The best part of the mall is obviously the food court. Yes, you came to the mall to shop, but don't try to say you weren't planning the whole excursion around where you were going to stop for coffee and where you were going to get lunch. A good food court can make or break your decision to go to a certain mall. You want to go to one that has the food options you want, and you never want to settle.
Food courts are home to chains that provide comfort, fast service, and tasty food. Sure, there are tons of fast food options like McDonald's, Chipotle, and Panda Express at most malls, but the best ones have tons of different kinds of cuisine and even dine-in options that range from casual to fancy. Whether you're hitting up a Starbucks or a Bar Louie, you know which mall has it and which mall doesn't.
The Daily Meal has compiled a list of the best mall food courts in America by scouring thousands of online reviews for mentions of food courts, their options, their level of cleanliness, and how likely people were to go back to them. What we found were some pretty incredible and diverse food court options in every single state across the U.S.
Alabama: Riverchase Galleria, Hoover
Alabama's Riverchase Galleria features an airy, sun-drenched food court with many informal and restaurant-dining options including a Ruby Tuesday. It's often frequented by shoppers as well as guests of the connected Hyatt Regency Hotel. The area is offset by a cheerful merry-go-round that brings a dose of light-hearted fun to your mall meal.
Alaska: Anchorage 5th Avenue Mall, Anchorage
This Alaskan mall is known for being clean, modern, and for having a food court with a chill vibe. It offers typical mall food fare, but those options are hard to come by in this faraway state. Speaking of things being far away, guests here tend to love that their dining options are not in the middle of all the mall hubbub. "It is great to have a food court that is not in the middle of all the shops so you can relax and not worry about the foot traffic," commented one TripAdvisor reviewer.
Anchorage 5th Avenue Mall/Yelp
Arizona: Scottsdale Fashion Square, Scottsdale
There is no chance of you going hungry at Arizona's Scottsdale Fashion Square if you have money. The collection of shops is joined by a bevy of restaurants and food kiosks for every taste, including a Shake Shack, Yard House, and a Nordstrom Marketplace Café.
Arkansas: Pinnacle Hills Promenade, Rogers
"I love this place. Perfect place to eat, shop, watch a movie, hang out, people watch - solo, couples, friends, anyone - great place. Grab a glass of wine or a cocktail, have a cup of tea or a meal. Walking around in a beautiful safe place," commented a reviewer on Yelp. Places to grab a bite include Houlihan's, P.F. Chang's, and Mimi's Café.
California: Westfield San Francisco Centre, San Francisco
There's something for everyone with a number of classics (Auntie Anne's, Charley's Grilled Subs) and also an entire level dedicated to upscale dining. You can enjoy an ice cream sundae at San Francisco staple Ghirardelli's, perfectly prepared steak at Lark Creek Steak, or tasty Thai food at Coriander. Make sure to also take in the architecture, featuring a dome designed by the famous architect Albert Pissis and built in 1896.
Colorado: FlatIron Crossing, Broomfield
There are tons of food and shopping choices at Colorado's FlatIron Crossing. The Broomfield mall is hailed for how clean it is and how many tasty options there are to feast on with your eyes and your mouth. Guests can also dine-in at Village Tavern, Gordon Biersch Brewery, CPK, Red Robin, and P.F. Chang's.
Connecticut: Danbury Fair, Danbury
This Connecticut mall has a fantastic collection of restaurants in its food court including options like pizza, Chinese food, Cajun food, Italian food, and more. If you're looking for familiar chains, Danbury Fair is also equipped with a Chick-fil-A, a Cheesecake Factory, and a Starbucks to suit your needs.
Delaware: Christiana Mall, Newark
Delaware's Christiana Mall customers cannot stop raving about the food court. "Try the Thai place... bang bang chicken is great, can't resist every time I visit the mall," commented one Trip Advisor user. "Food court is great huge amount of choices and love the free samples offered at some of the places," wrote another. Other guests have flocked to the mall's sit-down options like JB Dawson's Restaurant and Bar and California Pizza Kitchen.
Florida: Aventura Mall, Aventura, Fla.
The largest mall in the state of Florida has almost 3 million square feet of stores, restaurants, and stalls. There are over 300 shops to choose from and an extensive food court with 18 different dining options. In 2012, it was ranked the second most visited mall by Travel and Leisure magazine.
