My spouse and I visited Chelsea Market on a Saturday afternoon in mid-July 2016. The market, which spans an entire city block long and wide, is located on 9th Avenue between West 15th and 16th Streets in the Chelsea/Greenwich Village/Meatpacking District area of Manhattan. The market is open on Mondays through Saturdays from 7:00 am to 9:00 pm and on Sundays from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm. Some of the more formal restaurants may stay open a bit later. Reportedly,
less-busy times to visit the market are from 10:00 am to 11:00 am, 4:00 pm to 5:00 pm, and from 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm.
Chelsea Market, which opened in 1997 and today boasts six million annual visitors, is an enclosed urban food court, shopping mall, office building, and television studio. The floors above the market are the home to the Food Network, where it films many television shows including “Iron Chef” and “Chopped”. The building also houses Oprah Winfrey’s Oxygen network, MLB.com, some Google offices, and a music publishing business.
The Chelsea/Meatpacking area marks the origin of food in New York City, beginning with the Algonquin Indians, who traded their game and crops on the banks of the Hudson River near the location of today’s Chelsea Market. The High Line trains once served the slaughterhouses and butchers who had shops beneath the tracks, and the National Biscuit Company (Nabisco) established its factory here in order to take advantage of the butchers’ lard. In 1994, the Nabisco warehouse was reclaimed as Chelsea Market. The interior of the market retains the factory atmosphere from the late 1890s, with exposed brick and salvaged artifacts. Nabisco originally owned nine buildings in this neighborhood, along with today’s High Line. You can still see buildings carved with the initials NBC, the original acronym for the company that invented the Oreo cookie here in 1912, from the elevated park. You can view historical photos of the building on one wall near the entrance to restaurant/shop Giovanni Rana Pastificio and Cucina.
By connecting the original back lots of nearly 20 individual buildings to a central, ground-level concourse with entries at 9th and 10th Avenues, the architect created space to house retail stores. Shops and food outlets include Chelsea Market Baskets, Manhattan Fruit Exchange, BuonItalia, Anthropologie, The Nutbox, Artists and Fleas, Posman Books, Bowery Kitchen Supplies, Fat Witch Bakery, Amy's Bread, Ruth's Bakery, Eleni's Bakery, Chelsea Wine Vault, The Lobster Place, Dickson's Farmstand, The Green Table, Chelsea Thai, Takumi Taco, Doughnuttery, Tuck Shop, Hale and Hearty Soups, Num Pang Sandwich Shop, Friedman's Lunch, Corkbuzz, and Davidovich Bagels, as well as other stores that sell cheese, artisanal salt, olive oil, chocolate, and flowers. Fine-dining restaurants Morimoto and Buddakan are technically located in Chelsea Market but are not directly reachable from it; you enter the restaurants street-side. A sky bridge (traverse) connects Chelsea Market to another building between 10th and 11th Avenues, but it is not accessible by the average market patron. The building across the sky walk contains fine-dining anchors including Del Posto, Colicchio & Sons, and Toro, all accessible from the street.
Chelsea Market is worth a trip if you want to sample lots of delicious food under one roof!