Dining at Macy's: Building on a Tradition of Excellence
Macy’s is not only known for its broad range of stylish merchandise and iconic events, but also for its delicious and varied in-store eateries. Macy’s food services got their start 125 years ago and, ever since, the restaurants have been attracting legions of visitors with stunning architectural features, both historical and contemporary, and creative, freshly prepared dishes prepared by top chefs. While Macy’s restaurants have evolved to keep pace with culinary and demographic trends, they have managed to remain a vital part of family traditions for generations by serving beloved old standbys along with an ever-changing roster of new menu items, including holiday dishes celebrating Oktoberfest, Christmas and Easter.
Chicken Pot Pie, Oh My!
Macy’s rich food legacy first took root in Chicago in 1905 in the South Tea Room located on the seventh floor of the majestic Marshall Field’s store on State Street (which assumed the Macy’s nameplate in 2006). The Tea Room was the first-ever eatery in a retail environment and served a mouthwatering chicken pot pie based on an 1890 recipe passed down by Mrs. Hering, a Millinery Department sales associate’s grandmother.
The Walnut Room at Macy's on State Street
The Tea Room was officially renamed the Walnut Room in 1937 and, to this day, the restaurant captivates all who enter it with grand Circassian Walnut paneling imported from Russia, shimmering Austrian chandeliers and a grand fountain that was restored in May, 2015. Mrs. Hering’s Pot Pie is still one of the restaurant’s most popular dishes, along with a variety of contemporary offerings created by some of the nation’s top chefs.
The Walnut Room is also known for its spectacular holiday décor and special holiday menu. Many people visit the restaurant annually to see and dine alongside the lighted 45-foot Great Tree that graces the restaurant each November through early January. This year, the Great Christmas Tree Lighting will take place on November 7.
The Wine Bar at the Walnut Room offers up a small plate menu in addition to 20 wines by the glass, and both the restaurant and the bar are perfect spots to enjoy a meal and glass while shopping, or before attending a play (the Walnut Room is located in the heart of the Chicago theater district) or other evening event.
The Oak Grill and Lakeshore Grill Restaurants
Other venerable Macy’s restaurants in the Midwest region—The Oak Grill at Macy’s in Minneapolis’ Nicollet Mall and Lakeshore Grill, located in various Macy’s stores in both Minneapolis and Detroit—have also long been recognized for inviting surroundings and top-notch menus. While Lakeshore Grill boasts a casual American atmosphere, The Oak Grill, which opened for business in October, 1947, features stately Jacobean period design details, including an ornate fireplace with solid oak columns, dark paneling and red chairs.
In keeping with the Midwest region’s penchant for traditional comfort foods, culinary mainstays at The Oak Grill include the legendary Chicken Pot Pie, a towering and much touted popover, and different kinds of burgers. Of course, there’s also a host of lighter offerings, salads among them. The Lakeshore Grill serves up a classic Mandarin Salad, and a meatloaf and potatoes entree that consistently garners raves. The Chicago Macy’s store also has a viewable candy kitchen on the seventh floor where workers busily churn out Frango chocolates.
Beyond the Walnut Room, Macy’s on State Street offers the Frango Café specializing in sandwiches and salads, and Seven on State, an upscale food court featuring global cuisine developed by top-tier chefs. Here you’ll find Rick Bayless’ Frontera Fresco, Marcus Samuelsson’s Marc Burger and Noodles By Takashi Yagihashi. On the lower level, shoppers seeking uniquely American flavors can head to InField’s—an American pub with beer specials, burgers and fries, and Signature Kitchen, another food-court style eatery offering home-style foods, such as soups, salads, pizza and more. The store also has two Starbucks locations.
Dining at Macy's Herald Square in New York City
Stella 34 Trattoria, a modern Italian trattoria on the sixth floor of New York City’s Macy’s Herald Square, offers spectacular views of the Empire State Building and is a regular business lunch destination and a must-experience spot for tourists.
The restaurant’s notable foods: Neapolitan pizza, home-made pasta and gelatos and sorbets from its own gelateria, Vivoli. In mid-November, Rowland’s Bar & Grill will open on the store’s lower level (renamed One Below) and serve classic American gastropub fare. Another anticipated eatery, Chef Street, will bring the popular “food truck” trend indoors and offer guests four chef-driven, fast-casual dining experiences—each featuring signature menu items served from authentic Airstream trailers.
Restaurant Options at Macy's Union Square in San Francisco
The restaurants at Macy’s Union Square in San Francisco are top tourist draws—the most popular being Cheesecake Factory, which is located on the seventh floor of Macy’s and offers a substantial menu, extended hours (11:00 pm, Mon.-Thurs., Sun.; 12:30 am, Fri.-Sat.), and outdoor balcony and patio seating overlooking Union Square.
Burger Bar on the sixth floor also overlooks Union Square and provides exactly what many tourists are looking for with classic American foods created by local celebrity chef, Hubert Keller—from burgers and fries to alcoholic milkshakes.
Tout Sweet, the third floor patisserie founded by Yigit Pura, winner of Bravo Network’s “Top Chef Desserts” show, sells scrumptious pastries (don’t miss the layered flourless chocolate cake), as well as breakfast and lunch foods, such as quiches and sandwiches. The patisserie is also a great place to pick up snacks and gift items, like savory sauces and jams.
For quick-bite options, head to the lower level of the store—Asian Box, Boudin Sourdough Bakery & Café, Mixed Greens, Jamba Juice and Tortilla Kitchen all cater to folks on the go.
And for leisurely meals visitors can also tap into the casual, upmarket fare at Figs by Todd English in Macy’s at The Gardens Mall in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, and the Wolfgang Puck Bistro at South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa, California. You can’t go wrong with these renowned chefs’ outposts.
Grab-and-Go Dining at Macy's: Taste Bar Cafes
To cater to the evolving dining preferences of its customers, Macy’s is continuing to build on its 125-year foundation of food services by installing Taste Bar Cafes in both new and remodeled Macy’s, and Macy's Backstage stores. Shoppers are increasingly interested in grabbing high-quality, fresh and flavorful food to go and Taste Bar Cafes meet the need with house- made soups, fresh juices, baked goods, fresh-to-order salads and sandwiches. Taste Bar Cafes are great additions to the Macy’s family of restaurants, which now reflect a broad range of cuisines and dining styles.
Whatever the approach they take, though, you can count on Macy’s eateries to provide delicious food and excellent service.