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These 4 Food Courts Can Provide The Sustenance You Need During Holiday Shopping Season

Chicago Retail

Thanksgiving week marks the official start of holiday shopping season and it takes a lot of energy to push through the crowds to work through your shopping list. But when you get hungry, don't settle for fast food nonsense. We've listed four food courts that will appeal to everyone from indiscriminate omnivores to the most finicky eaters.

1. Revival Food Hall


Location: The National, 125 South Clark

Nearby Developments: The landmark Rookery Building at 209 South LaSalle is undergoing some upgrades to meet the demands of a modern workforce.

Revival Food Hall is one of the cornerstones of The National's $100M in renovations by Blue Star Properties and 16" on Center, and they've put together a Murderers Row of chef-driven eateries ranging from The Budlong (which serves Nashville-style hot chicken), Aloha Poke Co and Danke (from the owners of Logan Square's Table, Donkey & Stick) to sweets from Black Dog Gelato and James Beard award-winning pastry chef Mindy Segal.

2. Eataly Chicago


Location: 43 East Ohio

Nearby Developments: This part of downtown is teeming with retail and especially hotels, including the brand-new Conrad Chicago from Laurence Geller (who will be speaking at our Hospitality Boom event Dec. 6, by the way).

Rock star chef Mario Batali caused a tidal wave of news coverage when he announced plans for the Chicago location (in the former ESPN Zone) of his Eataly chain of upscale groceries and food courts three years ago. The hype was justified when Eataly Chicago ran out of food in its first two days of business in 2014. The 63k SF space is 30% larger than Eataly New York, which allows for the elbow room necessary to line up for Neapolitan-style pizzas, cheese and meat plates, seafood and fresh beer brewed in-house from a team consisting of Dogfish Head Brewery, Birra Del Borgo and Birra Baladin.

3. Latinicity


Location: Block 37

Nearby Developments: Latinicity is in the middle of one of the biggest projects in downtown. Block 37 continues to evolve with the arrival of CIM Group's Marquee at Block 37 apartments last spring, providing a built-in customer base.

Restaurateur Richard Sandoval and chef Jose Garces (Mercat a la Planxa) saw what Mario Batali did with Eataly and created their own pan-Latin version, one of the centerpieces of Block 37's retail component. We love the seafood station and Argentinian grill, and the wine bar is one of the best downtown has to offer. The best part about Latinicity: shoppers are handed magnetic-strip cards as they enter, which tracks your tab as you shop. No need to pay as you go, just settle the bill as you exit.

4. Chinatown Square


Location: 2133 South China Place

Nearby Developments: If you have the energy, walk over to McCormick Place, where construction of the Marriott Marquis and Wintrust Arena continues, and Digital Realty Trust is expanding its data center footprint at 330 East Cermak, which would make it the eighth-largest data center in the world.

We can waste an entire day sampling the restaurants packed in this two-level, blocklong shopping court. Chinatown Square has something for everyone, from noodle shops and standard Chinese-American fare to restaurants that sample the range of mainland, Taiwanese and Hong Kong cuisine. You can even buy stocking stuffers from the gift shops in the square.