Eataly is a two story shopping experience located at 43 E Ohio St. I call it an experience, sometimes a monster, because the first time I went it was super confusing. I’m sure the fact I went after it had only recently opened and was packed to the brim didn’t help. It has 23 restaurants, a bookstore, groceries, alcohol, and house wear.
What Eataly is is a giant two story grocery store with one fine dining restaurant, a book corner, a couple sections of wine, beer and other alcohol, a section of house wear, and 23 sections where you can sit, or try to sit and order food and eat in the middle of the grocery store. (There are 7 restaurants with siting) When I went the first time it was packed, loud and busy.
A lot of the items are expensive. I thought it would be fun to grab dinner, thinking of something akin to a food court or like a mall with restaurants in it, however every couple of feet it felt like I bumped into a table and found myself walking through a restaurant.
I ended up just going to the Nutella bar on the first floor because that was the part I had heard of the most. I ordered a Brioche which according to the menu was a croissant filled with nutella. I assumed they had baked it with the nutella in it and was pretty excited, instead after I ordered it they cut it in half, opened a tub of nutella and spread it on the both halves of the croissant and gave it to me. I could have done that at home.
It’s a huge marketplace with occasional islands of restaurants where you can play a game of is this a restaurant or is it the butcher or the cheese artisan? Since it isn’t as new as it was it isn’t as packed as the first time I went, but I think it also depends on the time of day you go.
It’s an interesting place to go to look around and see what they have. A lot of what I was excited for though was disappointing, like the Nutella shop. The second time I went my friend ordered a Nutella crepe, and no one was at the station to wait on her, and then one person came over, took her order and money and then walked away, another person came over and started the crepe and then walked away, and a third person came over and finished it for her.