A hub for all things Italian, Eataly is the largest Italian food retail market in the nation. Building on the European model of open-air grocery shopping, Oscar Farinetti opened the first Eataly in Turin, Italy, in 2007 with the goal of showcasing high-quality Italian products. Fast forward to 2010 when Farinetti along with Mario Batali, Joe Bastianich and Lidia Matticchio Bastianich opened the first stateside location in the Flatiron District to sell exclusive products imported from Italy: hard-to-find olive oil, vinegar, cheese, pasta and vino.
A brand-new downtown location opened in 2016 at 4 World Trade Center bringing enough Italian food to satisfy all of NYC. Read on for fun things to do at Eataly Downtown.
Try a new ravioli every day
Exclusive to this location, I Ravioli serves up three varieties of fresh ravioli daily, including the classic ricotta and spinach, piselli with mint, and prosciutto topped with a sauce of the day. The tiny Italian dumplings are meant to be eaten on the go or in house. We recommend an extra order to go.
Take a free class at Foodiversità
If the thought of making fresh pasta scares you, try out a class led by one of Eataly’s experts. The free instructionals are open to all (experts and rookies) who enjoy the cucina. Registration is not required for these daily courses, which range from bread making to wine tasting.
Watch them make stracciatella
There are three types of cheeses made on-site at Eataly Downtown’s Mozzarella Lab: stracciatella, a creamy burrata and a regular fresh mozzarella. Stracciatella is especially fun to watch being made, as the cheese is stretched and shredded piece by piece before being drenched in heavy cream. Watch the mozzarella masters on the other side of the glass as they do their work; you may even get a sampling if you ask nicely.
Sample agnolotti dal plin
Farinetti, Eataly's co-owner, hails from the Piedmont region of Italy, more specifically the town of Alba, which prides itself on truffles, wine and its agnolotti dal plin. Agnolotti is a square pasta stuffed with a mixture of veal and pork (the Eataly version also adds mortadella), and it’s the first thing Farinetti tastes upon arriving at any Eataly location. Ask for a sample at the fresh pasta counter, just like Farinetti does, and don’t worry, it’s perfectly fine to eat uncooked pasta.
This might be an obvious one, but don’t go home without some bread. Every Eataly has a theme, and the downtown location’s is bread, which is universally uniting. Head baker Erin Flinn uses a 36-year-old starter (a mother yeast) to leaven the bread baked on-site. It’s combined with flour from two mills, the Italian Mulino Marino and Hudson Valley’s Wild Hive Farm. You can't go wrong with a traditional focaccia di Genovese from La Focacceria's counter.
Toast to summer
Take advantage of Rosé Hour during the summer months at Il Vino wine bar (Monday–Thursday, 5–7pm; Friday, 2–7pm). A glass goes for $8 and bottles are $30. No time to sit? A cart wanders through the halls on Friday evenings and on the weekends so you can sip a glass of Italian wine while you shop.