The block of Ninth Avenue between 15th and 16th streets has long been beloved in culinary circles. From the 1890s, the brick complex housed the Nabisco cookie factory. The famous Oreo was invented here in 1912, and huge ovens turned out billions of the cream-filled sandwich cookies over the next half-century.
These days the twisting, brick-walled hallways, decorated here and there with gears and other artifacts from the former factory, are home to Chelsea Market. Purveyors of some of the city’s most delectable foodstuffs operate in the market, and on a stroll through the main food court you will encounter baked goods (Amy’s Breads, Sarabeth’s, and Eleni’s), Italian cheeses and pastas (Buon Italia), wine (the Chelsea Wine Vault), kitchen wares (Bowery Kitchen Supply), and much more. You can enjoy your selections at tables and benches throughout the market.
The former factory floors upstairs are occupied by several television studios, including, appropriately, the Food Network.
A Chelsea Market alternative
Essex Street Market, on the Lower East Side at 120 Essex Street, was created in 1940 as part of a scheme to clear city streets of pushcarts and stalls that were blocking traffic and hindering police and fire vehicles. The market became a gathering spot for the Lower East Side’s Italian and Jewish residents, and after recent renovation, is once again filled with stalls selling meat, fish, fruit, vegetables, cheese, and delicious baked goods. The market is open Mon–Sat 8am–7pm.