Washington DC’s Best Food Halls and Markets

If there’s one place that can satisfy the hungriest, indecisive and most adventurous eaters among us, it’s undoubtedly the dining hall. We’re not talking about the sad, rather beleaguered eateries at suburban malls across the country. Instead, these contemporary culinary meccas host a wide variety of pop-ups, fast-casual items, and proper restaurants from local chefs, making a visit to the food hall one of the best ways to eat your way through town. And thanks to the resurgence of the concept over the past few years, there are some great DC food halls to check out. Whether you want to reach for a tray of Texas-style brisket with all the fixings or hop from booth to booth sampling dumplings, hand-pulled noodles, and scallion pancakes, you can find it all. So when you’re ready for a proper food court crawl, here are the best places to go.

Assembling
Assembling

Roslyn
This modern dining hall makes ordering easy with scannable QR codes, so you can order from your seat like in a standard restaurant. With 625 seats and eight food and beverage concepts to choose from, you can get lost in the variety. See oysters from Fog Point, Rosslyn’s only oyster bar; traditional pork soup dumplings from Beng Beng Asian Street Food; or Crispy Crab Eggs from Great Lake Diner.

    theblockfoodhall
theblockfoodhall

Mount Vernon Triangle
With three locations in the DMV area, The Block supports Asian-American-owned and inspired eateries throughout the region. The DC outpost offers three main vendors: Pogiboy, a Filipino-American spot from chefs Paolo Dungka and Tom Cunanan; Rose Ave Bakery, which offers options like pandan coconut and coconut ube donuts; and the block bar. In addition to permanent locations, the space also has pop-ups, so check back regularly for the latest options.

Eastern Market
Eastern Market

Capitol Hill
In the heart of Capitol Hill, Eastern Market has been drawing crowds for years thanks to its expansive indoor and outdoor space. The landmark space has been in operation since 1873, but following a fire in 2007, the space was completely renovated to its current appearance. The food court is largely located inside, where you’ll find communal seating and bar stools, while other vendors and a pop-up art market can be found outside. Head to South Hall for fresh produce, meat and fish, and definitely don’t miss Market Lunch’s soft sandwiches or blueberry pancakes. Plus, the street around the market often has a line of great food trucks serving up both sweet and savory items.

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Harvesting
Harvesting

Union Market District
Located near Union Market, this collection of Latin American businesses offers not only some of the best Mexican food you can find in the city, but also an array of retail goods, including apparel, home decor, and more. Food vendors range from casual taco joints like Las Gemelas to upscale cocktail bar Serenata and tasting menu restaurants Mita and El Cielo. Each concept has its own seating area, and there is also common seating in the middle of the market. And when you’re done eating, you can shop until you drop (or need to reload).

Ballston Neighborhood (Arlington, Virginia)
Ballston Neighborhood (Arlington, Virginia)

Ballston
With 25,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor space to explore and more than 20 vendors, you can’t go wrong in this sprawling Arlington food hall. A trip to Quarter Market means you’ll be able to dig into perennial DC favorites like the District Doughnut, Hot Lola’s Fried Chicken Sandwiches and Jubilee Ice Cream Scoops, but the space also features new concepts from local restaurant favorites like Turu’s from Timber Pizza team and Roll’d, a sushi joint helmed by Sushi Taro’s world-class chef Nobu Yamazaki.

The Roost DC
The Roost DC

Capitol Hill
This 12,500-square-foot food hall, operated by the Neighborhood Restaurant Group, brings together some of the area’s most beloved eateries. From the Shelter Beer Garden, an operation from the ChurchKey team, to Red Apron Butcher and Chef Eric Brunner-Yang’s dumplings and other Chinese BBQ fare at Yoyo & Kota, there’s something for everyone. The Roost is also home to one full-service restaurant, Caruso’s Grocery, a lively new Italian restaurant.

Captain Cookie and the Milkman
Captain Cookie and the Milkman

Brookland
Formerly a factory, this modern dining hall is part eatery and part incubator kitchen. Both food and non-food start-ups can be found in this space, and there is also a commercial kitchen that can be used (by reservation and request, of course). D.C. eatery favorites like Bullfrog Bagels and Captain Cookie operate out of the dining hall portion. Once you’ve decided what you want, take a seat at one of the tables perched on top of a barrel.

250 Texas BBQ
250 Texas BBQ

Union Market District
Formerly known as Center Market, this food hall has seen many changes over the years. The industrial space once housed 700 fish, meat, dairy and other food vendors and has since been renovated to serve as home to some of D.C.’s favorite purveyors. Nearly 50 vendors make up the businesses in and around the market, including Buffalo and Bergen, Red Apron Butcher and District Fishwife. Visit on the weekend and prepare to wait in line, but the Egyptian food at the Fava Pot and the smoked meats from barbecue hot spot 2Fifty’s are worth the wait.

Western Market DC
Western Market DC

Foggy bottom
With the much-anticipated opening of Western Market in 2021, Western Market is transforming this college town-style neighborhood into a true dining destination. As one of DC’s three original markets (East and Center being the other two), this new food hall has been restored to its former glory with 10 active vendors and more are expected to open soon. Options include Italian sandwiches from Capo Deli, fried chicken sandwiches from Roaming Rooster, sushi from Onkei and more. Plus, the spacious space has plenty of seating, largely tailored to individual vendors.

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Elsie Young is a native Texan with big aspirations to make her way through the Northeast (and beyond). When she’s not exploring the DC culinary scene, you can find her adjusting the height of her desk or otherwise looking for a new project. Follow her on Instagram.