We all know Italians seem to have a knack for the good life, la bella vita. Phrases such as “Italians do it better” or “You can't beat the Italians” somehow ring true, at least when it comes to food and design. One of many Italian success stories in the food industry has its manifestation aptly situated in Spitalfields, close to Liverpool station, a district in central London well known for its street art, quirky shops, and trendy bars with nearby restaurants catering to lunchtime City workers. Apparently, Eataly, founded in 2007 and born from Oscar Farinetti's idea to gather high-quality food at sustainable and reasonable prices, does just that, also attracting all appreciative of Italian food from further afield.
They claim that eating is simple at Eataly. But here, guests celebrate Italian biodiversity and the full scale of Italian and UK food products; all the ingredients they cook with can be found in Eataly's market. Here the third element of Eataly's services comes in. “The more you know, the more you enjoy” they say, so guests are encouraged to learn about the history and craft of the food on display, chefs and producers who inspire, whether it's through a visit to the store, a class at La Scuola or a special event.
The name Eataly is, of course, a fusion of two words: Eat and Italy. As a result, Eataly stands for “eating Italian”, which encompasses Italy's history and food culture, the ease of preparing Italian dishes, and the many qualities Italy offers. Eataly declares to love high-quality food and drink, the stories about it, the people who produce it, and the places from where it comes. Despite the grand scale of this megastore of Italian food, you sense that every staff member shares this love and manages to convey it to the guests.
In their manifesto, Eataly reminds us that good food brings us together and helps us find common ground. One of the most significant sources of joy is what happens around the dinner table. “We've devoted our lives”, they say, “to promoting a real understanding of high-quality food and drink. Quality products improve our lives and bring added value to yours. That includes quality food, quality drink, and ultimately, quality time.”
It is this scope of Eataly that draws you into a rich experience. You may want to linger for a while, explore the many products on display, and perhaps take a few of them with you. You may find an excuse to stay a bit longer. Whether you're visiting to buy bread, prepare for a lavish dinner, or enjoy a quiet meal, you feel comfortable, even happy, and enriched.
Some Italian eateries have a reputation for pricing their products suitable for the higher end of customer budgets. Eataly makes a bold claim: the best food at the lowest possible price. We leave it to the customer to assess that claim, but the pricing was reasonable. Never encourage you to buy more than you need or spend more than you can afford. However, when you demand quality products, you support the local producers and create a better environment for eating and beyond.
Eataly unashamedly declares their desire to have you as their customer for a lifetime by offering you the best food and drink, as well as the best environment in which to discover and expand your tastes. Well, they might just have persuaded us to come back.