A Guide to New York’s Best Food & Farmers Markets
New York is home to every kind of food under the sun, from Michelin star fine dining restaurants to killer street food trucks. This city is a cultural hub of culinary specialities and increasingly, all these food options are coming together under one roof at vibrant and bustling food markets.
These food halls, gourmet delis and farmers markets are on the rise in New York, offering something to please the masses of people who descend on the city everyday and house numerous options for grazing.
One can truly spend a full day or even a weekend, market hopping around the city, from tourist traps like Chelsea Market to social-culinary events like Smorgasburg, to newcomers like Gotham West Market, and the dizzying Italian delicacies at Eataly, New York’s food markets are as diverse as the cuisines that they house. Have your starter and cocktails from one vendor, the main course from another, follow with a coffee and your pick of desserts, and top it all off by picking up whatever else you desire to indulge on at home.
Now that Summer has finally arrived in New York City there is no better time to check out these markets. So stock up a picnic basket and hit up central park, or sit by the river and take in the breath-taking views while eating mouth-watering food from any of these 5 NYC food markets.
Chelsea Market – 75 9th Ave, New York, NY 10011
This restored factory, where Oreos were invented, was once a place for locals to source fresh meat from quality butchers, fresh dairy from upstate, luxurious imports from Italy, and a bakery whose excellent loaves could be smelled from a few blocks away. Chelsea Market is now a prime tourist destination that attracts gawkers more than serious cooks. The cavernous market oozes with history and every twist and turn seems to lead you to another cellar, with even more delicious food. Today, this world-renowned market is home to 38 diverse dining options and is continuing to grow rapidly.
Top Tip: Visit early morning or late in the evening to beat the crowds that get drawn in to this beautiful maze-like food hall and gourmet shopping mall.
1. Tacos at Los Tacos No. 1
2. Roasted Chicken ‘Chimi’ at Num Pang
3. Ramen at Mokbar.
4. Spicy tuna tacos at Takumi Taco.
5. Whole lobster at Lobster Place, soaked in the perfect amount of creamy melted butter, this is perhaps Chelsea Market’s most quintessential dish.
Smorgasburg – 90 Kent Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11211
This buzzy seasonal outdoor foodie playground marks the beginning of summer for many. It is Brooklyn’s number one destination to eat yourself into a food coma every Saturday until November. This is definitely New York’s most popular newcomer, offering an overwhelming 75 plus vendors and unparalleled city skyline views. Located in trendy Williamsburg this is the place to be on a Saturday and enjoy a wide variety of delicious food, like savoury delights from Asia, Greece and Mexico to sweet treats like cookies donuts and ice cream. They even have a bar to hang out and enjoy a beer in the sun with friends, while deciding on your next bite. One could, and definitely should, spend an entire day eating your way through this riverside market, the combination of fabulous food and relaxed vibes it unmissable. Think laid back festival food stalls done right..
Arrive hungry and with cash to avoid the nasty ATM fees.
1. Chana Masala sandwich at Bombay Sandwich Co. – chickpeas topped with mixed greens, pickled onions, and homemade date chutney served on a ciabatta roll.
2. “Three Cheese” from Milk Truck Grilled Cheese, jam-packed with Gruyere, New York State cheddar, Wisconsin blue, and caramelised Granny Smith apples.
3. Goa Taco’s paratha tacos are remarkable, a tortilla and croissant hybrid topped with classic Mexican flavours.
4. Bourbon ginger pecan pies from Butter and Scotch.
5. Sea salt caramel ice cream from Blue Marble.
Gotham West Market – 600 11th Ave, New York, NY 10036
This fancy food court with a mix of counter & communal seating is taking New York by storm, it’s nearly impossible to practice self-control at this Hell’s Kitchen foodie paradise. Anyone traveling, living or passing through the City should block out an afternoon for Gotham West Market. The multi-vendor foodplex is every New Yorker’s obsession right now and is home to Ivan Orkin’s slurp shop, the ramen master’s first store outside of Japan.
Plan your trip to avoid the hungry New Yorkers in suits during the busy lunch time rush.
1. Roasted garlic mazemen with egg and chilli-garlic oil at Ivan Ramen’s Slurp Shop.
2. The Clean Slate from Little Chef. A plate of creamy hummus, quinoa, pickled vegetables, and yogurt sauce on naan bread.
3. Uma Temakeria’s Sushi Burrito, because everyone must try this crazy cross-breed at least once in their lifetime.
4. Hand-crafted ice creams made from the freshest possible ingredients at Ample Hills. Funky and quirky flavours like Salted Crack Caramel and Ooey Gooey Butter Cake.
5. For the best tapas I’ve tried in NYC head to El Comado. The simple pleasure of sharing small dishes amongst friends is truly celebrated here.
Eataly – 1-, 23 W 23rd St, New York, NY 10010
Known as the “Disneyland for Foodies” this luxurious Italian market is a one stop shop for a unique combination of simple sandwich stands, market-style stalls, Italian espresso bars and sit down restaurants. Eataly is a place to grab a quick Panini for lunch, buy some unique handmade pastas or enjoy a traditional Italian espresso. Like a kid in a candy store you will have no trouble figuring out how to spend your time and too much money there.
Avoid this Italian food mecca at the weekend, and be sure to stock up on pasta to enjoy at home.
1. The Gelato
2. The Espresso Bar
3. Handmade Pasta in every shape and size.
4. The Wine Store, if you’re looking for expert advice on Italian wine this is where to find it.
5. The Bakery for the most authentic ciabatta I have laid my hands on outside of Italy.
Le District – 225 Brookfield Place, New York
This extraordinary French food emporium, located in the financial district with views over the Hudson River comprises of the cafe, restaurant, garden and the market, which is the real hero here. This sophisticated establishment contains a wine bar, rotisserie station, fishmongers, bakery, and a cheese shop with every french cheese you could possible dream of.
Bring your wallet, this place isn’t cheap but definitely worth every penny.
1. Baguette from La Boulangerie.
2. The grilled cheese sandwich from La Fromagerie.
3. Exquisite French wines from Bar du Marché.
4. Rotisserie chicken that is impossible to pass without making your mouth water.
5. The chocolate mousse bar that takes over the salad bar after 4pm.
I moved to New York in November 2015 on a graduate visa after studying communication studies in DCU. I am currently working in a Food PR company in Soho where I can incorporate my love of all things food related and my career. I like to spend my free time wining and dining with friends, cooking or reading cookbooks/blogs and I am forever on the hunt for new places to try. I will be continuing to eat my way around New York City over the coming months and I’m sure that the proof of my foodie escapades will be shared on my Instagram.