The Chelsea Market: a Foodie Heaven

Can’t believe I have been going to NYC at least once a year for a very long time and have never gone to the Chelsea Market.

It’s foodie heaven.  A yummy urban food court.  I loved it!

Located at Ninth Avenue between 15 and 16th Streets, it isn’t in the part of town I mostly hang out in.  I used to go over to Chelsea when Barney’s was located there to see the windows designed by Simon Doonan, but when they gave up their 17th Street location, that part of town lost its appeal.

That’s changed.  I am finding myself drawn to the Meatpacking District, the High Line and the interesting galleries and restaurants popping up in this area. And now, the Chelsea Market with its chic industrial ambiance is on my must visit list.

The market is located in an old Nabisco Factory—back when it was called National Biscuit Company in the 1890s.   The original Oreo Cookie was produced here.  Appropriately it was reinvented about a dozen years ago as a shopping mall for foodies.

The upper floors house many well-known companies including the Food Network.

While I enjoyed the original plank floors, the raw brick cavernous hallway, exposed duct work, industrial waterfall and the many interesting vendors, what struck me most were the smells.  Hmmmmmm. Absolute Heaven.

Several bakeries are situated here, creating the most enticing aromas. I found myself drawn down the long tunnel of a hallway lined with shops to find the source. The smells are so good, you can almost taste them. This is enhanced by the fact that the baking goes on right in front of you.  You want to press your nose to the glass to watch the bakers churning out fresh breads and pastries with artistic precision.

Other shops included purveyors of wine, Asian and Italian groceries, lobster, fresh fish, organic milk, gift baskets, jams, relishes, and marmalades.   Look for chocolates, coffees, cupcakes, gelato, brownies—you name it and you’ll find it here.

Not only is the building “recycled” from an earlier use but I got a real kick out of the holiday decorations.  A tree was fashioned out of broken cd’s—sparkling and shining in reflected blue lights.  The splashy big balls of light highlighting the center hall way are fashioned out of plastic cups—I assume they are recycled.  Clever and creative.

Very dramatic are the huge arches made up of hundreds of strands of lights, accentuating the architecture of this cave like market place.

Expect to find a few non-food shops selling books, kitchen gadgets and textiles from Morocco.

WE enjoyed a live performance of actors on stilts and a colorfully costumed Marching Band of sorts.  I imagine this is a destination for all kinds of street theater.

On our next visit I plan to buy yummy goodies for a picnic and take them up to the High Line, snag one of those wooden lounge chairs and enjoy the view of the Hudson.  Great way to feel young and alive.

This entry was posted in New York City, Places to drink., Places to eat., Places to Shop and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to The Chelsea Market: a Foodie Heaven

  1. Peggy DePersia says:

    Isn’t it amazing the way the mind wants to jump in and make connections with the things that it is introduced to, engaged with or simply observes…..can we say that the mind observes?
    At any rate, when I saw the oversized image of the yummy Oreo on the bricks of the old National Biscuit Company, I immediately thought of my school lunches as a kid and my mom, with seven lunch bags on the kitchen counter, dropping two Oreos into each bag; a bag or Oreos was good for a couple of days worth of ‘school dessert’.
    On the more sinister side of the Oreo image, I remembered scenes from the John Malkovitch / Matt Damon movie in which John plays the nefarious Russian high stakes poker player who’s ‘Achille’s heel’ turns out to be a particular way he eats the yummy oreo….and so the mind wanders and wonders.
    The Chelsea Market would likely find it’s equivalent in every large city in the world. The one I’m immediately reminded of (I think it’s the red brick exterior) is the fabulous multi storied market building in the heart of Budapest; the difference being that the signature Hungarian paprika and lovely, colorfully embroidered table linens are at every turn. There is nothing quite like the ‘marketplace’ for color, smells of all varieties, noise, jostling and even a touch of wariness yet it is a most vibrant and stimulating environment.

  2. smithsj says:

    Thanks so much for sharing your “thoughts and memories.” So interesting. I love the image of the seven lunch bags, each getting two Oreos.

    I’ve been to that market in Budapest–about a year ago actually. Loved it but it does have a very different “feel” because of the high ceilings. The Chelsea Market has low ceilings–long hallway almost like a tunnel. But the bricks are consistent.

  3. Pingback: New York City: Five Insider Travel Tips | DesignDestinations

  4. Pingback: New York City: Have a Foodie Holiday | DesignDestinations

  5. Pingback: New York City: Have a Foodie Holiday | DesignDestinations

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s