Walking through Eataly, New York City’s 50,000-square-foot homage to all things delizioso, is like dying and going to Italian foodie heaven.

You pass by cases groaning with formaggio, salumi, pasta, biscotti, cannoli, and gelati. You weave through crowded stalls selling wines, olive oils, aged balsamic vine- gars, spices, and even cookbooks. (Suddenly you must have a pasta maker and learn how to make gnocchi.) You stare at bakers, pizzaioli, baristas, and scores of people popping Nutella treats, snacking on panini, and sipping Pinot Gris at one of the many restaurants and kiosks scattered throughout the kaleidoscopic food maze. The whole place smells fantastic and crackles with excitement.

And now Eataly, the brainchild of Italian entrepreneur Oscar Farinetti, is about to open in River North. (In addition to the one in Manhattan, there are 12 in Italy and nine in Japan.) The mammoth space will cover 13,000 more square feet than its East Coast sib, allowing room for a mozzarella maker, a ginormous bakery, a meat resto, and a fried-food bar.

If Farinetti and his U.S. partner (Batali & Bastianich Hospitality Group) follow the New York model, coffees, pastries (sweet and savory croissants), jams, honeys—whatever makes sense for breakfast Italian-style—will start at 8 a.m. At 10, the retail stores will open, and the restaurants at 11. By noon, the whole shebang should be at full throttle and will likely stay that way until close at 10 p.m.

You might notice the strategic placement of restaurants and sellers: Il Pesce next to a fish counter, La Carne alongside a butcher. Eataly’s executive chef, Alex Pilas, explains, “We cook what we sell, and we sell what we cook.”

Here's the latest intel on the opening date, as of mid-November: The phrase "early December" is as specific as anyone at Eataly HQ has been in multiple interviews. This story will be updated as new info becomes available.


Numero uno is executive chef Alex Pilas. Born in South Korea, adopted by parents of Greek, Italian, and Polish heritages, and raised in New Jersey, Pilas has the perfect résumé for the job.

More than 100

different Italian olive oils—single estate, monocultivar, cold pressed—hand-picked from Liguria, Sicily, and Tuscany.

More than 500

suppliers for everything at Eataly: sea salts, capers, pasta, cheeses, wines, and more.


square feet over two floors at 43 E. Ohio St.

High-end; takes reservations
50 seats


60 seats


La Birreria
Beer and brewery
50 seats


La Carne
Meat-centric; special for Chicago
64 seats


Il Fritto
Everything fried
within La Piazza →


La Piazza
Mozzarella, formaggio and salumi, and crudo bars
120 seats


La Pizza & La Pasta
Pizza and pasta!
114 seats


Le Verdure
52 seats


seats across 8 restaurants