Mindy Segal

The modern food court: Food halls to grow sharply in Chicago

The modern food court: Food halls to grow sharply in Chicago

Chicago has always been a food town. Now, it's becoming a food hall town.

Food halls — the modern, upscale, urban reincarnation of the humble mall food court — have opened in the Loop and nearby neighborhoods in recent years, and experts say their growth in the Windy City has just begun.

Why are food halls all the rage? They're a representation of where the restaurant industry as a whole is going: Boutique. Local. Instagram-able. They fulfill consumer demand for quick and diverse food options, with a curated set of both popular restaurant outposts and newcomers.

While the traditional mall food court has a group of fast-food options aimed at helping shoppers recharge, a...

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