So it seems that The New York Narrative haunts are going over quite well so let’s continue with Chelsea!
The boundaries of Chelsea, to me anyway, get a little blurry. It borders the West Village, touches Meatpacking, and kind of gets into a weird midtown-y situation— but don’t hold that against it. There’s tons to do and while primarily considered more a Gay neighborhood, it’s incredibly friendly and has a little something for everyone.
I have put together another list of places I like to frequent while there and maybe you will too. So take a look, and let me know of anywhere else you guys like to hang!
Image courtesy of FourSquare
Elmo is a good go-to for pretty much anything. There’s something on the menu for everyone, the staff is usually hunky and friendly, and they have a decent brunch. I somehow have ended up here more times then I would like to admit…
TNYN Recommendation: If you’re going for Brunch, make a reservation if it’s five or more. Otherwise hang at the bar and wait for a table, maybe you’ll make a friend.
Image courtesy of Great Place Directory
Whenever I don’t know where to go in Chelsea for some grub, I end up at Rocking Horse Cafe. They have good, relatively healthy feeling, Mexican and it’s a fun atmosphere. There’s also the high probability of a celebrity sighting. I’ll never forget the time I missed SJP and Any Cohen drunkenly stumble out as they went on a Thursday and I was there on a Wednesday…sometimes, life is just cruel.
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I’ve only ever had drinks at Intermezzo, and they were fantastic, but I know the Brunch is absolutely epic and usually involves a Drag Queen or seven. Obviously a New York Narrative recommendation.
Image courtesy of Pounds and Ounces
Aside from having very good food (I’ve never had a bad meal here), Pounds and Ounces is aesthetically very pleasing. The long wrap around marble and metallic bar is really gorgeous and the decadent floral arrangements change every couple of weeks to keep up with the seasons. It’s always a fun spot to grab a drink and people watch, not to mention the seasonal whiskeys are always on point.
Image courtesy of Local Bozo
It may be a bit of a throwback to 2000, when it was the place to be, but The Park is still pretty great. The indoor outdoor feel of the restaurant makes it stand out from mostly anywhere else in the city and it’s a great place to take a date.
TNYN Recommendation: There is a massive back room that’s a bit hidden and great for groups.
“Don’t talk to me until I’ve had Coffee…”
Image courtesy of Canli Lifestyle
The name alone make’s you want to check it out: Cafe Grumpy. Isn’t everyone just a miserable nasty-ass grump if they don’t have coffee in their system yet? I find the name very appropriate. It’s a great little cozy spot on a nice little street with good coffee. I see nothing wrong here.
Image courtesy of Joe Coffee
While I appreciate the sit and gab kind of coffee spot, sometimes you just need a cup of joe to go. Joe Coffee (several locations around the city) is a good grab and go joint. It’s also in a very handsome neighborhood.
Image courtesy of Blue Bottle Coffee
If you’re not late for something (as we usually all are) and can take a minute, head to Blue Bottle Coffee. They take pride in the way they make their coffee and it’s a fun scene to people watch at.
“Ugh, today sucked. Let’s get a drink…”
Image courtesy of Urban Spoon
If I’m on the West Side and I am in Chelsea, I’m 99% of the time at Boxers. My friends and I refer to it as “Jumanji” because as soon as someone says “Boxers…” it’s like drums start playing and somehow you end up there. There’s nothing even remotely special about Boxers but between the amazing Happy Hour (2-4-1, like, all the time), the very central location, and flip cup Saturdays you never leave having a bad time…it’s just the place to be.
TNYN Recommendation: Don’t lose the plastic playing card they give you at Happy Hour, it’s your free drink!
Image courtesy of Time Out NYC
Somewhere between divey and kind of classy (KIND OF), Barracuda too is a fun Chelsea spot. There’s cool deer antler chandeliers, cracked Red vinyl couches, and Porn-y lighting. It too has a great happy hour and the place to go if it’s Midnight and you’re in need of a good scene.
