Don’t Miss Eataly in Chicago

February 24, 2014


Eataly Chicago If you haven’t been to Eataly in Chicago….hmmmm….you are missing out!

Do put it on your list of places to visit in the Windy City.

 What is it?  Eataly Chicago and it’s sister in New York are ALL things Italian.  Like really yummy tasty stuff.  The huge  two story castle of consumption just off Michigan Avenue is jam packed with food, wine, cafes,  pizza,  beer, cheese, cookbooks, oh, did I say wine? fish, meat,  baked goods, a, get this….Nutella bar……and Eataly is  a meeting place, a gathering place, a meandering place, a place to see and be seen. You might feel like you’ve been on vacation when you go.

There’s one in New York (click here to read about) and more in the works.  Enjoy these photos of our first, but I’m sure not last , trip to Eataly in Chicago.







Eataly Chicago  On the same trip to Chicago we did  tour of Downtown Deco.

This was a surprise.   Mostly when I think of Chicago Architecture I think of Frank LloydWright or Mies van der Rohe with their easily recognizable architectural forms.  I’ve never really thought of Chicago as being a mecca for Art Deco.

 But it is ……and the Architecture Foundation has a terrific downtown walking tour. It is a different experience than a Deco tour in Miami (click here to read about) but well worth doing if this era of design interests you.

I learned a couple of things to share.  Art Deco, an eclectic design aesthetic characterized by  traditional craft motifs with Machine Age imagery and materials. We expect to see rich colors, bold geometric shapes, and lavish ornamentation. It thrived in the 1930s and 1940s in cities that were doing well.  New York and Chicago are two U. S. locations with oodles of buildings with elegant Art Deco design.

The other funny tidbit is that folks were fascinated with air travel during the 1920s.  So the mailboxes (air mail) are a huge design element as are birds.







We also popped in to see a Chinese New Year celebration in Chicago.

I  loved seeing the Lion Dance. While much smaller in scale (one lion versus hundreds ) than the one we saw in Hong Kong a year ago (yep, click here for that blog post), it was great fun to see the dancing and enjoy the music, celebrating  the Chinese New Year .







I  will end with a few winter scenes of the Windy City in a cold and frozen state.  Enjoy.






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About Susan J. Smith

Susan's career includes writing for newspapers, lots of community work and a wonderful family life. Now she is enjoying traveling, photography and writing for DesignDestinations and Grand Rapids Magazine. She welcomes you on her journey and appreciates your comments.

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9 Responses to “Don’t Miss Eataly in Chicago”

  1. Cindy schad Says:

    Sounds and looks terrific! Looking forward to visiting some time soon!


  2. Melanie Rogers Says:

    It appears you saw a few empty tables at Eataly… remarkable. I went on a Monday (before Christmas) and the “food court” was packed to beat the band, there was a 2 hour wait for pizza! We did find counter seats at the sushi section after a fashion and had a wonderful lunch.
    I love the photos of the art deco elements, always a visual treasure hunt to search out these architectural treasures. Thanks for sharing!


    • Susan J. Smith Says:

      I read that the first week Eataly was open, they had 120,000 people and had to close one day to restock. We were there on a quiet Friday afternoon in January…….lots of spaces for lunch or wine tasting. The room that looked so empty was the beer tasting space. I suspect it fills up late afternoon.


  3. Kathy Says:

    I feel like I have just had a quick colorful tour of Chicago on this blustery snow day!! Thank you for that.


  4. Julie Says:

    Susan – what a nice post on Chicago. Your photography is wonderful!
    It really is quite extraordinary what Chicago has to offer!!


  5. Kim Cornetet Says:

    I love Eatily in NYC so I know I will love it in Chicago! I could feel the cold with your Chicago winter photos- and I have seem many of those art deco buildings in your photos which always jump out at me in passing…… I always love what you write about Susan and I feel like I am there or anxious to go…..



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