Pasta at Giovanni Rana
Late last year, Chelsea Market got an Italian trattoria. Though the lofty space makes for a relaxing lunch spot, those with less time on their hands should try their take-away. You can get a great (and huge) serving of pasta for $8, $10, or $12. The noodles are all made in the restaurant, where they're also available for purchase. A new favorite of ours.
Giovanni Rana Pastificio & Cucina: 212-370-0975; rananyc.com
Meaty Sandwiches at Dickson's Farmstand Meats
Meat is the star here, but unlike most butcher shops selling sandwiches, Dickson's has proven to be quite adept at pairing the star with a good supporting cast. Take this Pastrami Sandwich with Apricot & Celery Chutney. The addition of a sweet and sour tangy chutney studded with fresh thyme cuts through the rich fattiness of the pastrami and sharp cheddar slices. Along with cold cut sandwiches, it's hot options like the French Dip chili that make us regulars.
Dickson's Farmstand Meats: 212-242-2630; dicksonsfarmstand.com
Crepes at Bar Suzette
With a full menu of savory and sweet crepes, it's hard to land on just one. So go repeatedly! Squash and goat cheese is light and tangy but filling enough to make for a satisfying lunch. The tender crepes are packaged in handy containers that allow you to eat them one-handed, but do so quickly. The crepes do not improve with age.
Bar Suzette: 917-727-2169; barsuzette.com
Casual Sit-Down at Friedman's Lunch
Chelsea Market is usually quite busy, and all the crowds can get a little overwhelming. For a more quiet respite, head to Friedman's for sandwiches and more. Those with gluten sensitivities take note: many of these options are gluten free.
Friedman's Lunch: 212-929-7100; friedmanslunch.com
Nicer Sit-Down at The Green Table
For an even more peaceful lunch, a place with a liquor license, or simply a nice menu that changes with the seasons, head to the Green Table.
The cuisine is largely American but, true to American form, shows influences from all over the world. The grilled cheese is all U.S.A., with a slightly tangy filling and a burnished crispy crust.
The Green Table: 212-741-6623; cleaverco.com
Sandwiches at Bowery Kitchen Supplies
The best/worst kept secret of the market is this sandwich shop hidden in plain sight within Bowery Kitchen Supplies. Expect deli sandwiches done right here including the Four P's: roast pork, provolone, prosciutto, and red peppers—juicy, porky happiness on a roll.
Bowery Kitchen Supplies: 212-376-4982; bowerykitchens.com
Meat Pies at Tuck Shop
Lobster Rolls and Fresh Seafood at The Lobster Place
Though this is mostly a fish market, it's a surprisingly good spot for lunch. Dependable soup can be found here, along with lobster in roll and whole form—they'll steam a fresh one for you while you wait. We're also not above getting some oysters to slurp at the counter.
The Lobster Place: 212-255-5672; lobsterplace.com
Sandwiches and Salads at Ronnybrook Dairy
Noodles and Curry at Chelsea Thai
Smoothies and Salads at One Lucky Duck
Grilled Cheese at Lucy's Whey
If the name of the game is cheese for you, then Lucy's is your first stop. This great little cheese shop always has a grilled cheese sandwich on the menu, with ingredients changing with the seasons. We've enjoyed the Prairie Breeze Cheddar and the Pawlet (pictured here).
Lucy's Whey: 212-463-9500; lucyswhey.com
Sandwiches and Bread at Amy's Bread
While we come for the bread, we stay for just about everything else. For lunch, we're partial to the pressed sandwiches, like this Grilled New York Cheddar and Tomato sandwich. A chipotle pepper purée, ribbons of coriander, and a few slices of red onion elevate the deceptively simple grilled cheese.
If you're up for constructing your own lunch, you can do no better at Chelsea Market than the bread at Amy's. The Semolina with Golden Raisins and Fennel has been a name-maker for Amy's and is wonderful with cheese. For dessert, their carrot cake is our favorite in town.
Amy's Bread: 212-462-4338; amysbread.com
DIY Italian at Buon Italia
This fully stocked Italian market has cured meats and cheeses to make your own sandwich or salad, including three (count 'em) types of ricotta: sheep, cow, and cow-goat. It's way too easy to get lost in these aisles.
Buon Italia: 212-633-9090; buonitalia.com
Fruit and Veggies at Manhattan Fruit Exchange
A full grocery with a great fruit and vegetable section, including some esoteric varieties you won't find elsewhere. Good for filling any gaps in your lunch plan.
Manhattan Fruit Exchange: 212-989-2444; www.manhattanfruitex.com
If you're jonesing for a sugar rush, fret not. We've already got you covered with this sweet guide on the seven must-try sweets at Chelsea Market.