If you’re ever out in New York with a bunch of friends and you’re squabbling over which restaurant to visit, then Gotham West Market is ideal.
I visited this ground-floor food court, which features multiple food vendors selling everything from coffee to Japanese ramen, for a birthday dinner on our recent trip to New York City.
It’s in the Hell’s Kitchen district of Manhattan, about a 15-minute walk east from Times Square.
Previously an area notorious for gang-related crime, Hell’s Kitchen was redeveloped significantly in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. It’s now chock full of modern apartment buildings, bars and restaurants on its mostly tree-lined streets.
The Entrance to Gotham West Market is on 11th Avenue between 44th and 45th Street. On the night we visited, the area around the market was relatively quiet and we’d wondered if we’d lost our way. Suddenly though, its bright red neon signs came into view inviting us beyond its inky glass windows.
Inside, we took some time to get our bearings. Vendors, with open kitchens where you can see chefs preparing the meals, are dotted around the various sections of the large dining area.
The vendors at Gotham West Market are:
- Uma Temameria – sushi rolls
- Indie Fresh – soups, broth, salads, juice and smoothies
- Ample Hills Creamery – ice cream
- Blue Bottle Coffee – coffee, tea and hot chocolate
- The Cannibal – North American tapas, sandwiches, hot dogs and meat boards plus craft beer, bourbon and whisky
- El Colmado – Spanish tapas
- Genuine Roadside – diner food
- Ivan Ramen – noodles and ramen
- Choza Taqueria – Mexican fare
There’s also a cycle shop – NYC Velo – off to the side of the building.
Seating is at long communal tables and benches like you get at places such as Wagamama and The Stable in the UK.
There’s also some counter seating at the various kitchen fronts for those who want to feel part of the action. Free water is on offer at various stations around the dining areas.
The decor is best described as industrial with a complementary mishmash of concrete floors, bare metalwork and ceramic bricks. It’s dark and kinda cosy.
With so many outlets, choosing what to eat is a challenge. We grabbed some tortilla chips with salsa, cheese and guacamole (“Chips and Salsa Fresca” – $3.50) from Choza Taqueria while we weighed up our options.
The chips came warm and fresh and were blooming lovely.
Sue, Tim and I then opted for something from Choza Taqueria’s menu for our main dishes.
I had the chicken burrito, Timmy went for a chicken “bowl” and Suzie had pork tortilla (all $8.73). As it was my birthday, I also treated myself to a side of rice and beans ($2.50). I know, I know, a bit extravagant.
My chicken burrito, which included charred pineapple to complement the lemon in the chicken, was fabulous.
We washed our Mexican food down with a Mexican beer. And in the community style of the market, we ordered and paid for it at the Choza Taqueria counter and then collected it over at The Cannibal – the building’s main bar.
Tiff’s a big fan of sushi rolls. So she gave the Mexican a miss and popped over to Uma Temameria for a Cali Crab temaki “set” (two rolls and a miso soup for $14).
It doesn’t look like table service is standard at Gotham West Market. But the staff went out of their way to deliver our food to us so we could sit and relax while they were cooking it.
Suitably stuffed, we didn’t go for dessert. However, with all the vendors offering sweet options and an ice-cream parlour on site, finding something to satisfy a sweet tooth wouldn’t have been an issue.
Worth a visit
Gotham West Market is definitely worth a visit if you’re in New York, just for the experience if nothing else. The choice – and the food – is great.
Plus, there’s a relaxed and slightly quirky atmosphere where everyone fits in.
Info: Gotham West Market is at 600 11th Avenue, New York, 10036. Phone (+1) 212 582 7940. Open from 7am-11pm Sunday to Thursday and 7am-12am Friday and Saturday.