Much More Than A Grocery Store – Discovering Mariano’s Quick and Easy Meals!

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Marianos Logo

I had the pleasure of discovering an exciting shopping market and I’m wondering how I’ve missed knowing about this gem in the city of Chicago – Mariano’s.  Much more than a grocery store, Mariano’s surprised me with the atmosphere, customer service, and variety of offerings.  There are eight Mariano’s in the Chicago area, I visited the one in the heart of downtown, just north of the Aon Center.

Marianos Front Door

Knowing that I was going to a grocery store in the center of the city, I expected small.  I couldn’t have been more wrong.  Mariano’s is quite large, yet at the same time has a neighborhood feel.  It’s difficult to describe the way there are varied, extensive choices of food in each department, yet each area of the store feels like it’s own cozy boutique.  It’s a bit like a street in Paris, where you can wander from the butcher to the bakery, passing through the fruit market and ending at the bright and beautiful flower shop.  And similar to that street in Paris, you could easily spend hours happily wandering through, or you could run in, grab all the things you need for an amazing meal at home.  And I did both at Mariano’s!

While I was walking through Mariano’s I took *mumble* an embarrassing amount of photographs.  In my defense, there were visually appealing displays of food around every corner.  It’s a delight for all the senses, but especially visual.  From the highly polished floors to the complex light fixtures, Mariano’s has created an elegant shopping experience.  Without being stuffy or formal, it feels elegant but at the same time friendly and comfortable.

Flowers centerpieces

The word friendly reminds me of my favorite thing about Mariano’s.  The staff seemed not only ready, willing, and able to help, they were happy to help.  When we came in, we were greeted by a cheerful, friendly young woman who directed us to the upper level where we could have lunch.  She was the first of many helpful staff who recognized the dazed look in our eyes as newbies to this amazing store and wanted to help.

We started by finding a place in the cafe area.  My daughter loves the high stools and immediately ran to the counter by the windows.  She was delighted to see that the view not only gave us a great look at downtown, it overlooked a dog park!  Perfect for my puppy loving little girl.  Then we embarked on our journey to find a delicious lunch.

Dog Park

Mariano’s has mouth-watering sandwiches and an incredible selection of prepared foods…


Sandwiches 2

…the most varied salad bar I’ve ever seen…

Salad Bar

…a sushi bar…

Sushi Bar

…a pizza oven…

Pizza Oven

…authentic gelato…

Gelato Collage

…crazy-good bakery…

Marianos Bakery

…and oh, yeah, groceries.

groceries 2

This is what I ended up with for lunch, a taste of the best macaroni and cheese I’ve ever had, lasagna, chicken penne alfredo, butternut squash, a stuffed grape leaf, quinoa salad and spinach salad.  Whew! Delicious!

Mac and Cheese

Butternut Squash

Okay, now you’ve seen my “happily wandering through” Mariano’s.  Now let me show you the “run in and grab everything you need for an amazing meal at home.”  Right near the door, I found these take-out choices and picked up a Chicken Pot Pie, Breaded Chicken Breasts, an Edamame Salad and Grilled Vegetables.  A few minutes in the microwave and we had a delicious, gourmet meal for our Oscar viewing party!



pot pie

While I was at Mariano’s I signed up for their Rewards Card.  This was my first visit, but it certainly won’t be my last.  Signing up was easy and even though they gave me a plastic card and key chain card, all I need give on future visits is my phone number to access and accumulate rewards.  Mariano’s slogan is “Shop Well. Eat Well. Live Well.” and it fits – they provide superior quality, freshness, variety and value!

Learn more about Mariano’s and connect with them here:

If you want to see all the pictures from my shopping trip, I made a google plus album – Discovering Mariano’s.

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I am a member of the Collective Bias®  Social Fabric® Community.  This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias®  and Mariano’s #cbias #SocialFabric.


  1. 1

    Love Love Love Mariano’s.
    We make a point of going even if there is nothing we need from there that week.
    They have great soups that are at a soup island. Their bakeries goods are delicious. My husband loves the coffees.
    We have two that are both about a mile or so from our house.
    It really is the best grocery store about.

  2. 2

    I love your comparison to a street in Paris. This sounds like such a lovely experience.

  3. 3

    Your Mariano’s looks a lot more elegant than mine in Arlington Heights! So jealous! I love their selection of to go foods though.

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