Midwest Living Review
Cosmo, coffee, Cabernet? You can have all three while grocery shopping at the Whole Foods flagship store in the Weed Street district of Lincoln Park, the retailer's third-largest store in the world (only the stores in Paris and London are bigger). This is not your typical, in-out grocery run. It's a lifestyle. The mega market has a coffee bar, cocktail lounge and bi-level wine bar ($9 for a three) and chair-massage stations. You can hang out at the upstairs cafe (which seats 200) and seasonal outdoor river walk. Wi-Fi, food samples and parking in the 400-space, enclosed and attached garage are free. The 75,000-square-foot store's old-world streetlamps create an intimate European, open-air market ambience enhanced by theatrically lit fruit and vegetable pyramids and colorful chalkboard, cursive signs. Spacious isles teem with organic goodies (including Chicago's own Alden's ice cream and Uniekaas Robusto Gouda) and 50 Chicago-based food purveyors' products, including Swirlz Cupcakes, Le Creperie crepes and Club Lucky restaurant's pasta sauces. The sprawling meat, seafood and bakery departments are a shopper's dream; so are the blend-your-own scented bath salts and mix and match cookie bars. Six mini ethnic restaurants representing Chicago's diverse neighborhoods dish freshly made meals. Patrons can also pay by the pound for ready-to-scarf seafood, salads and pastas. As you might guess, these convenient amenities are nice but cost more than you're used to spending at the grocery store, so save some cash by checking out the coupons at the helpful customer service desk.