Step Inside Chelsea Market, The Giant Food Mecca Where Googlers Go When They're Sick Of Free Lunch

Google was one of the first major tech companies to open offices in New York City, fueling what has become a serious tech boom on the East Coast.

And now the internet search giant is expanding its already large footprint in the city, signing on for another 75,000 square feet at Chelsea Market, according to Crain’s New York.

Employees who work in the company’s Chelsea Market space and across the street at Google’s New York headquarters are incredibly lucky. Chelsea Market isn’t your typical office building — its most attractive feature is a massive food market on the first floor, offering high-quality food to tourists and locals alike.

We recently paid a visit to Chelsea Market to get a feel for the scene. We found a lunchtime atmosphere that would be extremely attractive to any company, with food options that are diverse and tasty enough to pull Googlers away from their free lunches.

Chelsea Market is located in a hip neighbourhood on the west side of Manhattan.

The structure itself is huge, taking up the entire block. With its recent expansion, Google now has nearly 400,000 square feet on the second and fourth floors of the market. Several media companies, like MLB.com and the Food Network, lease space in the upper floors of the building.

Google's New York City headquarters are right across the street at 111 Eighth Avenue, in the former Port Authority building. The search giant reportedly paid $US1.8 billion for the building in 2010, and it's so big that its elevators can accommodate 18-wheeler trucks.

Source: Wired

Chelsea Market is located in what used to be the National Biscuit Company factory. A glass case of memorabilia honours the building's past.

The inside has a deconstructed feel to it.

And a busy lunchtime crowd mills about.

There are plenty of high-end food options here.

Fresh pasta is made on-site daily at Giovanni Rana Pastificio & Cucina, which has a full-service restaurant in addition to takeout options.

Amy's Bread is often named among the best bakeries in the country, well worth a wait in line.

The fresh bread behind the counter is made through slow fermentation and traditional baking methods. They're known for their Semolina bread, baked with golden raisins and fennel.

Fat Witch is another bakery that's famous for its out-of-this-world brownies.

As you walk further down the crowded halls, you'll see signs of the building's tech tenants. Here's where Googlers would go to access their upstairs offices.

They're the only people who can use these elevators.

And they can get their shoes shined or their hair cut at this station just opposite the elevator bank.

Ninth Street Espresso brews strong specialty drinks that coffee purists rave about. It's a perfect thing to grab for anyone heading up to the Google offices.

Buon Italia is an Italian specialty grocery store that always draws a crowd.

It offers some of the most authentic Italian groceries in all of New York City.

Some of the stores and restaurants have employees distributing free samples to people as they pass by.

A shop called Spices and Tease offers a huge selection of beautiful homemade spices.

They also have more than 100 varieties of imported teas, including green Japanese bancha, South American yerba mate, and Chinese black oolong.

You can really find any kind of food you want in this market. Los Tacos No. 1 may look like an old-fashioned burger stand, but it serves up some simple but savory tacos.

And there are some seriously adorable dessert options at Ruthy's.

Most of the restaurants have some space to eat inside.

But others spill out into the main hallway.

In fact, there seem to be people eating everywhere there's space to sit.

I decided to try out the Lobster Place for lunch.

Inside, it was packed with customers.

All of their fresh fish options were out on display.

It would be tough for the fish to be any fresher than this.

In the back, adventurous eaters can purchase whole lobsters for lunch.

These seemed to be a crowd favourite.

There wasn't much space available in the restaurant, so I headed over to these steps to eat my lunch.

The smoked salmon sandwich I had was delicious, and for $US10, it was a great deal.

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