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Over the past few years, food halls have become an essential part of the Southern dining scene. Perfect for large groups and non-committal palates, food halls offer a legion of choices, sure to satisfy both picky eaters and the most adventurous of foodies. While this is by no means a comprehensive list of travel-worthy food halls in the South, these are eight iconic options not to miss.

Ponce City Market

Location: Atlanta, GA
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Arguably Atlanta’s most bustling food hall, Ponce City Market, located in the historic Sears, Roebuck & Co. building, is home to a bustling hub of diverse cuisine and gathering spots. Some of the city’s most well-known chefs and dining destinations offer up their culinary prowess, like internationally acclaimed chef Linton Hopkins of H&F Burger and Hop’s Chicken, and Botiwalla, an Indian street food concept from the owners of Decatur’s James Beard award recipient, Chai Pani.

cheeseburger with fries on a plate
At Ponce City Market, find essential Atlanta eats like the famous H&F Burger. Image: H&F Burger

S&W Market 

Location: Asheville, NC
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Asheville’s S&W Market is a reimagined food hall in a historic space initially built for the S&W Cafeteria in 1929. Today, S&W Market showcases Asheville’s local independent restaurants and beer. Asheville’s original craft brewery, Highland Brewing Company, anchors the space with a spacious downstairs bar area and a mezzanine-level bar and tasting room.

Street view of the historic S&W building
The S&W Market offers fast and casual local fare, just as it did when it opened almost 100 years ago. Image: Facebook

Pizitz Food Hall 

Location: Birmingham, AL
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If you’re looking for a wide range of local Birmingham dishes, check out the Pizitz Food Hall, which used to be the mecca of downtown shopping back in the Magic City’s heyday. The twelve-stall food hall is an essential hub for locals and visitors alike.

people sitting at a bar
Enjoy a cocktail at The Louis after a long day exploring all The Pizitz Food Hall has to offer. Image: Instagram

Optimist Hall 

Location: Charlotte, NC
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Originally home to Charlotte’s largest textile mill, Optimist Hall opened in 2019 as the city’s first food hall. The behemoth development kept many original facets of the mill building while adding gorgeous green spaces and communal outdoor seating. Highlights include The Dumpling Lady, a beloved local food truck serving up Sichuan street food, and Noble Smoke, a heartfelt Southern barbecue spot that has become a Charlotte go-to.

optimist hall
See for yourself how a turn-of-the-century textile mill was transformed into one of the most unique projects in the Charlotte metropolitan area. Image: Optimist Hall


Location: Miami, FL
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This outdoor food hall in the culture-packed Wynwood district offers diverse dining options, each operating out of a colorful shipping container. Feast on everything from spicy chicken sandwiches to duck rangoons and street corn. The focal point of the food hall is the Tower Bar, which consists of 16 shipping containers stacked on top of each other, and it depicts a vibrant mural by artist Nina Chanel Abney.

outside food hall layout
Located in the heart of Wynwood, Oasis features a can’t-miss outdoor food and beverage experience. Image: Facebook

Assembly Food Hall 

Location: Nashville, TN
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Located at Fifth & Broadway, Assembly Food Hall offers local and national food and beverage favorites. The expansive mixed-use development sits in the heart of Music City’s bustling downtown. It boasts 30+ eateries and bars, including iconic Nashville joints like The Pharmacy and Prince’s Hot Chicken. Assembly Food Hall is also home to Nashville’s largest rooftop, Skydeck, which offers live entertainment daily — it is Music City, after all.

hot chicken with pickles, fries and sauce on a tray
Find out if you can take the heat at Prince’s Hot Chicken in Assembly Food Hall. Image: Facebook

St. Roch Market 

Location: New Orleans, LA
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St. Roch had long held a place in the hearts of New Orleanians, opening in 1875 as an open-air market. After suffering severe damage from Hurricane Katrina, it was finally re-opened in 2015 as an upscale Southern food hall and market. Inside, patrons will find a variety of eateries representative of the Big Easy’s melting pot of culinary influences, including authentic French crêpes, Malaysian comfort food, and Mediterranean kabobs.

Interior of a monochromatic food hall
Experience the best of NOLA dining at the bright and airy St. Roch Market. Image: Facebook

Legacy Hall 

Location: Plano, TX
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Make a trip to Plano’s Legacy Hall, a sprawling, three-story restaurant utopia. Home to 20+ chefs, vendors, and bars, you are guaranteed to find a lot of … well … everything. Beyond food and drink, the booming culinary destination hosts live music, trivia, movie nights, and more.

people sitting around buckets of beer, tacos and fries
Legacy Food Hall has quickly become Plano’s ultimate gathering place. Image: Instagram

Here’s to dining and drinking your way through these one-stop food halls!


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Anne Henley Walker
About the Author
Anne Henley Walker

Anne Henley is Blueprint.Inc's Content Marketing Assistant. She is a University of Georgia graduate, (Go Dawgs!) and is always on the hunt for her new favorite restaurant.