What To Eat (And Skip) At Olly Olly Market feature image

NYCFeature

What To Eat (And Skip) At Olly Olly Market

At this food hall in Chelsea, you can get a quick lunch, have a drink, or try your luck at snagging a cult-favorite scallion pancake burrito.

Joining the recent onslaught of NYC food halls is Olly Olly Market in Chelsea. Do we need another adult cafeteria to eat in? Does this have something to do with the loneliness epidemic? If so, Olly Olly does fill up at lunch, and it's a good place to sneak an afternoon cocktail at the super social bar. They also have free wifi. But there isn’t much else to differentiate this food hall from the rest.

The semi-upscale food court is only open on weekdays, and it will eventually have 11 vendors, but only five are open right now. Aside from a few great tacos and a scallion pancake burrito that runs out by early afternoon, the food isn’t worth going out of your way for. You can get in and out with a halfway decent lunch, but come after 5pm and you’ll find yourself in a ghost town, with a DJ who eventually appears to keep you company when you’re too tired to venture elsewhere for an after-work drink. Here’s a rundown of your current dining options.

THE SPOTS

photo credit: Kate Previte

Forsyth Fire Escape review image
7.8

Forsyth Fire Escape

Perfect For:BreakfastLunch

$$$$

601 W 26th St, New York
Earn 3X Points

Forsyth Fire Escape is the most famous of the food hall inhabitants, and they've brought their fans with them. (Previously, they operated out of an apartment and ran a pop-up at a Chinatown bodega.) There's still only one food item on the menu: a $14 burrito that comes with pernil, fried queso blanco, guacamole, and fish sauce-heavy lemongrass chili crisp oil—all wrapped in a thick scallion pancake. It's a tasty, greasy package of food, and the strong lemongrass flavor gives the whole thing a surprising kick. But wait times can currently stretch up to an hour. We once encountered someone who proudly announced they took a sick day from work to stand in line here. Whether you should use your PTO to snag one of these burritos is up to you.

Ploo is a great substitute if you can’t get your hands on one of those scallion pancake burritos from Forsyth Fire Escape. Unfortunately, Ploo tends to run out of stuff by late afternoon as well, thanks to their chewy handmade flour tortillas filled with meat that’s been so thoroughly marinated it’s like they’re trying to win a medal for it. Only the “Army of Meat” steak taco automatically comes on a flour tortilla, but feel free to sub flour for corn for any of the others, and don’t forget to add a side of smokey bone marrow salsa.

photo credit: Andrew Sokolow

Ddobar review image

Ddobar

Perfect For:LunchQuick Eats

Ddobar is a Korean-Chinese spot from the team behind Joomak Banjum. At the moment, you can get a selection of yubu tarts, which are essentially Korean inari pockets that you can customize with an assortment of toppings. Egg, pork belly, and ponzu salmon work well with the sticky sweetness of the tofu, but you can skip the mackerel and spicy tuna. They also have plans to debut a rotating menu of large plates and a chef’s counter concept in the near future. For now, stop by for a solid snack and one of the surprise hits of the food hall: a creamy earl gray soft serve.

Despite their insistence on describing themselves as an “Italian street food meets NYC deli” concept, Pen 'n' Coop isn’t reinventing the wheel. They’re just a solid sandwich shop that deals in rotisserie chicken and porchetta, with a couple vegetarian options thrown in. The Mr. Cooper sandwich does a good job with the classic combo of pesto, burrata, roasted red peppers, and decently moist chicken on a crusty roll, but it could use a bit more meat.

Pizza Friendly Pizza is a Sicilian slice shop from Chicago. At this New York outpost, they do their best to woo you by putting all of their thick, bready pizzas on display under a glass case in front—and all of the pies seem intriguing enough. You’ll see one with white anchovies on a ton of greens and another with acorn squash and goat cheese. But all of the pizzas taste strangely similar, overpowered by the sweet red pizza sauce. Also, they come out pretty dry after reheating.

Suggested Reading

Ploo review image
Review
Ploo

Inside of Chelsea's Olly Olly Market, Ploo serves tacos with impressively soft handmade tortillas. Get one with a side of bone marrow salsa.

Forsyth Fire Escape review image
7.8
Review
Forsyth Fire Escape

Forsyth Fire Escape's scallion pancake burrito is the most coveted item at Chelsea's Olly Olly Market. Is it worth the hour-long wait?

The Best Restaurants In Chelsea guide image
Guide
The Best Restaurants In Chelsea

Where you should be eating in SW3.