Exploring NYC’s Fabulous Food Halls and the High Line

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Everyone knows that New York City has some of the most diverse culinary options in the world. However, with so many mouth-watering options at your disposal, trying to decide on where to go can be overwhelming. Today’s guest writer, Judy Freedman from A Boomers Life After 50, is here to point us to some of the best NYC food markets as well as take us on a relaxing stroll along the incredible High Line.

The Highline
Walking the Highline with the Empire State Building in the distance

As a native New Yorker, who left the big city for Southern New Jersey more than 30 years ago, I always like to come back for a visit. And when I do, I love to take long walks along the city streets and up and down the avenues. My fitness-band usually gets a good workout and so do my feet.

Next to getting exercise, eating fabulous food is top on my “to do” list. I’m lucky because my two children, who live and work in New York City, are big foodies. They keep me up-to-date on the latest restaurants, the most popular food trucks, and the hottest food trends.

“I’m coming for a visit,” I said to my daughter A and son D, a few weeks ago. Having read about the new French food hall that opened in March, I was eager to go check it out.

“Oh good,” said A. “We’ll take Friday off and go to Le District. You can stay over and on Saturday we’ll walk the High Line and then visit some of the other food halls around the area.” “Sounds like a plan,” I responded. “I’ll pack my comfortable walking shoes.”

First Stop: Le District
Friday, we headed out early and took the subway downtown to the financial district. Le District is housed in Brookfield Place, the former World Financial Center, a short walk from the station stop and close by the 9-11 Memorial Museum.

NYC Le District
La Boulangerie with fresh breads and sandwiches

It’s 30,000 square feet space is filled with all things French: a boulangerie for freshly baked breads and pastries, a poissonneire for fresh seafood, a fromagerie with a wide selection of French cheeses, a charcuterie with cured meats from France, a rotisserie where chickens and meats are cooked on a spit, and a boucherie where you can purchase fresh meat.

Le District  NYC
Le District’s amazing selection of French cheeses at its La Fromagerie

There are also several French restaurants along with a shop that sells cookware from France, another that sells French chocolates, and a stand that sells seasonings, including my favorite Herbes de Provence.

“What should we have for lunch?” I said. Throwing my gluten-free diet to the wind, we completely devoured an entire loaf of rosemary olive bread, a half pound of creamy French cheese, and a bottle of Perrier. We passed on wine, although it was very tempting.

Le District is located at 225 Liberty Street in lower Manhattan.

Note that for those of you who may not favor French food, just above Le District is another dynamic food destination called Hudson Eats. We had already eaten but took a stroll through the market to see where we might dine next time.

A Walk On The High Line
Saturday was a bright sunny day, perfect for a long walk on the High Line. According to its official website, the “High Line is a public park built on a historic freight rail line elevated above the streets on Manhattan’s West Side. It runs from Ganesvoort Street in the Meatpacking District to West 34th Street, between 10th and 12th Avenues.

With more than 5 million visitors annually, the walkway was packed with tourists, as you would expect on a warm weekend day. We started at the 28th Street entrance and worked our way downtown. There are entrances along various streets, some have elevators for handicapped access, others only stairwells.

The views of the city are fantastic — you can see the Empire State Building as well as the Statue of Liberty and many other beautiful tree-lined blocks. The path is paved with flower gardens and trees and there are lots of spots to rest, look out over the Hudson River, or meditate among the greenery.

We exited at the end on Ganesvoort Street, now home to the new Whitney Museum. Unfortunately, the museum had not opened yet. “We’ll visit next time,” I said as we walked down to Ganesvoort Market.

The Glorious Ganesvoort Market
A foodie’s paradise, this 8000 square foot market has more than 20 food stalls. We were just spectators, not ready to devour our Saturday lunch, but more than willing to sample whatever tasty tidbits were offered to us as we walked the space.

The Ganesvoort Market
The Ganesvoort Market hosts 19+ vendors including Dana’s Bakery with delectable macarons and Luzzo’s La Pizza Napoletana serving award-winning Neapolitan pizza.

There were plenty of mouthwatering options including artisanal macarons, Bruffins – similar to a Cronut, frozen Greek yogurt parfaits, crepes, tacos, sushi, gelato, pizza, plus a lobster bar, coffee bar and Italian sandwich shop.

Communal tables were off to one side for those who wanted to consume their food on-site.

The Ganesvoort Market is located at 52 Ganesvoort Street and open every day from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.

The Chelsea Market
We walked up 9th Avenue to 15th Street, where we entered The Chelsea Market, “one of the most trafficked and written about destinations of its kind in New York City,” per its website. The history of the market is very interesting with its proximity to the original trains of the High Line, which used to transport food to city purveyors.

The Chelsea Market
The Chelsea Market is home to restaurants, food and clothing shops, and a maker arts and crafts fair. Spices and Tease sells 30 varieties of homemade spice blends.

The market features 35 vendors ranging from Friedman’s comfort food restaurant and The Green Table, a farm to table establishment, to bakeries such as Amy’s Bread, Fat Witch, and Sarabeth’s, to international fare including Chelsea Thai, Beyond Sushi, Buon Italia, Los Tacos No.1, and more cheeses, soups, nuts and my favorite Kingdom of Herbs.

Beyond food, you can find kitchenware, clothing shops, and Artists & Fleas, a showcase of maker crafts, artwork, and fashions. Atop the market is The Food Network studio, where many favorite food stars tape their shows.

The Chelsea Market is located at 75 9th Avenue (between 15th and 16th Streets) and is open 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. (Monday – Saturday) and 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. (Sunday).

This is just a few of the many fabulous NYC food markets. Go ahead — put on your walking shoes and plan a trip. One thing is for sure about this destination — there is fabulous food. Rest assured that you’ll never go home hungry!

Have you explored the NYC food markets or are you planning a foodie trip any time soon? Join the conversation at the My Itchy Travel Feet page on Facebook or send us an email to ask a question or share your experience.

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