There are now 5 stores in Manhattan and another scheduled to open in August.
Chelsea was the first and is probably the smallest. It does have a salad and hot bar but there is no place to sit at this store. I have eaten several meals on the sidewalk using the window will as a table. I have also picked up food and carried to another location to sit and people watch. Most recently, the steps of the post office across from Penn Station.
Columbus Circle was next. At the time of completion it was one of the largest Whole Foods stores. It takes up the entire lower levels of Time Warner Building which also contains a mall and a couple of towers of office and apartments. There is a seating area at this store and it has a very NYC modern look with its changing colored lights. The benches are very hard and a bit high for the tables. The higher stools at the long high tables are better.
Union Square was the third. It does have a seating area and is moderate in size. It didn't impress me as much or maybe it was just the Union Square area that didn't impress me.
Whole Foods Bowery was my new venture on this trip.
It has the Whole Body in a loft space upstairs and a cute bridge across to the kitchen utensil items. There is the standard salad and hot bar take out downstairs but also upstairs is a large eating area and a couple of other food options in the restaurant style theme that has become common in the new stores. I specifically noticed a "create your own wraps" station and a coffee bar but I think there were others too.
This store looks promising for my future trips to NYC. I generally work downtown so this is much closer than the others. It is also walking distance from one of my favorite restaurants and even closer to two new places I found this trip - a bakery with gluten free goodies and a little place with a good gluten free pizza crust.
Another plus for this store was the great selection of take out prepared food after work on a Thursday evening. A few other stores (namely in PA) have had good selections at noon but almost nothing at 7pm when I am trying to select a lunch for the next day at work.
I have not been to the Tribeca store which is now 1 year old and the new store opening next month is northwest of Central Park.