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4 Amazing Houston Food Halls

EXPERIENCE A VARIETY OF CUISINES UNDER ONE ROOF!

Article by Radhika Patel

Photography by Radhika Patel + Provided

Hands up if you can never decide what you want to eat and actually just want to eat everything like me! I’ve got you covered because this article features some of the best food halls Houston has to offer! Come along with me on a culinary adventure. Warning: You may experience immense cravings after this.

Finn Hall

Located on the corner of Main and Rusk downtown in the historic Jones Building, Finn Hall was one of the first food halls I visited. I wished I worked downtown because of this food hall. As I walked in, I stood in the entrance—probably in someone's way—and took in all of my options. Do I go left, right or straight down the middle, which would (gladly) lead me to the bar?

I needed to figure out my food game plan. Shall I start with a burger, then something sweet and end with a coffee that I was already eyeing up at Amaya Coffee? Who was I kidding? I had no real plan; I just wanted to try everything in sight!

I opted for the Lamb Chorizo Fries (DELICIOUS) from Oddball Eats and the Spicy Shrimp Rice Bowl and Eggrolls from Yong. Indeed I ended my little food adventure with an Americano from Amaya Coffee! However, there is so much to choose from, you'll have no choice but come back from more. From a relaxed bar, burgers to pizza, to chicken, the nine vendors will have all of your cravings covered!

Community involvement: Finn Hall is currently doubling every $15 meal purchased and donating it to Houston's healthcare staff working tirelessly in the current public health situation: "Finn Hall Feeds the Frontlines"

Understory

Understory is an enchanting underground space, which is much more than your average food hall! Whenever I visit a food hall, I feel some sort of excitement, but as I stood going down on the escalator, I just felt something different, in a good way! So much to take in, in a bright, light and airy space. Not what you expect when you hear "underground food hall."

My eyes immediately darted to the beautiful wooden amphitheater-style stairs (the Great Steps), which are currently home to virtual yoga sessions every Saturday at 10 a.m.! The oval-shaped bar is the perfect hot spot for after-work drinks, and in the corner is where you'll find seven food vendors, each better than the last. From indulgent Italian from Mona, succulent sandwiches from East Hampton Company and Flip 'n Patties, poke from Seaside Poke, to getting your caffeine kick from Boomtown Coffee and more, Understory has it all! They also recently installed a new art installation made from recycled materials, acrylic and Plexiglas! You'll find this piece by local landscape artist Jerrold Jones by the Great Steps!

With access to five different underground tunnels, Understory is a premium food hall, not only perfect for grabbing lunch, but also as Understory states, "collaborate and collide." Perhaps another reason I should move downtown?

Understory is located under the Bank of America Tower on Capitol Street.

Politan Row

Moving away from Downtown Houston, we have Politan Row on Times Boulevard in West University. This food hall has been nominated for Best New Restaurant in the Tastemaker Awards 2020! Let's see what makes this an award-winning-worthy food hall.

First off, the interior and ambiance to lovely! A gorgeous square bar in the middle is total relaxation, chic vibes. Politan Row aims to create an elevated food hall experience, which encourages visitors to share dishes in a space unique to their location. You can also find locations in Chicago and Miami!

Similar to the other food halls, you will find exceptional chef-driven restaurant concepts at Politan Row. From Breaking Bao, Nice Sprout, to Ate Kitchen and six more, this food hall is a must-visit!

Secondly, Politan Row has received national recognition, and rightly so! Fans include Vogue:

"One of the best food halls in America. You won't leave hungry."

Travel + Leisure boasted,

"One of the world's best new food halls."

Politan Row opened in November 2019 and is now back open for pick-up and takeout!

Bravery Chef Hall

OK, definitely moving downtown because of Bravery Chef Hall. Have I said that about every food hall so far? I sense a trend. This food hall is home to an amazing nine chef-driven restaurants, including the MasterChef third season winner Christine Ha’s The Blind Goat. Modern, gastropub Vietnamese vibes, The Blind Goat alone is worth a trip to this fantastic Houston hot spot.

You'll also find three bars, each different from the next. However, my favorite one has to be Secret Garden. I did have to ask where it was, hence the name "Secret," and with a little inquisitiveness, I found myself in my new favorite garden. The perfect glass shed with tantalizing elixirs to tickle your taste buds, Secret Garden was worth the search! Learn more about this bar in my article "Best Alfresco Spots in Houston."

Hungry yet? I did warn you! Luckily for our hunger, we've come to the end of my culinary adventure—my top four Houston food halls, each providing a different experience, yet all house excellent chefs and cuisines! You'll never lack dining options in Houston.