There is something to be said about department stores – vast retail spaces masterfully outfitted with colorful, bright, shiny and brand-new high-end products; Most of all, they are carefully crafted and sometimes quite dramatically to capture the attention of the shopper.
And the best department stores will never go out of fashion – think Macy’s in New York; Neiman Marcus in Texas; and Le Bon Marche in Paris, to name a few. However, what truly takes these legendary spaces to the next level is not only their attention to retail detail and elegant surroundings, but their multipurpose appeal that would not be complete without an impressive on-site restaurant. Here are some of the top global websites that seem to effortlessly combine the dynamic retail/restaurant combination – a great showcase of retail giants where shopping and dining go hand in hand.
Japanese Depachika in Nihombashi Mitsukoshi
Nihombashi Mitsukoshi It has the distinction of being the first – and the oldest – department store in Japan. Think Bloomingdale’s, Japanese Style: A two-story corner location in the heart of Tokyo that hosts a vast retail space so popular, a railway station is named in its honor. But there’s more to this premier retail space than its diverse array of goods and services, as Mitsukoshi is also a gastronomic gem that hosts a number of foodie events – and is also home to a diverse selection. Depachika (The Food Court) where shoppers can have a great variety of delicious first class food.
- Site: 1-4-1 Nihombashi Muromachi, Chuo 103-0022, Tokyo
- hours: Opening hours vary by location; But the main attached restaurants are generally open from 11 am to 7 pm
- price: Unknown
- What to try: tempura in Yamanu; sushi kohashi; Edo-style skewers and charcoal-roasted eel in Nihombashi Izumuya; Japanese cakes and sweets in Yoko Moko; Homemade sweets and high tea in cafes
- Fun fact: Nihombashi Mitsukoshi got its start in retailing as a kimono seller in Japan in the 17th century
Absolutely cool bar at Harvey Nichols
London may be best known for its luxury department store Harrods – after all, “the world’s leading luxury department store” is just as well known for its prime location and imposing exterior as it is for its eclectic, high-end goods. Yet there is one opulent spot in Knightsbridge that is making a splash in the London department store scene: the lavish, retro Harvey Nichols. And while this is just one of many HN locations, it’s definitely worth taking a look at due to its eclectic restaurants and buzzing eateries. Fifth floor bar With views of the Knight Bridge skyline.
- Site: 109-125 Knightsbridge, London SW1X 7RJ
- hours: Restaurant opening hours vary. But the store itself is open Monday through Saturday from 10am to 8pm; Sunday 11:30-6 pm
- price: $ – $$$$$
- What to try: Meat Biryani At Madhu Brasserie; Fish and Chips in Café and balcony; Australian rib eye in Zalman meat; Chicken club and truffle chips in Fifth floor bar; lobster roll at Burger and lobster
- Fun fact: The iconic drinking duo was said to be from the hit British show Very Wonderful Harvey Nichols was put on the map due to his frequent visits throughout the series
Dallas Origin in Neiman Marcus
Neiman Marcus is the best when it comes to department store credibility – upscale, upscale, and with its reputation as a supplier of unique merchandise, the specialty retailer has locations across the country. However, the iconic retail company started in Dallas, Texas – and most importantly, this location was (and still is) home to the elegant and upscale restaurant on site. Zodiac room. And while Zodiac has come a long way since its inception in 1957, it still boasts a classic menu that makes it a gastronomic gem in its own right.
- Site: Neiman Marcus Sixth Level, 1618 Main Street Dallas, Texas
- hours: The restaurant is open from Monday to Saturday from 11 am to 3 pm, and is closed on Sunday
- price: $$$ – $$$
- On the list: Stanley Pot Grilled Grilled Cheese Pimento Salad Wedge Mandarin Orange Souffle
- Fun fact: The Zodiac has hosted a number of celebrity guests over the years, including Julia Child, Princes Edward and Philip
Secret Garden at 10 Corso Como in Milan
Milan is the headquarters of fashion giants such as Prada, Armani and Versace. Not to mention some of the best high-end boutique retailers where fashionistas can browse first-class yarns in luxurious and exclusive environments. One such innovative space that takes even department stores to the next level is the dynamic fashion space 10 Corso Como. Making his home in a converted Fiat garage, the sophisticated venue is closer to an art gallery than a retailer – a “full” shopping experience where shoppers can browse items as much as they do a piece of art. Here, the café on the site of the same name extends that elegant and artistic mindset into its hidden garden space where browsers can drink to their hearts’ contents and support.
- Site: Corso Como 10 Milan 20154 Italy
- hours: Sunday to Thursday 11 a.m. – 12 a.m.; Friday and Saturday 11 am – 1 am
- price: $$ – $$$$$
- On the list: Cantabrian anchovies with butter and toast; Saffron cream, risotto and veal. Homemade ravioli, Sicilian shrimp, panna cotta, white chocolate and passion fruit
- Fun fact: In addition to lavish retail space and a luxury café, 10 Corso Como is also home to a luxury and intimate hotel. Art gallery; And a wonderful library
An upscale getaway on Saks Fifth Avenue
Any list of department store restaurants would be incomplete without a mention of one of the many charming (and named after) Big Apple restaurants. Think Bergdorf Goodman’s parade of fine dining (BJ’s, BJ’s V) and the plethora of options, including the classic Magnolia Bakery, in Bloomingdales at 59th Street—the greatest ladies for department store dining. However, New York City retail icon Saks Fifth Avenue may have taken the cake (the kitchen) with its fertile L’Avenue. The dynamically designed two-story space features an art deco dining room and an intimate chalet with stunning views of New York City—not to mention a sumptuous menu piled high with traditional Parisian cuisine.
- Site: Saks Fifth Avenue, 55th Street (9th floor), New York, NY
- hours: Sunday and Monday 11:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.; Tuesday to Saturday 11:30-10 pm
- price: $$ – $$$$$
- On the list: black truffle risotto; Chateau Fillet Grill Bernese; Le Ceviche de My Yabé; Bill Sol Meunier (Dover Sol)
- Fun fact: L’Avenue even has a private entrance with an elevator to accommodate its most famous clientele; Like the supermodel Gigi Hadid who celebrated her birthday in a luxurious place
Luxurious, luxurious and classic – there’s something about real-world retailers that remains appealing despite shoppers’ increasing reliance on online purchasing. Maybe it’s the atmosphere. Elegance is the expectation of something new that you can actually see (and maybe even touch!) IRL – Or maybe the destinations themselves and their vast expanses are full of all things shiny and new. Whatever the reason, there is no doubt that the on-site restaurant (or restaurants) only add to the allure of department store outings; Reinventing the meaning of department stores where retail and restaurant intertwine tastefully to delight shoppers everywhere.