Food - Ponce City Market Preview

A guide to all the things you’ll be able to eat and drink at PCM’s Central Food Hall

If we were to take all the things esteemed about the culinary scene in Atlanta — traditions, diversity, innovation, history — add it to a skillet and reduce it to its essence, what would be the final product? There’s a good chance it’d look something like the tenant list for Ponce City Market’s Central Food Hall. The sprawling mixed-use redevelopment will undoubtedly attract scores of locals and tourists alike. Food, one of the few things all people share, is one of PCM’s main draws.

Heavyweights of the food world, many with James Beard awards, are setting up shop with new dine-in restaurants and grab-and-go stalls, some of them side-projects or sister outposts of existing Atlanta favorites. Inside the largest brick structure in the South, guests can stroll through 300,000 square feet of retail and food space perusing the wares of nearly 20 purveyors.

The next time Anthony Bourdain comes to town he and Sean Brock won’t have to wait for that 10 o’clock Holeman and Finch burger like they did while shooting “The Layover.” They’ll be able to order that famous double-patty at a reasonable hour from Linton Hopkins’ H&F Burger and then swing by Brock’s restaurant, Minero, for tacos on fresh tortillas made with masa from daily ground corn. If a hankering for oysters hits, a short stroll over to Anne Quatrano’s Dub’s Fish Camp will cure it. Finish with a cup of artisan coffee and a Sublime doughnut, maybe? Hugh Acheson’s Spiller Park will do the trick.

There will be Indian street food from Chai Pani’s sibling Boti; Sichuan from Tasty China’s new Jia; Latin-inspired sandwiches and small plates at Hector Santiago’s El Super Pan; ramen and sushi at Guy Wong’s Ton Ton. The Hall will also function as a robust artisan market with many stalls offering retail products for purchase. A stroll through the Hall could yield a bottle of Georgia-made olive oil from Strippagio, Simply Seoul kimchee, and a salami from Bellina.

To think that this former Sears, Roebuck and Company building of 2.1 million square feet was once virtually invisible, disregarded in plain sight on a main thoroughfare is crazy. That it wasn’t torn down in a city notorious for demolishing its historical architecture is even more remarkable. The success of a project like Ponce City Market could show that Atlanta belongs in the same conversation as national food cities like San Francisco, Chicago, and New York.

With such a game changer on our hands, and rolling openings scheduled for as soon as next month, we thought a preview was in order. We’ve outlined the tenant list in a handy-dandy directory and caught up with some of the Central Food Hall’s most high-profile tenants to chat about their forthcoming eateries.

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