Caviar House & Prunier, or a “cuppa” tea and a hot salt beef sandwich at the Brass Rail restaurant. This hardy sandwich has been on the menu since 1966, and is served on marbled rye and caraway bread, topped with Swiss cheese and house relish and garnished with a tart gherkin.
3. La Grande Épicerie de Paris, Paris, France
Walk amongst towers of salts and spices, fruit jams, oils and vinegars that are artfully arranged alongside freshly-baked baguettes, sweet treats—such as macaroons—and specialty cheeses, meats and seafoods. This Parisian store boasts an inventory of 30,000 individual gourmet products and is located in the city’s 7th arrondissement, just a 35-minute stroll southeast of the Eiffel Tower.
4. Stanley Marketplace, Aurora, Colorado
Trek east to the edge of Denver, or stop on your way to or from the airport, to indulge in the varied tastes of this marketplace. This spacious spot embodies the philosophy of a food hall, with a focus on expertly crafted food and beverages and fine cuts of meat, but also features one-of-a-kind art and thoughtfully made clothing. You’ll find everything from fresh sushi and organic pizza to freshly baked buttermilk biscuits and hand-painted bonbons. There’s even a coffee shop where the roasted beans are offered in recycled wine bottles.
[This story appears in the January 2019 issue of WestJet Magazine]