New York City is known for its food, but most of the walking tours are outside. If it's chilly or rainy have no fear! New York City's Chelsea Market is an indoor food hall with some of the best food in the city. There are wholesale purveyors, sit-down restaurants, bars, even stands giving away samples. The market has more than 35 vendors selling everything from soup to wine to lobster to hummus. You could spend all day in here never getting bored (but certainly getting full!) The space is so large it is a block long and a block wide.
The building was constructed in the 1880s as the site of the National Biscuit Company, more commonly known as Nabisco. It was where the Oreo cookie was not just invented but made. There is still a plaque on the wall, located at Ninth Avenue in between 15th and 16th Street, commemorating the original tenants.
In 1959 Nabisco left, needing more space to grow. The space lay empty, accumulating vandalism and graffiti. It wasn't until 1990 when the space was bought by a real estate investor and transformed into Chelsea Market. It opened its doors in 1997, and it's been serving New Yorkers and tourists ever since.
One of the best things to do in Chelsea market is shopping. There are places to buy everything from fresh produce to exotic home furnishings to books.
One of the biggest shops inside the market is Artists & Fleas. Dozens of vendors sell everything from antiques to custom jewelry to fun purses and signs. It's also known for its wide and authentic selection of vintage clothes.
Meat lovers should look no further than Dickson's Farmstand Meats, a butcher shop in the main hall. Try some of the exotic varieties or buy one of the already prepared sandwiches. The helpful staff will explain the cuts and how they ethically raise their animals.
At the Manhattan Fruit Market you can find everything from exotic mushrooms to tropical fruits. There are rows of fresh herbs, grains, nuts, dried fruits, and baby veggies. It also sells fresh-squeezed juices on site.
At Posman Books you can buy not just best sellers but rare books. The store also sells quirky gifts and cards. You can browse the selection for hours.
There are many options for dining in Chelsea Market from sit-down restaurants to take-away stands.
Wine drinkers will love Corkbuzz, a sit-down wine bar where seasonal small plates are paired with the perfect glass of wine. It's intimate, making it the perfect place for a date. Morimoto is also a great place for a date and a famed place for sushi and seafood.
The whole family will enjoy Friedman's, a casual American Eatery where you can get delicious burgers, fries, salads, sandwiches and more. Sarabeth's is also a great option for kids and adults with delicious brunch items from omelettes to French Toast.
For quick eats look no further than The Lobster Place that serves fresh seafood recently caught from the ocean. You can order a full lobster (it even comes with a bib to keep you clean) or pick up sushi made it front of you by a sushi chef.
Check the directory here for a list of all the restaurants. You can find whatever you are looking for from yogurt to thai food to tacos. Chelsea Market has it all, and it's guaranteed to be delicious.
How to Get There
Chelsea Market is located on Ninth Avenue in between 15th and 16th streets. It's easy to get there by public transportation.
The best way is to take the A, C, E, or L train to Eighth Avenue and 14th Street. From there you can take a short walk to Seventh Avenue.
If you are arriving by taxi just say ninth avenue and 15th street, and you will be right there. There is also an entrance on 10th Avenue, close to the Hudson River. Uber and Lyft drivers know how to get there so simply put in Chelsea Market to the app.
Tips for Visiting
The market gets very busy on weekends and at lunchtime on weekdays. If possible, plan to visit in the morning or later in the day and on a weekday. The market is open Monday - Saturday: 7 a.m. to 2 a.m. and Sunday: 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. It's fun to go for breakfast or a late night drink and snack.
The public bathroom line can get very long in Chelsea Market. If you plan on sitting down for a meal in one of the restaurants, it's best to use their facilities as the line is much shorter.
While some places offer samples right away, others you have to ask for. Many places are willing to let you try their goods so speak up if there is something that catches your fancy.