Eataly is Chicago’s one-stop marketplace for Italian groceries, cooking products, and freshly cooked dishes. Located on Ohio St, just a few blocks from Michigan Avenue, Eataly is a must-stop shop for tourists and locals alike. There extensive food selection, cooking classes, events, and tours make Eataly a unique foodie heaven! Eataly’s Septemberfest is the perfect way to try everything Eataly has to offer, and more! I believe that this is a Chicago location exclusive event for Eataly, who also have locations in New York City, Boston, and Los Angeles.
This year Eataly Chicago hosted the third-annual Setpemberfest, and it did not disappoint! Septemberfest is an all-access event that gives guests the ability to eat and drink everything they can get their hands on within a six-hour time frame. The event ran from 6 pm to midnight but offered three ticketing options: 6pm-midnight, 7pm-midnight, and 8pm-midnight.
My friend Sara and I went with the 8pm-midnight ticket option. By the time we went to buy Septemberfest tickets, 6 pm and 7 pm entry times were sold out, so I highly recommend buying tickets early. They usually go on sale in mid-August! Have no fear, we ate all we could in our few hours and there was still plenty of food and drinks to go around!
The event featured live music, a DJ, and other entertainment including hands-on mozzarella and pasta making, opening wheels of Parmigiano Reggiano, and the all-you-can-eat/drink factor!
The Eataly Stations
Obviously, the main point of Eataly’s Septemberfest is to expose people to the delicious dishes Eataly has to offer. There were several types of focaccia and pasta set up around the store. Eataly’s signature bread was also showcased (but don’t try too much, they’re trying to distract you from the expensive dishes by putting out bread).
Eataly also showcased their salads and pasta. I tried most of the pasta dishes, and only one of the salads, because I was determined to try as much as possible from the other vendors. People were lined up to try and make their own pasta! It was amazing to watch and had I had more time, its something I definitely wanted to try.
There also was a huge line for the charcuterie station. There were many types of salami and prosciutto. The mozzarella line was long as well, but well worth the wait. I think I tried four different types of mozzarella, each of which was more scrumptious than the next.
Right by the escalator to head downstairs for dessert was one of the most important Eataly stations… the parmesan wheel risotto. Have you ever tasted risotto made and mixed in a wheel of Parmigiano Reggiano? Its a must try for all risotto and cheese lovers. I stopped by after already starting my dessert round, and I regretted not saving more room for Risotto!
For dessert, Eataly had even more options! Upstairs, they created a display called the cookie mountain featuring at least 14 different types of Italian cookies! Downstairs, Eataly offered mini cups of each of their gelato flavors and huge Cannoli, among other desserts!
The Other Restaurants
Wow! I’m getting hungry just thinking about this. Each year, Eataly selects new restaurants to partner with, including the newest and hottest restaurants in Chicago. This year the restaurant partners for Septemberfest included Blackbird, Pacific Standard Time, Bohemian House, etta, Bombobar, Gus’s Fried Chicken, and many more. My favorite dishes I tried included pierogi’s from Bohemian House and the fried chicken wing from Gus’s. Bombobar’s doughnuts were unbelievable and tasted exactly the way they do at the restaurant.
Also included in Septemberfest is unlimited alcohol! As you walk in, you are presented with a mini-apron wine holder and a wine glass! Keep your glass with you throughout the night, and refill it as many times as you’d like!
Chicago’s Hometown Vodka, Half Acre Beer Company, and Aperol Spritz all had their own stands throughout the event. However, the booze highlight of the evening was definitely the wine quiz, which let you enter your food preferences to help you determine what wines you like (and which ones to get at each of the other bars in the store!).
Have you visited Eataly? What did you think? What Chicago restaurant would you like to see at next years Septemberfest? Let me know in the comments below!