Grocery shopping can drive a lot of people to drink. Even those who walk in with an organized list, ready to take on each aisle with gusto and execution, can spiral downward into shopping despair. The produce is terrible. The kid in the cereal aisle is having a full-blown meltdown, complete with glass-shattering screams. And why are there two cashiers on duty when the check-out line has stretched around the frozen food section?
It's convenient, then, that grocery store bars are becoming a prevalent place to drink. What better way to ease into a shopping trip than to start off with a glass of wine or a pint of beer? The Silver Lake Gelson's, which is still under construction, recently released photos of its new beer and wine counter, right next to a bakery station. If grocery shopping now means taking a break for a glass of merlot and a cookie, then sign us up.
A bevy of other grocery store bars have popped up in recent years, with some going as far as offering Taco Tuesdays and oyster specials to pair with your booze. Check out these Whole Foods, Gelson's and Ralph's locations where fully-operating bars are part of the complete shopping package.
Whole Foods Market (Downtown): As one of the newest grocery store bars, the pub inside Downtown's Whole Foods even has it's own name: The Eight Bar. Sit at the counter or at one of the high tops scattered around the space, where you can order nachos, poutine, oysters and more to accompany a solid selection of beer, wine and cocktails. This place is so legit that they just started serving brunch on weekends, too. 788 S Grand Ave, Downtown
Whole Foods Market (Pasadena): This two-story Whole Foods at the corner of Arroyo Parkway and Bellevue in Pasadena is massive, so it only makes sense that there's a place to rest your feet and take a wine break. 110 & Bellevue is a small bar and eatery inside the market, where you can enjoy a rotating selection of craft beer and wine while nibbling on sushi and flatbreads. 465 South Arroyo Parkway, Pasadena
Whole Foods Market (Playa Vista): The Astro Pub at Whole Foods in Playa Vista offers thirsty shoppers 24 beers on tap, including suds from local breweries like Three Weavers and El Segundo Brewing. In the mood for hard alcohol? You can also order craft cocktails that incorporate local ingredients—strawberries from aisle 2, anyone? 12746 West Jefferson Blvd, Playa Vista
365 by Whole Foods Market (Silver Lake): This new offshoot of Whole Foods is a cheaper, scaled down version of its big brother, with a coffee bar that sells beer and wine. Along with cortados and cappuccinos, Allegro Coffee offers craft beer for $6 and glasses of wine for $7. 2520 Glendale Blvd, Silver Lake
Gelson's (Long Beach): Called the Gateway Wine Bar, this vino haven offers tapas, craft beer and a well-curated wine selection. The bartenders are happy to let you sample wines before you buy—though don't go on a sipping spree. It's a tiny bar, and there are other shoppers who need to take a load off. 6255 E 2nd St, Long Beach
Ralph's (Downtown): A couple blocks away from the Downtown Whole Foods, Ralph's is yet another grocery store sporting a sizeable bar. Called Elevate, the bar is a tad less sophisticated than Eight Bar, though if you're just looking for a flight of beer or wine while watching a game on one of the bar's mounted TVs, you'll find yourself right at home. 645 W 9th St, Downtown
Know of any other grocery stores that house a proper bar? Let us know in the comments below!