Just north of 15th Street and therefore technically in Chelsea, Chelsea Market is still just steps from Meatpacking’s outer edge — and, given its status as a bona fide foodie playground, should be on the must-do list for anyone with a growling stomach. The historic indoor food hall encourages heavy grazing, thanks to shops like Cull & Pistol (come for the oysters), Creamline (a must for artisan dairy), Corkbuzz (run by Master Sommelier Laura Maniec), and a little restaurant called Morimoto.
Jeffrey New York
Jeffrey New York has retained cult status among the fashion set since opening in 1999. Packed with Bergdorf-calibre brands and a shoe department to make coveters weep, Jeffrey nevertheless distinguishes itself with its brand of downtown cool, as evidenced by the DJs who provide shoppers with a thumping backbeat and the friendly staff who take a personal approach to their customer service. Once you’re laden with bags and light of wallet, you can skip along to the many other designer boutiques in the surrounding blocks.
Meatpacking’s not short on destination restaurants, either. La Sirena is a particular favourite; the palatial restaurant — operated by celebrity chef Mario Batali and business partner Joe Bastianich — has imbued the neighbourhood with kinetic Italian hospitality. You can linger in the tapas bar, where the food veers towards the Iberian Peninsula, or line your stomach with dishes like stinging nettle cavatelli with lamb ragu in the main dining room.
La Sirena is a must for the gastronauts, but if you’re hungering for scene, Bagatelle exerts an almost magnetic attraction for A-listers and see-and-be-seen types. The best time to visit? Weekend brunch, when the French food is accompanied by endless glasses of rosé and a nightclub-style soundtrack.
Speaking of nightclubs: in a neighbourhood as nightlife-oriented as Meatpacking, how do you choose where to spend your evening? If dancing and deep house are what you seek, then make Cielo your destination for all-night partying. Famous for its roster of big-name, international DJs as well as its cosy dance floor — and strict door policy — this club is one of the few spots where New Yorkers really let their hair down.
Le Bain at the Standard Hotel
And then there’s Le Bain. The Standard Hotel’s penthouse club — with its stunning views of the High Line, Hudson, and beyond — is famous for its dance floor plunge pool that’s frequently filled with frolicking, skimpily attired swimmers. During the summer, head up to the roof, which has the feel of a pool party thanks to stacks of towels and kitschy Astroturf. Few other nightlife spots feel quite as exciting — or as New York — as this.
Written by Claire Bullen
Image credits: The Gansevoort © The Gansevoort, The High Line © iStock: Lya_Cattel