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Monday, October 22, 2012

Vegan MoFo in NYC, Day 22: Chelsea Market

Yesterday was an absolutely gorgeous fall day here in the city so I got up early (well, kinda early) and headed into the city to Chelsea Market. Would you believe I have never once been there? Actually, I bet you can. These NYC tours are as much for myself as they are for you guys.

You can probably guess what I was most excited about visiting: One Lucky Duck, the all vegan, raw, and organic little takeaway shop affiliated with Pure Food and Wine.

                                       Actually this duck looks really unhappy to me. No?
I picked up a Swan Greens juice (cucumber, spinach, dandelion greens, pear, grapefruit, tarragon, spearmint, and yuzu) What is yuzu, you ask? I have no idea. The juice was great though! Kind of bitter from the grapefruit and dandelion but I really liked it that way. It wasn't supersweet like a lot of green juices can be when they add too much fruit in. The pear was just enough of a hint of sweet.

I also picked up some "quackers" - rosemary flavor:
These are nice. Light, crunchy, and delicately flavored. I bet they'd be fantastic with a raw cashew cheese. Apparently, the shop also uses them to crumble on top of salads, like Sarah shows you in today's recreated meal.
Beyond One Lucky Duck, you can also stop at Nutbox if you are so inclined and find tons of dried fruit, nuts, seeds, beans, and candy. Personally, I find it a little overpriced but I like what they're doing.
                                            In case you need dried wasabi peas in a pinch.
The other shop I stopped into is Manhattan Fruit Exchange. I wasn't expecting much but I like to browse new grocery stores, so I looked around. First of all, they had some incredible foods I've never even heard of before! Sea beans?? Behind them are quenepas, which also ??!?

Secondly, I thought the store was very fairly priced with their produce. Huge bunches of chard for less than 2 dollars, crowns of broccoli for about the same, etc. etc. Way cheaper than Whole Foods or the farmers' market and with more options than a local grocery.
They also had a huge spice selection that I was impressed with, as well as mushrooms! These are King Trumpet on the left, beautiful Blue Oyster mushrooms in the back, and Chanterelles in the front. There were about 5 other varieties too.
Those are the only places I stopped into but there is more to be had for vegans in Chelsea Market: Hale & Hearty Soups, Amy's Bread, People's Pops, and, well, the Bowery Kitchen Supply if you want to gaze longingly. The inside was decorated for Halloween. Here, Sir Skeletor shows you the directory.

The market was kind of nice in spite of itself. I don't particularly love typical tourist destinations (even food ones) but this wasn't so bad. maybe because it was still early in the day and mostly harried parents with a newspaper under their arm and four bags and three kids in tow. "We're already late for Sunday school!"
Sooooo once you've gotten yr refreshments, walk one block west and down to 13th street to tour along the New York City Highline. The park is a 1-mile stretch of formerly abandoned El train tracks along 10th avenue, which has been rehabilitated and turned into an urban greenspace. Exciting! I took a lot of photos and really enjoyed myself, despite being slightly agoraphobic and anxious about being stuck on a path behind slllloooowwww walkers. It was nice to see the city from the outside and raised above street level - it makes all the tall buildings feel a little less oppressive. I'd like to come back to the Highline again, for sure. With that, I'll just leave you with some photos.


  1. I'm thinking you could capitalize on this vegan tour thing.
    You're rockin it. Check out those blue shrooms.

    1. I second that! I'm this close to planning a trip based on these posts.

    2. I'm with Gigi! I love that idea!

    3. Blue shrooms....yes, please.

  2. It's almost shameful to admit this, but I haven't visited Chelsea Market in probably 7 or 8 years now. I'm just never in the area! There certainly weren't any lucky ducks back then, not a one. I'm still aching to try those Swan Greens.

  3. Doesn't that sign for the Sea Beans say $14.99/pound? Wonder what sea they are from? Very informative post. I hope I get to go to Chelsea Market and The Highline one day.

  4. The Highline is very cool, great photos! I thoroughly enjoyed your tour of OLD,so funny that we both talked about it on the same day! :) I feel like I would have liked the rosemary crackers more than I liked the "cheezy" crackers I got (even though they were great). I love rosemary so much haha. The juice sounds good too, I tried a smoothie when I was there and it was yummy too! Didn't the desserts look yummy too?

    I don't remember seeing Nutbox when I was there but I wish I did. That's right up my alley. Beautiful produce too! Awesome post!

  5. Wow! Highline is certainly gorgeous. What a neat market! I am always curious to see new vegetables and fruit. One Lucky Duck is absolutely on my destination list. I agree that too sweet green juice is a bit of a turn off!

  6. I love going in new grocery stores too, looking around, and seeing what treasures I can find. There seem to be no shortage of delicious treasures at the Manhattan Fruit Exchange. You've certainly enticed me to move to NY or at least plan a visit!!

  7. I was just, just there! Did you see the zombie parade on the highline?

  8. For a reluctant explorer, you seem to be having a pretty good time. Chelsea market looks pretty cool even if it is a tourist stop. Thanks for making the effort to entertain us armchair travelers.

  9. The duck does look a bit dismayed...but the juice sounds so good, especially with some spearmint thrown in. Another great photo tour of your city!!

  10. NYC looks amazing in general and for vegans! And I'd love to go to One Lucky Duck :)

  11. Ha ha ha, that duck looks super emo. :) And I'm in the same boat with green juice, and drinks in general - I love a bitter edge. And I love finding random produce that I've never heard of! Your city is purdy. :)

  12. I'm pretty sure yuzu is a Japanese citrus and divine. The quenepas are another story. I'm almost positive that I tried one years ago and it made me feel like there was fur on my tongue.

  13. Oh, goodness, your Vegan MoFo theme is just making me so jeal-y. I just love NYC so much and it's funny that you call the tall buildings oppressive...I totally get that a lot of people feel like that, but I *miss* that skyscraper suffocation I got when I lived in Chicago (compared to the much less oppressively skylined Minneapolis). I just looove that feeling of the big buildings. When I used to play music, I wrote this song about the hypocritical-ness of my punk/eco/anti-capitalist sensibilities coupled with my absolute obsession with big, bustling cities (full of business and pollution). C'est la vie.

  14. Yeah, the first thing I thought when I saw that duck was that it looked more like "Yum... I guess" than "Yum!" Ha ha. Re Manhattan Fruit Exchange: it's always nice to find a market with good produce prices. I have not heard of Sea Beans either. Hmm...

    I have heard of the High Line before, but not necessarily in the most flattering terms: Eyesore of the Month. It looks and sounds much nicer from your vantage point.

  15. You missed amys breads?! Go back! The fennel raisin semolina buns are to.die.for.
    Yuzu is an asian citrus like a cross between lemon and lime...
    Did you taste a sea bean? They are a bit crunchy and salty and grow in marshes near the ocean- fun on salads and always eat raw.
    Loving your nyc field trips!
    How about hitting chinatown markets? All kinds of fun tofu and bizarre produce

  16. Glad you enjoyed the highline and market. Did you think the market had a weird smell? I didn't, but my son did and was freaking to get out of there. So I didn't get to mull around as much as I would have liked.


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