Visit New York without visiting the Chelsea Market it’s like visiting the city and miss seeing Times Square. Chelsea Market is in fact a not-to-miss destination, an institution in the field of food and wine in New York, in one of the most famous neighborhoods: Chelsea.
During my recent trip to the Big Apple I could see with my own eyes the beautiness and the uniqueness of this place. There are a couple of tidbits that I would like to start to tell you.
First of all, Chelsea Market is a long building made in red brick near Hudson River, in the Meatpacking District. This was the neighborhood of butchers (indeed some are still there) an area dedicated to the processing of meat that now is home of some of the most trendiest restaurants and clubs in NYC including Pastis (unfortunately now undergoing renovation of premises) and the Spice Market restaurant (for which I had the pleasure to work for, but in their restaurant here in London).
Chelsea Market is located in one of the most famous streets in New York, the High Line, the first elevated Park of the United States, a former railway line built in 1930.
The building in which the market runs now, was the birthplace of one of the largest and most famous biscuits and crackers factories of all time: the National Biscuit Company, famous for its wonderful Oreo cookies and Ritz pretzels. Why did they decided to build a cookies factory between all that butcher’s shops? Why they decided to establish their business in that neighborhood? The answer is simple: they used to buy industrial quantities of lard, at that time so much cheaper than butter, by local butchers and then produce their famous goodness.
After the really meticulous restoration that has suffered in the 90 ‘s, the building is now home of small restaurants as well as food shops and vintage clothing, but not only. There are also shops of kitchen utensils, osier baskets, different quality of salt , who capture hundreds of tourists each day from all over the world, so much that the police in New Yok had to approve strict traffic regulations for tourist buses that everyday arrive and flock the area.
Within this indoor market you can find really everything from vintage clothing to food, as I said.
For a food blogger like me get in a place like this is like going to Disneyland: I didn’t know where to begin. In my opinion you shouldn’t come here if you’re hungry, because you could just take weight every time you lay your eyes on the myriad of good things that you’ll see and you just want to try them all, one by one.
My welcome inside was one of the most “hot” I’ve ever received. In fact I was welcomed with a hot tasting of mezze maniche pasta made by the shop of “Giovanni Rana”.
Even our Italian pasta factory in fact has its own space here, popular between New Yorkers, which offers a bunch of different quality of fresh pasta and all of them seemed to be very tasty.
But food offer of course doesn’t not stop only to pasta: from super padded sandwich, passing through the classic cupcakes and decorated cakes, fried donuts, one of the most fresh sushi in New York, ending with lobster and oysters served directly on the counter, for those who want to stop for a “chic” lunch break everything is absolutely inviting and really good smelling.
If the day is particularly hot as the one I found, you can refresh your mouth with a granita made from scratch, directly grated from a big piece of ice with a special tool, and served with the syrup or topping you like more.
And if you want just to treat yourself like a King, you can taste some of the finest wines from all over the globe. This is indeed a paradise for gourmands.
In the corridors of the market you can also meet sometimes musicians or people who organize small events that will brighten up the atmosphere with musical performances. Exposed on the walls of the corridors you can find works by contemporary artists which you can also actually buy.
Last curiosity I’d like to share with you about this place is that the building of Chelsea Market is not only home to all these stores of goodness, but also house for some of the most famous social media/network offices of the world: Emi music, Food Network Channel, Youtube and Google, where they’reare carrying out in this period, the testing of their new Google Glasses.
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