Eat Your Heart Out at Turin’s Eataly

This is an excerpt from What’s New In and Around Turin from the March 2009 issue of Dream of Italy:

For foodies in the know, Turin has long been a must-visit. Now the city can add another culinary notch to its belt, with Eataly, the world’s largest food and wine store. Located in the former Carpano Vermouth production plant, Eataly was founded by Oscar Farinetti in alliance with Slow Food, the organization devoted to preserving local food traditions. Farinetti says the goal is to “Buy, taste and learn about the best foods under the same roof.”

To that end, many of the 40,000 carefully selected food items (most locally sourced from 900 Italian producers but other from international sources as well) are labeled with placards describing their provenance and attributes. There’s a computer center, a library, a small museum and rooms for tasting seminars and cooking classes.

For travelers, Eataly is a fantastic and affordable destination for a meal or a snack. On the first floor there are eight main sections each devoted to a specific food and overseen by an expert: butcher; cured meats; bakery; pizzeria; pasta kitchen; produce area; fishmonger; cheese section. There’s a dining area in each section and if you’re feeling ambitious you can move from one to another for a multi-course meal. To finish up your meal with something sweet, nearby you’ll find an espresso bar, chocolate section and gelateria.

But wait, there’s more. Downstairs there’s a more formal restaurant, GuidoperEataly, run by a famous restaurateur from nearby Alba. The basement also houses the wine cellar and a brew pub where you can pull up a stool and taste a tantalizing selection of beers. At Eataly, there’s truly something for everyone. Expect to spend a few hours there; the aesthetics alone worth experiencing but bring an empty stomach along too.

Via Nizza, 230
(39) 011 19506801
Open daily 10 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.