A while back when Eataly decided to open its store in Toronto, Canada, many people were jumping for joy. People love this shop. In case you have never heard about Eataly, it’s part of a chain of Italian food shops with over many locations around the world. The Toronto location, Eataly Toronto, is a 3-level store that consists of counters for pizza, seafood, meats, cheeses, baked goods, gelato, cafe, kitchen accessories and more. Furthermore, it has 3 full-service dine in restaurants. Just imagine how delicious the dishes are being prepared with fresh ingredients right from the store and cook it and serve in front of you!
It’s situated at the Manulife Centre at the Bay & Bloor intersection. You can’t miss it, coz you can see the bright “Eataly” at all angles. Tonight (November 13, 2019) is its grand opening. I have heard about Eataly but have not been to one until tonight at Eataly Toronto. I was told by many of my friends that they had visited the Eataly in New York City as that’s the closest location from Toronto.
Let me tell you! I am super impressed with Eataly Toronto. In fact, I am addicted to the fresh ingredients and the food it serves at the restaurant. Let me take you on a tour of what Eataly Toronto is all about.
Ground Floor – Cafe
As you walk into the ground floor, there is a a spacious main lobby. You can decide to take the escalator up to the grocery and restaurants or you can take the stairs down to check out the craft beer brewery. We opted to check out the cafe right at the ground floor first.
This cafe serves coffee, latte, all other hot beverages. Also, it serves pastries, bread and sandwiches. I think this is more for people who doesn’t need to grocery shop but want a place to relax and chill. Perhaps they want to grab a nice coffee and pastries first before grocery shopping. The cafe looks spacious with cool social media worthy spots to take great photos. There are booths that you can sit and enjoy your latte or pastries.
As you take the escalator up to the 2nd level, that’s where the main action is. There are 3 full-service dining experience. They are 1) La Piazza; 2) La Pizza & La Pasta and 3) La Pescheria.
La Piazza focuses on Italian dishes that are coming directly from the surrounding counters and corners, such as fresh oysters to cured meats and cheeses.
La Pizza & La Pasta serves freshly made pizza and freshly made pasta. There are 2 different kitchen to prepare this. We opted to dine at La Pizza & La Pasta as we want to taste and experience both sides of the world. Click here to see more photos of the food & wine that we ordered here at La Pizza & La Pasta.
La Pescheria features fresh seafood that Eataly responsibly sourced and sell at the corner at its own seafood counter, so you know the seafood are top quality and fresh.
Now, the 2nd floor is a big space, it’s a haven here for foodies who just want to look at all the food and beverages imported from various parts of Italy. You can see the prosciutto, cheese, fresh pasta being made, fresh pizza being prepared, coffee station, fresh cannoli, so much to learn and to see. I have never seen some of these ingredients or products before, so it’s fascinating. It is also a great place to buy gifts such as kitchen accessories, chocolates and other goodies. Gifts that are more unique and not available elsewhere.
If you are a hands-on person and interested in learning how to make some Italian cuisine, there are various cooking classes that you can pay and sign up for. I think this is a great team bonding group outing. Imagine the team learn to make gnocchi and then cook it and enjoy your creation?
There are also tons of fresh ingredients from fruits to vegetables to fungi. In particular, I luv fungi but there are so many different types that I have never seen before. There is also a meat station, the meat looks so fresh.
Underground Level – Craft Beer Brewery
The moment when a friendly staff told us that there is a craft beer brewery, I was super excited. I luv beer and beer is my dessert! LOL.
I like the look of the craft beer brewery, you can see the barrel, the keg and a list of various beers that you can buy and bring them home or you can stay around and there are sitting areas around the counter or another section with table and chairs, whichever you prefer. The bar is called “Birroteca”, which Eataly Toronto has partnered with Indie Ale House, which is they have their own brewery location in the Junction area. Quite honestly, I was hoping an Italian brewery is making its way to Eataly Toronto and brew their own Italian style of beer. Nevertheless, Indie Ale House is a great local established craft beer brewery. I had dine and drink its beer flights at its junction location before. So, they are good craft beer. In fact, they are featuring several custom beers that are ONLY available at Eataly Toronto. Now, that’s exclusive and every reason you should come and taste the beer yourself. The friendly staff recommended us with the Italian pilsner and we enjoyed his recommendation. It’s refreshing and very easy to drink.
All-in-all, my 1st visit at Eataly Toronto is a positive one. Every staff is super friendly and the service is helpful. I was impressed how well every station operates and they seem to know what they are doing and run quite smoothly overall. Mind you, remember, although these staff possibly get tons of training a few weeks prior, there are still room for them to make adjustments, pace and time everything better, there maybe hiccups or getting used to the system and operations, so I suggest everyone to be patient and be considerate when things may not be 100% perfect. We are all humans after all and we should know it will take a new restaurant or new grocery time sometime to iron the kinks.
I think I am in luv with Eataly Toronto that I will visit this place very often, to the point I maybe addicted to this place. Whenever I am going to events around the Yorkville area, I think I will definitely swing by Eatatly Toronto to eat and wine and buy some goodies before heading home.
The Yorkville area will now be super lively with grocery stores and I think there will be a BIG 3 grocery war in this area. There is the Pusateris and McEwan and now with Eataly Toronto, there will be a big fight. But I am sorry to say, Eataly Toronto is my choice and this is a honest feedback. I just love the authentic Italian layout, the vibe, the fresh ingredients, the spacious space and the pasta bar will be my favouite spot to dine and wine. I think Pusateris will be the store that will be in a very tough situation to compete coz of its small narrow shopping space and the lack of variety of choices. But we will see how the battle of the high-end grocery stores is going to play out.
Address: Manulife Centre, 55 Bloor St W, Toronto, ON M4W 1A6