My sister and brother-in-law are moving to Chelsea. They know little about Chelsea-area dining and want to get to know the area (as do I, who'll be visiting often). What are the must visit restaurants, the fun neighborhood standards, the humble, the old fashioned, the Chelsea favorites? Other food options within a few blocks of "official" Chelsea would be welcomed as well. We love all types of food and are looking for recommendations from sandwiches at lunch to cocktails and fine dining at night. Thanks for your help on this broad request!
Welcome to the neighborhood! I recently moved from Gramercy to Chelsea, and here are some of my favorites: Markt, Crispo, Whole Foods (great salad bar), Cookshop (great brunch)
La Nacional, Le Zie, Hill Country, Rocking Horse, Maroons, Le Petit Bistro
Sweets: Billy's, Little Pie Company, Amy's, La Bergamote, Donut Pub
Markets: Chelsea Market, Balducci's, Westside
Quick eats: Chelsea Market, swich (but overpriced), Murray's Bagels
Not quite Chelsea but close: Crispo, Petite Abeille, Cafe de Bruxelles, Chocolate Bar, Florent, good, Tavern on Jane
Neighborhood places: Tour, J's Pizza, Thai place in Chelsea Market, Home, Chelsea Havana, Myer's of Keswick (UK pies, candies, sausages), Kofoo (Korean), Grand Sichuan, Better Burger, The Green Table (brunch), lobster rolls at the Lobster Place, Cheesesteak Factory. Discounted brownies and cupcakes after 6pm at Fattywich.
Popular: Highline (Thai), InnLW12th (Canadian gastropub), Fatty Crab (Malaysian), Buddakan (Japanese), Good (brunch), Cafeteria (Amer.), Elmo (Amer.), RUB (bbq), Craftsteak, Del Posto, El Cid (tapas), Son Cubano
Drink specials: Calidad Latina ($3 margaritas), Room Service (Cheap happy hour/Thai food), Corner Bistro (2.50-5 for beer), Dallas BBQ (CHEAP drinks), Flight 151 (divebar with daily specials), Happy Hour at Kanvas, Bone Lick Park (great onion rings to go with cheap drinks), Mary Ann's ($20 pitchers of margaritas).
The neighborhood excels at the high-end, but tends to be lacking in the middle and more affordable ends of the spectrum.
Havana Chelsea on 8th Ave near 20th -- a longtime neighborhood staple. The place is currently gutted and posters on this site have said that it's closed -- but the sign on the place says it's being renovated. Time will tell, I guess.
The original comment has been removed