The 20 Best Food Halls in the UK
Food halls have been around for a while but in the past few years, they’ve swept over the UK at an extraordinary rate, especially in larger cities like London and Liverpool. Unlike the food halls of yesteryear, today’s food halls champion local independent businesses rather than chain restaurants to offer a relaxed and unstuffy atmosphere with an emphasis on delicious food. The best food halls blur the lines between street food and restaurants, with multiple restaurants and food retail spaces under one roof. Some offer events and entertainment too. There are plenty of perks to the latest trend – no awkward bill splitting, no tiptoeing around fussy friends and the chance to taste some of the region’s finest produce for a happily affordable price. But not all food halls are equal. From London to Liverpool and Suffolk to Sheffield, here are 20 of the best food halls in the UK.
Best Food Halls in the UK
The Food Pit is Durham's first street food destination, set on the riverside with sensational views of the city’s cathedral and castle. There are currently seven independent local street food vendors to choose from, offering a wide range of tantalizing international dishes to tempt all foodies and greedy guts. Whether you’re in the mood for traditional Greek gyros or BBQ pulled pork burrito, you can find it here, all under one roof (or out on the sun-filled terrace). As well as superb street food, patrons can enjoy craft beers and live music most days of the week too.
Conveniently located between the Bullring Shopping Centre and China Town, Asia Asia Food Hall brings flavours from across the continent to the heart of England’s second city. Occupying two storeys of an abandoned 1960s office block, the food hall offers up everything from authentic Uyghur dishes to Thai, South Korean and Japanese meals. You can also find some of Asia’s favourite beers and soft drinks, as well as a green (matcha) whippy ice cream. Diners simply top up a card at the beginning of their dining experience to use at multiple restaurants. You’ll get a refund for any unused credit at the end of your visit.
This fun and family-friendly foodie destination is a hit with locals and tourists alike. Inside, you’ll find everything you need for your ‘posh shop’ at surprisingly affordable prices. There’s a butchery, bakery, groceries and deli counters, plus a pop-up Fishmongers every Thursday. The restaurant offers stunning views of the Orwell Bridge and generous breakfast and lunch dishes, as well as a proper Sunday Roast. Over at the cafe, visitors can tuck into the best of Suffolk produce. There’s also an onsite cookery school, florists and fitness centre for those who would prefer to work up an appetite before lunch.
Situated in an attractive Grade II listed building on the edge of Castlegate in the heart of Sheffield, Kommune brings together some of the region’s most acclaimed independent kitchens, brewers and retailers in one space. There’s something for every palate here – South Indian street food made from seasonal British produce, slow-proved wood-fired pizzas, gourmet burgers and colourful Vietnamese dishes. The swish bookings-only ARIA Bar is the perfect spot for an occasion, while the wrap-around Department of Drinks will cater for all your beer-swigging, wine-swirling, and cocktail-shaking needs. There’s also an art gallery, bookshop and Hop Hideout beer shop with its own taproom.
At 11,000 square-foot, The GPO (a homage to the building’s past as the city’s General Post Office) is Liverpool’s largest food hall. The space houses 11 independent kitchens, including the city’s first revolving cheese and wine bar, The Carousel Cheese Co. Crowdpleasers include Japanese-Scandi street food from Konjo, Tennessee-inspired fried chicken from Jailbird Nashville Fried Chicken and dirty-loaded burgers from Patty B’s Burgers. For dessert, there’s Ice, which serves up some of the most Instagrammable ice cream and sweet treats in the city.
Located slap-bang in the centre of town, Arcade Food Hall occupies the bottom of London’s iconic Centrepoint building. Around 10,000 Londoners and tourists walk through the doors every week in search of superb southern Thai food, Middle Eastern mezze and USA-style smash burgers and never leave disappointed. Gelupo, the much-loved sister of Bocco di Lupo, serves up some of the most innovative ice cream combos too, from seasonal specialities like lychee and salted caramel. Keep an eye on the calendar of events, the food hall hosts everything from Six Nations showings to the Disco Drag Lunch Party.
