Italian culture is a big part of my life. The food, the language, the way of living, has had an impact on me since I was little. My love for this culture is encapsulated in Eataly (or as I like to call it: Mecca). I’ve longed to visit an Eataly location for quite some time (they have stores all over the world), but never had the chance. Until my trip to Italy this past summer.
I was so excited to finally visit this hub for Italian food and culture in Rome. Imagine a sprawling 3-floor market full of cafes, restaurants (yes, restaurants!), delis and high-quality Italian groceries. Locals will come in to grab their groceries, and I even saw a few informal meetings taking place in the cafes and restaurants. If you’re like us and came specifically to explore the store, you can spend the whole day in here, and that’s exactly what we did.
As soon as we entered, we found ourselves in the produce section which is beautifully organized, and so, so, colorful! Fresh peaches, lettuce, radicchio, and the list goes on.
On the same floor was a beautiful pizzeria serving Roman-style pizza where they cut the pizza to a size of your liking and charge based on the weight of your piece. Sciue here in Vancouver does something similar, and it’s wildly successful.
On the other side was the sweets and coffee section where I grabbed an espresso (of course), and took the time to marvel at this espresso cup and saucer chandelier.
Next we headed up to the second floor where pasta was the focal point here. Tomatoes for pasta sauce, and any cut of pasta you can imagine can be found on this floor. One of the restaurants on this floor focuses solely on pasta. I was thinking of stopping here for lunch and trying the cacio e pepe dish (which I’ve never had before, and is on my list of things to try). The second floor also has salumi, fresh meat/fish and cheese. With over 200 various types of cheese, you’re bound to find something that works for you.
I roamed this floor a bit more, but by this time, was really hungry. I decided to forego the cacio e pepe, and opted for a piadina instead. I had seen the piadineria on the first floor, so headed back down for lunch. A piadina is basically like a tortilla with a bit of a different consistency. Then the Italians fill it with various ingredients- there was a wealth of options on the menu, including a piadina filled with grilled vegetables, or prosciutto cotto (ham) and mushrooms. I went for the piadina filled with prosciutto crudo, arugula, and scamorza (a type of mozzarella-like cheese). It was delicious!
After lunch, I was ready to go up to the third floor. The third floor is focused on liquors, and wine, as well as fresh meat and fish. My favorite part of this floor would have to be the wine on tap. Yep! You can fill an empty bottle with wine, and the price starts from about 2.50 euros per liter. Sounds like a good deal to me! I’m also a big fan of amaro (an Italian digestive liquor), and of course, Eataly’s amaro selection did not disappoint.
We spent a good 5 hours in Eataly Roma, because we really want to enjoy it. I have to say that it lived up to the expectations, and so much more! If you love Italian food, I highly recommend that Eataly (whatever the location) be on your list of must-sees…it truly is a gem!