Is it because food is the only thing former big spenders can afford? Because nobody actually wants to be in Chelsea, Flatiron or the Meatpacking District so there’s plenty of available space? Perhaps the motivation behind the recent food mega-mall explosion involves psychology more than economics: New Yorkers have recently realized that they’re skinnier by far than the vast majority of their fellow Americans. Recent visits to Connecticut, Ohio, Massachusetts, Florida and other Weird Places That Aren’t NYC have opened Big Apple residents’ eyes to the fact that the inhabitants of less boldfaced burgs have them outsized by, in some cases, several body-widths.
New Yorkers don’t like to be outdone at anything. So top McChefs like Mario Batali, Todd English, Joseph Bastianich and others have been stuffing as much of the latest and greatest in meats, cheeses, baked goods and cupcakes as they can into airplane hangar-sized halls in increasingly avoidable neighborhoods with the hope that New Yorkers and the tourists who love them will do likewise. And since most of the actual good restaurants are now located in Brooklyn, space-hungry Manhattan gastropreneurs are free to focus on sheer quantity, which means that football fields worth of pizza, acres of artisanal bacon and burpy oceans of local craft and specialty beer are coming soon to a seven-block radius near you. Get your scrawny ass in gear–never mind that the hike to the West Side will devour a ton of calories–you’ve got a ton of catching up to do.
New: Food Parc at the Eventi- 6th Avenue at 29th Street
Mall Marketplace - 6th Avenue at 20th Street
Perpetually Empty Worker Bee Lunchroom Market - 9th Avenue between 15th and 16th Street. Sbarro Eataly- West 23rd Street near 5th Ave