Thursday, January 3, 2008
If pressed to choose one building to be stuck in overnight in a Mannequin-esque sort of way, the Chelsea Market wouldn't be a bad spot. Residing in what used to be the National Biscuit Company (you may know them as Nabisco, makers of all sorts of items from Saltines to Animal Crackers to Oreos), this is a strangely unassuming building from the outside, opening up into a gorgeous urban market including flower shops, boutiques...and bakeries, lots of bakeries. On our recent trip back east, we spent quite a bit of time in this historic building residing on Ninth and Tenth Avenues between 15th and 16th Streets; here were some of our favorite spots:
Cakespy Note: The address for all of the retail spaces at the Chelsea Market is 75 Ninth Avenue; thus, we have not labeled the addresses individually below.
Amy's Bread: We love Amy's Bread in so, so many ways, but most of all for their perfect pink-frosted yellow cake which is available by the slice most days. We're proud to say that we've tried it in all three locations (this one, Bleecker Street, and Hell's Kitchen), and each is excellent. Their other pastries are no slouch either; even Zagat has called out their excellence. (212) 462-4338; online at amysbread.com.
Chelsea Market Baskets: A great find--chock full of wonderful Scottish shortbread and "oaties", fancy little imported marzipan cakes and other gourmet treats from the likes of Ditty's Home Bakery, Cookie it Up and Frank's Luxury Biscuits. We fell for the Nancy's Fudge Cups at first bite; the Leonidas truffles looked wonderful. As a bonus to non-NYC residents, they do ship a lot of cookies and less perishable items nationwide! (212) 727-1111; online at chelseamarketbaskets.com.
Eleni's: Cookies, and cakes, and cupcakes--oh my! This is an extremely cool place, with white exposed brick walls and extremely photogenic baked goods (see top photo). Sure, cookies will top $4, but hey, rent's pretty high in Chelsea. Negative points for telling us to stop taking photos though, although we resisted the urge to say "don't you know who we are?". Kidding. (888) 435-3647; online at elenis.com.
Fat Witch Bakery: Somewhere between fudge, and a brownie, is the Fat Witch Brownie: extremely dense, rich, fudgy and excellent. Don't make the mistake of trying to eat one of these dry though--they cry out for a glass of milk (perhaps at the Ronnybrook Farm Dairy? see below) as accompaniment. Happily, these can be shipped nationwide; check out their online store! (212) 807-1335; online at fatwitch.com.
Milk Bar @ Ronnybrook Farm Dairy: Holy Cow (sorry, couldn't resist). Places like this make you marvel at how creamy and good something so simple as milk can taste. The milkshakes are close-your-eyes-with-pleasure good; they have a full lunch menu too, full of appetizing dishes to warm you up for dessert. (212) 741-6455; online at ronnybrook.com.
Ruthy's: A solid offering of cakes and treats, although we wish they didn't put those novelty cookies and cakes on display right as you walk in; the stuff inside (rugelach, cakes, etc) looked so much nicer. (212) 463-8800; online at ruthys.com.
Sarabeth's: We much prefer this outpost to the famous Upper East Side location, in which we've never felt quite "pinkies out" enough. Still, killer jam (you may recognize the name; they sell their jam at Williams-Sonoma stores), and their weekend specials, including pumpkin waffles with sour cream, raisins and maple syrup, are awe-inspiring. (212) 989-2424; online at sarabeths.com.
For more information about the Chelsea Market, visit chelseamarket.com. Got any other Chelsea Market spots to suggest? Email us!