Located in Battery Park, just on the water, Brookfield Place is open to the public and is a complex of office buildings. More importantly, it’s also home to various high end shops and a great upscale food court with options ranging from grilled cheese and burgers to fine dining tapas and sushi. Brookfield Place also hosts events throughout the year, including trivia, art exhibits, and musical performances. During the winter, an ice rink is set up. During the summer, there is plenty of outdoor seating, though it fills up quite quickly during peak times. There is also plenty of seating indoors year-round at the food court, with fantastic views of the river.
Brookfield Place is really worth going to even if just to grab a quick bite or have a rest while you’re in the area. The space is comfortable, the choices are plenty, and it has a different vibe than the rest of Manhattan. Website
Located in the Meatpacking District, Chelsea Market is home to about 35 food vendors with everything from coffee and wine to crepes and Thai food. There are a couple of bakeries (both bread and dessert) and some well known names like Amy’s, Sarabeth’s and Morimoto.
The market itself is a block long and a block wide and is packed during peak eating times. Seating can be quite hard to come by. But if you go during the week, off hours, you’ll have a more peaceful experience. It’s a great place to pop into for a meal, a coffee, or a sit down. Website
Eataly is a large, chaotic, but charming megastore of all things Italian. It’s located across from Madison Square Park and I’ve never really seen the place empty. You can go there to browse the market (which is stocked with fresh groceries, cheeses, meats, breads), to eat at one of the 7 restaurants available, each with its own specialty (meat, pasta/pizza, enoteca, fish, vegetables, etc.), or the have a top quality coffee, gelato, pastry or dessert .
For most of the restaurants you don’t need (or can’t make) a reservation, but I’d recommend it for a couple of the more proper ones, particularly Birreria on the 14th floor. Eataly is expensive, but you can go and have a fun time without even spending a dime. It’s a lively and exciting marketplace and most of the food is great quality. Website
Love this place. It’s a food and flea market in Brooklyn on Saturdays (Williamsburg) and Sundays (Prospect Park) open from 11 am – 6 pm.
The flea market is pretty cool as it features a whole bunch of independent craftsmen and vendors (around 100) selling all kinds of things like furniture, collectibles, antiques, vintage clothing, jewelry, art, etc.
The food market is my favorite. It’s open access, so you can just walk right up to the 30ish carts that feature all kinds of food from every cuisine you could imagine – BBQ, Bolivian, Spanish, Indian, fried chicken, vegan, vegetarian, burgers, seafood, Thai, snacks, dessert, coffee, I could go on forever. Menus for each cart general offer an option for everyone and full meals are $5-7. Many carts also offer snacks or desserts for substantially less. You can try things from several carts or stick to one or share with friends or do whatever you want. You can stay as long as you want – just grab a seat outdoors and hang out. Or stock up and take it to go. There are ATMs on site, but bathrooms are a bit trickier – just porta-potties, so try to go in advance.
Cash only. Website