This Is The Largest Food Court In The World

Mall food courts are sort of like a microcosm of the great American melting pot. You have Chinese food followed by pizza. Right next to them is an Auntie Anne's selling soft pretzels and directly across from that is an Orange Julius marketing the newest smoothie. The result is many different cultural foods, flavors, and experiences all in one place that sells everything from video games to body wash and candles.

The first food court is credited to two malls — according to Mental Floss, it was either Toronto's Sherway Gardens in Canada or Paramus Park Mall in New Jersey — but the reason for their invention was clear. They were to market quick and easy snack foods to hungry shoppers while they rested between spending sprees. Their popularity certainly hadn't gone unnoticed: Many people flock to the Costco and IKEA food courts that sell everything from hot dogs to Swedish meatballs to hungry customers.

Of course, America isn't the only place to have a food court in its shopping centers. Hong Kong, for example, is beginning to embrace upscale food courts (via JLL). Harrod's Department Store in London, England also has a renowned food hall that is described as "the world's greatest food emporium." In Egypt, however, there's one place that is much larger than the average food court.

The world's largest food court is in Cairo

When you think of a food court, you probably imagine tables, restaurants, kiosks, and maybe a couple dozen to a hundred people. You probably wouldn't be thinking of neon stretching for miles under the clear desert sky, the splendor of glittering pools and mosaic tiles, and fantastical architecture in which lines a treasure trove of exotic and familiar foods.

According to Guinness World Records, the Oasis Food Court in Cairo, Egypt was named the World's Largest Food Court in August of 2010. The Oasis building has a total floor area of 441,318 square feet, seats up to 4,233 people, and offers over 25 restaurants. There is also an elaborate children's play area and two movie theaters alongside a parking lot for 1,000 cars. Foods served at the Oasis Food Court range from traditional Egyptian cuisine, Italian fare, and karaoke bars.

Oddly enough, according to Fodors, one of the most impressive food halls here in the United States is also called The Oasis. The Miami food court is composed of sixteen shipping containers stacked 75 feet high to form a towering bar and lounge overlooking a tropical 35,000-foot courtyard. The Oasis also includes its own in-house band as well as wide selection of foods like Cubanos, dumplings, Japanese cuisine, and New York-style pizza.