10 Whole Foods Hot Bar Menu Items That Are Worth the Price

Whole Foods Hot Bar Mac & Cheese

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Whole Foods Hot Bar Mac & Cheese
Wilder Shaw / Cheapism

Criminal, But Delicious

It's no secret that Whole Foods can be overpriced, but it's hard to deny that the quality is there. The Whole Foods hot bar, for example, has shot up to a staggering $11.99 per pound, which means filling up your container might exceed $20 a lot faster than you'd expect. (Don't even get us started on the Whole Foods salad bar.) Despite the hefty price tag, there are certainly a few things in the Whole Foods hot bar worth paying for. I went to my local store to investigate. 

Prices and availability are subject to change.

Whole Foods Hot Bar Pizza
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1. Pizza

Unless you've got a pizza oven at home, you're probably not going to be firing up pies in your kitchen anytime soon. If you don't want to spring for an entire pie that will run you at least $15, swing by the Whole Foods hot bar at lunchtime to grab a slice for $3.99. And if you bought too many slices, we found the best way to reheat pizza.

Whole Foods Hot Bar Mediterranean Selections
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2. Mediterranean Selections

For another solidly cheap lunch option, you can grab Mediterranean goodies like falafel, grape leaves, marinated feta, hummus, and more. Careful how much pita you grab — that could end up tipping the scales to a higher price. It's not an all-you-can eat Whole Foods buffet, after all.

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Whole Foods Hot Bar Roasted Chicken Breast
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3. Roasted Chicken

You're probably fully capable of roasting a chicken on your own, but if you're just trying to grab some food to go on the way out of the grocery store, the Whole Foods roasted chicken makes for a quick, healthy meal. Throw some sides on there from the rest of the hot bar (see No. 10) and call it a day.

Related: Food Storage Tips to Make Your Groceries Last as Long as Possible

Whole Foods Hot Bar Sesame Roasted Mushrooms
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4. Sesame Roasted Mushrooms

These mushrooms are paleo, which shouldn't surprise you since Whole Foods thrives on those types of diets. They're also delicious, spicy, and soaked in sesame flavor. Consider this dish a crucial part of any Asian-themed plate you're building.

Related: We Tasted 13 Frozen Pizzas and This Is the Best

Whole Foods Hot Bar Garlic Herb Whitefish
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5. Garlic Herb Whitefish

As you can see, this one flies off the shelf pretty quickly. I considered trying to get a photo before the hordes of hungry lunchers started swinging their mitts at this fish, but I didn't want to be the guy holding up the line to snap a photo. Turns out they're right to go nuts for it, because this whitefish (no further details specified, unfortunately) is very tasty. It doesn't hurt that it's bathed in lemon and olive oil.

Whole Foods Hot Bar Sesame Noodles
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6. Sesame Noodles

As with most menus this food appears on, the sesame noods are a major sleeper hit. Enveloped in sesame oil and cucumber, this is probably the closest to umami you're likely to get at this hot bar.

Whole Foods Hot Bar BBQ
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7. Barbecue Selections

Want to build a full-on brisket plate, complete with sides? More in the mood for a pulled pork sandwich? Whole Foods has a surprising amount of barbecue items, and even supplies buns.

Whole Foods Hot Bar Roasted Veggies
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8. Roasted Vegetables

Be it corn, Brussels sprouts, bok choy, or anything else that's in season, there's always a slew of veggie options stocked in the Whole Foods hot bar to accommodate any diet.

Whole Foods Hot Bar Orange Chicken
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9. Orange Chicken

Is it Panda Express orange chicken? No, of course not, nothing is. That's an unfair comparison. It's still good, though, so hit it with some roasted veggies (broccoli, if the hot bar has it) or noodles, and don't think about Panda prices.

Whole Foods Hot Bar Mac & Cheese
Wilder Shaw / Cheapism

10. Macaroni and Cheese

OK, could you make this at home for cheaper than $11.99 per pound? Of course you could, but there's something about that overpriced Whole Foods mac and cheese that hits just right. Especially piled high onto a build-your-own BBQ sandwich. Or with the chicken. Or the fish. Or with some pizza. Or as a deli sandwich side. Or...