Chelsea is a New York City neighborhood located roughly west of Broadway. It stretches to the Hudson River and from West 14th to West 30th. Its 19th century industrial roots are blended with genteel townhouses now transformed into galleries, restaurants, parks, and markets.
With Chelsea Market as its beating heart and High Line as a symbol of regrowth and reinvention, Chelsea has an interesting mix of eateries that range widely in their ethnic origins, price, vibe, flavors, and esthetics.
© Del Posto
When you step from the colorful streets of Chelsea to the opulent elegance of Del Posto, you will be transported to Old World Europe with mahogany bistro tables, rows of starched white tablecloths, and the soothing sounds of piano music. And then comes the food. You are in the hands of some of the world’s greatest food artists, so you should prepare yourself for a feast you will not soon to forget. Mario Batali, Joe Bastianich, Lidia Bastianich, and their partner and Del Posto’s Executive Chef Mark Ladner join forces to create what the New York Times has called “A Modern Italian Master” after giving it four stars, the first four-star rating they’ve given in 40 years. Their service is like a finely orchestrated opera, and the wine cellar is world class.
85 10th Ave, New York, NY 10011, Phone: 212-497-8090
2.Cull & Pistol Oyster Bar
© Cull & Pistol Oyster Bar
Located next door to its parent the Lobster Place Seafood Market inside New York’s Chelsea Market, Cull & Pistol is known for its seasonal menu with incredibly fresh, diverse offerings from the Lobster Place. They also have an excellent wine list, great craft beers, and imaginative cocktails. Expect classics such as New England clam chowder but also more contemporary treats like Grilled Butterfly Bronzino. While the eatery is a sit-down establishment, it is clean and simple, with nothing to distract you from what is on your plate. They also offer take-out and delivery, so explore the options while you are there so you know what to get next.
Chelsea Market, 75 9th Ave, New York, NY 10011, Phone: 646-568-1223
© The Ainsworth
The Ainsworth is one of Chelsea's hippest restaurants, serving up elevated American steakhouse and bar fare in a visually stimulating dining environment. The restaurant, which is part of the national Ainsworth dining chain, is known for its unusual gourmet burgers, including its inventive Mac and Cheese Burger, which pairs a traditional beef patty with a panko-crusted mac and cheese patty. Delicious sandwich options include grilled chicken BLTs and short rib grilled cheeses, paired with a selection of high-quality land and sea taco options. Diners can also enjoy traditional steakhouse entrees such as skirt steak, branzino, and brick-pressed chicken, complemented by elegant sides like grilled asparagus and garlic-parmesan fries. At brunch, favorites such as avocado toast, huevos rancheros, and eggs Benedict take center stage, along with hearty and health-conscious build-your-own oatmeal bowls.
122 West 26th Street, New York, NY 10001, Phone: 212-741-0645
Located in the industrial chic space of a former Nabisco factory in Chelsea, Toro is a vast 120-seat tapas restaurant bringing the spirit of Barcelona’s lively traditional tapas bars to New York with an eclectic menu and a superb wine selection. The dining room is spectacular with 18-foot windows and high ceilings, though it still manages to feel inviting and comfortable. Chefs Oringer and Bissonnette focus on a mix of traditional and modern tapas, using fresh local ingredients to make authentic regional Spanish dishes. The tapas are flavorful and imaginative – try tripe with beans, blood sausage, and patatas bravas. There is a wine for every budget. The bottles are mostly from Spain with some exceptional vintages.
85 10th Ave, New York, NY 10011, Phone: 212-691-2360
Located in the lively, bustling Chelsea Market, Morimoto looks like it came from the future – it is sleek, streamlined, and thoroughly modern. This Japanese restaurant and lounge is where famous Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto treats New Yorkers to his fantastic menu that includes much more than his spectacular sushi. You will find things like freshly made tofu sprinkled with truffles, Oyster foie gras and – wait for it – Kentucky Fried blowfish. There is also a trendy underground cocktail lounge with a sake sommelier and the tatami-covered omakase room. Prepare to spend a bit of money, as it is a high-end establishment.
Chelsea Market, 88 10th Ave, New York, NY 10011, Phone: 212-989-8883
© Sushi Seki
Sushi Seki is the vision of owner and executive chef Seki Shi, who brings extensive experience in the Japanese restaurant and market industry to his latest venture in Chelsea. The restaurant, which was opened to the public in 2014, offers a wide variety of seating options for diners, ranging from a 15-seat sushi bar and a spacious dining room to two semi-private tatami-style rooms. Diners can select from an extensive menu of a la carte sushi and sashimi options or enjoy an omakase chef's tasting menu experience, which highlights the best selections of the day as part of a multi-course tasting experience. A full menu of Asian-style favorites is also available at dinner, including tempura entrees, teriyaki platters, and udon noodle options.
208 W 23rd St, New York, NY 10011, Phone: 212-255-5988
Chefs and owners Alex Raij and Eder Montero transport their guests to Basque country for a true Basque experience. This tiny rustic restaurant is inviting and full of Old World charm at the same time with rough wood on the walls, discrete lighting, and a magnificent native painting on the wall. The Basque region of Spain has a unique take on their food, which is characterized by simplicity in technique as well as ingredients. Humble peppers and beans play a role equal to that of aged Basque cheeses, local breads, fresh seafood, and unique Basque beef and lamb. With old family recipes, fresh produce from the nearby Chelsea Market, unique Basque traditional glasses, and small plates that give you opportunity to experience a range of Basque cuisine, you are in for a special experience.
