The Top 12 Restaurants Inside Grocery Stores Across The US

Grocery shopping is one of life's necessary routines, but it doesn't always have to be a rushed, mundane activity. Wouldn't it be nice if you could sit down for a nice meal before even leaving the store? Well, in some places, you can. We're not referring to the fast-food setup inside the local mega-mart — we're talking about something more unique, regional, or perhaps gourmet. Throughout the United States, grocers are recognizing the value of putting restaurants inside their stores. 

For grocery stores that have the square footage, the nationwide food-hall trend is an inspiration. Having multiple dine-in options inside the store is a great way to bring in customers looking to make a mini-excursion out of their weekend food run. It's also an excellent opportunity for food vendors or chefs on the rise to expand their business. At the same time, smaller, independent grocery store owners have a closer relationship to food than one might expect and approach the in-store dining experience like a locals-only secret.

The restaurants in these stores serve as a cultural expression and gathering place within the community. Either way, if you like your food shopping with a side of ... food, these are the top restaurants inside grocery stores across the U.S.

1. Despaña Fine Foods and Tapas Cafe - Manhattan, New York

Manhattan has no shortage of gourmet food stores, wine shops, and tapas cafes, but it's rare to find all three in one spot — unless you visit Despaña Fine Foods and Tapas Cafe in SoHo. Despaña Foods first opened as a chorizo shop in Queens, and while the original location remains open, the second store in Manhattan is a real standout thanks to the cafe-style restaurant on the premises.

The packets of serrano ham and smoked sheep's milk cheese in the market section are perfect picks for your next Spain-inspired charcuterie board, and out-of-the-ordinary finds like quince jelly are a tempting addition to your shopping basket, yet it's the aroma of authentic tapas plates and bocadillo sandwiches hot off the panini press that might keep your attention. You don't even have to go shopping to make the most of what Despaña Fine Foods and Tapas Cafe is cooking up. A rotating selection of three-course tapas menus is a regular occurrence, and the location offers covered outdoor seating to use during the warmer months.

This gourmet store doesn't stop at tins of smoked fish and glass bottles of imported Spanish olive oil — at Despaña Fine Foods and Tapas Cafe, you'll eat food that holds its own against many other restaurants in the area.

2. Bogusha's Polish Restaurant & Deli - Portland, Maine

Portland, Maine is a foodie town, known as much for eclectic eats as it is for upscale farm-to-table restaurants. It's also where you can pop into a neighborhood deli, grab some Polish sausage, candy, or dry goods, and sit down to a satisfying meal that transports you right to the home kitchens of Poland. Bogusha's Polish Restaurant & Deli Store opened on Stevens Avenue in 1996 as a family business. A few tables are set up in the small space where you can have a seat and order off a menu of traditional Polish delicacies.

Two particular highlights are hunter's stew (bigos) and bean stew with kielbasa (fasola po Polsku). The pierogis are stuffed with your choice of potato and cheese, potato and bacon, or cabbage and mushroom. Meat-stuffed cabbage rolls (golabki), meat croquettes, goulash, and noodles sautéed with sauerkraut are some of the other delights you'll find on Bogusha's modest menu.

The store is simple — fluffy babkas and layer cakes are only sold during festive seasons like Easter and Christmas — and the dining experience is equally down to earth. Bogusha herself will likely take your order and prepare it for you in the kitchen. This is real, hearty Polish eating, and on a cold Portland day, we can't think of anything better.

3. Basil Doc's Pizza inside Leevers Locavore - Denver, Colorado

Denver has long adored food halls. With around 12 food halls operating around the mile-high city, it makes sense that a grocery store in the Northside neighborhood saw potential in the idea. That grocery store is Leevers Locavore, where you'll get a whole lot more than aisles of shelved food. Leevers has been in the grocery store game since 1938 and has been doing business in Colorado for 40 years.

