In the depth of winter, New Yorkers go inside to get their shopping fix — and we’re not just talking about Saks Fifth Avenue and Bergdorf Goodman. The Big Apple is full of fantastic indoor markets that combine food, shopping and eye candy that can easily provide an afternoon’s entertainment. Bring your appetite and flee the frigid temperatures by exploring these emporiums.
Chelsea Market has maintained its status over the years as one of the city’s premier indoor dining and shopping destinations. Visitors often work up an appetite shopping at Anthropologie and Posman Books before debating the many tempting food choices including Friedman’s Lunch (healthy and fresh dishes such as an apple-tarragon chicken salad sandwich), Los Tacos No. 1 (for an indulgent snack or meal such as marinated-pork tacos), The Lobster Place (for decadent lobster rolls) or Buddakan (for an upscale, sit-down dining experience — we suggest ordering the Mongolian lamb chops). Finish off your afternoon with a stop at Ninth Street Espresso.
Located in Hell’s Kitchen, Gotham West Market is a new retail and food market with a serious collection of purveyors. Foodies from around the city have flocked to the market for a steaming bowl of ramen at Ivan Ramen Slurp Shop, small plates (think charcuterie and cheeseboards) and cocktails (try the Foggy Nelson, the restaurant’s twist on a gin and tonic) at The Cannibal and perfect lattes at Blue Bottle Coffee. Between bites there are also some shops to peruse, including The Brooklyn Kitchen (kitchenware and specialty grocery items on sale, as well as a cooking school) and Court Street Grocers Sandwich Shop (shelves are stocked with beautifully packaged items you’ll want to squeeze into your suitcase).
There are several spots in the Lower East Side worthy of a food pilgrimage, but in the Essex Street Market, many are concentrated under one roof. Expect to rub elbows with locals doing their grocery shopping as you move between vendors such as Boubouki (a Greek bakery stall — try the savory pies) and Brooklyn Taco Company (tacos, tamales and other street food). After browsing, you can sit down for a meal at the Essex Restaurant (inspired by the neighborhood’s Jewish and Latin cuisine with dishes such as potato pancakes topped with salmon gravlax and salmon caviar, and pork belly tacos) or wander through the Cuchifritos Art Gallery, which displays contemporary art from emerging artists.
Coming Soon: It was announced recently that Forbes Travel Guide Tastemaker Anthony Bourdain plans to open a new market in New York City — a street food market focused on diverse international tastes. The idea is to replicate some of the delicious street food markets he has experienced around the globe. No details yet on a location (rumors are 3 World Trade Center or Hudson Yards) or opening date.
Photos Courtesy of Gotham West Market