Foodie’s paradise Chelsea market in New York City has something for everyone

Chelsea market

has it all

We eat 3 times a day, so why not grab a bite at Chelsea Market when you are in the neighbourhood? Considered a foodie’s paradise, Chelsea Market is home to some of the best food in the city. Plus, it is located in a beautiful industrial building with a long history definitely worth a visit. Chelsea Market was constructed in the 1890s as the National Biscuit Company (Nabisco) factory, where the original Oreo Cookie was made in 1912.

Meatpacking District and Chelsea Market 

The Manhattan location of Chelsea Market always involved food. Centuries ago, on the banks of the Hudson River, the Algonquin Indians traded there their game and crops. Fast forward to the 1880s. Around that time, the transformation of the area into a commercial marketplace began. First to open was the Gansevoort open-air Farmer’s Market, selling fresh produce grown in the region. West Washington Market was next, featuring wholesale meat, poultry and dairy. Gansevoort preluded the slaughterhouses and packing plants of a small area in Manhattan surrounded by Chelsea, Greenwich Village, and West Village called the Meatpacking District. The Meatpacking District thrived until the 1930s, becoming the 3rd largest meat processing industry in the U.S. The Gansevoort Farmer’s Market Meat Centre built on the site of the former Farmer’s Market is still in operation today.

Foodie’s paradise Chelsea market in New York City has something for everyone
Foodie’s paradise Chelsea market in New York City has something for everyone

Constructed in the 1890s for the National Biscuit Company

Chelsea Market was constructed in the 1890s by the National Biscuit Company (Nabisco) as its production facility. It is here where the original Oreo Cookie was made for the first time in 1912. Being so close to the wholesale butchers of the Meatpacking District meant the easy availability of lard, very convenient for a company that manufactured Crackers. Other products followed: Fig Newtons, Nabisco Wafers, Anola Wafers, Barnum Animal Crackers, Cameos, Lorna Doones and Oreos in 1912. When Nabisco sold the building in 1958 and moved to Fair Lawn, New Jersey, the Chelsea building sat vacant for decades. It was a sign of the times. In the 1960s and 1970s industries started to relocate from Manhattan. In the late 1980s, the building even witnessed a gruesome triple murder. Two men had been executed in the basement, while a third man died from his wounds due to a robbery. Outside it wasn’t any safer. Prostitution was booming in the deserted streets. 

At the time it was a bold move to focus on a food hall

It was not until the 1990s, that a group of developers took the initiative for a food market. The idea was to combine wholesale with small retail outlets to promote local entrepreneurs and artisans. Thanks to New Yorker Irwin Cohen and daughter Cheryl, who were pushing the development of the project, Chelsea Market began to take shape. Central is the idea that food works, just because the amount of food that’s consumed in New York is so great. 

Fortunately the developers preserved many of the original architectural features of the building, such as the exposed brick walls and industrial ceilings. They also kept many of the original wooden beams and columns used to support the weight of the once-heavy machinery. Chelsea Market opened on Nov. 12, 1997. In 2018, Google paid $2.4 billion to snap up the property with its long history and the stripped-down brick architecture.

Foodie’s paradise Chelsea market in New York City has something for everyone
Foodie’s paradise Chelsea market in New York City has something for everyone

Come hungry and dig in at Chelsea Market

It is clear that Chelsea Market became an iconic culinary destination. Chelsea Market attracts 6 million local, national and international visitors annually. It is one of the City’s most written-about, filmed and photographed destinations. Chelsea Market has around fifty first class restaurants and food stalls, catering to virtually all food preferences. One can go to the Market in the morning and not exit until after lunch without getting bored or hungry. And we are not talking here only about foodies. Chelsea Market has  more claims to fame than only food or the Oreo cookie.

Address 75 Ninth Avenue (between 15th & 16th St.) NYC, NY 10011 Market Hours Mon – Sat | 7 AM – 9 PM & Sunday | 8 AM – 8 PM