Eataly Makes Its Chicago Debut

Contributor
The Italian food superstore finally opens its doors
Eataly Chicago
Lauren Knight
Eataly Chicago covers 63,000 square feet and includes restaurants and retail with both imported and local goods.

Chicagoans have been waiting all year for the food mecca from Mario Batali, Joe Bastianich, and Lidia Bastianich to open its doors. Dates fluctuated as the establishment ran into lease disputes, but finally Eataly made its Chicago debut on December 2nd.

Like its sister store in New York, Eataly Chicago creates a marketplace of goods, each with its own distinct section. Meats, fish, pastas, and more are handled individually by well-educated staff and specialists. Additionally, restaurants focusing on each food allow customers to get a taste for potential dishes before buying the fresh ingredients themselves to make at home. Areas exclusive to the Chicago location include Il Fritto, focusing on small fried dishes, a dedicated vegetable butcher and a Nutella bar.

Beverages are given their due attention as well. The Vino Libero area offers a wide selection of wines, each adhering to three quality controls: no pesticides, no fertilizers, and limited sulfites used in the wine’s production. La Birreria gives customers a unique beer pub experience, with creative beers brewed in-house through a collaboration with Dogfish Head, Birra Baladin and Birra Del Borgo.

Eataly will focus on making quality cooking accessible to all. Imported goods are intermixed with locally-sourced foods, providing the best for customers from all corners of the globe. A cooking school and book store offer the opportunity to learn more about the ingredients and techniques employed in Italian cooking and beyond.

Mario Batali expressed his excitement for the Chicago location, which is 30 percent bigger than the store in New York. “We’re really proud of our location here, near Lake Michigan and the fundamental core of the most American city of all great American cities,” he told us.

With its vibrant food scene, Chicago is eager to embrace Eataly and all it has to offer. Debuting just in time for the holidays, Eataly will no doubt be a must-visit for many shoppers this season.

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