Food service brands from the mid-East Coast of the U.S. are serving up new store formats and experiences that delight customers with exceptional service and unique opportunities

Far too often, innovation happening outside of cities like New York and Los Angeles goes largely unnoticed. This is especially true of mid-Atlantic hubs Washington, D.C. and Philadelphia—arguably the most influential city in the country and America's fifth largest population center, respectively.

In both cities, the local food scenes are setting examples that could ripple out much further, from in-store farmers markets to grocery stores-turned -fast casual chains. Read on to discover the most interesting, unique restaurant developments that PSFK researchers have found in D.C. and Philly:

Sweetgreen's The Tavern
Salad chain Sweetgreen comes from humble roots in the nation's capital, where it was founded by three Georgetown University students over a decade ago. Their original location now hosts a permanent, indoor farmers market that features local produce and products, much of it from the farms that supply its stores. Although The Tavern, which opened last September, doesn't serve salads, it offers a community-supported agriculture program, which provides monthly boxes of produce from local farmers.

Sweetgreen

Starbucks Signing Store
The coffee chain's first-ever U.S. signing store is designed for customers who are deaf or hard of hearing, staffed entirely by employees that are fluent in American Sign Language. This location is just steps away from Gallaudet University, an institution that teaches in both ASL and English. Deaf customers can order drinks and food in ASL while hearing customers can learn how to sign a word from the “sign of the week” chalkboard.

Giant Heirloom Market
As a way to keep up with the growing trend of fast casual restaurants, the East Coast grocery chain Giant recently opened its Heirloom Market inside a downtown Philadelphia store. There, customers can shop high-quality seasonal produce and foods, plus select items that are prepared fresh by in-house produce chefs. The brand has already announced three new Heirloom Market locations throughout Philadelphia, all set to open within a year.

Shake Shack
Fan-favorite burger chain Shake Shack is a perfect match for a baseball game. There's nothing quite like watching one with a beer and a hot dog, but the fast casual chain is taking things one step further by opening a 6,000-square-foot restaurant in the home of the Phillies. Citizens Bank Park is Shake Shack's first sit-down stadium restaurant, and that could mean more is on the way.


Lead image: via Starbucks

Far too often, innovation happening outside of cities like New York and Los Angeles goes largely unnoticed. This is especially true of mid-Atlantic hubs Washington, D.C. and Philadelphia—arguably the most influential city in the country and America's fifth largest population center, respectively.

In both cities, the local food scenes are setting examples that could ripple out much further, from in-store farmers markets to grocery stores-turned -fast casual chains. Read on to discover the most interesting, unique restaurant developments that PSFK researchers have found in D.C. and Philly: