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This post reviews and compares the various ways that you could tour Chelsea Market, including our free self-guided tour as well as tips on how to get here and interesting shops.
Chelsea Market has become a favorite destination for New Yorkers and travelers alike.
The market inhabits the historic former factory for Nabisco (National Biscuit Corporation – think Oreos).
Today the Chelsea Market shops are filled with fabulous culinary delights, crafted by inspired chefs, from one of a kind soups to lobster dinners, from rare coffees to an array of world wines, from artisan bread to elaborately decorated cakes, Chelsea Market has something for every taste bud and every budget.
Chelsea Market is located on the west side of Manhattan at the southern end of the Chelsea neighborhood.
It is located just north of the Meatpacking District, which is really the northwest corner of Greenwich Village.
The Market occupies an entire city block between 15th and 16th Streets and Ninth and Tenth Avenues. It is marked on the map below.
It’s easy to reach the Market via subway or bus. You will, however, have to walk one or two long blocks to get there.
Use this Google map to get detailed directions from any location in New York City.
Tip: If you aren’t yet familiar with the Subway system of Local and Express trains, we highly recommend you take a look at the following posts.
Why not stay in the area? Chelsea is a great place to stay. In addition to the market, there is the High Line and Greenwich Village to explore.
Best time to go:
Due to increased overcrowding caused by tour companies, market management has limited hours when tour groups are permitted to come through.
Tour groups are permitted from 8:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. and then not again until after 4 p.m (16:00).
As long as you avoid lunch hours noon to 2 pm, when workers in the nearby business flood in, you shouldn’t have any problems with overcrowding.
For your self-guided tour, we’ve narrowed down the list to the “must-sees” among the dozens and dozens of shops and food and wine purveyors.
Here’s a helpful directory of shops in the Market.
This shop started out as a small specialty store on trendy Smith Street in Brooklyn, but apparently, people went nuts for their nuts and they landed a spot in the much-coveted Chelsea Market.
The Nut box has so much more than nuts. You can get wholesome trail mixes, dried fruits, and granolas at reasonable prices.
Come here to fill up on specialty oils, kinds of vinegar, and craft beer (both domestic and imported).
All of their products contain only natural ingredients and surprisingly affordable considering they are organic or organically grown.
Famous for their jams and preserves, Sarabeth’s has so many other scrumptious treats including their sticky buns and excellent biscuits with superb jams.
It is a little more expensive than some of the other bakeries in the Market but definitely worth the splurge.
This family business started its small spice business in Naples, Italy four generations ago.
By the 1960s, the superior quality and variety of products brought great success and the family expanded to Paris where today their clientele include food connoisseurs and chefs.
The array of offerings is impressive: 30 varieties of homemade spice blends, 18 different peppers, 13 types of gourmet salt, 70 original spices and seeds, 25 herbs and plants.
If you like teas, you will love this shop. They have 180 exotic imported (and some rare) teas and unusual and all-natural flavored teas like Dark Chocolate Orange.
Favored by locals, this store has a fantastic and affordable selection of garden-variety fruit and vegetables.
You can also find exotic mushrooms, tropical fruits, fresh herbs, baby veggies, grains, nuts, dried fruits, and fresh-squeezed juices.
Love cheese? Then head this way to Lucy’s Whey for a great selection of American artisanal cheeses. The staff of cheesemongers is experts and very happy to help you choose your cheese.
And they offer a “Grilled Cheese Sandwich of the Day”. Who could resist a classic white cheddar with fig jam or a bolder Gruyere with rosemary ham?
This small handmade candy company based in Brooklyn, NY specializes in candy bars, caramels, honeycomb candy, and lollipops.
Liddabits is an “old world” shop that doesn’t rely on technology to produce its sweet treats.
Every step of the production process from measuring to wrapping is performed by a real live human being and not a machine! They don’t use artificial flavors or preservatives and buy ingredients from small and local companies.
Stop by for their popular and unusual Bourbon-Bacon Caramel Corn.
Where else can you watch your doughnut being made right before you eat it? This tiny stand makes bite-sized doughnuts right before your eyes.
Watch warm doughy goodness come off of the conveyor belt and get doused in the flavored sugar of your choice. We love Speckled and Strawberry or Urban Monkey.
DÉCOR, CLOTHING, AND HOUSEWARES
This is a marketplace filled with over 30 small stalls where independent artists and clothes designers showcase and sell one-of-a-kind products in an original and hip atmosphere.
