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Four New Food Halls That Aren’t Glorified Cafeterias

These exciting venues are elevating the big-tent dining trend to fresh culinary heights. See below for a rundown.

Aster Hall

Aster Hall

Location:900 North Michigan Shops, 900 N. Michigan Ave., Gold Coast

Mission:To take mall food out of the Bourbon Chicken Age and into the Touchscreen Kiosk Era

Number of Restaurants: 15

Biggest Name:Brendan Sodikoff, considering that all the restaurants come from his company

Vibe:Fancy department store atrium, with lots of plush seating spread over two floors

Must-Try Dish:The chicken ($10) from the Rotisserie — mostly for the ultracrisp skin

Aster Hall chicken
 
One Eleven

One Eleven

Location:756 E. 111th St., Pullman

Mission:To nurture black-owned businesses and kick-start this South Side nabe’s food scene

Number of Restaurants: 3

Biggest Name:Tsadakeeyah Ben Emmanuel, who helmed the beloved Soul Vegetarian

Vibe:Industrial-chic cafeteria, with exposed ductwork and a friendly clientele

Must-Try Dish:The delectably gooey red velvet brownie ($3.50) from Laine’s Bake Shop

One Eleven's red velvet brownie
 
Politan Row

Politan Row

Location:111 N. Aberdeen St., West Loop

Mission:To pack as many chic eateries under one roof as possible

Number of Restaurants: 11

Biggest Name:Sandra Holl, who is overseeing the first-ever expansion of her beloved bakery, Floriole

Vibe:High-end coworking space, with tables aplenty for spreading out

Must-Try Dish:Thattu’s egg curry ($11), with two eggs slowly simmered in coconut-tomato broth

Thattu's egg curry at Politan Row
 
Time Out Market
Photo: Courtesy of Time Out

Time Out Market

Location:916 W. Fulton Market, West Loop (coming this fall)

Mission:To save journalism (it’s a partnership with Time Out Chicago) by selling fare from slam-dunk faves

Number of Restaurants: 18

Biggest Name:Thai Dang, who’s been slinging critically acclaimed pho at his Pilsen café HaiSous

Vibe:Literally an arena of eats, with bleacher-style seating in the hall’s sprawling event space

Must-Try Dish:Whatever Michelin-starred chef Brian Fisher of Entente will be making (maybe something like his wedge salad)

Time Out Market wedge salad
Photo: Courtesy of Entente

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