240 9th Ave, New York, NY 10001, Phone: 212-242-4730
© The Breslin
The Breslin is a British-style gastropub located just off the lobby of the Ace Hotel in Chelsea. It is warm, cozy, trendy, and packed with fashionistas and the city’s food connoisseurs, so expect to wait for a table even at 11 pm at night. Treat yourself with a craft beer from the rotating selection or a bartender’s special cocktail while you wait for the meatfest, the specialty of chef and owner April Bloomfield. The menu includes breaded and fried scrumpets and shredded lamb drenched with sweet mint vinaigrette. There is also fried cheese with gribiche and a deep-fried stuffed pig’s foot, easily shared by four. The pies with stilton, beef, and merguez sausages are to die for. There is live music on Sundays.
16 W 29th St, New York, NY 10001, Phone: 212-679-1939
© Le Singe
Transported directly from the Marais in Paris to bustling Chelsea in New York, Le Singe manages to be faithful to both places. The simple but classic décor of this charming bistro, authentic French fare, superb wine list, occasional live music, and large outdoor patio for people-watching makes Le Singe very popular among locals. It is the perfect spot for a happy hour drink or a bite to eat before going to a show, or for a first date over some delicious Steak Frites or Moules Marinieres. Le Singe is famous for its parties on special days such as Halloween or Gay Pride. Check their calendar for the next event.
160 7th Ave, New York, NY 10011, Phone: 212-366-4100
Small and bright, Pastai pays homage to Southern Italian pasta. Chef and owner Melissa Muller, who also owns nearby Eolo, offers hand-made fresh pasta prepared from scratch with seasonal ingredients in an open kitchen. There are about ten pasta dishes on the menu, as well as interesting antipasti, panini, and a few meat dishes. Breakfast dishes are available in the morning and for brunch. Try Asparagus Portobello Frittata with home-made ricotta; it is divine. There is an excellent wine list with Sicilian and Italian wines that will certainly please you.
186 9th Ave, New York, NY 10011, Phone: 646-688-3463
© Da Umberto
Elegant in its simplicity, Da Umberto has been one of New York’s favorite Italian restaurants for special occasions or a romantic dinner for two since 1987. The Assante family brings classic Tuscan fare to the 21st century by putting their own twist on traditional Tuscan dishes without sacrificing their roots. There is a lengthy list of daily specials that depend on what is fresh and in season. They are all incredible, especially Da Umberto’s inspired pasta dishes. The wine list is extensive and has some special regional Italian wines rarely seen. The portions are large, but try to leave some space for something from the dessert cart – you won’t want to miss it.
107 West 17th Street, New York, NY 10011, Phone: 212-989-0303
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Located in West Chelsea in the huge 1891 Waterfront New York Building, Porchlight is a charming amalgam of a Southern watering hole and a sleek New York bar with concrete floor, miles of raw wood, and old beams salvaged from the building’s basement. It is cozy, comfortable, and instantly recognizable. In the back there's a lively game room, and one corner has a porch with cozy couches and rocking chairs. The cocktails include classics such as New York Sour, Sherry Cobbler, and Behind the Mule. Their beer and wine lists are inspired and diverse. Chef Jean-Paul Bourgeois offers unexpected delights like the Tasso-and-Cheddar biscuits cooked in cast iron and Dirty Rice Croquettes with chicken liver.
271 11th Ave, New York, NY 10001, Phone: 212-981-6188
© Tia Pol
Tia Pol is a small cozy place serving some of the best tapas in New York, and you will recognize it when you see the crowds. The narrow space is lined with a long bar on one side and small tables on the other, so there isn’t much space, but nobody minds. The tapas, mostly Basque, are worth it. Try crunchy, savory croquettes that change daily, squid in its own ink served with rice, garlic, marinated lamb skewers, battered and fried shark served in little pyramids, and cod in any shape and form. The portions are small and reasonably priced, so you can keep sampling and enjoying to your heart’s content.
205 10th Ave, New York, NY 10011, Phone: 212-675-8805
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Mokbar is a tiny Korean ramen shop in Chelsea Market, and you have to know where to look to find it. The long counter is lined with chairs where customers sit and watch the action in the kitchen, while the team dances the elaborate choreography common to all kitchens in a space replete with flavors, aromas, and steam. Mokbar combines traditional Korean flavors with fresh Japanese ramen noodles, creating a unique experience. Chef and owner Esther Choi introduces a typical Asian custom of eating noodles on the go by selling her dishes as take-out. Dinner is offered at the counter. Some of the most popular dishes are delicious fried crispy ho cakes (pancakes stuffed with pork belly) served with Mokbar’s own orange kimchi sauce they make fresh every day, and,they have kimchi “kimchijigae” ramen with kimchi bacon broth, stewed kimchi, and braised pork and scallions, preferably topped with poached egg and pork belly.
Chelsea Market, 75 9th Ave, New York, NY 10011, Phone: 646-964-5963
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14 Best Romantic Restaurants in Chelsea, NYC
- Del Posto, Photo: Del Posto
- Cull & Pistol Oyster Bar, Photo: Cull & Pistol Oyster Bar
- The Ainsworth, Photo: The Ainsworth
- Toro, Photo: Toro
- Morimoto, Photo: Morimoto
- Sushi Seki, Photo: Sushi Seki
- Txikito, Photo: Txikito
- The Breslin, Photo: The Breslin
- Le Singe, Photo: Le Singe
- Pastai, Photo: Pastai
- Da Umberto, Photo: Da Umberto
- Porchlight, Photo: Porchlight
- Tia Pol, Photo: Tia Pol
- Mokbar, Photo: Mokbar
- Cover Photo: Courtesy of Francois Roux - Fotolia.com