The traditional food courts found in malls and corporate office buildings have been revamped and relocated to feature modern, upscale and fresh fast-fare in food halls.
Food halls have quickly become a trend that Chicagoans have grown fond of. The food halls fall in line with how the restaurant scene is changing. They fulfill the demand for quick fare with a wide variety of options. They also have a boutique feel, are locally produced and attain an Instagram-able quality that ultimately makes these spaces a success. One might say, really? A restaurant has to now be Instagram worthy to attain success? Sadly, the facts do not lie. With more than three food halls opening in 2018 around the city, the days of the food halls are here to stay.
Revival Food Hall is located in the heart of Chicago's central business district on the ground floor of The National. After undergoing extensive renovations to the 1907 building designed by Daniel Burnham, the food hall now features over 24,000 square feet of fast-casual dining opportunities. Boasting 15 fast-casual food 'stalls', Revival offers plenty of options to choose from. 5,000 to 7,000 people a day step off the street at 125 N. Clark St. and into the revolving doors at Revival Food Hall every day. Only open five days a week from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. (apart from the bar staying open until 9p.m.) the food hall stays bustling with customers from when the doors open to when the last gelato is sold from Black Dog. Finding a seat during prime-time lunch hour is hard to secure. The food must be top notch to lure customers to return time and time again. After trying Revival Food Hall’s many food stalls, I can assure you that they won’t disappoint.
Some of my personal favorites at Revival Food Hall happen to be Aloha Poke Co., Smoque BBQ, Furious Spoon or Black Dog Gelato.
Walking up to Aloha Poke Co, one can fill out a personalized bowl choosing the toppings, base, size and protein. With the difference between the little 8 oz. bowl and the big 16 oz. bowl being only a two-dollar discrepancy, I recommend sizing up. Creator and owner of Aloha Poke Co. Noah Feldman says, “We consistently strive to create the ‘next level’ dish and know that taste is most important.” This stall at Revival Food Hall has certainly hit the mark of creating delicious, fresh poke bowls.
Furious Spoon is another recommendation for the colder days looming ahead. Their Japanese ramen soup is sure to steal the hearts of Chicagoans this winter. And while the last recommendation goes against just about everything I just mentioned trying to stay warm this winter, Black Dog gelato is one dessert that deserves a mention every season. The goat-cheese cashew sea salt caramel gelato is better than you could ever have imaged. Every time you visit Revival there are 15 options for you to try, a list that will fill your weekly lunch appointments quickly.
Revival Food Hall is making the food hall an experience. From the large light bubbles lining the ceiling to the corner book and record store, it is a place that feels like the cool lunch table you always wanted to have a seat at in middle school. A space that is visually pleasing as well as completely satisfying for your taste buds. Make sure to grab a box of matches or a pin on your way out of the revolving doors—a keepsake that will surely have the office talking of the new corporate lunchroom.