13 Malls with the Best Food Courts in America
Forget the greasy slices of pizza and subpar Chinese food that you tend to associate with mall food. These shopping centers are revolutionizing the food court game with everything from celebrity chef-owned restaurants to hip artisanal eateries.
New World Mall, Flushing, New York
The next time you get a craving for General Tso’s chicken or shrimp fried rice, step away from the takeout menu and head to New York’s largest Asian indoor mall in Flushing instead. And at New World Mall, don’t expect to find just another Panda Express—the food court boasts all types of authentic Asian cuisine, from Chinese to Vietnamese to Thai, with 32 different vendors to choose from. Bonus: None of the entrees cost over $15.
King of Prussia Mall, King of Prussia, Pennsylvania
Why settle for one food court when you could have two? That’s what you’ll find at King of Prussia Mall, where, amid the classics like Jamba Juice and Auntie Anne’s, you can nosh on a coveted Shake Shack burger or slurp down the catch of the day at Legal Sea Foods’ 10-seat oyster bar. Here’s the backstory behind 11 iconic store names.
NorthPark Center, Dallas
At NorthPark Center in Dallas, there is no food court—there’s an “international food plaza.” Favorite fare includes the spicy Vietnamese banh mi from Pho Kitchen and pillowy alfajores stuffed with dulce de leche from La Duni Latin Kitchen. Feel free to indulge in an extra sweet treat, too, since studies have shown shopping actually makes you healthier.
Northbrook Court, Northbrook, Illinois
Don’t be fooled when you step into Northbrook Court and it looks like, well, any other mall food court (if not a little nicer). The real star of the show at this Illinois shopping spot is the FOMO Cafe, which stands for the popular concept of “fear of missing out.” Each month, a different famous Chicago chef or culinary institution uses the space for a pop-up experience. One of the best ones so far? The Blind Café, where you dine in complete darkness. Here are 10 more restaurants around the world for weird dining experiences.
Scottsdale Fashion Square, Scottsdale, Arizona
With a luxurious lineup of stores like Prada, Jimmy Choo, Gucci, and Burberry, Scottsdale Fashion Square is one of Arizona’s most high-end shopping centers. And its dining options are just as decadent as the designer bags you’ll find in the window at Louis Vuitton. In fact, it was recently announced that hit Hollywood restaurant Nobu (owned by Robert De Niro) will soon be added to the dining directory, joining elevated eateries like seafood spot Ocean 44 and Mexican mainstay Toca Madera.
Aventura Mall, Aventura, Florida
When it comes to “before and after” stories, it doesn’t get much better than that of the food court in Aventura Mall in southern Florida. Last year, the state’s largest mall got a foodie-approved facelift—and its customers (and their stomachs) are happier for it. Named Treats Food Hall, the swanky new space contains fast-casual joints like local celeb chef Michael Schwartz’s Genuine Pizza, where you have to try the short rib pizza and polenta fries.
Third Street Promenade, Santa Monica, California
You know you’re in California when even the food courts have their own Instagram pages. Wander through the Third Street Promenade until you reach the Gallery Food Hall (@galleryfoodhall), where you’ll be treated to all sorts of scrumptious sights and scents. You can’t go wrong any of your options, like the fresh, fried fish sandwich from STRFSH (owned by the Voltaggio brothers) or a crispy homemade waffle cone from Sloan’s, both of which can be enjoyed al fresco on the dining deck.
Mall of America, Bloomington, Minnesota
Not only is it Minnesota’s most popular tourist attraction, but the massive Mall of America is also a haven for hungry shoppers, who can pick from over 60 different dining spots. Don’t miss the vegan Indian burritos (known cleverly as “indurritos”) from Hot Indian or the tater tots smothered in housemade cheese sauce from Melt Shop. Then finish it all of with a Cake Boss-worthy cannoli from Carlo’s Bakery. Find out the most popular tourist attraction in your state.
Westfield San Francisco Centre, San Francisco
Come for the shops, stay for the food. Or the ambiance, really, since the entire food court is set underneath a 102 foot-wide glass dome. Enjoy your sunshine with a side of hand-pulled noodles from Martin Yan’s M.Y. China, slow-roasted Brazilian barbecue from Fire of Brazil or what’s been dubbed “the world’s best cream puffs” from Beard Papa’s.
CityCenter DC, Washington, D.C.
For a quick lunch in the nation’s capital, a trip to CityCenter DC is definitely in order. Run your errands at the surrounding shops, then nosh on goodies from some of the culinary world’s biggest names. We’re suckers for a slice of the notorious crack pie from Christina Tosi’s Milk Bar or a strong shot of nitro coffee from Dolcezza. Another highlight? The mouthwatering pastas homemade by local chef wondergirl Amy Brandwein at Centrolina.
Beverly Center, Los Angeles
Good stores? Cool. But a food court run by celebrity and James Beard Award-winning chefs? Even better. Grab an ooey-gooey breakfast sandwich from New York-born Eggslut, try a bite of Ayesha Curry’s barbecue or treat yourself to the famous Southern-style chicken and waffles from Yardbird. Psst: After you fuel up, follow these 13 secret tricks to saving money while you shop.
The Grand Canal Shoppes, Las Vegas
Leave it to Las Vegas to turn a food court into an authentic Italian experience, complete with gondola rides through the canal and a 24/7 starry sky overhead. Sit at one of the open air tables to be serenaded by a gondolier while you twirl your pile of pasta from Bella Panini. For dessert, keep the Venetian theme going with a scoop of creamy gelato from Cocolini. Bon appetit! These are the 10 must-see Vegas attractions that have nothing to do with gambling.
The Bellevue Collection, Bellevue, Washington
Embrace the eat local trend at Lincoln South Food Hall, part of Washington’s Bellevue Collection, where you can sample foie gras poutine from Burger Brawler, munch on an artisanal charcuterie board from Crosta E Vino or dig into a Pacific Rim poke bowl from Avo-poke. Another perk? Most of the food joints stay open until midnight, so it’s the perfect spot for that late-night snack. Next, find out all the ways to save at your favorite stores.