Grand Central Market | Press Coverage | Bon Appétit Magazine | By Mark Byrne Our March issue explores how food has become such a thing. Like, the thing. Much of that has to do with the fact that millennials are spending more money eating out than any generation before.
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The 16 Biggest Moments in Restaurant Culture Since 2000
February 10, 2016

By Mark Byrne

Our March issue explores how food has become such a thing. Like, the thing. Much of that has to do with the fact that millennials are spending more money eating out than any generation before. So how did we get to this Instagram-fueled, fried chicken-crazed, I-wear-hoodies-to-dinner culture? These 16 moments define the new restaurant culture that’s popped up since 2000.

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GCM

Grand Central Market in Los Angeles, one of our Best New Restaurants of 2014. Photo: Tanveer Badal

The Magnetic Pull of Food Courts

In retrospect, it makes sense that food courts were the future. The overhead on a stand in the middle of a room is much lower than renting a storefront, and the foot-traffic quotient is likely to be higher. Put the court in a rehabbed old warehouse within walking distance of a big ad agency and you could practically print money from noon to two p.m., Monday through Friday. But what happens if the food is also—well, great? That’s what’s happening at Ponce City Market in Atlanta and Grand Central Market in Downtown L.A., two destinations that are less food-court and more giant, sprawling mash-up restaurants, magnets for everywhere in their respective cities that a discriminating eater might want to venture for lunch. Think ice cream, sandwiches, pizza, tacos, and sushi. If there’s a major city that isn’t actively planning its own high-end food court, they had better start now.

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