Disclosure: My family was invited to try out a meal at Eataly as part of their Eataly Loves Kids program. We weren’t compensated. All opinions and happy tummies are my family’s own.
Yesterday, one of my good friends packed up her family and jumped on a plane, headed for an amazing adventure in Italy. That’s not in the cards for us this summer, so I did the next best thing. I packed up my family and hopped in the car as we headed for an adventure at Eataly Chicago.
I love the idea of traveling with your taste buds, and this was a great way for us to explore Italy and enjoy some fun time together without needing passports or suitcases.
Founded in Torino in 207, Eataly is the largest artisanal Italian marketplace in the world. There are now more than 35 locations in countries all across the globe. Eataly Chicago is the largest location in the U.S. with more than 60,000 square feet on two floors, including 5 full-service restaurants.
Sounds fantastic, right? Even better, it’s family-friendly. And if you love pasta, wine, cheese, or anything related to Italy, you’re in the right place.
Pizza via Eataly Loves Kids
The store has recently launched Eataly Loves Kids, which is focused on what kids love: pizza.
In La Pizza & La Pasta, the most popular and largest restaurant, kids can get a $9 Neapolitan-style pizza in their choice of fun shapes: hearts, butterflies, fish, or bunnies. Children choose their shape and ingredients by coloring an interactive menu, which is also a great way to learn some Italian. (And my teens and the good friend she brought with us were surprisingly charmed by the shaped pizzas.)
It is available during regular restaurant hours Sunday through Thursday. The hours are Sunday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.and Monday-Thursday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
The pizza is large, and the kids gobbled it up. The fact that it won’t completely break the bank shows some love to parents, too.
It’s possible that when we went the adults were as mesmerized watching the expert pizzaiolo, or pizza maker, craft the pizzas and slide them in and out of the ovens.
My husband and I both had pasta, which they serve al dente, just like they do it in Italy. I had the Ravioli di Prosciutto con Piselli. My husband really enjoyed the Rigatoni all’ Arrabbiata, which had enough kick to make him happy. Perhaps because of that, he also tried out Mole Cola, the Italian version of Coca Cola.
Everyone Loves Gelato
When we were done with our meal, we headed downstairs and grabbed gelato. The tiramisu gelato is fantastic. And my daughter loved her combo of berry and lemon sorbets.
None of us was brave enough to try the caprese gelato combo, but perhaps next time! The combo is pomodoro sorbet plus basil-flavored gelato plus sweet milk gelato, with extra virgin olive oil and sea salt sprinkled on top.
When I asked my daughter what her favorite part of our visit to Italy was, she replied, “My pizza was really good. The gelato was really good, too!” Kid may not have the largest vocabulary, but she knows what she likes.
If you can’t visit in Chicago, there are two locations in New York and one in Boston, with stores planned for Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and Toronto.
Eataly Chicago is located at 43 E. Ohio Street.
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