If there’s one thing Atlanta has a wealth of, it’s food halls. The upscale version of a mall food court, food halls bring together a handful of quality restaurants in a communal eating space. Typically making up for a dearth of fast food and chain restaurants is a collection of unique and high-quality eateries, making a food halls a great and easy choice for someone looking to try a new restaurant.
Some of Atlanta’s best-known food halls are Ponce City Market and Krog Street Market. Now, there’s a new one on the scene. Politan Row, located at Colony Square in Midtown, only opened in June of this year, and already, the spot is wildly popular — Vogue called it “one of the best food halls in America.” I visited recently to see if it lived up to the hype.
The hall itself is both sleek and cozy, with modern architecture, warm lighting, and a variety of seating, ranging from booths and tables to couches and armchairs. The walls of the spacious hall are lined with the food stalls and the seating circles around the huge 40-seat bar at the center of the room.
One of the benefits of eating at a food hall is the variety of options, which makes it a great option for meeting with a large group of friends. When it came to diversity, Politan Row delivers with nine food options spanning a range of nationalities and flavors.
If you’re looking for a more traditional meal, you can get a Neapolitan pizza from Belli Pizzeria, a burger from Federal Burger, or a sandwich from Zaddy’s. There’s also a slew of Asian comfort foods to choose from: Vietnamese classics like pho and banh mi at Bun Mi Grill, Japanese favorites like hibachi and ramen at Gekko, and bubble tea at Unbelibubble.
One of the things that sets Politan Row apart from Atlanta’s other food halls, however, is its unique, multicultural fusion options — which I opted for during my visit. Along with tacos, Pretty Little Tacos has a birria ramen, a fusion between the spicy Mexican stew and the Japanese noodle soup. I was genuinely surprised by how delicious this soup was. I got it with pulled chicken and a medium spice level, and both choices proved to be perfect. The chicken was tender and flavorful, and the broth was just spicy enough without being inedible. Topped with fresh onions and cilantro, this dish was both hearty and fresh, making it a great choice regardless of season.
I also tried the New Delhi pizza from Tandoori Pizza and Wings, which puts an Indian spin on their dishes by making their pizzas with naan bread and either chutney or tiki masala marinara and soaking their wings in Indian spiced yogurt. The pizza, which was topped with red onions, bell peppers, mushrooms, jalapenos, and mozzarella, was good, but was a little dry. I probably would not order it again, but I am tempted to try their wings.
As with all food halls, the prices are a little steep, but still reasonable. Both of the dishes I tried were $13, which I thought was fair for the birria ramen but too high for the New Delhi pizza. What makes Politan Row better than Atlanta’s other food halls, though, is the convenience.
Parking in the Colony Square parking deck is easy, with the Politan Row entrance only steps away from the escalator out of the garage, and your first two hours of parking are validated. Validation is done by an attendant at a host stand at the hall’s entrance — just be sure you get a receipt from wherever you eat for proof.
While I’m not sure Politan Square is one of the best food halls in the country, I do think it’s the best in the city. Whether you’re looking for a quick and easy lunch, a fun date night, or a spot to get together with friends for drinks, Politan Square is a great choice. I thoroughly enjoyed my visit, and I know I’ll be back soon.