First Impressions: Canal Street Market Food Hall

Back story: Philip Chong created Canal Street Market as a way to do something different with the 12,000-square-foot retail space at 265 Canal, which his family owns. The shopping half opened back in December with a mix of permanent and temporary vendors selling objets d’art, jewelry, bonsai, and so on. The food half opened yesterday with 12 vendors, all but one of which are long-term: Boba Guys, Billy’s Bakery, Davey’s Ice Cream, Fresh&Co, Ilili Box, Ippudo Kuro-Obi, The Izakaya/Samurice, Lulu, Nom Wah Kuai, Oppa, and Uma Temakeria. (One of the stalls is being reserved as a pop-up space; Petee’s Pie Co. is the current occupant.) With the exception of Lulu, which makes smoothies, all of the vendors have other outposts or are affiliated with other restaurants.

The atmosphere: It looks fantastic, more stylish and less sterile than Hudson Eats at Brookfield Place. I visited before noon on opening day, so it wasn’t busy yet, but crowd control could become an issue as people waiting to order jostle for space with those awaiting their food. And as with Le District, there’s an eerie lack of smell, likely due to the fact that the cooking happens elsewhere, with dishes assembled on the premises.

The menus: Given the location on the edge of Chinatown, the emphasis is on Asian cuisine—dim sum, Korean BBQ, ramen, sushi burritos, bubble tea, and so on—but you’ll also find salads, Lebanese-inspired dishes, grain bowls, ice cream, pie, and smoothies. The photos below can be enlarged; I didn’t see Billy’s Bakery, so it’s not included here.

Gold star: I ordered shrimp-and-snow-pea-leaf dumplings from Nom Wah Kuai, a salmon-ritto from Uma Temakeria, and blueberry pie from Petee’s, and everything was delicious. Also good news: The food hall is open seven days a week, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Room for improvement: If you live or work nearby, you can take your food back to the home or office, but those of us planning to eat at Canal Street Market may find the lack of seating—or even standing—to be a potential problem. There are a handful of high tables in back, some wooden bench seats, and a counter up front, and one vendor (The Izakaya/Samurice) has four dedicated stools. But that’s it. And the nearest outdoor seating is at Collect Pond Park, four blocks away.

Anything else: The signage that appears to segregate the benches by gender is actually meant to indicate where the restrooms are.

Contact: Canal Street Market is at 265 Canal (between Broadway and Lafayette); 646-691-1655; canalstreet.market.

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1 Comment

  1. Looks great…can’t wait to try the pies…hope there are vegan ones.

    Too bad about the seating, but I expect that will be expanded soon.

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