Chelsea Market, New York
More a food complex that takes up an entire city block than a collection of produce stalls in a market, the Chelsea Market housed in the Nabisco building where the first oreo cookie was produced, is a neat maze of shops selling fresh produce and artisanal products.
Best time to visit
The market is situated in the Meat Packing district which is in itself a true grit to glamour story, infused with the spirit of the city. Revolving art exhibitions greet you upon entry and you may just bump into a foodie personality or two as the Food Network offices, amongst others share the same building.
Crowds over weekends and holidays are challenges. Choose a weekday to visit, preferably before or after the lunch time rush. First (because you will, no doubt), spend some time in the conveniently situated Anthropologie store. There’s little chance of fitting into any of the clothing after you’ve hit the market. Unless you plan a few visits, I recommend you come really hungry.
Visit these stores and stalls
Start off at Lucy’s Whey, which sells American artisanal cheeses. Then amble over to Chelsea Thai and share a freshly prepared meal from a large variety available. Now may be the perfect time to head over to People’s Pops for a popsicle made from local sustainably grown fruit and herbs to cool you down. You may have heard that 2011 was the year of the fresh, home-made popsicle in terms of the food trend predictions and for once, one I agreed with. Now you’re ready for round two- a lobster roll at The Lobster Place and a brownie at The Fat Witch. Alternatively end with a delectable crepe from Bar Suzette.
Shop for the evening’s meal at the Manhattan Fruit Exchange – a wonderful array of fresh fruit, vegetables and nuts are at your disposal and pick up some of the city’s best breads at Amy’s and mini cupcakes for coffee the next day at Eleni’s. Chelsea Wine Vault stocks an excellent selection of wine and bubbly.
Prices are in the same range as upmarket Manhattan stores. The seafood at the Lobster Place is excellently priced, for New York.
The High Line
Adjacent to Chelsea Market is the High Line, a 1.6 km urban park created on an freight railroad section. The High Line is a community project, innovative and functional, offering much needed green space in this very dense urban-industrial area. Sit on a bench in the narrow park, elevated from the road below, munching on any left over purchases from the market or catching your breath and marvelling at the glorious contrasts of life in New York.
When: Monday – Saturday: 7am to 9pm, Sundays: 8am to 7pm
Where: 75 9th Avenue (Between 15th and 16th Streets), New York