Our 10 Best Things to Eat at Chelsea Market
Throughout much of the 20th century, it was the Nabisco factory, turning out crackers and cookies in a convoluted series of Victorian-era brick buildings. Then, in 1997, it was repurposed as a complex aiming to meet the needs of serious cooks and foodies for raw materials and equipment. But gradually, as Chelsea Market has become one of the city's prime tourist traps, the original intentions have slowly evaporated, such that now it's mainly a shopping-mall food court. Well, so what? There a plenty of good things to chew on, and here is Fork in the Road's ranked list.
10. Mac and Cheese at Ronnybrook Milk Bar -- Served with a couple of slices of marble rye, the mac and cheese from Ronnybrook Dairy is just as elemental as you'd hope: elbows and three cheeses, making a casserole neither too runny nor too firm, with some scallions and bread crumbs sinking into the mellow yellow surface. Vegetarian, 212-741-6455, $7
9. Taco Salad at One Lucky Duck -- Even if you don't go in for the vegan, raw, and organic aesthetic that this stall just off the new 15th Street entrance fervently advocates, the taco salad is a thing of beauty, featuring ripe tomatoes, crisp romaine, pico de gallo, guacamole, flavored crunchy sprinkles, and a cashew "sour cream" that doesn't turn your stomach. Vegan, 212-255-4300, $16
8. Hamburger at Friedman's Lunch -- Made from ground Creekstone Farms brisket and then flame-grilled for extra flavor, the patty sits up high on its brioche bun, flaunting lettuce, purple onions, and tomatoes of pristine quality. And the herbed fries knock the platter for a home run. (Added plus: interesting beer list.) 212-929-7100, $13