Since Eataly’s opening in Chicago, I have been wanting to go! Well, I finally got to! If you’re around the area and looking for something to do with family or friends, this is a good place to spend 2 hours soaking in Italian cuisine and calories!
For those of you who don’t know very much about Eataly, it is part grocery store and part eateries! What’s cool about Eataly is that they sell produce, meats, seafood, cheeses, and everything Italian. Many of the products and ingredients that they sell would be hard to find in your local grocery store. With that being said, expect to pay a premium for this imported ingredients like raisins on the vine for $16/Ibs.
Some ingredients made me laugh, “Like who’s going to spend $10/Ibs on “fancy” butter, or over $40/Ibs on mushrooms!?” Although I had no intention of buying produce it was definitely fun to look! Along with produce, you can buy fruit spreads, olive oils, wines, chocolates and candies, coffee, etc.
Eataly will display charts on certain products like olives and pastas with their corresponding region they originate from.
So many jars and cans of sauces, from tomato to a truffle pesto.
Eataly’s seafood looked fresher than any grocery store I frequent.
Eataly’s wide variety of sit down food options can be daunting, but my decision was easy. I b-lined it straight to the pasta and pizza restaurant. How can you say no to fresh pasta and pizza made the right way! I would eat their margarita pizza with mozzarella di bufala over a take out pizza any day! It was delicious, period.
If you choose to dine at Eataly, you will have to wait to be seated. If you’re not one to wait, go during the week when the whole world isn’t there. It makes the experience more enjoyable. We were seated right away. There is something for everyone at Eataly. You can choose one themed restaurant or choose multiple, but you will have to pay separate checks and be waited on by different people. It’s not like a food court. Needless to say, the pizza and pasta were great and the wait staff was very friendly and knowledgable.
Although I didn’t have a piece, you could smell the peach brioche from behind the glass counter. It was tempting!
After lunch, we walked around, took pictures, looked at more food like the aisles of pasta. We had to do something to walk off lunch in order to save room for dessert!
One station at Eataly is their Nutella bar, where you can order made-to-order Nutella crepes and other Nutella goodies. We started off with a cappuccino and for all tense and purposes – a Nutella croissant. It was a denser than a croissant, but still yummy! They were not stingy when smearing on the Nutella! We also enjoyed raspberry and watermelon sorbetti! So refreshing!
Despite these two yummy sweet treats, there was a dessert I was very disappointed with and that was their traditional tiramisu. It had little flavor and barely any texture. I’m still shocked by how bad it was. On the flip side, the caramel salted peanut tiramisu was good. It tasted like an Italian Snickers bar.
All of the desserts were beautiful and glossy, but I question how good they are if they can’t even make a good tiramisu. I’ve also gotten picky over my desserts, since working at a French bakery, so I’m critical, but they’re expensive, so try at your own risk.
Eataly was a fun get away and a perfect place to enjoy food. I will have to go again in the future and indulge in more pizza and pasta! It’s in a great location, surrounded by awesome shopping! Food and shopping, what could be better!?
Oh and I have to add this in, because it’s not a trip to Chicago with out Sprinkles Cupcakes!
Hope you visit Eataly soon in New York or Chicago!