Friday Five: Chelsea Hot Spots

Though my apartment is small and old, and I’ve dealt with everything from a leaky gas stove to mice and cockroaches, my neighborhood makes it all worth it. Yes, it’s convenient with its bounty of subway lines and just a few blocks from the West Village (my dream ‘hood), but Chelsea itself has so many hidden gems, especially restaurants, to offer. So today I’m sharing my 5 favorite go-to spots in my beloved home, Chelsea.

Favorite Bagel: Murray’s Bagels

 If I knew how many bagels from Murray’s I’ve consumed in my near 3 years in Chelsea, I probably couldn’t eat another bagel. Actually that’s a lie, I will forever love Murray’s. Whole wheat sesame with scallion cream cheese is my regular order. Do NOT ask to toast your bagel, or you will not be welcome back. But these babies are the freshest, chewiest bagels out there, no toaster is necessary.

Favorite Cafe: The Grey Dog

photo: thegreydog.com

photo: thegreydog.com

There is so much to love about The Grey Dog: ginormous chocolate chip cookies, homemade coconut granola, an endless list of Michigan Sandwiches (I love the #7: granny smith apple with turkey, brie & raspberry mustard). You could eat here every meal of the day, every day of the week and never order the same thing twice. When I want to switch up my usual Starbuck’s morning coffee, I’ll head to The Grey Dog for their perfect hazelnut iced coffee.

Favorite Bakery: Empire Cake

photo: empirecake.com

photo: empirecake.com

And just around the corner is Empire Cake. Their extravagantly decorated fondant cakes on display always leave me tripping over myself as I walk by. Empire has become my go-to when I need to bring dessert to a special occasion. Their cupcakes are good, but you must try their “snack cakes” (pictured above). A more gourmet riff on the Twinkie, the red velvet snack cakes are the perfect way to celebrate or to treat yo’self on a Saturday afternoon.

Favorite Brunch: Tipsy Parson

photo: tipsyparson.com

photo: tipsyparson.com

If restaurants were people, I would want to be Tipsy Parson. This dainty Southern joint is just so precious and comforting from the second you walk in. While the decor may be dainty, the food certainly is not; the Southern fare at Tipsy is big on flavor, which is just what I need for a lazy Sunday brunch. I’ve loved everything I’ve ever tried here, but the “Pig in a Poke” (above) – grits, andouille sausage, poached eggs & grilled toast – is my favorite. Also not to be missed is their “Create-A-Biscuit” selection…oooh honey butter, how I adore thee.

Favorite Pizza: Artichoke

photo: seriouseats.com

photo: seriouseats.com

So I know there is quite the debate over whether or not Artichoke qualifies as good New York pizza. No, the popular spinach & artichoke slice is not a traditional New York slice, but you cannot deny that nothing tastes better than that creamy calorie bomb at 2am. However, when it’s not 2am, I’m a big fan of their Margherita pizza and boxed salad. The salad comes in a small pizza box and is loaded with tomatoes, kalamata olives, artichokes and lots and lots of mozzarella; really, it’s just an excuse to eat more cheese.

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