Chelsea Market is an indoor space located in the historic Meatpacking District. This New York City market showcases food and goods from over thirty-five vendors. Although there is a beautiful Anthropologie store inside, this post focuses on the delicious eatery options. I haven’t had the chance to taste everything there, but I have compiled a list of popular spots that I have visited over the months.
I had been super curious about Los Tacos No. 1 when I met some Mexican chicas living in the city who suggested that I try this place. I was going through LA tacos withdrawal and felt hopeless about finding anything close to them in NYC. My hunt was for some legitimate down and dirty tacos, which I had imagined would be found in a hole-in-the-wall taco joint or truck in deep Queens. Not in the beautiful, potential tourist trap that is Chelsea Market.
So there I was already a bit doubtful about how good these tacos were going to be when I saw the inflated NYC prices. Check out the menu above. Noooooo.
I was there during the lunch crowd. While a mass of people are waiting near the counter, you awkwardly grab your sauces and condiments while trying not to block others from getting their orders/condiments. It’s basically impossible. In addition, there is really limited seating.
Once I took a bite into my carne asada and pork tacos, the slightly ludicrous prices and space issues were forgotten. They were authentic! The meat was so juicy and flavorful with the tortillas grilled just right. Definitely help yourself to all of those salsas and limes at the counter to create your tacos with the works! And definitely get the corn tortillas. No wonder the yelp reviews are so overwhelmingly positive. A lot of people argue that these are the best tacos in NYC. I think they may be right about the best in Manhattan, but I was introduced to some amazing tacos in Brooklyn that are $1.50! Can’t beat that! Check out Tacos El Bronco restaurant or taco truck for a less luxe but more valuable deal.
This is my buddy Christina at Chelsea Market. Besides interesting decorations (as seen above), the place features artwork.
Anyway, Christina and I had dinner at Cull and Pistol recently. It is an oyster bar owned by the seafood market next door called The Lobster Place. I think people who want more of a restaurant ambience go for Cull and Pistol since The Lobster Place looks like a seafood market with very little counter seating.
I ordered the Connecticut Style lobster roll at Cull and Pistol. The portion was tiny, and the lobster tasted a bit fishy. Christina got a very filling but mediocre casserole type dish that I don’t even see on the menu. Our entrees were pretty lackluster.
These appetizers were the highlight of our meal. They are Pistols on Horseback, which are Chesapeake fried oysters, jamon serrano, herb crepes, pickled onion, and smoked aioli. Mmmmmm. I would totally go back for wine and these yummies.
Visitors in town wanted to eat the Chelsea Market yesterday so it was my chance to eat at The Lobster Place.
I am a huge fan of New England Clam Chowder, and my friend said the chowder there is excellent. So I scooped some out for myself at their self-service area (I think that’s the only option) and enjoyed a bowl at the counter.
I thought it was perfectly rich and creamy (I don’t like thin chowder). I wish it had more chunks of clams in it, but I was the one who served myself so perhaps I should have fished around for some more- although I would have felt really weird doing so. Actually, I would have much preferred the chowder be made to order and not sitting in some heated vat. You know what I mean?
If you are choosing between The Lobster Place or Cull and Pistol, I would say go for The Lobster Place. A lot of the reviewers who were patrons of Cull and Pistol wished they had spent their money on the fresh seafood, raw bar, or steamed lobster at The Lobster Place. I would have gladly traded my Cull and Pistol lobster roll for a steamed lobster at The Lobster Place! Or start with $1 oyster happy hour and add some Pistols on Horseback at the restaurant and then move next door.
The market also has an area with stalls serving various types of food and drinks.
After eating my clam chowder, I headed over the The Doughnuttery for their freshly made mini doughnuts.
These look gigantic, but they are only about 2 inches in diameter. They are 6 for $6. You can only order up to two different flavors when you order six doughnuts. I ordered cinnamon sugar and Cacaoboy. They come out of the fryer hot, oily, and heavily sugared. Which may or may not be your thing! Sometimes my stomach can’t handle it (I can only take a bite of funnel cake), but these sweet delights were…well, delightful! It probably had a lot to do with me sharing them with friends and not overd0ing it. If you love doughnuts, you should at least try them once. Someone on yelp wrote that they are “hit it and quit it” doughnuts. Once is enough. Hilarious.
Anyway, those are my food recs for Chelsea Market. There are many other aspects of the market to see, such as the spice market and cute stores. If you make it out there, let me know what you love about it!