Go to Chelsea without a plan for eating, and you may find yourself disappointed. There are rows upon rows of restaurants lining the main thoroughfares of Eighth Avenue and 23rd Street, waiting to lure you in. But alas, as easy as it is to walk into any one of them, most won't be worth your time and money. You can find a couple of good places in those high-traffic areas, but the neighborhood regulars and foodies who flock there know that the good stuff is going to require a little hike westward.
There is, of course, the food mecca of Chelsea Market. You basically can't go wrong in the former Nabisco factory-turned-mall, where each of the restaurants and stands serve up amazing eats. (It's no coincidence that the Food Network headquarters are just upstairs.) For the best picks within and beyond those hallowed walls, suited for a range of budgets and moods, read on.