There are times when shopping is more like an Olympic sport than a fun and rewarding leisure activity. When you’re in the middle of a marathon shopping spree, it’s crucial to stop for sustenance—especially if you want to avoid bickering with the spouse or having a kid meltdown in the middle of a store. Luckily, these non-grocery stores with amazing restaurants have a delicious food selection to keep your energy high and your hanger levels low.
From the budget- and family-friendly (hello IKEA!) to the upper crust (ever dreamed of breakfast at Tiffany’s?), there’s something for every taste, occasion, and shopping trip. And from coast to coast, these aren’t just cafeterias with sad tuna sandwiches. They are top-notch restaurants that are—for those in the know—a culinary destination in themselves.
So the next time you go shopping and feel your stomach grumbling, visit one of these non-grocery stores with amazing restaurants to refuel and recharge. For more restaurant and fast food guides, subscribe to the Eat This, Not That! magazine—for a limited time you can get 50 percent off the cover price!
ABC Carpet & Home
If you have doubts about dining in a furniture store, then consider that the three restaurants operated within New York’s ABC Carpet & Home (abcv, ABC Kitchen, and ABC Cocina) are helmed by Michelin star chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten and are some of the hottest reservations in town. From hearty kale salads to whole-wheat pizzas, ABC Kitchen sources local, high-quality ingredients for its dishes. As a shopping bonus, nearly everything in the eateries—from the lighting to the plates—is for sale. Talk about multitasking!
Barnes & Noble Kitchen
Sure, you’re probably used to seeing Starbucks inside Barnes & Nobles bookstores, but did you know the bibliophile mega-chain has gotten into the restaurant business for themselves? They now have five locations across the country of their upscale casual restaurant, Barnes & Noble Kitchen. Inside its menu, you’ll find a tasty selection of American classics, including a brisket burger, avocado toast, snap pea spaghetti, and chicken Caesar salad.
If you think fishing poles are the only things you can get at Bass Pro stores, think again. They also operate a number of destination resorts and eight nationwide restaurants inside or adjacent to their stores. One of them, White River Fish House, was even named the best restaurant in Branson, MI so these eateries are no joke!
A relic of upscale department store dining, Freds at Barneys—named for the founder’s son—was the epicenter of the nouvelle cuisine that was popular in the 60s and 70s. Today, four locations remain in the Beverly Hills, Chicago, and two in New York Barneys. A popular spot for well-heeled shoppers to refuel, Freds will fill your need for fine dining with menu items like tuna tartare, lamb chops, and seared sea scallops.
Bed, Bath, and Beyond
Though they have a growing selection of edible items for sale, Bed, Bath, and Beyond isn’t typically associated with food. Two of their New York locations are changing that, with the opening of Café Beyond at their Sixth Avenue location. They also opened Bay Market Kitchen in the Liberty View Industrial Plaza in Sunset Park alongside sister stores Cost Plus World Market, Buy Buy Baby, Harmon cosmetics, and, of course, a large Bed, Bath, and Beyond.
Some people go to Bloomingdale’s to shop, but others go there just to eat at Forty Carrots. The café hidden inside select locations offers salads, sandwiches, and other chic café fares, but their big draw is the frozen yogurt, which some say secretly the best in the country. Choose from fancy froyo toppings, such as wildflower honey, carob chips, and chocolate-covered goji berries.
Ok, so maybe it’s no secret that you can eat at IKEA, but it’s still worth noting—and there’s more there than Swedish meatballs. The budget-friendly chain extends their good prices to their restaurants with offerings like $2 breakfast, $3 lunch, and $4 dinner during the week and kids’ meals starting at $2.49.
Opened by the founder of Hallmark in 1916, Halls department store has become a Kansas City, MO institution. The menu at their eatery, H Bar, has an Asian influence with options like miso and wasabi-crusted ahi tuna, ramen soup, and even a saketini to wash it down.
Macy’s is known as the mother of department store dining; they claim that The Walnut Room, which opened in Marshall Fields (now Macy’s) in Chicago back in 1905 was the first restaurant to operate in a department store. Today many of their locations across the country offer an array of dining options, from Rowland’s Bar & Grill at Macy’s Herald Square to Wolfgang Puck Kitchen at Macy’s South Coast Plaza.
With an extensive selection of restaurant options at their nationwide locations, luxury department store Neiman Marcus is a leader in department store dining. Their upscale American restaurant Mariposa can be found from Honolulu to White Plains, NY while slightly more laid back NM Café is a mainstay. Their Beverly Hills location even boasts a vegan eatery, Café on 3.
Although they’re famous for their tomato basil soup (there are countless copycat recipes out there), Nordstrom’s offers plenty for hungry shoppers at more than 200 locations. Whether you’re craving Italian, Asian, or American, a leisurely meal or a quick pick-me-up, there is no shortage of Nordstrom’s dining options.
In the same preppy spirit as the popular stores, Ralph Lauren operates two restaurants in the U.S.: The Polo Bar in New York and RL at the flagship store in Chicago (plus locations in Paris and London). With wood paneling, a classic vibe, and dishes like beef carpaccio and Caesar salad, it’s a solid stop for a refined lunch or dinner.
You’re probably already aware that Restoration Hardware is not a hardware store in the traditional sense of the term, but did you know that their West Palm Beach and Chicago stores also boast upscale restaurants? It’s so fancy even their grilled cheese is truffled.
Tiffany & Co.
Have you always dreamed of having breakfast at Tiffany’s? Well, finally you can at their recently opened Blue Box Café. With chairs, banquettes, and walls all decked out in Tiffany Blue it feels a bit like dining inside one of the swanky jeweler’s iconic boxes. For the full experience, splurge for the Tiffany Tea complete with finger sandwiches.
Although the retail chain is best known for Hawaiian shirts, many Tommy Bahama locations also have adjacent tropical-themed restaurants. It was, in fact, part of the original concept—their first four locations all had restaurants. While enjoying menu items like coconut shrimp and key lime martinis, you may just feel the slightest sea breeze or—at the very least—be inspired to buy some flower-motif clothing.