Whole Foods Hot Bar Record

by HEAB on April 26, 2010

Oh my gosh, my lunch at Whole Foods today was only $10.21!!! I think that’s the least amount of money I have ever spent at the hot bar. I’m usually waiting at checkout praying my plate will be under $20 and was pleasantly surprised with today’s total. CD, aren’t you proud of me? πŸ˜‰

I met my oh so lovely friend, Tonya, for a girly gab session over some yummy veggies.


It’s cold in Nashville today – in the 50’s and dreary. Therefore, all I wanted was a big bowl of warm goodness. Let’s see, I piled it on with a ton of roasted veggies, braised cabbage, grilled chicken, collard greens, and some peppered beef.


Yum – so much color. Oh hot bar, how I love you so.

Afterwards, I hit up the cereal aisle and purchased some of your recommendations, but more about that in another post.

I’m client-less this afternoon and am hoping to get in some play time with the pups at the dog park, my workout for the day. πŸ™‚

Question: What is the most you’ve ever spent at the Whole Foods hot bar? I think my highest total was $18+…lots of steamed broccoli and hummus involved that day. πŸ˜‰


Amanda April 29, 2010 at 1:24 pm

Oh man, I have to comment on this post! I am a reader of your blog from Virginia and was in Nashville over the weekend for work (crazy weekend– marathoners, tornado warnings, whoa) and finally hit up the Whole Foods (and Anthropologie!) on my way out of town Monday mid-afternoon! Who knows, maybe we were there at the same time.

Anyway, I had my WF-clueless fiance with me and he was in heaven at the hot bar while I was loading up on the cold vegetarian salads… we definitely spent around $17… each. Gulp.

At least it was enough food for our lunches, too– no regrets! Also curbed me from spending too much money at Anthro… πŸ™‚

Heather Eats Almond Butter April 29, 2010 at 4:25 pm

Amanda, Yeah, Saturday was messy was with all those storms but at least you got in some good shopping. πŸ™‚

Cara April 28, 2010 at 7:41 am

My hubs and I love grabbing a quick healthy lunch at Whole Foods – but I guess we must be doing well in comparison! I cringed the other day when our total for two lunches and a bottle of water was $21. For what it’s worth, I really enjoyed the quinoa & raw kale salad with toasted walnuts and ginger dressing, Moroccan turkey salad with raisins and cashews, some vinegar-y roasted beets and a heap of sauteed mixed veggies!

Tina April 27, 2010 at 11:07 am

It has been wayyyy too long since I’ve had the hot bar. But I did get a WF sandwich the other day and it was incredible as always!

Scott in Ohio April 27, 2010 at 8:24 am

I’ve definitely been in the $20 range.

Is their/there/they’re (man, I hope you get my humor!) stuff even organic??

Heather Eats Almond Butter April 27, 2010 at 8:26 am

Ha ha Scott, I get it, and I believe it’s “their stuff” πŸ™‚

Gena April 27, 2010 at 8:09 am

That cabbage is beckoning to me!

Sagan April 27, 2010 at 6:49 am

Peppered beef sounds like a great addition! Tasty.

I can’t wait to go back to Whole Foods when I return to the States πŸ™‚

Katie April 27, 2010 at 6:38 am

I love Whole Foods! πŸ™‚ Sometimes my sister and I just go there to walk around and ‘look’ …Of course we always leave with something! πŸ™‚ I love their salad bar! πŸ™‚

Kaye April 26, 2010 at 10:03 pm

There are quite a few Whole Foods in Southern California…but they are all kind of far from where I live. It makes me SOOOO sad! Everytime I go somewhere where there is a Whole Foods, I try to maneuver my way over. It hasn’t worked out…I’m so sad. Salad bars are my absolute FAVORITE!

Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) April 26, 2010 at 9:06 pm

You are clearly a childless woman!!!!!! OMG back in the day, I would get Scott a piece of salmon that was like $10 and a few pieces of tofu that were like $7 and then all the random stuff…and we’d have a $40 dinner. For two. That we ate on the couch.

Then we had a child.

And I feed our whole family for 2-3 days on 10 bucks!

Enjoy WFs hot bar…it rocks. If you can swing it!

