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- @Thrillist Savors the Season With Their End of Summer BBQ! - September 5, 2018
Do you sometimes find yourself craving something to eat, but unsure of what that is? What about group outings where everyone in the mood for something different? Well, this is where a great food hall becomes the perfect spot to grab a bite or meal. We recently visited one of the latest food halls to hit the city scene, The Market Line in the LES.
The first thing you should know is that this is more than a single food court, it’s a bazaar-like marketplace, which runs 3 city blocks long and is located below the newish Essex Market, at the corner Delancey and Essex. Although The Market Line is still in its early phases of development, it was still very impressive with over 30 food vendors, restaurants, butchers, and various specialty grocery stores. What really made this food hall stand out compared to others is how thoughtfully its vendors were selected. All of them are locally sourced and honor the various immigrant groups who once settled in the Lower East Side. It basically highlighted all the things we love about the LES, making it pretty amazing and convenient to have them all under one roof.
The Market Line is intended to feel like a bazaar you may have visited somewhere around the world. Featuring live music, art and able to satisfy any craving you may have. We strolled around this spacious, hip, and modern space until we figured out what we wanted to try on our first visit. Let’s just say it was very difficult to limit our selves to a handful of spots. There were few NYC staples that we had to try like the hand made Ukrainian Perogies from Veselka, and dim sum from Nom Wah, which dates back to 1920s. Both takes on dumplings were delicious and filling.
You also can’t think of the LES and not get a craving for authentic Puerto Rican Food. We stopped by newcomers Que Chevere for a solid plate of roasted pork and yellow rice, with pigeon peas and fried sweet plantains. It was island home cooking at its best. We also had to try Slice Joint, who’s owner Rachael Marie used to work at Roberta’s Pizza before opening up her own spot, offering pizza as a pie or by the slice, using nothing but the best ingredients. Tip: They have a $10 lunch special that you should take them up on, by ordering a grandma squared slice.
Adjacent to them is Kuro-Obi, which offers the popular Ippudo style ramen and quality without the wait. Although this ramen isn’t as satisfying as the richer pork-based ones I’ve had in Japan, it’s still a solid, lighter bowl of ramen with their chicken-based broth. Past the point of full, we couldn’t resist the urge to order some fried calamari from Essex & Pearl’s, a family-owned fish counter which started over 30 years ago down by the Fulton Market. Even though everything we ate was fantastic, their calamari was the star! It was so fresh, lightly battered, crispy and tender. If this is what their takeout counter food tasted like, we can’t wait to come back and have dinner at their sit down restaurant in the back.
It’s not a proper feast if you finish off without dessert. We just happened to have a craving for a cake and ice cream combo, and we found the perfect marriage in Ample Hills’ Ooey Gooey Butter Cake. Made out of creamy vanilla ice cream, and mixed with house-made gobs of St. Louis-style ooey gooey butter cake, this old fashion style ice cream shop nails it. We also grabbed a carrot cake doughnut from Doughnut Plant and espresso from Cafe Grumpy for the road.
The list goes on about the other places we wanted to try, but that’s why every visit to The Market Line will be a different experience. View all the vendors HERE. In addition to trying all the diverse food, we also recommend that you grab a craft beer at The Grand Delancey, shop for premium chef-selected ingredients at the South East Asia Food Group Asian Grocery, and grab some deliciously crisp pickles from The Pickle Guys to enjoy at home. The Market Line will be fully completed in 2021, making it one of the world’s largest and greatest markets boasting 150+ vendors across 150,000 square feet, so there is much, much more to come! Definitely be sure to add them to your foodie list.