By Linda Seigelman
Canal Street, one of the last bastions of New York City’s former – and grittier – self is undergoing gentrification. Amid the electronics stores, T-shirt shops and knock-off kiosks, cafés, upscale clothing boutiques and home furnishing emporiums have made a stand. It is only a matter of time until they will have changed the tenor of the neighborhood forever.
Among the many interesting developments in the area is the Canal Street Market, a 22,000 square-foot food hall and retail space, near the intersection with Lafayette Street. The design is open and airy with high ceilings, blond wood and lots of natural light. The Market is organized into three sections. Near the main entrance, and with extended hours beyond the retail area, there are three vendors: Office Coffee which brews Stumptown coffee drinks and has light snacks and treats; The Flower Shop selling seasonal greens and unusual flower arrangements; and Office Magazine which features artsy posters, magazines and sweatshirts. There are a few tables and comfortable seating on which to enjoy your purchases, take a breather, or just do a bit of people-watching.
Behind this section is the retail area which is composed of artfully arranged kiosks offering unique clothing, housewares, jewelry, accessories and design concepts. Some vendors are established brands, others are up and coming, but all are interesting and attractive. It’s a great place to pick up gifts for the holidays or a special something for oneself. The tenant roster changes regularly to keep things fresh and encourage return visits. All current and prior vendors can be tracked on the Market’s website.
The food hall occupies the entire right side of the Canal Street Market building and can be accessed via a pass-through from the retail space or from a separate sidewalk entrance. It should not be missed. There are about a dozen vendors – most have connections to the area (other locations), many have an Asian bent, and all are enticing. It’s hard to choose, so try a few and share. Casual seating is available to enjoy your purchase onsite, but all items can be specially prepared and packaged for takeaway as well.
Canal Street Market is a great addition to the neighborhood. Check it out when you have some time.
WHAT TO EAT AT CANAL STREET MARKET
Azumma – Korean-Mexican mash-up, burritos, tacos, rice bowls, lettuce wraps, create your own or choose one of their combos
Boba Guys – specialists in the very popular bubble milk tea, iced and hot milk teas, traditional teas and tea lattes, all customizable for type of milk and level of sweetness
Bonsai Kakigori – the art of Japanese shaved ice, unique textures and flavors from combinations of seasonal fruit and handmade toppings, the rhubarb cobbler and coconut lime crunch are winners
Davey’s Ice Cream – in-house pasteurization and seasonal ingredients produce high quality ice cream, classic favorites like roasted pistachio and salted caramel and Asian-inspired treats like Thai Iced Tea and
Black Sesame Fresh & Co. – seasonal and organic ingredients become delicious salads, grain bowls and toasties (on ciabatta), try the Korean BBQ grain bowl, the falafel salad or the chicken shawarma toastie, cookies and desserts too
ILILI Box – delicious classic and Asian inspired Lebanese food, falafel, halloumi, labne, hommus, try the Phoenician fries and the roasted duck wrap
Izakaya x Samurice – the best of Japanese takeout, beautifully prepared bento boxes, curry rice, rice bowls, try the unique miso soup dish
Kuro-Obi – Japanese ramen spin-off from Ippudo, choose their standard combinations or customize the dish, great broth is the key, warms the soul
Luke’s Lobster – another outpost offering all things lobster – there’s also shrimp and crab – at reasonable prices, the lobster roll is classic, plus chowders, slaws and seasonal greens, craft brews and sodas too
Mission Ceviche – a Peruvian culinary highlight, fresh ingredients and daily seafood specials, try their signature bowls or create your own, rice bowls and causas (Peruvian yellow potato mousse) are also tasty