Almost every department store has its own restaurant. Macy’s has The Pineapple Room by Alan Wong, while Neiman Marcus has Mariposa. However, my new fave is definitely the Nordstrom Marketplace Cafe.
I finally got to try it in the midst of holiday shopping with my mom and sister. Ariel had been raving about it for some time, so I had been eager to go. Luckily, we showed up when the line to get in was fairly short. I’ve been told that on busy days, the line snakes around the department store.
We waited about five to 10 minutes before the cute old man at the front welcomed us in. The cafe doesn’t follow a typical sit-down restaurant format. Instead, customers order cafeteria style, then sit and wait with a number at their table. The delicious array of salads, pizzas, pastas and sandwiches stretched across the entire left side of the cafe; there was so much to choose from, and with a long line inching its way inside, we had to decide fast!
We ended up getting the pear and bleu cheese salad and pesto chicken sandwich. Everyone raves about the tomato basil bisque, so we got that, too. Each dish can be a bit pricey (about $12-$17 a dish on average), so we decided to share. The food arrived at our table almost immediately, so that was a huge plus. Even better, everything was delicious and just enough to refuel us for more shopping.
I not only liked the food but the ambiance as well. The dim lighting and wood furniture made it feel far from a school cafeteria (and department store). However, it did get pretty loud at times, which was fine, but I can see that becoming an issue if your’e on a date. I was most impressed by the super-friendly staff and service. They made us feel right at home even before we stepped foot inside.