Can a restaurant in a luxury retail store ever live up to the best standalone fine dining establishments in the world? We decided to find out. In our ongoing series, Retail Restaurants, we go in search of the best restaurants in luxury retail stores in New York, London, Paris and other cities. In this edition, our correspondent Jillian Tangen has rounded up the 10 best places to eat in luxury retail stores the world over right now.
shop, eat, repeat
shopping while hungry
We all know the dangers of grocery shopping when we’re hungry. Try as we might to avoid it, those Justin’s Peanut Butter Cups are going to end up in our cart not matter what.
But did you know that shopping of any kind while hungry is a bad idea? Turns out that researchers have found that the “hunger spending” phenomenon applies not only to the obvious cases of grocery shopping and dining out, but to any type of shopping. That’s because when a person is hungry, they’re more likely to pursue even inedible forms of satisfaction to satiate their cravings.
So chances are, if you shop when you are starving, you might purchase something that you’re going to regret. We’re looking at you, tiny sunglasses.
Fortunately, today’s retailers understand that shoppers aren’t just hungry for new experiences in stores. Sometimes they are in fact just hungry.
fine dining and fashion are now more readily available than ever
And to satisfy these cravings? More and more retailers are adding restaurants to their stores. From options like having an actual breakfast at Tiffany’s in their Blue Box Cafe to grabbing a mid-morning snack at Bergdorf Goodman at Palette, the grand dame department stores of Manhattan have got you covered.
So do the cool-kid stops. For example, Brooklyn’s KITH Treats offers not only sweet kicks, but a smorgasbord of sweets to choose from, including 24 different flavors of cereal complete with an array specialty milks and toppings.
As we all know though, not all dining destinations are created equal and likewise for shopping trips. After all, there are times when shopping is more like an Olympic event than a casual browse. So next time you are in the midst of a marathon shopping spree, where should you stop for a nosh? What are the best places to eat in luxury retail stores around the world right now?
We’ve found ten great shops with top notch restaurants, many of which are culinary destinations in and of themselves, to help you avoid that hangry feeling and the poor purchase decisions that go with it.
the best restaurants in luxury retail stores
New York City
Helmed by Michelin starred chef Jean-George Vongerichten and located within ABC Carpet & Home for almost 10 years, ABC Kitchen is still one one of the busiest dining spots in town. From lemony crab salads to whole wheat pizzas, ABC Kitchen sources local, high quality ingredients for each of its dishes. While there are some over the top dishes here, the menu if full lighter fare options too – all the better to keep you feeling easy breezy once you return to your shopping. And if that wasn’t enough, nearly everything in the restaurant, from the plates to the light fixtures, is for sale.
New to the retail-cum-restaurant scene in New York is L’Avenue at Saks Fifth Avenue. Imported straight from France, L’Avenue has enjoyed over 20 years of success on a Parisian corner on the Avenue Montaigne. Philippe Starck designed the restaurant’s NYC outpost, opting to create “a late art deco vibe meant to evoke Paris in 1945.” So you know for certain it’s tres chic. There’s also a patisserie operated by famous confectioner Pierre Hermé and a cocktail bar designed to channel the spirit of Gstaad in its heyday called Le Chalet. As of now L’Avenue is only open for dinner, but will begin taking lunch customers come April.
Located in the furniture and design store Roman and Williams Guild is La Mercerie, a cafe, bakery and restaurant serving simple but refined French food. After enjoying Michelin recommended dishes like vegetables cooked in saffron broth beneath a puff pastry dome or buckwheat crepes with seafood in a sauce Nantua, diners can take not only any leftover portions home, but also some of their tableware to go too. From the plates to the napkins to the candlesticks to the flower arrangements and even to the tables themselves, everything is a part of the retail experience at this spot.
After perusing some Gucci, Thom Browne and Burberry, head to the top floor of the Dover Street Market for a light, but nonetheless decadent bite at the compact Rose Bakery. This chic space offers shoppers a place to sit while enjoying soups of the day, tea and fresh pastries and cakes before they head back out to the racks that span the multiple floors of this iconic multibrand mecca. Rose Bakery is also at the Dover Street New York, Ginza and LA locations.
