by Cora Gold March 18, 2021 3 min read

If you’ve ever shopped at Nordstrom, you may have popped into the department store’s café for a coffee before you left. But did you know that the very brands Nordstrom and other luxury retailers sell also have restaurants? From Burberry to Ralph Lauren, you can eat at chic spots owned by famous fashion houses worldwide.

Here’s a look at the behind-the-scenes of luxury cafes.

Why Fashion and Food Mix

It’s not a new phenomenon for retailers to be in the restaurant business. Take Restoration Hardware as an example, which owns numerous rooftop eateries across North America. This effort helps brick-and-mortar locations draw in customers who might otherwise choose to shop online. That’s key in today’s ever-evolving digital world.

There’s also a distinct parallel between fashion and food. Those who enjoy luxury goods more than likely also appreciate top-notch cuisine, so you can see how companies can drive business with tasteful dining experiences. It’s about brand loyalty, as well. If you love Gucci, you’ll be inclined to visit their Florence-based Gucci Garden the next time you’re in Italy.

These brands can also become a bit more accessible to the average person. If you can’t spend thousands on a handbag, you can achieve a similar experience for less money when you visit a luxury café. This feature makes even more sense for companies. It’s now possible to connect with consumers who would’ve never given them a thought.

How Do These Spots Stay Trendy?

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Everyone on social media knows that fashion and food are always trendy topics. It’s basically commonplace to capture a picture before you dive into a beautifully-presented meal. If you add a luxury brand’s allure, you can bet people will flock to show off their experience.

Those who dine at luxury eateries expect an upscale environment with food to match. It takes specific strategies to ensure restaurants limit food costs and waste, so brands must keep up with trends while prioritizing finances and sustainability. These restaurants sometimes have staples, like Tiffany’s Blue Box Café, which serves the Breakfast at Tiffany, but they still need to update their menus to stay fresh.

That’s a key reason behind why many luxury cafes are simply cafes. While designer restaurants that serve breakfast, lunch and dinner are popular, Prada’s Bar Luce in Milan, Italy, serves as an example of a luxury eatery that only offers small bites like pastries and paninis. It’s a way to provide an exceptional experience to customers without the need to become a full-fledged restaurant.

Luxury Cafes You Can Try

Now, you might be wondering where you can find luxury eateries. If you want to grab some tea and a croissant after you shop, you can check out numerous trendy spots across the globe. There are even some spots, such as Dsqaured2’s Ceresio 7, that offer additional attractions like pools and galleries you can enjoy alongside your meal.

These cafes and restaurants usually pop up in famous fashion cities, like New York, but you can enjoy the luxury experience at Bloomingdale’s, Barneys — and even some Barnes and Nobles.

These Eateries Provide a One-of-a-Kind Experience

Whether or not you buy designer goods, you can experience a one-of-a-kind dining moment when you eat at a luxury café. From a quick cup of coffee to a full-blown gallery tour, you’re able to enjoy a unique glimpse at the fashion world. These places are destinations you might not want to miss.