One of Leevers' mantras is "Elevating Local Food," which is all the more reason why it wanted to include local food vendors in the mix when Leevers Locavore opened in 2019. Alongside a sushi counter, a sandwich shop, and a cafe, Leever's has teamed up with Basil Doc's Pizza, a Denver-based pizzeria that's been open since 1996.

Basil Doc's Pizza is known for Italian classics like house-made stromboli, calzones, and, of course, pizza — all cooked in a brick oven and made with 100% natural ingredients. The pizzeria serves breakfast burritos until noon and also offers sweet treats like the Nutella Empanda. If you're part of the after-office crowd, plan your visit between 3-7 p.m. when the daily happy hour takes place. In addition to discounted prices on drafts of beer and glasses of wine, Basil Doc's Pizza offers special prices on pizza during happy hour, like a 6-inch cheese pie for five bucks.

4. Rio Market - Queens, New York

If you've ever been to the Astoria neighborhood of Queens, you know it's home to people from all over the globe. One section of Astoria is even dubbed "Little Brazil" for its concentrated Brazilian population, and that's where you'll find a quaint restaurant inside Rio Market.

What began as a bodega that owner Ricardo Bastos opened in 1994 to provide locals with the comforts of home has grown into a supermarket-sized store on 36th Avenue. Rio Market is a one-stop shop for Brazilian products and more, but even guests who aren't looking to stock up on packages of sweets, meats, Havaianas flip-flops, or hygiene products straight from the South American nation are inclined to stop in for a hot plate of food.

The buffet-style spreads at Rio Market are pretty impressive and change often. Assortments of rice, meat and seafood, desserts, pizza, and even sushi rolls are up for grabs on a trip to Rio Market. The grocery store advertises breakfast plates as well, and they also deliver if you're feeling homebound. It's common to see most of the tables occupied on weekend afternoons when locals gather to eat, socialize, and watch a Brazilian soccer game on Rio Market's big flatscreen TV.

5. Joong Boo Market - Chicago, Illinois

Calling all Chicagoans! If you love Korean food, Joong Boo Market is where you ought to be. Asian grocery stores are awesome places to buy goodies like frozen fish cake, kimchi, and Green Tea Kit Kats, but Joong Boo Market out of Chicago sets itself apart in a major way with its crown jewel: the Snack Corner.

Joong Boo opened its flagship location on Chicago's North Kimball Avenue in 1992, and in 2018, it added a second location in Glenview, Illinois. Years later, the Korean market continues to thrive, with many dedicated patrons flocking to the Snack Corner to fill up on stir-fried glass noodles, steamed shrimp dumplings, spicy soups laden with tofu, and bulgogi beef — all at a reasonable price.

After a meal at Joong Boo Market, you'll probably wish you could recreate something similar at home, and you can! The store sells meal kits, too. As if the Snack Corner wasn't heavenly enough, there's also the Wang Mandoo window adjacent to the market entrance where you can buy pillowy, generously sized, handmade dumplings at $3.50 apiece. These dumplings come in three flavors: Pork, Kimchi with Pork, and Black Rice bun with Red Bean. Don't stall — they sell out almost every day.

6. La Pizza & La Pasta inside Eataly - multiple locations

When you step into the glittery metropolis of an Eataly grocery store, you're encouraged to eat with your heart, but the sheer size of the place might make your heart unsure of which in-store restaurant to choose. We understand, and that's why we're here to guide you to the not-so-creatively named (yet undeniably delicious) eatery, La Pizza & La Pasta.

Eataly is technically a grocery store, but it looks more like a showroom, and while other grocers were carving out space for deluxe food stalls in their shops, Eataly was setting up full-on restaurants with table service and fine-dining entrees. The food at La Pizza & La Pasta may be straightforward Italian fare, but the swanky ambiance will make you forget that you can grocery shop there, and the time-honored classics like Pizza Napolitana and Spaghetti Al Pomodoro do not disappoint.