Justine April 26, 2010 at 8:33 pm

Oh wow! I have only had the WF hot bar once (they haven’t gotten one built in my city yet) and it was only somewhere between $6-7. I feel like I have something to live up to now!

Alisa April 26, 2010 at 7:46 pm

Holy gorgeous hair! I am so envious of both of your long and wavy locks!

Nice job on the budget πŸ™‚ I actually pop into Whole Foods for lunch when I am alone, in the area, and want something inexpensive. I just love sushi, and their brown rice sushi rolls are amazingly affordable and delicious! Then I splurge on a Ginger Brew … love that stuff.

Carolyn April 26, 2010 at 7:45 pm

My name is carolyn and i am a hot bar virgin… have never eaten the hot bar at Whole Foods.. There i said it out loud… It’s like some untouchable windowshopping thing Paul and i walk by in silent awe… and never take the plunge..

I must stop the insanity, and go for it…… πŸ˜‰

I bet i could eat $30 worth…

Veggiesmack April 26, 2010 at 7:35 pm

Don’t have a Whole Foods nearby, but we do have a Central Market, which is similar. I’m pretty diligent about keeping things light so it doesn’t add up. It is tempting to load on the hummus and cooked veggies, though. I usually just stick to a small salad and a cup of soup, which ends up being $6-7.

eatmovelove April 26, 2010 at 7:20 pm

OhmyGod – your response to Cinthia is hilarious!! I can picture it.

Alot of these prices does seem expensive…but then I was thinking of it,and I can eat a container of hummus in a day – easily, and I do. And I pay about $4 for that…so, yeah, hmm…and I won’t even go into the whole AB cost and the little time it lasts…..:0 yikes!

Julie @ Pickley Pear April 26, 2010 at 6:56 pm

I’ve never tried the WF hot bar! Crazy, I know. I always look longingly at it and then think “I have so much food at home, and in my cart”. I need to try it one day, in a bad way!

Melissa S. April 26, 2010 at 6:55 pm

oh WF hot bar…i think the most I’ve spent was $15…err, but i was feeding two people πŸ˜›

Kristin (Cook, Bake and Nibble) April 26, 2010 at 6:17 pm

I alllllways spend tons of money on the WF hot bar! But I only go every once in a while, so I consider it worth it πŸ™‚ I have spent upwards of (this is embarassing) $16. Ridiculous for a pile of veggies!! haha


MarathonVal April 26, 2010 at 6:16 pm

Heather, you made me feel so good with this post. Whenever I go to WF I’m always shocked at how much my box of hot bar/salad bar food ends up costing, and I assume that NOONE would be weird enough to load theirs up as much as I do. It’s amazing that you could get a pretty gourmet meal for $20 at many places, for the same amount of a box full of veggies at WF…. it always feels extravagant to me but I know I will never stop, I’m too in love with WF in all its glory! πŸ™‚

Nicole April 26, 2010 at 5:56 pm

Unfortunately I’ve never bought anything from Whole Foods Hot bar. Mostly because I know how expensive it is and I know I’ll be dropping $20 on lunch.
PS – I bought some Nature’s Path corn flakes yesterday. I haven’t tried them yet but I can’t wait. I’ve been missing cereal too. Hooray for cereal and bananas!

Morgan @ Life After Bagels April 26, 2010 at 5:27 pm

I never really eat there when I’m at home. But last summer when I was away for work I ate there almost everyday. I think I consistently spent $20 CDN every night.

Kimberly April 26, 2010 at 5:08 pm

Wow HEAB, I’m impressed!! I SOOOO wish I could go back to Whole Foods! I totally enjoyed every bite when I was visiting Nashville πŸ™‚

Katherine: What About Summer? April 26, 2010 at 5:02 pm

Review of whole food hot bar: AMAZING

Stefanie April 26, 2010 at 4:50 pm

I think my highest was $10. I’m cheap so I try to keep my portions small. Whole foods is my once a month splurge shopping trip. πŸ™‚

Kenzie (Healthy Purpose) April 26, 2010 at 4:18 pm

I try to avoid the hot bar because it gets so pricey! I’ve probably spent about 20$ too. Oh well. Salads are cheaper. And making my own food is even better. Poor college student here. what can I say.