Belfast’s food scene is blossoming – and nowhere is this more evident than at the city’s latest street food concept, Common Market. Located in the city’s Cathedral Quarter, Common Market brings together some of the tastiest street food Belfast has to offer in one buzzing atmosphere. There are options for everyone, including plenty of dishes for vegetarians, vegans and gluten-free customers, as well as three fully-stocked bars. Specialities include LA-style Smash Burgers from Baps by Freight, Canadian poutine at Oui Poutine and Mexican street food from Al Pastor. Unlike most establishments, it’s dog-friendly too!
Some of Scotaland’s highest acclaimed chefs are hard at work at this upmarket food hall in St James Quarter. The light and contemporary space features a stunning selection of independent food and drink producers, with room for at least 700 diners. On the menu, you’ll find everything from legendary Sri Lankan street food to Scottish seafood from MasterChef winner Gary Maclean to craft coffee. It’s also home to El Perro Negro, the two-time winner of the ‘Best Burger in the UK’. If your trip has inspired you to put on a pinny at home several speciality retailers are selling artisanal produce, luxury artisan gelato and an excellent selection of award-winning wines.
Set in an unassuming shipping container on a vacant parking lot on Merchangate, SPARK has brought together a wide range of independent businesses under one colourful roof. At The Outpost, one of the region’s newest breweries, punters can choose from five draught lines, while Spritz is Yorkshire’s first-ever dedicated Spritz Bar. Foodie highlights include ‘pies made properly’ from Yorkshire Handmade Pies, epic buttermilk fried burgers from Clucking Oiks and huge NYC-inspired bodega sandwiches from Holy Mountain Kitchen. The space also hosts an aeroponic urban farm, several retail shops and SPARK Studios, a network of community spaces.
Housed in a repurposed bare-brick railway shed next to Canterbury West station, The Goods Shed is a food hall, restaurant and farmer’s market rolled into one. At ‘The Veg Stall’, you’ll find farm-fresh produce collected from 26 local growers every day at 6 am, ‘The Butchery’ only sources whole carcasses from local Kentish farms and The Fish Market is stocked with fresh fish hoiked from the sea and into Broadstairs that morning. There’s also an impressive array of local craft ales, outstanding local cheeses and superb sourdough on offer. Stop at Gill’s Cafe and Delicatessen for a steaming cup of coffee and sticky pastry or time your visit with lunch and tuck into a tasty meal at the restaurant, overlooking the food hall.
It’s worth the schlep to Zone 4 for the gastronomic thrills of Bang Bang Oriental. Billed as the newest and largest Asian food court in London, the 32,000 square-foot space hosts more than 33 kiosks offering a range of regional Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Vietnamese, Singaporean, Taiwanese and Malaysian cuisines – with seating up to 450 people. Far from your bog-standard food hall, Bang Bang Oriental offers everything from Korean-style fried chicken to melt-in-your-mouth ramen to steaming dim sum. Or, for a more formal dining experience, you can take a seat at the 300-cover flagship Golden Dragon restaurant.
What Talbot Yard lacks in size, it more than makes up for in charm and charisma. Located in the heart of Malton, Yorkshire’s food capital, the Talbot Yard is home to six artisan food producers in a charming converted coaching yard. There’s a butcher, baker, gelateria, coffee roastery, gin distillery and a macaroon maker, many of which have appeared on national TV. Rare Bird Distillery, a working distillery, also houses a ‘Gin School’, where visitors can learn all about botanicals, how to make gin and sample some of the company’s most popular tipples.
Another newbie on the block, Society MCR offers street food, craft beers and cocktails from 10 am until late every day. The sleek space features communal-style benches, nooks and banquettes, as well as an outdoor patio, lounge area and mezzanine. There are currently four independently-owned kitchens, including burger pros Slap and Pickle, pan-Asian specialists Manzou Street, innovative Indian dishes from Chaat Cart and Korean street food from Yoki Social Table. Vocation, one of the fastest-growing breweries in the UK, brews bold hop-forward beers, stouts and everything in between. There’s also a dizzying calendar of entertainment, with a rotating line-up of resident DJs, and curated daily playlists.