Eataly locations are dotted all over North America: There are two posts in Manhattan, as well as stores in Boston, Toronto, Chicago, Dallas, Las Vegas, Silicon Valley, and Los Angeles. But as its name implies, Eataly's origin lies in Torino, Italy, where it was established in 2007 as a grocery store and dining hub designed to celebrate the best cuisine from various regions in the country. There are 13 Eataly grocery stores in Italy alone, not to mention a slew of international locations in major cities across three continents, from Istanbul to Tokyo to Stockholm.

7. Mendocino Farms inside Whole Foods - Tustin, California

Whole Foods was one of the first major supermarket chains to get creative with restaurants in its stores. The U.S. and U.K. are home to over 500 Whole Foods Markets, and although you'll find restaurants inside many of them, these eateries differ by region. In 2016, the first Mendocino Farms arrived at a Whole Foods located in the Southern California city of Tustin. Bread, meat, veggies, and cheese may not be a particularly fancy combo, but it can be amazing, especially when it's made with the level of care and consideration Mendocino Farms puts into the sandwiches (and salads) on its menu. 

Plant-based sandwiches like The Happy Hippie and Vegan Banh Mi are popular picks and feature fresh produce grown by local farmers. Meat eaters also have plenty to sink their teeth into; these options include the Peruvian Steak Sandwich, the "Not So Fried" Chicken Sandwich, and the Thai Mango Salad. Mendocino Farms has been a welcome addition to Whole Foods shoppers in Tustin. Reviewers consistently praise the eatery's commitment to using fresh, high-quality ingredients and providing friendly service, even during the lunch rush.

Whole Foods invested in Mendocino Farms back in 2015, and this has proven itself to be a smart move. Mendocino Farms began as a small family business with one location in downtown Los Angeles in 2005, and today, it boasts over 50 locations between California, Texas, and Washington, with plans to expand even more.

8. Santouka Ramen inside Mitsuwa Marketplace - multiple locations

It's hard to know where to begin in a place like Mitsuwa Marketplace. The Japanese supermarket has 12 stores throughout the U.S. and offers an outstanding selection of items sure to fulfill all your supermarket desires. But that's not all: The massive food court inside Mitsuwa makes it a go-to destination for eating — no food shopping necessary. At Mitsuwa, you'll have upward of 15 food stalls to choose from, and we're not saying you have to choose just one (most people don't), but if you need a push in the right direction, we suggest you place an order at Santouka Ramen.

Mitsuwa fans agree: Why venture to a high-end ramen restaurant when you can get a steaming bowl of goodness that's just as good right in the grocery store? In fact, New Yorkers are known to take an hour-long bus ride to the Mitsuwa in Edgewater, New Jersey just to spend the afternoon there.

Mitsuwa's first stores opened in California in 1998, but Santouka's origins lie in Japan's northernmost island, Hokkaido. The cold winters there inspired the popular Sapporo style of ramen, distinguished by a buttery broth and hearty toppers like corn, pork belly, and seasoned egg — all of which can be yours on a visit to Santouka Ramen. Not sure what to order? Customer favorites at Santouka include the Spicy Miso Ramen and the Melty Pork Ramen.

9. Sahadi's - Brooklyn, New York

Not just any N.Y.C. grocer is heralded as a "New York Institution." There's Russ and Daughters, Zabar's, and, of course, Sahadi's, an Eastern grocer that opened in Manhattan in 1895, relocated to Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn Heights in the 1940s, and has been there ever since. Known for carrying bulk bins of dried fruit, cheeses, and nuts at affordable prices, Sahdi's received a James Beard Award in 2017 in the America's Classics category. In 2019, Sahadi's decided to open a second location and include a restaurant inside the new store.

The 7,500-square-foot space in Brooklyn's Industry City lets Sahadi's potential as a restaurant shine. In addition to its signature bulk bins and shelves of other specialty items, the open kitchen area invites diners to enjoy table service with a full bar and house goodies like pita, falafel, and saj sandwiches.

