Palo Alto High School's News and Features Publication

Verde Magazine

Verde Magazine

Verde Magazine

State Street Market: Los Altos food hall serves community


Sunlight filters through skylights in the high ceilings of the spacious food hall, and multiple restaurant stalls line the perimeter of the building, providing visitors with portals to access flavors and gastronomical traditions from around the globe.

The expansive and welcoming space, State Street Market, officially opened on Sept. 7 and is the first food hall on the Peninsula, according to Bon Appetit Management Company Executive Chef AJ Szenda.

Located at 170 State St. in Los Altos, the venue is owned by Los Altos Community Investments, but it is run and managed by Bon Appetit Management Company, a business based in Palo Alto.

Open Wednesday through Sunday, the hall currently features six restaurants –– Grains and Greens, a salads and wraps restaurant; Banks and Braes, a pizza and grill restaurant; Bao Bèi, a Taiwanese and Korean street food crossover; Ostro, a seafood restaurant; Murdoch’s, a bar that serves both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages as well as small plates; and Tin Pot Creamery, a popular ice cream spot the Palo Alto High School community is familiar with.

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“The whole idea is that there will be something for everyone here.”

—Alison Harper, project manager

The structural design of the market, specifically the inclusion of multiple outdoor spaces and an open interior, creates a community-oriented, family-friendly space.

“People come here with their dogs and they’ll sit out here on the patio … and the kids are free to kind of have a good time,” Szenda said. “I think it’s a great environment. And I think that’s what Los Altos community investments wanted to create, a great place for families to come.”

State Street Market also hopes to attract a teen audience, with plans to create a special drinks and food menu at the bar, Murdoch’s, available for students after school hours. It will include mocktails and combo food specials for under $10.

“Most places wouldn’t be saying ‘How do I get more high school students to come in?’ but that’s actually something that we want,” said Alison Harper, project manager at Bon Appetit Management Company. “We are designing [an] afterschool special happy hour menu really so that everyone feels welcome here.”

The hall offers both indoor and outdoor seating, and utilizes a unique, COVID-safe digital ordering system where customers can order food from any of the restaurants within the market. This can all be done from a single site on a customer’s mobile device.

“What we’re really excited about is all the chef partners and the concepts and the variety in one place,” said Tessa Vitale, project manager at Bon Appetit Management Company. “We worked really hard with the technology also to make it so that you could sit at one table and order from anywhere [in the hall], which I don’t think any other food hall does.”

They also plan to expand its facilities and services by adding more restaurants, a teaching kitchen, catering options, a retail store and special event hosting.

“We really want this to be a place where people can gather, meet and really connect with each other,” Harper said. “The whole idea is that there will be something for everyone here.”  

BANKS & BRAES: Griddles Cowgirl Creamery Cheese Sandwich – $10

This sandwich featured farmstead cheese sandwiched between two slices of toasted sourdough bread, accompanied by crispy french fries and ketchup. The cheese had a funky bite to it, uncommon in most cheddar-based grilled cheese sandwiches.

Photo: Miya Whiteley

GRAINS AND GREENS: Harvest Salad – $14

A hearty and colorful salad with harvest squash, baby kale, Sonoma goat cheese, roasted red flame grapes, spiced sunflower seeds, sherry-honey vinaigrette and quinoa.

Photo: Miya Whiteley


Have a Bee On Your Bonnet – $7 (LEFT) A bright and citrusy mocktail made with apple juice, honey shrub, lemon and habanero.

In Season – $7 (RIGHT) This was a refreshing and herbaceous mocktail made with pomegranate shrub, orange juice and soda water.

Photo: Miya Whiteley

BAO BEI: Spicy Pork Belly Bao – $9.50

Tender pork belly with Korean gochujang glaze, cucumber slices, peanuts, cilantro and chilis sat inside this steamy, fluffy băo. The combination of crunchy, spicy, tender and tangy is sure to make your mouth water.

Photo: Miya Whiteley