Georgia: Lenox Square Mall, Atlanta
The Lenox Square Mall is best known for its high-end shopping and great food court. They even have a Sprinkles Cupcakes ATM! "Food court was super nice and I'm very picky," said a Yelper. "There's a lot of choices, I recommend the Rise Pies and getting the macaroons."
Hawaii: Ala Moana Center, Honolulu
Hawaii's Ala Moana Center is the seventh largest mall in the U.S. Visitors can inhale the fragrant Honolulu breezes as they peruse the over 340 shops in this open-air mall. Plus, six days a week the Ala Moana Hula Showcase performs traditional hula dancing for the mall's guests. Plus, their food court options are just as expansive as their shops. Kiosks serve ramen, poke bowls, sushi, gelato, pizza, burgers, and of course mall pretzels.
Idaho: Boise Town Square, Boise
This Boise mall is a shopper's paradise for its large selection of shops and fantastic food court. A big draw is a restaurant called Old Chicago Pizza Taproom, which many shoppers have cited as a great spot to grab a pre- or post-shopping brew.
Illinois: Water Tower Place Dining, Chicago
A respite from upscale shopping doesn't have to be casual. For example, American Girl Café offers gourmet food on linen clad tables. You can also check out Freshii for healthy fast food options like brown rice bowls and wraps. Or, indulge your need for a burger, fries, and a shake at M Burger. Also, this mall is located just a few blocks from Lake Michigan and a number of parks so you can walk off your meal or you can stay in the mall and check out the interactive Chicago Sports Museum full of memorabilia and simulated experiences.
Indiana: Castleton Square Mall, Indianapolis
"This is my favorite mall in the entire city. Many of the stores appeal to my fashion taste. I rarely shop anywhere else. Most of the stores are pretty affordable. I enjoy walking around this mall. Nice food court. Interesting people watching. It truly has it all," said one review of Indiana's Castleton Square Mall.
Iowa: Jordan Creek Town Center, West Des Moines
All the major chains are in one place at Jordan Creek Town Center in Iowa, which is why it's so well loved. You can hop from Auntie Anne's to Buffalo Wild Wings to Panera in a matter of minutes.
Kansas: Oak Park Mall, Overland Park
While some customers see the Oak Park Mall's food court as "pricey" many see it as an opportunity to try lots of new cuisine. Yes, there are typical mall restaurants like Noodles & Co, On the Border, and Outback Steakhouse, but there are a ton of food court stalls with tantalizing Chinese and chicken-centric options.
Kentucky: Mall St. Matthews
If you're looking for a mall with all the food options, check out Mall St. Matthews. Reviews rave over how many places to eat there are including a Cheesecake Factory, Red Robin, Starbucks, and more.
Louisiana: Canal Place, New Orleans
Located right in New Orleans, Canal Place has your typical mall food fare, but is super close to amazing local NOLA options. There is a decent mix of high- and low-end restaurants, from Morton's Steak House to Gusto by chef Adolfo Garcia. It's also within walking distance to Jackson Square!
Maine: The Maine Mall, South Portland
This Maine mall offers all the classic mall comforts - shops, a food court, etc. - but in an impossibly clean environment. "Always updated, bright, beautiful and clean. Large variety of shopping venues to satisfy anyone. Great place to walk too," praised a review.
Maryland: The Mall in Columbia, Columbia
This Maryland mall is equipped with a Seasons 52, Maggiano's, P.F. Chang's, Shake Shack, and tons of food court options including a tasty little grilled cheese spot and a Chick-Fil-A. It also has a theatre with tons of popcorn, pretzels, and hot dogs.
Massachusetts: The Natick Mall, Natick
"Huge, huge place with everything you can think of!! Food court is unreal!!" praised one Trip Advisor user. The Natick Mall is known for being clean and having a huge food court with many options. Plus, a Wegmans just opened in the mall, so if you can't find anything to your taste you can always go shopping for groceries!
Michigan: Woodland Mall, Grand Rapids
This Michigan mall has a ton of food court and dine-in options that attract people from all over Michigan. Many Yelp reviewers are a fan of this mall's Red Robin for sit-down meals and its Panda Express in the food court.
Minnesota: Mall of America, Bloomington
The Mall of America is the largest mall in the country and one of the top tourist destinations in the United States. Yes, there are shops - tons of shops and over 50 restaurants, and a massive food court. Your meal options here will be as diverse as the customers who come to this famed Minnesota mall from across the globe.
