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Delicious, Diverse Dining at Whole Foods Market on the Bowery in New York City

[ NEW YORK, NY - NYC - 11/13/2007 - www.Littleviews.com ]

This article expands one featured on October 2007 in the Simple Dining section.

Whole Foods Market, the Bowery, New York CityAdd a grocery store to your list of wonderful places to eat in New York City - the Whole Foods Market on the Bowery.

All of New York's spectacular Whole Foods Markets are filled with a wide variety of fresh and prepared foods and all provide a place in which to dine, but their spacious Bowery location is an especially appealing destination because it is not overcrowded and its wide-range of food to sample is excellent.

For approximately $8 a pound (as of 2007), you can buy individual portions of fresh, gourmet foods, plus made-to-order cold or hot sandwiches, and gourmet pizzas, to name just a few things!

Do you like beer? Whole Food Market on the Bowery's Beer Room pours New York State brands, which are among 200 beers from around the globe. Like a lot of fresh beer? Then fill up a reusable, half-gallon, glass container, called a growler, for quantity and outstanding flavor.

If you have a tight budget, but a lavish appetite, you can certainly stretch your change here. If you have a sense of wonder and love sampling foods (cheese, new dishes, and old standards) that cannot be satiated via limited restaurant menus, Whole Foods Market on the Bowery is the place to dine.

Eating In

Do you like cheese or want to find out more about it? The Bowery location features the only Whole Foods Market in the nation with a French-style Fromagerie. This is a climate-controlled room that allows cheese to sit out without wrappers. Because of careful environmental preparation, all of the fromagier's cheeses look, smell, and taste wonderful.

With a dining area located right in the store, consider buying samples to taste before making a larger purchase. Pictured below are average, ready-to-go slices, but you can order much smaller pieces for your own taste-testing needs.

Whole Foods Market, Cheese Room, New York City

In addition to salad bar offerings, they serve some hot meat, although the buffet is not located in the same area as their salad bar. I recommend their spareribs. If you are on a budget and limit the number of additional items you buy, you can luxuriate in a good plate of ribs for under $8. Others, of course, can just "pig out."

Spareribs at Whole Foods Market, Bowery, New York

Frankly, I like arranging my own taste testing "events" with local friends or out-of-town-guests and this location of Whole Foods Market is a perfect place to do so. Interested in trying different nut butters with crackers, fresh bread, and, perhaps, made-in-New-York jam? Assemble the ingredients for your tasting party here.

Fresh Nut Butters at Whole Foods Market in New York City

But don't stop tasting at nut butters or cheese! You can also buy crispy gourmet pizza, fresh-cut sandwiches, wraps, and a number of other types of made-on-the-spot foods. And then there are sweets! The store features several areas with gourmet desserts, candy, and bakery. Many displays as thrilling to see as they are in high-end shops around town.

Gourmet candy at Whole Foods Market in New York City

Thirsty? You can select from many beverages, including flavored water, regional soda, pre-made tea, fruit drinks, and beer. This location became a beer specialty depot when the City of New York failed to grant them a wine license, and they are so much the better for it.

Beverage variety at Whole Foods Market in New York City

Their salad bar is extensive, featuring everything from American staples to Middle Eastern and Indian foods. It also has a huge olive bar, a soup bar, and a dessert bar that contains perfectly baked, warm fruit crisps and cobblers, along with delicious toppings.

Salad bar at Whole Foods Market in New York City

And then there are quirky treats not found in restaurants, such as a salt service bar.

Salt bar at Whole Foods Market in New York City

Before heading up to the cafeteria area to eat your meal, I recommend buying some high-quality cutlery because the free, plastic forks, spoons, and knives are thin. To maximize your pleasure, consider bringing standard cutlery from home! Likewise, you might want to buy thicker plates, although the free paper plates and the deli cartons do suffice.

Tip: If you plan on dining on the premises, pack individual food selections in tiny deli containers, rather than larger ones. Why? Even though placing three small choices in a larger container might seem logical, when going through the checkout, these items shift, resulting in a mixed-up, stew-type meal.


The dining area is huge. It borders Houston Street, then wraps around the corner along the Bowery. Walk through the entire area to see a few surprising style changes and, at the far end, its large, clean rest rooms.

If your food cooled as you wound your way to the cafeteria, reheat it in a microwave oven. Want to drink New York tap water? That's available, too, along with napkins, sugar, and salt.

Dining area in Whole Foods Market, The Bowery, New York City

Once in the dining area, you can buy hot coffee and tea from a specialty shop featuring reasonably-priced, standard and specialty drinks. You can also order entire meals at Sushiya (a Japanese service bar), Rustica Minardi Osteria (an Italian service bar), Fresh & Wild (a salad and sandwich bar), and Pommes Frites (which serves crisp, Belgium-style frites, i.e., "French fries").

Note that this location provides a WiFi connection. Unfortunately, dining with computer users can be intrusive when those computer users run their power cords along your back in order to reach a wall plug. If everything were perfect, I'd prefer that they confine computer users who need electrical connections to a single table with a power strip running along its center.

All the Other Things to Do Inside and Nearby

While in the store, you can also shop for a wide-range of creams, soaps, and cosmetics (supported by generous testers) in a beautiful, sun-lit room, plus candles, children and baby products, natural-fiber clothing, cookbooks, meditation books, exercise-related products, and gourmet kitchenware, in addition to groceries. In my opinion, this store is a great place to hold a shower (baby or wedding), especially for coworkers. Let your special guest pick out her own food and gifts!

Whole Foods Market on the Bowery is located corner of Houston and the Bowery, between Elizabeth Street and the Bowery in New York City.

Among many interesting things to see nearby is Patricia Field's wild, club-dress and fashion shop at 320 Bowery (Pat was the stylist for Sex and the City). If you enjoy cooking, stroll south along Elizabeth to check out professional equipment at restaurant supply houses. Turn west one block south of Houston to stroll along Prince Street, where you'll find numerous boutiques and other shops.

Questions? Just ask!
Karen Little

Article and photos by Karen Little. Photos taken with permission by Whole Foods Market. Brief article first posted on 11/4/2007. Expanded article posted on 11/13/2007. All rights reserved by www.Littleviews.com

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