If Breakfast at Tiffany’s isn’t your thing, then try lunch at Burberry – more specifically Thomas’s Cafe. Named after the British fashion giant’s founder, Thomas’s serves quintessential British classics like fish and chips in addition to a daily afternoon tea. Open all day, the cafe’s ingredients are sourced from throughout the UK and the cafe even features Burberry items exclusive only to Thomas’s. And while you dine you can have your Burberry scarf monogrammed, making your lunch a truly personal and unforgettable experience.
The Broken Arm.
The menu at The Broken Arm is as tightly edited as the inventory of Balenciaga, Céline and Vetements are in this part shop, part cafe spot. Here you will find a light filled and streamlined cafe where the menu changes almost daily. It’s the perfect spot to meet up for a little shopping with girlfriends followed by a delightful lunch. Just be sure to make reservations since it’s popular with shoppers and non-shoppers alike.
The legendary Milanese concept store Corso Como features clothing and accessories straight off the runways, a bookshop, a gallery, an intimate three room hotel and of course, its own restaurant and cafe. There even a rooftop garden terrace for those who like to dine al fresco, making this the perfect spot to enjoy Italian weather, cuisine and legendary fashion simultaneously. Expect healthy, modern dishes with Italian flair, such as gluten free penne with fresh ricotta, tomato and basil or quinoa with veggies. Corso Como also has locations in Seoul, New York and Shanghai.
More than just a store with a restaurant, Armani/Ristorante is an 80,000 square foot lifestyle complex that houses both the Giorgio Armani and Emporio Armani boutiques, a nightlife lounge called Armani/Prive and the vast two floor Italian restaurant in Ginza. Just like the Armani style, you will find food that is classic, simple Italian ranging from homemade orecchiette to beetroot marinated fish carpaccio. Thanks to its central location in Tokyo’s prestigious shopping district, it is great spot to stop for a bite and a bit of unwinding after a long day of shopping. Armani/Ristorante also has locations in New York, Paris, Milan, Munich, Dubai and Bologna, while the brand has a number of other types of cafes and dining establishments in even more locations.
Beige Alain Ducasse.
If asked, I would have been hard pressed to come up with a way to improve upon a Chanel boutique. But low and behold there is, because at Chanel Ginza in Tokyo, shoppers can browse before dining at Beige Alain Ducasse. Then after you’ve finished your locally sourced Michelin starred meal, any items you have selected will be ready for trying on or buying because Chanel’s customers should never have to wait for their items. This Chanel location also features something called the Chanel Nexus Hall which hosts musical concerts and exhibitions that embody the creative spirit of founder Gabrielle Chanel. Now that’s a pretty amazing Chanel boutique if you ask me.
We would be remiss if we did not include the original Zodiac from Neiman Marcus on our list. The O.G. of department store dining is located on the sixth floor of Neiman Marcus’s downtown Dallas flagship and has been a favorite for more than 50 years. And while you’ll find the name at many other Neiman Marcus locations, including the soon to be open one at Hudson Yards, this one is the original. While you are there, enjoy the restaurant’s famed mandarin orange soufflé or the butter pecan angel food cake.
After all that, I don’t know about you, but I am feeling a little bit hungry and also really ready to do some serious shopping. And possibly also book a trip to Tokyo to hit up Chanel.
But just remember, never shop on an empty stomach. Because not only do you not have to, but you might regret it if you do.
We’ll be continuing our series on the best restaurants in retail stores in New York City and in the world. It’s a tough job, visiting the great shopping emporiums of the world and sampling their dining options. But someone has to do it, dear reader. We’ll report back. In the meantime, bon appetit!
see luxury in a new light
Come and join our community! For a weekly round-up of insider ideas and information on the world of luxury, sign up for our Dandelion Chandelier Sunday Read here. And see luxury in a new light.
ready to power up?
Jillian Tangen is the Head of Research at Dandelion Chandelier. Formerly, she was a Senior Research Analyst at McKinsey & Co and Analyst at Shearman & Sterling. She is an avid fan of Nordic design, having owned an independent lifestyle store and sales agency focused on emerging Scandinavian design. Jillian lives in NYC and is married with three young children. She loves cross country skiing, the New York Rangers, reading, travel and discovering new brands.
Join our community
For access to insider ideas and information on the world of luxury, sign up for our Dandelion Chandelier newsletter. And see luxury in a new light.