BroccoliHut April 26, 2010 at 4:15 pm

A colorful dish indeed–just the way I like it! I prefer not to remember my Whole Foods tabs…my highest was probably in the $15-20 range.

Lindsay April 26, 2010 at 4:07 pm

I actually had a new record low of $6!! Thats mainly because I got lots of lettuce, mushrooms, cabbage, and just used the meat I had already cooked at home. No meat, equals less $$. haha. Unless they have dolmas, then I am screwed. πŸ™‚

Katie April 26, 2010 at 3:59 pm

I think $19 (oh my god). Cauliflower and cherry tomatoes weigh things down so much!!!

Lola April 26, 2010 at 3:58 pm

18!! OMG that’s expensive!!
I was reading your last post about the cereal rules: i have all those cereal rules myself!!!!

missyrayn April 26, 2010 at 3:51 pm

I think my record is $17 because the roasted sweet potatoes are so delicious and cucumbers are heavy.

Lauren @ Eater not a runner April 26, 2010 at 3:48 pm

I got out of Whole Foods with a salad costing under $9 yesterday, it was a miracle!!

Michelle April 26, 2010 at 3:42 pm

I went to Whole Foods a couple weeks ago and I wasn’t going to be home for about 6 hours so couldn’t buy anything cold/frozen. My bill was only $33. I was in shock. lol

Marissa April 26, 2010 at 3:32 pm

I used to eat at the WF hot bar a little bit, but I cannot remember what the prices were for my biggest meals. I had to stop though. A friend of mine worked at Whole Foods and told me that she would NEVER eat anything in their deli section ever again because of what “goes on” to make it. So i took her advice :-/ Now I steer clear. She is a caterer and also a scientist and so I trust her judgment.

Mama Pea April 26, 2010 at 3:21 pm

I was so proud of my $7.22 I spent yesterday! I said to Pea Daddy, “You’d pay that for a normal salad at a restaurant!” Thank goodness they don’t have bigger containers or I’d be in trouble.

eatmovelove April 26, 2010 at 3:20 pm

No WF’s :(…but I have gone to a great restaurant that also charges by the weight of the plate…think it was around $7 something …not bad for all that I got either…and dessert ;).

Ah, to be clientless…I wish! – I wish I could work less hours without stressing about money so much…any idea how I can pull that one off πŸ˜‰ ? You look great by the way!!

paijery April 26, 2010 at 3:19 pm

I will be hitting up Whole Foods for the first time in August and I caaan’t wait! I had no idea they had a hot bar! Yours looks sooooo goood!

Lara (Thinspired) April 26, 2010 at 3:01 pm

I think the most I have ever spent at the WF hot/salad bar was $14. I took Matt there for the first time last week, and I think he thought it would be a super cheap dinner out when I mentioned it’s “buffet style.” Hehe. Boy was he surprised πŸ˜‰

clairedille April 26, 2010 at 2:49 pm

I try to get mostly light things at WF’s with toppings of grains/seeds/nuts so I average around $8-12 I think. The kale salad is always a must-have. Have a fun evening!

christine April 26, 2010 at 2:48 pm

i LOVE the whole foods hot bar…kung pao tofu and some brocolli and carrots is my staple..it’s almost always there and it’s ALWAYS delicious! i could easily spend way more than $20 if i’m in my “planning a few meals” mode.

Sarah April 26, 2010 at 2:46 pm

Ooh, I love Whole Foods! The good (and bad!)thing for me is that the closest Whole Foods is about 45 minutes away. When I go, I THINK I spend about $8, but I get the smallest container. And that $8 doesn’t include the gigantic vegan cookie and other goodies I pick up along the way.

Sarena (The Non-Dairy Queen) April 26, 2010 at 2:29 pm

I am a cold bar girl and I would say it was really about $10! I love my veggies though! Glad you had a great lunch. Enjoy the park if it does not rain. It is gross here in Atlanta! I really need some sunshine!

