Located near the High Line is Chelsea Market, a bustling complex housing niche bookstores, high-end clothing shops, and so much food. Spanning an entire city block from Ninth to 10th Avenue, the market contains over 50 vendors, all of whom have managed to stay true to their own brand while also creating a cohesive and exciting atmosphere that animates the building’s long hallways. Nestled amongst this hodgepodge of shops sits a selection of food stalls and cafes that characterize the market, which originated as a massive food hall in the 1990s, decades after the original tenant Nabisco vacated the premises (the building is also the birthplace of the Oreo). Chelsea Market offers visitors a taste of everything from renowned taquerias to chocolatiers.
Navigating this space can be tricky when there are approximately nine million people walking through the hall every year. Below are seven food stops in Chelsea Market that won’t disappoint when you need a break from shopping.
While supporting local farmers, this eatery serves diner classics such as shakes ($7.45) and burgers ($9.50). The fast-casual restaurant has a classic diner feel, covered with white tiles and red accents scattered throughout. However, it’s the wooden bar to the right of the restaurant that completes the ambiance. This is no ordinary bar. It offers milkshakes, ice cream and iced tea sourced from local farm Ronnybrook Farm Dairy. Creamline serves a great variety of American classics and the fact that their ingredients are locally sourced shows: the food’s rich flavor will leave you fully satisfied.
This gelato shop changes its menu monthly to incorporate seasonal options. Positioned at the western end of the market, it is in the perfect spot to grab a cone or cup ($5.50) on your way out. Not only does the store offer shakes ($6.50) and hot chocolates ($7.00), it also offers the Brioche Homemade ($7.00), which is an ice cream sandwich, except with bread. This company prides itself on using fresh ingredients and no premade bases, giving the gelato its signature creamy consistency and decadent flavor.
Beyond Sushi is a vegan sushi restaurant focused on creating awareness of what we eat. It is an original installation in Chelsea Market that promotes the concept of fast vegan food, hoping to make it accessible to all people. It is innovative in its combination of vegetables and fruits, creating an intriguing variety of combinations that make for some delicious sushi rolls starting at $6.75.
Perhaps one of the most famous food destinations in the market, LOS TACOS No. 1 is an open-kitchen taqueria founded by three friends who wanted to create authentic Mexican food while using simple and fresh ingredients. The open kitchen, the assembly station and the fact that this section of the market has no seating come together to create a fast-paced, hectic environment as each person holds onto their plates, dressing their own tacos ($3.75 each) with an array of sauces and garnishes.
Midway through the market lies a tiny food stall by the name of Doughnuttery. Specializing in tiny doughnuts, this stall is the perfect place to grab a quick and sweet pick-me-up. With 31 flavors and an array of dipping sauces, this doughnuttery has a doughnut for everyone, which makes the six for $6 deal extra appealing.
Miznon’s Chelsea Market location is its fifth global installment since originating in Tel Aviv. While their main mission is to stay true to the flavors of authentic Mediterranean cuisine, Miznon also insists on using local flavors and spices to capture the vibe and preferences of each city. The result is a menu comprised of a variety of delicious and simple Mediterranean street foods priced around $10. Miznon’s quick service and fast food-style packaging make it easy to eat on the go, but they also have a decent amount of seating so you can rest after wandering through the market.
On your way out, don’t forget to stop at Li-Lac Chocolates — Manhattan’s oldest chocolate shop. Its focus is on using experimental techniques in order to make small batches of chocolate, each with a unique flavor. Li-Lac Chocolates also crafts gift boxes starting at $5, in which they showcase their most interesting and decadent creations.
While this list only scratches the surface of Chelsea Market’s food offerings, it will help you navigate the crowds with a purpose. Even when an empty table is nowhere to be found, these food spots will make standing around worth it.
Email Mehhma Malhi at [email protected]