Chelsea Market / Meatpacking District Food and Culture Walking Tour

An exterior view of Chelsea Market, NYC.
••• Bruce Yuanyue Bi / Getty Images

On a chilly day, a New York City walking tour might be the last thing on your mind, but Foods of NY's Chelsea Market / Meatpacking District Food and Culture Walking Tour might just change that. You'll spend the first two hours of this three hour tour inside of Chelsea Market, learning about the history and delicious offerings of many of the wholesale purveyors that call Chelsea Market home. You'll have the chance to taste tender buttermilk biscuits with jam, lobster bisque, amazing chocolate milk and more before burning off the calories you consumed walking around the Meatpacking District.

Don't let a cold or rainy forecast keep you from checking out this delicious, historic area.

While my favorite Foods of NY walking tour is still the Original Greenwich Village Food and Culture Walking Tour, the this is a great choice if you want to try another one of their tours or if you're expecting cold or wet weather, because a good portion of this tour is held indoors.

Chelsea Market / Meatpacking District Food and Culture Walking Tour

We met our tour guide, Curt, outside of Chelsea Wine Vault and gathered with our group of 17 tour participants. I could immediately tell Curt would be a fun tour guide -- he already knew everyone's name and began the tour by introducing everyone to one another before telling us about the history of Chelsea Market.

The first two hours of the tour were spent exploring Chelsea Market. Kurt pointed out lots of architectural details throughout the market, and we tasted delicious food from many of Chelsea Market's best shops.

Kurt knew a lot about the history of each store -- many of which hold original leases from when the building was first converted into a wholesale/retail market (which means they pay a small fraction of the rent that new tenants pay).

After filling up on tastes from throughout the market, we ventured out to see the Meatpacking District.

Kurt talked about the transformation of the neighborhood from being an undesirable one to being the hip, happening 'hood it is today. We went inside two of the neighborhood's great restaurants Del Posto and Morimoto. We got to visit a current bed and breakfast to see some of the neighborhood's historic architecture, and we also went to the penthouse lounge of the Hotel Gansevoort to get a great view of the neighborhood before the tour ended.

Pros

  • Friendly, knowledgeable tour guide
  • Lots of delicious samples
  • Great ideas for souvenirs and gifts to bring home
  • Much of the tour is indoors, making it a good choice regardless of the weather
  • Neighborhood guide included with tours features many ideas for further exploration

Cons

  • Many places are glossed over and you will need to return afterward
  • Food samples include a lot more sweet offerings than savory ones.

Tour Details

  • Tour covers 3/4 of a mile at a comfortable pace.
  • Wear comfortable shoes and dress for the weather. You'll be walking from shop to shop and the tour takes place rain or shine.
  • There are bathroom breaks available throughout the tour.
  • Select Tour Stops:
    • Ronnybrook Milk Bar
    • Amy's Bread
    • Sarabeth's
    • The Lobster Place
    • Buon Italia
    • T Salon
    • L'Arte Del Gelato

    Samples on Tour: (enough for lunch)

    • Everything cookie
    • Chocolate milk
    • Italian appetizers w/bread
    • Lobster bisque
    • Biscuits w/jam
    • Cheese & crackers
    • Tea
    • Gelato