But don't just take our word for it. Yelp reviews rave about the affordability and awesome house-made food (which includes hummus and desserts), so if you plan on eating in the grocery store, Sahadi's would be an excellent choice.

10. Oki Sushi inside Mariano's - Chicago, Illinois

Mariano's has set up something of a mini-empire in the Chicago area. The supermarket chain known for its bevy of amenities, organic produce, and specialty items has over 40 locations, all within Illinois. The untold truth about Mariano's, especially if you've never been there before, is that you should make time to stop for lunch. In particular, Oki Sushi is a very worthy choice.

Oki, which translates from Japanese as "open sea," boasts a menu of special rolls, shareable platters, poke bowls, buddha bowls, traditional maki rolls, and a small selection of appetizers. If you like to customize your order, Oki Sushi is accommodating: Brown rice can be swapped out for white on any menu item, and all sushi rolls can be made with soy paper rather than nori if you're not a seaweed fan.

Mariano's places a lot of emphasis on ethically sourced, sustainable food products, and those standards are readily apparent at Oki Sushi. The chefs there use organic vegetables and rice for all their creations, and the restaurant-quality fish and nori are flown in from Japan. Prices are moderate; the à-la-carte sushi and sashimi costs run a little steep, but it's a treat to pull up a chair at the counter to watch the skilled chefs at work and taste their food before heading to the check-out lanes.

11. La Bodega Peruvian Restaurant & Store - Miami, Florida

Miami, Florida has a ton of Peruvian restaurants, but one of them is particularly hidden, and it's a gem. Located inside a bodega within a shopping plaza, La Bodega Peruvian Restaurant & Store is an all-inclusive stop for groceries and a seriously delicious meal that's authentic to the core. Bring some friends, snag a seat at one of La Bodega's white-cloth tables, and prepare to feast on some iconic Peruvian food.

Early birds can dig into a plethora of savory breakfast choices such as corn tamales, fried pork dishes, or an omelet with spinach. The lunch and dinner fare prove just as plentiful with scrumptious seafood, various chicken dishes, fresh ceviche, and desserts. There's much to choose from on La Bodega's vast and flavorful menu (which puts a special focus on Incan ingredients), and the prices are reasonable.

On the grocery side, you'll see plenty of basics in the way of teas, juices, candy, and various dried goods, but linger a while longer and you'll find that the after-dinner crowd is ready to turn this store into a full-tilt fiesta. Live music, karaoke nights, and all-around good times are yet another alluring dimension within the unassuming La Bodega. What started as a simple store 30 years ago has evolved into much more. La Bodega's owners are proud to share their takes on Peruvian Creole cuisine with locals and tourists alike.

12. Warung Kamis inside Indo Java - Queens, New York

Upon entering Indo Java, an Asian market in Elmhurst Queens, you wouldn't think the teensy space packed full of groceries was housing a one-woman restaurant in the back. And yet, that's how store owner Elvi Goliat and Chef Viviane Chin spend every Thursday at Indo Java. Both women immigrated to Queens from different parts of Java and met in Elmhurst. Goliat wanted to sell ready-made food from pop-up kitchens in her store, similar to the "warungs," or Javanese food stalls that are a staple of Indonesian life. Chin began cooking her meals on Thursdays under the name Warung Kamis and quickly gained a following among locals.

Pressured by city health inspectors' insistence that a working kitchen was needed for meals to be sold there, a closet-sized space was prepared in the back. Meanwhile, lines for Warung Kamis' varying meal rotation kept coming. Her specialties include slow-cooked curry beef marinated in coconut milk, fragrant rice, and spicy squid, all surrounded by vegetables.

Goliat takes the large inventory of goods she carries at Indo Java seriously, and Chin's exceptional homestyle meals only add to the appeal. The single yellow dining table inside the store barely seats four people, but patrons gather around to chat nonetheless. Chin says she typically sells over 100 plates a day and is used to the tiny kitchen, telling Vice TV, "When people say my food is really good ... I'm happy. I got the recipe from my mom."