The market is open Monday to Saturday 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Posman is an independent bookstore, which isn’t so easy to find in New York City these days.
At Posman, you’ll find a great selection of bestsellers, literature, biographies, cookbooks and travel guides, as well as stationery and cards.
If you love to cook as much as you love to eat, this kitchen supply store is a great place to find quality and affordable cooking equipment, pots, pans, utensils, appliances and so much more.
WINE & ALCOHOL
This is one of the first shops to open in Chelsea Market when it opened in 1997. It’s a well-stocked and affordable fine wine store, in a beautiful environment.
Their motto is “We only buy wine we love” and the staff wants you to enjoy these wines as well.
Chelsea Wine Vault holds weekly tasting classes including casual Friday Night Flights and Weekend Wine School classes.
This cozy wine bar has a European feel to it and a lovely place to relax in between shopping and touring the market.
They have a small plate menu and an extensive wine list. Corkbuzz is open for lunch, dinner and late-night, featuring a “Champagne Campaign” serving half-off bottles of champagne—every night after 10 pm.
They also have a ‘blind’ tasting happy hour every day from 3 pm-6 pm for those who delight in being surprised.
This cozy bar and lounge inhabit a hidden space under the Chelsea Market that had not been seen publicly for almost 100 years.
With its brick archways and salvaged artifacts like reclaimed water tower wood and train rails from the nearby Highline,
The Tippler is a perfect place to round out your visit to the historic Chelsea Market.
The market is housed in the former Nabisco (National Biscuit Corporation) factory.
The interior retains the “factory” ambiance, yet manages to feel intimate and welcoming due to its unique stripped-down brick architecture and warm lighting.
The floors above the market are the home to the Food Network in which many television shows including Iron Chef and Chopped are filmed.
The building also houses Oxygen (Oprah Winfrey’s television network), MLB.com, some Google offices and EMI Music Publishing.
The buildings surrounding this section of New York City once held 250 slaughterhouses, which provided the lard for baking the flaky biscuits for which Nabisco was famous.
Uneeda biscuits (no longer produced) were a staple for the company.
NABISCO, which consolidated several bakeries in the East to form the National Biscuit Company in 1889, originally owned nine buildings in this neighborhood along what today is the High Line.
Still visible from this elevated park are buildings carved with NBC, the original acronym for the company that invented the Oreo cookie here more than 100 years ago.
There are several companies that offer tours of Chelsea Market.
While some of these trips offer more of a historic look at the Chelsea neighborhood, including the High Line, others focus on the delicious foods you can find in the market. Our tour does both.
Depending on which outing you choose, you can expect ticket prices to range from $35-$55 on average.
Tour duration typically runs from 2-3 hours, giving you plenty of time to see and experience the market and its surroundings.
Be sure to check our New York food tours page for more eating in NYC ideas.
If you’re more interested in discovering all of the fantastic foods that come from Chelsea Market, this food tour may do the trick.
In addition to sampling food from 7 different vendors, you’ll also enjoy a meal at a highly rated restaurant in the Meatpacking district.
With so many different tastings on the itinerary, you should probably save plenty of room for all of the food you’ll eat while on this trip around High Line.
Clocking in at 3 hours in length, you’ll have plenty of time to burn off some of those calories. Considering all of the tasty treats you’ll experience along the way, the price of admission for this outing is very fair.
Reviews on both TripAdvisor and Vimbly are quite excellent (read the reviews here). Although there have been one or two negative comments, most customers agree that this Chelsea Market food tour is fantastic.
The High Line, Chelsea and Meatpacking District Tour offered by New York Tour 1 brings you into the heart of one of New York’s trendiest areas.
During this 2 hour tour, you will hear stories of the Meatpacking District’s gory history, as well as Chelsea’s dramatic reinvention. The tour begins at the Chelsea Market and then ends 1 mile (1.6 km) down the High Line.
This tour is included on both the New York Pass and the Sightseeing Pass, making it a very affordable option if you’re planning on visiting several sites and attractions with a tourist pass. Children under 12 go for free.
Though all of their tours are highly rated, their High Line, Chelsea, and Meatpacking District Tour receive particularly excellent reviews, averaging 5 out of 5 stars on TripAdvisor and Get Your Guide (read the reviews).
The Chelsea Market Tour is included in the New York Pass.
Tip: If you have been thinking of buying a tourist pass but not sure which one, our post, New York City Attraction Passes: Which One Is the Best to Buy may be of some help to you.