It’s no secret that Eataly is one of my favourite places on the planet (I once spent an entire day in their New York City store. I arrived at noon and left when it was dark out…true story). Founded by Italian entrepreneur Oscar Farinetti in 2004, the company was created from the idea of sharing his love for quality ingredients and appreciation for good food. I’ve only visited the ones in Rome, Florence, and New York, but I already feel like quite the expert on the place. Not acquainted with the market? Here are 10 reasons why Eataly is the best place on earth – and why you should visit.
1. The food
You will find all the food at Eataly. From fresh pasta, cheese, cold cut, and fruits & veggies stalls, to a butcher, fishmonger, cafe, bakery, Nutella bar (we’ll talk about that later), and on-site restaurants, they weren’t kidding when they put the word “eat” in their name.
2. Vast wine selection
Eataly has an extensive alcohol selection. Their never-ending aisles rival those of liquor stores, with wines and grappa from all over Italy, among other alcohols. Lost? An expert is usually close by to help out, so you’ll surely find what you’re looking for.
3. Their products make the best gifts
From wine, to olive oil, pasta, t-shirts, books, and kitchen appliances – I can go on – the foodie in your life will definitely appreciate a gift from Eataly.
4. La Birreria
La Birreria is Eataly’s resident brewery. Here is where you can get craft brews on tap paired with salumi platters. In New York, their rooftop terrace is one of the Flatiron District’s coolest hotspots. It quickly fills up in summer so arrive early. Rome’s Birreria is smaller and more intimate so you can chat with your bartender and ask for a suggestion or two.
5. The US owners are household names
Food Network fans know who Lidia and Joe Bastianich are. But did you also know that they’re the brains behind the NYC and Chicago branches?
6. Their Rome location is as big as an IKEA store
The biggest Eataly market is in Rome (it used to be an Air Terminal, which gives you a pretty good idea as to how big it is). When I first laid my eyes on it, I had to back up to see it in its entirety and stood there with my mouth open for a few seconds. With four floors, the megastore rivals most IKEA stores.
7. They have a Nutella Bar
I repeat, they have a Nutella Bar. I’ve been to the one in New York (the second US location is in Chicago) and it’s the stuff that dreams are made of. From gelato, to hot waffles and crepes drizzled with the hazelnut spread, it’s definitely a must for all Nutella lovers.
8. They offer cooking classes
If you love eating Italian food but aren’t too good at making it (sorry Nonna), then you’re in luck as most Eataly stores offer cooking courses and workshops. It’s a great option if you’re looking for an alternative activity while on vacation or if you’re lucky enough to live in one of the cities Eataly is located in.
9. They’re taking over the world
If you don’t live near one of their markets, you may be in luck. Eataly is planning on expanding (current international locations include Istanbul, Dubai, Brazil, and Japan). They’ll be opening in numerous cities around the world, including in Paris, London, Hong Kong, L.A., and Toronto, to name a few.
10. Their ethos
Finally, their mission statement is simple, inspiring, and resonates with all food lovers: “Life is too short not to eat well.”
Images courtesy of Eataly