The Chelsea Market in New York is located in the homonymous neighborhood of Chelsea, in the lower west-end of Manhattan and it’s very close to some of the main attractions of the City (such as the High Line, which I previously described).
The Chelsea Market is a block-long red brick building situated within a few steps from the Hudson River and it’s also very close to the Meatpacking District. As the name suggests, this was the butchers’ neighborhood, an area dedicated to the processing and packaging of meat until a couple of decades ago but it has now been transformed into one of the trendiest areas of the City, hosting its most stylish restaurants and nightclubs. On weekends, New Yorkers usually eat at the Chelsea Market before heading to the Meatpacking District for a big night out.
Meatpacking district meat restaurant
The market is set in an historic old building that used to be home to a renowned cookie factory and it is open seven days a week. After a really meticulous restoration in the 90s, the building has since been home to small restaurants, food shops and vintage clothing stores. There are also shops of household utensils and souvenirs and the latter attract hundreds of tourists every day from all over the world, so much so that the police had to enforce strict traffic regulations for tourist buses that flock to the area daily.It’s a market that deserves particular attention and it’s worth a visit because it’s artistically decorated and very well organized; it is stylistically sophisticated, clean and tidy, without losing the characteristics of a typical city market.The inside of the market looks like a large warehouse in which there are several small shops and some stalls and there are also quite a few affordable lunch places, offering healthy and fresh options (something not so common or easy to find in New York).
What immediately impresses you as you enter the place is the style of the building, a mix of an old abandoned building combined with the attention for details with which each store is furnished. Such ornaments vary according to the season (Halloween is wonderful here) making it a unique environment, almost a corner of old Europe in the heart of New York City.It is a favorite among New Yorkers because it has fresh produce coming from Upstate New York as well as fresh bakery products and freshly caught fish from the Atlantic.You guessed it right…the keyword here is fresh!
It’s not easy to convey with words the pleasant effect that the Chelsea Market has on its patrons.The most interesting aspect is definitely the food, both for the quality and the variety offered.In the market you can in fact eat fresh fish cooked on the spot or other healthy and warm dishes sold at market prices, which are a lot cheaper than in the restaurants nearby.The seafood is always the caught of the day and it comes from the close coasts of Maine and it usually includes lobsters, crabs, oysters and other fish from the Atlantic Ocean. The fish is on display on the shelves and it’s available for take away or it can be cooked on the spot the way you like it.The undiscussed house specialty is the lobster roll, a kind of sandwich with lobster and lettuce, seasoned with a delicious sauce made of herbs.
Among the many shops and restaurants, in addition to the fresh fish, you can find a bit of everything: ready meals (the Japanese bento box!), pasta, meats, hot soups, salads, coffee and more. There are quite a few restaurants serving ethnic cuisines or quick bites like sandwiches (subways, as we call them in New York) and hot dogs.And if you really want to treat yourself like a king, you can taste some of the best wines coming from all corners of the world, which are also presented in this wonderful space.This is truly a paradise for gourmands!In the large corridor that runs through the market, artists and musicians often perform to enliven the place, further enhancing the street appearance of the market.Furthermore on the corridor walls one can find works of art for sale which are substituted on a rotation basis. They normally are paintings, sculptures or artistic photographs by contemporary up-and-coming artists who wish to sponsor themselves.There are several gadget and handmade goods shops and the handmade goods mostly come from the Pennsylvania’s Amish communities making them great gift ideas.The Chelsea Market is also a place for collectors and vintage lovers because traditionally there are quite a few second-hand shops here.Another curiosity is that the Chelsea Market building is not only a gourmands’ paradise but on the top floors it hosts the offices of some of the most popular networks and social media such as the Food Network Channel, Youtube and even Google.