New York City is one of the best food destinations in the world because of it’s diversity. It is a city where the population is incredibly jaded. Someone is always trying something new, making it a paradise for hungry foodies. Unfortunately, this can also be overwhelming to someone new to an intense food scene. Luckily, Chelsea Market is both; the best food adventure in New York City and incredibly accessible.
In a city with so much to offer, it is difficult to see and try everything. Chelsea Market makes it possible to see a lot very easily. There is a Lobster Place, a crepes place (Bar Suzette), a bagel place (Black Seed Bagels) and even a Jamaican jerk chicken place (Tings). New York City is an international trend setter, as a result there are always new and interesting foods to try. To the extent where it is impossible to try every new dining experience. That is why it is so great to have places like Chelsea Market, where you can try many different things in the same place. You still won’t be able to try everything, but it does give you a better opportunity to see the different choices and make a decision.
Chelsea Market is made up of over fifty stores, ranging from food, art, clothes and everything in between. What makes this market particularly special is the variety of things available. In between meals, you can browse through the different stores and be surprised by the fascinating things you might find in between restaurants. Chelsea Market isn’t just a bunch of restaurants in the same place. It is a proper market that sells all kinds of food related things. You can stop into Posman Books for a new cook book, then grab a bottle of wine from the Chelsea Wine Vault & Storage, finally pick a box of chocolates from Li-Lac Chocolates. Go, try, enjoy.
To experience everything at Chelsea Market may take a few days. However, it is possible to get a feel for everything by just walking around. If you want to get the full experience I would suggest doing a little research before hand to have a focus but make sure to leave some time to wander. Go armed with a basic plan to check out one place as your goal, but account for a lot of people and long lines. Also, it may be difficult to find a table, so choose wisely.
The secret to Chelsea Market is that you can’t treat it like a solo dining experience. If you research one place and go, it may feel difficult and cumbersome because of the table situation and sheer number of people. Instead treat it like a eating marathon. Arrive a little hungry, but with a starting point, choosing the first place will give you some focus in the beginning. I highly recommend Los Tacos No. 1, they make some of the best tacos I have ever had in my entire life (including my travels to Mexico and California). Find a place to stand and enjoy, really taking it all in. Then wander around stopping and getting little bites while you walk and shop. The lines may be long but they move, do not let that deter you. Think of it as an opportunity to digest. Better yet, buy snacks to munch on while you wait. Never buy too much at one place, just buy a bite or two to try. If you are really taken with any one place swing back and get something to take with you. Be sensible with your food choices. Pick things that can be eaten while you wander. Something that requires a knife and fork may not be ideal in this setting. While a good cup of coffee from Ninth Street Espresso or a few mini-doughnuts from Doughnuttery may be ideal.
Spend all day eating and walking around. It is a blast. It is without a doubt one of the best things you can do in the city as a foodie. It is the best opportunity to see some of the diversity that makes the food scene so great in metropolitan cities like New York, all in an very accessible space. You pay for the food but it is free to just go and the people watching is excellent. Seeing busy New Yorkers trying to get food while distracted tourists clutter their hangouts will always be entertaining.