The culturally rich Manhattan neighborhood of Chelsea is known first and foremost as New York City’s ‘Gallery District.’ Attracting hoards of tourists, it’s no surprise that Chelsea is also home to some of the city’s best restaurants. The Culture Trip profiles eight outstanding restaurants to try in this trendy NYC neighborhood.
Bar, Market, Restaurant, Sushi, Japanese
Need a sushi fix? Blue Ginger offers delicious sushi at fair prices. The interior is adorned with striking traditional paintings, and the general atmosphere is relaxed. Watch talented chefs prepare your sushi at an open bar. Start off with an order of miso soup and move on to the spicy tuna roll, or if you’re in the market for something new, try the ‘sex on the beach’ roll, filled with spicy tuna, avocado, caviar, and three sauces.
The Grey Dog is a popular neighborhood hangout with a rustic interior and an impressive menu. Great for an on-the-go breakfast, casual lunch, or brunch with friends, a date night, drinks, or coffee, The Grey Dog offers everything from challah French toast and scrambled eggs to tofu wraps, club sandwiches, and quesadillas. Most importantly for New Yorkers, it offers bottomless coffee!
A Spanish restaurant that doesn’t disappoint, Socarrat Paella Bar offers diners a taste of Spain in an intimate dining room. You can eat at the communal table, where you will be seated with other guests, or you can opt for a private table. Dinner is pricey, so come from 4pm to 6pm or after 9pm from Sunday through Wednesday for the $35 prix fixe menu. Try the arroz negro paella, a squid ink seafood and rice dish, or the carne paella,filled with steak.
For some quality gourmet pizza in the heart of Chelsea, go to Co. This place is always bustling with customers trying to get their fix of Chef Jim Lahey’s renowned pizza. Lahey started off as a baker before moving on to pizza, so the restaurant’s motto is to center everything around bread. Co. offers soups artisanal meats, but specializes, of course, in some rather unusual pizza pies. Go for the ‘Popeye,’ topped with spinach and three different cheeses, or the ham and cheese pizza.
Don’t let the name fool you; this is nothing like your grade school cafeteria. Cafeteria offers incredible fare at a reasonable price. Cafeteria is the perfect place for anyone in the mood for comfort food in the wee hours of the morning. Try the smoked Gouda and bacon mac and cheese or opt for one of the mac and cheese spring rolls. If it’s really late, try the classic burger with added goat’s cheese and double-smoked bacon. Cafeteria is open 24 hours a day.
This family-owned restaurant has been around since 1979 and attracts people from far and wide with its amazing lobster. Francisco Centro Vasco offers traditional Spanish food of all kinds, but it specializes in seafood. The lobster is a must, but if it’s not your thing, try the seafood paella.
For the true flavors of Mexico packed in an authentic taco, come to Los Tacos No. 1. Created by three friends from Mexico and California, the food is a compilation of family recipes. This is a grab-and-go place, so don’t expect to linger. Although the menu is limited, you will not be disappointed. Get the carne asada taco or opt for the quesadilla. The service is quick but the lines are long, so expect a bit of a wait.
This ship has had quite the amazing journey. Built in 1929, The Frying Pan was originally a lightship, designed as a beacon to guide lost ships to shore. After ten years of abandonment, it was salvaged and brought to NYC, where it now serves as a docked restaurant. Open from May to October, The Frying Pan offers its guests a unique dining experience on the Hudson. If you’re going for happy hour, try the white sangria or blueberry beer. You can’t go wrong with the veggie burger for dinner, but above all else, the old bay garlic fries are a must.