Deck the Food Halls
The food hall trend has landed in Pittsburgh
There’s no question food halls hit peak trend in 2018—nearly 120 existed across America at the end of 2017, according to Chicago-based Cushman & Wakefield, Inc.—and more are coming. These more upscale food courts allow smaller restaurants or up-and-coming chefs to test new concepts and serve as great gathering spots for locals for a variety of eclectic food options.
Pittsburgh now claims three in various parts of the city. So, if you find yourself hungry and you’re on the North Shore, the Strip District or downtown, you’ll want to check out these venues.
Set at Nova Place on Pittsburgh’s historic North Shore, Federal Galley has four unique restaurant concepts, a full bar and beer garden with seating for 150 indoors and 100 more outside. You can get upscale fare like pork and rabbit terrine; crispy cauliflower with smoked blue cheese; sweet-and-sour pork banh mi; a burger with smoked mushrooms, umami aioli and cheddar and more at Provisions PGH. El Lugar has a variety of tacos, tortas, enchiladas and other Mexican fare. Michigan & Trumbull has authentic, Detroit-style pizza with varied toppings like chorizo, mushrooms, pepperoni and even vegan ingredients. Last, the fast-casual Supper has new American cuisine: tofu scramble with quinoa, chickpea fries, falafel pita, a Jamison lamb burger and red wine-braised chicken.
Set downtown in Pittsburgh’s One Oxford Centre, the aptly named Oxford Market and Bar Oxford came about following a multimillion-dollar renovation of the skyscraper. Open for breakfast and lunch weekdays, Oxford Market offers a variety of dining options, including Piccola Italia for pasta and wood-fired pizza; salads at Market Fresh; char-grilled delights like fish, steaks, chicken and burgers at Flame; North Carolina-style barbecue at Pittsburgh Barbecue Company and more. Starting at 11 a.m. and going strong until 9 p.m., Bar Oxford has an array of local craft beers and whiskies, bar snacks, salads, tacos and more.
Set up like an incubator, Smallman helps emerging chefs fine-tune their concepts in a fast-paced environment where they can get hands-on business and culinary training each Monday when the food hall is closed. Each of the four spots gets a 12-month contract to iron out the concepts and uses the space as a launching pad for eventually opening their own restaurants. Depending on when you visit, you might find stalls like Iron Born for hand-forged pizza; Joey’s Snack Bar for a rotating selection of sandwiches; and Bahnmilicious for Vietnamese fare. And, of course, you can sidle up to the bar for local brews, spirits and wine.