There are many incredible things to do in Chelsea, NYC, but the area is hands-down one of the best places in New York to explore art. Aside from all the experimental Chelsea art galleries, food-obsessed folks can enjoy scrumptious meals from restaurants serving rare bites like mac-and-cheese spring rolls. The neighborhood’s nightlife scene is also ace, offering great speakeasy bars as well as dives. Plus, lovers of flea markets can peruse antiques and bric-a-brac at outdoor and indoor markets such as Artist & Fleas. Although the Chelsea gay scene has become commercialized, you can still find some worthwhile gay bars.
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How do I get to Chelsea, NYC?
You can take the 1, E or F train to the 23rd Street stop and walk to Ninth Avenue.
What are the most popular attractions in Chelsea, NYC?
You can't say that you've visited Chelsea, NYC without walking the High Line. The verdant, elevated promenade offers great views of the neighborhood—a mix of industrial landmarks and gleaming new structures—and passes through the old loading dock of the former Nabisco factory, which now houses the eateries and shops of Chelsea Market, another one of the nabe's most popular attractions. During the warmer months, the High Line hosts awesome (and free) events such as live music and dance performances.
Time Out tip:
Salumeria Biellese (29th St and Eighth Ave) is my favorite Italian deli in Manhattan. They make their own meats—everything from guanciale to luganega to lamb prosciutto—which they provide to top restaurants in the country as well as in their humble deli. These guys love food. They have a sandwich called the Valdostano—a chicken parm sandwich made with alfredo sauce. One day, I asked what would be the upcharge if they added a slice of fresh prosciutto. The guy looked at me, saw me for the innovator I am, and said, "Good idea. The whole thing is on the house." Half a mortadella and provolone sandwich is $5.50. A whole mortadella and provolone sandwich is $5.75. That should be a law in NY.” — Rocky Rakovic
Map of Chelsea, NYC:
Things to do in Chelsea, New York
The absolute best restaurants near the High Line
It’s inevitable you’re going to walk through Chelsea’s elevated green space at some point during spring in New York, so sustain your meandering, 20-block trek along the tracks with a pit stop at one of the best restaurants near the High Line. Pair an afternoon of ever-changing public art installations and seeking out prime sunbathing spots with a meal at one of these great eateries, ranging from cozy bakeries to high-end Italian behemoths. RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the High Line in NYC
The best Chelsea art galleries
Since the 1990s, the Chelsea gallery scene has been synonymous with the New York art world, even though numerous other neighborhoods (the Upper East Side, the Lower East Side, Midtown and Soho, as well as parts of Brooklyn and Queens such as Bushwick and Long Island City) play host to NYC’s myriad art galleries. Even so, Chelsea remains the largest such district with scores of spaces to traipse through—including the flagship outposts of global mega-dealers Larry Gagosian and David Zwirner. Occupying roughly ten blocks straddling Tenth and Eleventh Avenues from 18th to 28th Streets, Chelsea was once home to hundreds of garages and warehouses (not to mention tranny hookers who plied there trade under the now-gentrified High Line that runs through the heart of the nabe). This industrial heritage is reflected in gallery interiors that tend to be large and generally free of columns, a combination that encourages extremely ambitious installations like those by the sculptor Richard Serra. This propensity for enormous art has drawn criticism in recent years, but in any case, Chelsea has seen it star dimmed somewhat thanks to an invasion of starchitect-designed residential buildings, and rising rents that have driven many galleries to other parts of town. Still, if you want to see tons of contemporary art, Chelsea is the one-stop-shopping place to be. To help find your way around, check out our select list of the best Chelsea art galleries. RECOMMENDED: Full guide to art galleries in