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Best in NYC Lunch: Chelsea

From food carts to American diners, these Chelsea spots are perfect to add to your lunch-hour rotation!

May 2, 2016 | by Haley Walker

When 12 o’clock rolls around and you feel your stomach starting to growl, you know what it means. It’s time for you to ditch your desk and escape your office to take on lunch-hour, but New York City can be dizzyingly full of options. That’s why, from hidden gems to the most popular NYC eats, we’re breaking down the best places for you to grab lunch neighborhood by neighborhood.

Los Tacos No. 1

Hidden within the bustling shops of Chelsea Market is Los Tacos No. 1. While you may be skeptical of a taco shop in Chelsea Market (we were), let us tell you that Los Tacos No. 1 could easily give any Tex-Mex restaurant in Houston a run for its money. The meats are grilled just long enough to develop a smoky, charred flavor and a line of stone bowls is placed on the counter so you can help yourself to toppings such as lime, pico de gallo, and grilled jalapeños. What really puts Los Tacos over the edge, however, is their homemade tortillas, of which you’ll have a choice between flour and corn. One bite of these delicious tacos and we’re sure you’ll be hooked.

Location: 75 9th Ave (Inside Chelsea Market) 

Johny’s Luncheonette

Johny’s Luncheonette has the average decor of your classic American diner, long Formica counter tops and spinning leatherette barstools included. So what makes this place so special? We’d venture to say that it has something to do with their gut-bomb sandwiches that represent not only massive amounts of food, but also great value when compared to other eateries in the neighborhood. The Brady Bun arrives extravagantly stuffed with turkey burger patties, turkey bacon, Swiss cheese, mushrooms, and onions. In a truly Manhattan response to the Austin breakfast taco, the Curious George includes three fried eggs, French fries right in the sandwich, three strips of bacon, two slices of melted cheese, and two pieces of boiled luncheon meat ham. With sandwiches like these, there’s no way to leave Johny’s without feeling full to the brim.

Location: 124 W 25th St

Bill’s Bar & Burger

Sometimes, all you want to do is bite into a big, juicy burger but, without a Shake Shack in Chelsea, where is one to go to get such a meal? We present you with Bill’s Burgers & Bar. Like Shake Shack, Bill’s uses a custom blend of beef from celebrity burgermeister Pat LaFrieda. From here, the focus remains on the meat. The bun, while soft and fluffy, is unassuming, and the accompaniments are your basic lettuce, tomato, and pickles. A focus on simplicity, however, allows the burger’s pure greatness to shine.  As an added bonus, Bill’s also offers a range of milkshakes that are arguably even better than the burgers. With flavors like Campfire (toasted marshmallow included), and Fruity Pebbles you really can’t go wrong.

Location: 22 9th Ave


Claiming a spot as one of Chelsea’s best lunch spots is Cookshop. This popular restaurant has an optimal location mere steps from the High Line. For seating, the airy and plant-lined dining room is usually full and loud. You could also take advantage of the vast outdoor seating area for a more relaxed dining experience. While the menu is full of simple, yet delicious, American food. The real standouts are the stone-oven pizzas and the Vermont lamb tasting. If you’re looking to have a relaxed, yet still impressive, business lunch, Cookshop is undoubtedly the place to go!

Location: 156 10th Ave

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