Hammonds of Hull is a hive of local producers, makers and bakers, featuring flavours from all over the world. The 30,000 square foot space is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, with a weekly ‘Makers Market’ held every Saturday. Popular vendors include HM Hammonds Coffee Bar, Vinny Napoli and Vino Deli. The Vinyl Bar offers locally brewed cask ales, fine wines and seasonal cocktails served alongside beats from resident DJs. Head to The Farm Shop for locally-sourced fruit and veg, homecooked meats and pies, freestyle baked bread and artisanal oils, wines and champagnes.
Shelter Hall only opened its doors in 2021, but it’s already become a go-to destination for foodies. Home to seven innovative kitchens led by creative chefs like renowned ramen chef Ivan Orkin, the space really delivers on its promise to showcase “the best of Sussex under one roof”. Think marinated roast pork bao buns, authentic Neapolitan pizzas and – all served with local ales, fine wine and sparkling sea views. There’s also an intimate cocktail bar on the first floor and a packed calendar of events throughout the year, from live music to pop-ups. If you’re visiting with a group, try your luck and book a ‘winter igloo’, heated glass domes festooned with fairy lights right on the seafront.
Baltic Market is the ultimate destination for fussy friends and picky palates, thanks to its impressive and ever-changing roster of local food and drinks vendors. Located in the iconic Grade II Cains Brewery on the edge of the Baltic Triangle, the space is open from Wednesday to Sunday, with a specialist market every Sunday. Vendors change regularly, but at the moment you’ll find blockbuster names like Beef on the Block, Little Furnace and Noso, serving up everything from silky flat whites and bubble waffles to fried chicken buckets and authentic Greek street food.
Altrincham Market has been at the centre of community life in Altrincham since 1290, but by the mid-20th century, it was a ghost of its former self. Then Nick Johnson, the brains behind other beloved food halls like Manchester’s Mackie Mayor and London’s Market Halls, won the contract to reinvent the space – and the rest is history. The food hall now houses award-winning independent vendors, like Honest Crust (wood-fired pizzas), Tender Cow (rare breed flat iron steaks) and Pico’s Tacos. Reserve Wines, a small wineshop and wine bar serves up an exceptional range of fine wines and dedicated wine-tasting evenings too.
Cutlery Works is the largest independent food hall in the north of England. Located in trendy Kelham Island in a dilapidated cutlery factory, the space is crammed full of street food staples, from Nashville-style chicken to tongue-tingling tacos. Over at SHOP, visitors can browse a carefully curated collection of fashion, lifestyle, beauty and homeware from global and independent brands, as well as natural wines, charcuterie, cheeses and more. Beyond filling your belly, the space also hosts regular events for cooking enthusiasts, from knife sharpening workshops to meet-the-chef events.
This supersized two-storey food hall is a temple to all things Italian. Sprawled across a whopping 42,000 square food, the space features a huge retail market with over 5,000 Italian products and 2,000 wine labels on offer, a handful of takeaway food stalls and several restaurants. There’s also an onsite cookery school and a bulk refill section, so you can fill up on all sorts of Italian temptations with a guilt-free conscious. Whether you’re in the market for a creamy gelato or a slap-up three-course meal, you’ll find it here. Founded (unsurprisingly) in Italy, the brand has outposts in New York, Chicago and LA too.
Housed in an 1858 Grade 2 listed building in the Northern Quarter, Mackie Mayor is crammed full of top-notch food and drink vendors. And, with space for at least 500 people, you’re guaranteed to find a seat, even though it is one of Mancheester’s most popular spots. Honest Crust serves exceptional seasonal sourdough pizzas, FIN Fish Bar is beloved for its sustainable day-boat fish cooked whole over a chargrill and Baohouse serves up the steamiest little Taiawese buns. At Tender Cow, punters can tuck into lesser-known cuts of beef from some of the best producers and farms in Britain. Groups of 10 or more people can book a table too.