Food Courts Around the World That Put Ours to Shame

Three Worldwide Food Courts, Two Images of Food

Cheapism/George R./Yelp/Mojo Market/Yolanda S./Yelp

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Three Worldwide Food Courts, Two Images of Food
Cheapism/George R./Yelp/Mojo Market/Yolanda S./Yelp

Waaaay Beyond Your Local Mall's Food Court

Americans think they’ve cornered the market when it comes to fast food, and especially food courts in malls, airports, markets, and other locations. But other countries put America to shame when it comes to places where you can get quality, delicious food. Let’s look at some of them.

Related: 24 Food Halls and Markets That Offer a Taste of Something for Everyone

Tramsheds, Sydney

Tramsheds, Sydney

Built in 1904 as the Rozelle Tramway Depot, Tramsheds is now an uber-hip version of the food court, housing some 11 restaurants and cafes, as well as retail shops. There are also events such as cooking classes and pottery classes held here.

In terms of food, you’ll find everything from fine French dining to Chinese cuisine to Japanese delights.

Belgian Waffle With Caramel Sauce, Markthalle Neun, Berlin
Kai A./Yelp

Markthalle Neun, Berlin

Located in the historic Kreuzberg Railway Station, Markthalle Neun has been feeding Berlin since 1891. Amid the vendors selling fresh fish, vegetables and fruits, artisanal chocolates, and piping hot pretzels, you’ll find spots to snarf up handcrafted meatballs, dim sum, smoothies, and traditional spaetzle.

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Sushi, Takashimaya Times Square, Tokyo
Crab Meat Soup, Miaokou Night Market, Keelung, Taiwan
Yolanda S./Yelp

Miaokou Night Market, Keelung, Taiwan

Night markets have long been popular with hungry locals and visitors, and Taiwan’s Miaokou Night Market is no exception. Try local flavors like eel, scallion pancakes, pork rib soup, and sausages, followed by bubble ice.

Markthal, Rotterdam, Netherlands

Markthal, Rotterdam, Netherlands

Rotterdam’s Markthal is a riot of scents and sounds and a fantastic place to pick up both groceries and lunch. Enjoy Indian, Greek, and even American food, or try tapas, hot pot, or ramen.

Mercado de Produtores, Rio de Janeiro

Mercado de Produtores, Rio de Janeiro

Also known as Uptown, Mercado di Produtores is one of the very few remaining food courts in the area. You’ll find bars, restaurants, and artisanal products for sale. And when it comes to food, you’ll find much more than local delicacies like empanadas and grilled meats. Vendors also serve up ceviche, sandwiches, crepes, burgers, and sweets, as well as beer and cocktails.

Related: Here Are 25 Fan Favorites From McDonald's International Menu

Shrimp and Pasta on Bread, Torvehallerne, Copenhagen, Denmark
Britt C./Yelp

Torvehallerne, Copenhagen, Denmark

This food market is known as Copenhagen’s dining room and features fresh ingredients in innovative dishes. Torvehallerne serves up not only Danish delights but also international flavors like tapas, sushi, pizza, burgers, and baked goods.

Related: The World's Most Amazing Sandwiches

Truffle Pasta, Mercato Centrale, Florence, Italy
George R./Yelp

Mercato Centrale

Florence, Italy
Located in the historic San Lorenzo Market, the Mercato Centrale manages to take the American concept of a food court to an elevated level. With vendors offering everything from buffalo mozzarella to fresh pasta, the hard choice is deciding where to eat. And if Italian food isn’t what you’re craving, there are also American-style barbecue, fried snacks, vegan food, and sandwiches.

Gravlax, Östermalms Saluhall, Stockholm
Gilana I./Yelp

Östermalms Saluhall, Stockholm

By day, Östermalms Saluhall is the place to shop for fresh seafood, veggies, fruits, meats, cheeses, and baked goods. By night, it’s the spot to dine. There are a dozen restaurants here, each offering its unique flavors. From charcuterie boards to American steaks to Lebanese dishes, there’s something for everyone.

Related: Delicious Foods Worth Buying at Ikea — and Some to Skip

Merkatua San Martín, Gipuzkoa, Spain

Merkatua San Martín, Gipuzkoa, Spain

Not only does Merkatua offer a food hall full of fresh produce, meats, and prepared foods, but it also has a keen eye on sustainability and reducing food waste.

Order a sandwich at one of the delicatessens or pick up some traditional croquettes, charcuterie, and cheese, and you’ve got the perfect makings for a picnic.

Mojo Market, Cape Town, South Africa
Mojo Market

Mojo Market, Capetown, South Africa

At Mojo Market, there are 30 vendors selling foods like biltong, ramen, flatbreads, poke, and dim sum. But there’s much more to keep you there. Watch live sporting events or live musical performances, and enjoy cocktails, wine, and beer at one of five bars. And with a hotel located right next door, you don’t even have to worry about driving home afterward!

Related: The Best Fried Foods Around the World

Sandwich, Mercado La Merced, Mexico City
Mai N./Yelp

Mercado La Merced, Mexico City

While it may seem overwhelming, this labyrinth of food stalls provides a fantastic opportunity to try some of the best street food in Mexico City (though consider going with a guide who can help you navigate). Don’t be shy about sampling multiple dishes like tlacoyos, huaraches, quesadillas, caldo de gallina, and more.

Related: Best Hole-in-the-Wall Mexican Restaurant in Every State

Sandwich, Slide of Cake, and Sides, Time Out Mercado da Ribeira, Lisboa, Portugal
Maria L./Yelp

Time Out Mercado da Ribeira, Lisboa, Portugal

The Time Out Mercado prides itself on curating every dish that is served, offering nothing less than the best quality. Over two floors, you’ll find 40 vendors selling pasta, seafood, steak, and Asian dishes, some of which are prepared by Michelin-starred chefs.

Salad, Food Society, Paris

Food Society, Paris

Predictably Parisian chic with a touch of industrial hipsterism, Food Society is the newish open-concept casual dining experience everyone’s talking about. With 15 food kiosks, three bars, and a grocery section, you can enjoy fried chicken, sushi, pizza, empanadas, burgers, and salads.

Thai Chicken Wings and Two Thai Teas, Siam Paragon, Bangkok

Siam Paragon, Bangkok

If you want a fantastic example of an actual food court in a mall, head to Siam Paragon in Bangkok. Actually, this mall has much more than just a food court; it also houses a food hall, as well as a separate food hall just for takeaway food. You’ll find cheap local eats as well as sit-down fine dining options, and everything in between.

Perhaps the days of the traditional American food court are numbered. Would you give up the smell of greasy fried chicken mingling with Chinese stir fry and pizza to try one of the options on this list?

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