Mississippi: Edgewater Mall, Biloxi
"It's def [sic] getting five stars from me. This place has a little bit of everything. Food, a bonefish grill, tons of stores. Parking is right across from the beach so it's fun to eat. Shop. And go to the beach. It's an all in all good mall. It has a carousel and rock climbing!" said a reviewer of Mississippi's Edgewater Mall.
Missouri: West County Center, Des Peres
Don't let appearances fool you. This Missouri mall has a ton of restaurants on the outside, but once you actually walk in you'll be astounded by their large food court. You can get everything from Chipotle to Panda Express, and even more!
Montana: Southgate Mall, Missoula
This Montana mall is a local favorite for the way it gives back to its community with food drives, auction benefits, and working with nonprofit organizations. It houses weekly exhibits, arts and crafts, and seasonal activities for children. But guests are drawn to it for its bevy of food court options including classics like Red Robin, Dairy Queen, and Subway.
Nebraska: Gateway Mall, Lincoln
Gateway Mall has all the classic comforts of your favorite mall plus a lovely food court. This Nebraska mall also includes a merry-go-round and JC Penney, Sears, and Dillard's as anchor stores.
Nevada: The Grand Canal Shoppes, Las Vegas
While you're enjoying the opulence of this Las Vegas mall, be sure to dip into any of the restaurants and food stalls that line the halls of shops. You can eat like a king or a pauper with the Grand Canal Shoppes' options like Lobster ME, San Gennaro Burger, and Cañonita.
New Hampshire: The Mall of New Hampshire, Manchester
This classic mall is a New Hampshire favorite for its food court filled with such goodies as Dunkin' Donuts, Orange Julius, Gloria Jean's Coffees, a Longhorn Steakhouse, a Red Robin, and more.
The Mall of New Hampshire/Yelp
New Jersey: Westfield Garden State Plaza, Paramus
No matter how many hours you spend at this Paramus mall, you won't go hungry. There are seemingly endless food court and dine-in options including Legal Sea Foods, Shake Shack, sushi bars, taquerias, and big familiar chains like Johnny Rockets, Bar Louie, and Grand Lux Café.
New Mexico: Coronado Center, Albuquerque
"This is a very big mall! Has many many stores!! I like that it has two floors! One of the many stops when we come to ABQ!! Love their food court as well has a lot of variety! Highly recommended," raved one Yelp reviewer of New Mexico's Coronado Center.
New York: New World Mall Food Court, New York City
It's 165,000 square feet of Asian and other ethnic dining options, shopping and, of course, karaoke. The main attraction here is the East Asian food ranging from ramen to bento boxes and more difficult-to-find authentic Malaysian or Vietnamese foods. This New York City building also boasts a beautiful three-story, cross-hatched wall of glass; great for reflecting views of the sun, the surrounding areas, and more. It's also home to more than 100 retail operations.
New World Mall/Yelp
North Carolina: SouthPark, Charlotte
This SouthPark neighborhood mall is the perfect mix of high-end and mid-range shops. At 1,790,000 square feet it is also the largest mall in the Carolinas. They offer such tasty food chain options as Maggiano's Little Italy, California Pizza Kitchen, The Cheesecake Factory, McCormick & Schmick's Seafood & Steaks, and Cowfish Sushi.
North Dakota: West Acres Regional Shopping Center, Fargo
There is so much to see and do at the West Acres Regional Shopping Center in Fargo, North Dakota. There are a ton of stores and specialty shops, as well as the best food court in the state.
Ohio: SouthPark Mall, Strongsville
You will find nearly as many food options as stores in Ohio's SouthPark mall. Whether you're looking for a sweet treat or a full meal, there are options such as Dairy Queen, Dan D./Yelp
Oklahoma: Penn Square Mall, Oklahoma City
One of the things customers love about Oklahoma's Penn Square is that it's climate controlled. Shoppers come here to beat the heat and the cold while shopping in over 140 retail stores or lounging in the renovated food court.
Penn Square Mall/Yelp
Oregon: Washington Square, Portland
The wildest thing about this mall is that it houses three Auntie Anne's pretzels. Three. But if that's not enough you can always visit Ruby Thai Kitchen, Sarku Japan, Sonic, Taco Time, Panera, Pieology, and more!
Pennsylvania: King of Prussia, Philadelphia
This Philadelphia mall is the largest shopping mall in the United States in terms of gross leasable area and sees around 25 million visitors a year! With its seven major department stores and over 400 shops and restaurants, it's hard not find everything you're shopping for - and almost anything you want to eat - at King of Prussia.
