Italian food fanatics should flock to Eataly Chicago, located at 43 East Ohio Street. Created by celebrity-chef Mario Batali, the hub for all things Italian boasts 23 food stalls and restaurants within the two story space. A Nutella bar, Italian grocery store, and a wine bar are just some of the stations to encounter at Eataly.
My first, but surely not last, trip to Eataly took place this past weekend. The weather was anything but pleasant and my friends and I were looking for something to do to kill time while in the area, before moving on to other plans.
We walked in and were immediately struck by how big the space was; I’m talking gigantic. Every inch of the building was occupied by Italian groceries, ranging from meats to cheeses to, my favorite, the Italian chocolates. We walked around a little awestruck at first, then ventured up to the second floor which houses the sit down restaurants.
With not enough time to actually sit down and eat, we decided to hit the focaccia station. Bread being my biggest guilty pleasure, I could have fainted seeing all the delicious ways the Italian staple was being served.
I decided to order the margherita foccacia- a giant hunk of bread covered in mozzerella cheese and basil. One bite and I was ready to find myself a handsome Italian and say arrivederci to America.
Best part about Eataly; not only is there something for everyone, there is something for every budget. Our trip to the foccacia bar was less than $5, for a fairly large portion. The sit down restaurants were a little more pricey, as expected, but nothing was too outrageous.
Eataly is a great place to get all the sights and smells of Italian cuisine without having to board a flight. My advice- try and clear your afternoon schedule before entering. You’ll want to take your time perusing all the different stations and shops.
Eataly Chicago is located at 43 East Ohio street. Open daily from 10:00 am- 11:00 pm. Easily accessible from Grand red line station, valet parking is offered, street parking is limited. For more info visit Eataly.com