Erica April 26, 2010 at 2:24 pm

hahahha- you are awesome Heather! $18! I think I have spent $15….it adds up way to ridiculous quick. I may be hitting up the WFs bar tomorrow night (fingers crossed).

christina April 26, 2010 at 2:21 pm

i love how colorful i can make my whole foods plates, too!! it’s fun πŸ™‚

Anna April 26, 2010 at 2:18 pm

It’s cold and rainy here too….and no Whole Foods to cheer me up, either!!! πŸ™‚

Claire April 26, 2010 at 2:18 pm

I average about $15 so I don’t do it too often.It’s a great treat when I do:-) cc

Rosa April 26, 2010 at 2:15 pm

Whole foods!! I’m practicing a self-imposed ban for going there because I always end up buying so much! Hehe. I’ve actually only eaten from their hot/salad bar once! It was on a road trip–what an alternative to fast food, hm? πŸ˜€

VeggieGirl April 26, 2010 at 2:14 pm

We need to max out at the Whole Foods hot bar together! πŸ˜€

annecalista April 26, 2010 at 2:03 pm

I’ve yet to experience this WF hot bar heaven. There are NO WF’s in NH. But maybe I should be grateful, bc I’d probably be spending a lot more on food if I had one nearby!

Evan Thomas April 26, 2010 at 1:55 pm

I think the most I’ve spent is actually around 10. I’m very good about keeping it light and low! I really hate the whole food salad bar for that reason, so I always buy up on fats and proteins and leave the roasted veggies be

kelsey@snackingsquirrel.com April 26, 2010 at 1:54 pm

i dont have a whole foods.. but at the hot bar near me the most was 20 dollars. such a feast. but i dont plan on doing it again.. unless i had the money.

but sometimes girls gotta have fun πŸ™‚

Emily April 26, 2010 at 1:52 pm

Doesn’t it feel good to be free from ED?

Heather April 26, 2010 at 1:50 pm

haha, i think my hubby would kill me if i spent that much at whole foods for lunch! the most i’ve spent was $8! your lunch looks incredible though… πŸ™‚

Jessica @ How Sweet April 26, 2010 at 1:49 pm

Oh I have done damage at the hot bar, too … probably around $15-20??

Lara April 26, 2010 at 1:32 pm

The hot bar at my WF doesn’t have nearly as good stuff as yours seems to. And there is NO hummus on the salad bar. I have asked them a few times but no go. Our hot bar has about 10 items with 3 or so being meat/fish. Not a great selection.
But still despite that I manage to spend $10-15 easily.

Cinthia April 26, 2010 at 1:07 pm

Hee, hee, Heather, it’s 43 degrees up in Alaska and people are wearing shorts and sandals, no lie. (Gotta do what you can do, eh?)
Love your latest posts about relaxing your eating rules. Thanks for being so honest (and you go, girl!).

Heather Eats Almond Butter April 26, 2010 at 1:11 pm

Cinthia, Oh my gosh, I’d be wearing long underwear, 2 sweaters, a scarf, and to be safe would probably walk around with a space heater strapped to myself. I’m such a wimp when it comes to cold weather. Stay warm! πŸ™‚

Nadine April 26, 2010 at 1:04 pm

My favorite amazing salad bar place in my town lets you guess your total on Fridays. If you guess right, your lunch is free. How cool is that?

Heather Eats Almond Butter April 26, 2010 at 1:06 pm

Nadine, That is awesome. I would go every Friday as I love a good challenge. πŸ™‚

Beth April 26, 2010 at 12:57 pm

Oh man I loooove the hot and cold bar at Whole Foods. Its like a dream. I’ve easily spent close to 20$ but can’t remember the exact amount… I especially like to go there when I’m on a travel for a conference so my job picks up the bill! πŸ™‚

Chocolate-Covered Katie April 26, 2010 at 12:57 pm

Catching up… loved your brownie post, HEAB. I put pumpkin in my protein brownies that I’m posting about soon. Never tried squash though. But I was very upset when you mentioned β€œchocolate haters” in your post… such people exist?
The horror!! πŸ™‚

Not going to tell you my highest :(. I try to stay away from that hot bar. It adds up FAST!

Heather Eats Almond Butter April 26, 2010 at 1:00 pm

Katie, Yes, there are chocolate haters out there – sad, but true. I bet you’ve set some records at Whole Foods – I know how much cauliflower you can eat. πŸ˜‰

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