Rhode Island: Garden City Center, Cranston
With four new restaurants opening this summer and fall, Rhode Island's Garden City Center is a food destination. Its outdoor layout attracts visitors who want to sit in the sun in the warmer months and enjoy meals and snacks.
South Carolina: Coastal Grand, Myrtle Beach
Shoppers visiting South Carolina's Coastal Grand Mall may come for the shops, but they stay for the food. The mall's food court and stand-alone restaurants have a bevy of options and can't be beat. Chick-fil-A, China Express, Auntie Anne's, Texas Roadhouse, Red Robin, Sticky Finger's, and Abeuelo's make up only a few of their myriad of eateries.
South Dakota: The Empire Mall, Sioux Falls
The Empire Mall is the largest tourist attraction in the state of South Dakota, bringing in shoppers from as far as 200 miles away. Nowhere else will visitors find high-end retail shops, fun holiday guest events, or tasty food court options all in one place.
The Empire Mall/Yelp
Tennessee: CoolSprings Galleria, Franklin
Just outside of Nashville, CoolSprings Galleria is a cool mall with a ton of hot food options at their food court. Sbarro, Backyard Burgers, Kings Bowling, Chick-fil-A, Cheesecake Factory, California Pizza Kitchen, Starbucks, Häagen-Dazs, and many others are well-loved by guests who want to chow down post-shopping.
Texas: NorthPark Center, Dallas
This mall pairs upscale shopping with upscale dining choices. As they say, "Everything is bigger in Texas," including the food courts. You can enjoy New York-style pizza at Famous Famiglia, Tex-Mex at Luna De Noche or gourmet popcorn at Uptown Popcorn. You'll need inspiring food options as you browse through a who's who of fashion including Burberry, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Tiffany & Co., and more. The mall also regularly attracts designers and has a number of fashion events and shows you can catch with your meal.
Utah: The Shops at South Town, Sandy
Shoppers come to the Shops at South Town mainly for their kids. The mall has tons of kid-friendly entertainment such as a monthly kid's club, a nickel arcade, a play place, and a train that drives all around the mall. There is even an interactive screen in the food court for kids to play games on while mom and dad shop!
Vermont: Quechee Gorge Village, Quechee
You'll actually find an incredible food scene at this Vermont antique mall. While it is a labyrinth of antiques, arts, crafts, and more, it's also a happening place to sample snacks from such craft vendors of foods like cheese and fudge, and an excellent spot to grab a bite to eat for lunch or dinner!
Virginia: Tysons Corner Center, Tysons
Tysons Corner Center boasts an American Girl store, a LEGO store, a 16-screen movie theater, and two huge food courts. "This is a great place to shop, eat, chill, or entertain. Even if you just want to browse, it's the best," recommends one satisfied shopper.
Tysons Corner Center/Yelp
Washington: Alderwood Mall, Lynnwood
"I've never seen a more diverse food court. The layout is easy to navigate, fun to walk, and absolutely beautiful with skylights and sun," exclaimed one Yelper of Washington's Alderwood Mall.
Washington, D.C.: CityCenterDC
"Back in the day, CityCenterDC was a massive astroturf parking lot where you'd pick up the MegaBus or BoltBus to New York City," lamented one Yelper. "Fast forward a few years, it's now the shining gem of DC attracting tourists and convention goers. For locals, it's a beautiful show as you walk by to dinner in Chinatown." It's also touted as a major Instagram-friendly spot for its festive holiday displays!
West Virginia: Huntington Mall, Barboursville
"The big loafer in the Huntington mall is the most original food court restaurant I've seen. The food is actually filling so go before you leave so you don't have to carry your leftovers throughout the mall," advised a Google Review of West Virginia's Huntington Mall.
Wisconsin: Mayfair Mall, Wauwatosa
"With all the talk about dying Malls it seems the word has not reached Mayfair," says a loyal fan of Wisconsin's Mayfair Mall. "New stores being added and still spotlessly clean. Apple Store still has lines and the food court is busy. It remains an enjoyable place to shop and people watch."
Wyoming: Frontier Mall, Cheyenne
This Wyoming mall is not huge, but it has heart. Visitors love its Western-themed store, "All Wild & Western," which has designs from local vendors and all the frontier vibes you could ever imagine. Plus, it has tons of food options like Chick-fil-A, Five Guys, Olive Garden, and Chili's. Need a happy hour to forget about all the cash you dropped after all this shopping? Check out the best chain restaurant happy hour deals.