TNYN Recommendation: It’s cash only, guys, and watch out if you get stuck too close to the stage during Drag Queen karaoke night…
Image courtesy of El Quinto Pinto
If you don’t want a Gay bar and are in Chelsea (I mean, why are you in Chelsea then…) you can always pop into El Quinto Pinto for a romantic glass of wine. They have a great selection and it’s incredibly well lit. Everyone will look attractive, so, be careful Kids.
Image courtesy of Gym Bar
Back to the Gay bars: Gym Bar. This falls nowhere between divey and classy, it’s full blown divey and usually smells a little too much like Man. But again really fun and if the downstairs is open it’s a great opportunity to play flip cup.
Image courtesy of G Lounge
I’m not quite sure why but G Lounge isn’t as much a “thing” as say Boxers of Barracuda. It’s got a great layout; circular bar, lots of seating on both sides, not disgusting bathrooms, and it’s not expensive. Definitely more of a lounge feel—as the name suggests— so if you need something still Gay-friendly but classier, go here.
Image courtesy of The Blueberry Bison
As a New Yorker you’ll get the wanted/unwanted guest who is hard to please in what they would like to do in our fair city. Never fear Chelsea Market is here. In the heart of what has now become the overly trendy Meatpacking District bordering Chelsea, as Stefon of SNL says, this place has everything. Food, music, shopping, cheese, a water fountain next to the bathroom making you have to pee more than you did before. It’s full of sample sales and little trinkets and no matter how annoying someone is, they’ll find something they enjoy here.
Image courtesy of Flikr.
As a bonafide city kid who craves and loves the beach, I find solitude in the West Side Highway a soon as it’s warm enough for Daisy Dukes. The Christopher St. Pier (I guess we can consider it Chelsea-adjacent?) is breezy enough allowing you to catch some rays, check out the scene, and connect with some grass in our concrete jungle.
TNYN Recommendation: There are tons of cute dogs there if that’s your thing (it’s mine). Booze is not exactly legal over there, but hidden in a cup and done discretely you can have a very nice picnic situation as you bronze.
Image courtesy of Chelsea Piers
If you’re a bonafide city kid and crave something outdoors-y and athletic, head to Chelsea Piers. They have golf, ice skating, basketball, roller hockey, rock climbing, and pretty much any imaginable indoor sports activity that should be outside you can think of.
Image courtesy of The Real Guy NYC
In addition to loving the beach way more than anyone should, I also really love boats. And what’s New York’s solution to being able to drink safely on a boat? Drinking on a stationary boat! Well it’s actually a boat and barge chained together, but you get the gist. It’s outdoors and fun with a wide array of people. You’ll absolutely make friends here.
TNYN Recommendation: If you can, check out the live music when it’s offered. The line also get’s incredibly long for this place so get there early.
Image courtesy of The New York Times
Much like Chelsea Market, the High Line is pretty much for everything. As a “1.45-mile-long New York City linear park built in Manhattan on an elevated section of a disused New York Central Railroad spur” it grants gorgeous views of the river and downtown and keeps you outdoors when the weather permits.
Image courtesy of Cool Hunting
Like a magazine, Story is a concept store than changes it’s theme and merchandise every few weeks giving a fresh offering to it’s customers. If you’re looking for a little something unique as a gift or even yourself you’re bound to find it here.
TNYN Recommendation: They always have great in-store events so keep an eye on their calendar.
Image courtesy of NYC Parks
My Tuesday nights are spent on the Chelsea Fields with my Gay Kickball league thanks to Big Apple Rec.. On my fifth season of Big Apple Kickball, I couldn’t be happier the fields are in Chelsea. They’re clean, easy to get to, and when it’s not cold or rainy are great to play on. Also if you’ve read this far you’ll know that Chelsea is a great neighborhood to go out post-play, win or lose. So go check the neighborhood out!
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