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Eataly

Life is too short not to eat and drink well

With a name that fuses the words EAT and ITALY, you can expect only the best of Italy's food culture offered at this haven of good food in Harajuku, a venue that includes a restaurant, cafe, gelateria, and shop. Italian food is touted as one of the world's tastiest cuisines, well-loved for its simplicity, high quality ingredients, affordability, health benefits, and variety.

Prosciutto di parma
Prosciutto di parma

The Eataly concept was born in 2002, sketched on a piece of paper by Oscar Farinetti. He wanted an informal, natural, simple place to eat, shop, and learn about high-quality Italian food.

Five years later in 2007, the very first Eataly opened in Torino in a converted vermouth factory. This multifunctional marketplace dedicated to Italian food excellence realized Farinetti's vision of a putting together a school, market, and table to gather around: a place to learn about food, and through food, about life.

Today, Eataly has 40 locations all over the world, including Dubai, Seoul, Stockholm, New York, Istanbul, and Munich. In Japan, Eataly has five branches. I visited the Harajuku branch which boasts of floor to ceiling glass windows and a terrace with cozy sofa seating.

Bright airy interior of Eataly's Harajuku branch
Bright airy interior of Eataly's Harajuku branch

You first walk through shelves of Italian pantry basics, through a deli corner where you can order sandwiches and gelato, catch a glimpse of the bottles of wines on offer, and into the main restaurant area, at the corner of which is a striking silver-tiled oven necessary for making authentic Italian pizzas.

Food prepared fresh.
Food prepared fresh.

All the stores adhere to Farinetti's original philosophy but have their own unique atmosphere.

Trust a restaurant that sells what they cook and cooks what they sell to serve great food.
Trust a restaurant that sells what they cook and cooks what they sell to serve great food.

Trust a restaurant that declares, We cook what we sell and we sell what we cook. Eataly sources food that is good, clean and fair, a philosophy shared by the Slow Food movement. Eataly's buyers find the best local producers. While almost all the cheeses used in the dishes are imported, the tomato based pasta dish that I enjoyed was topped with cheese sourced from Gunma Prefecture.

Tomato based pasta with cheese from Gunma (the only cheese not from Italy)
Tomato based pasta with cheese from Gunma (the only cheese not from Italy)

On your table, your silverware is placed in a paper holder with this inscribed: Life is too short not to eat and drink well. Certainly a good line to live by.

Getting there

Eataly is located on the 3rd floor of the new shopping complex, a building opposite JR Harajuku Station. YIt is in the same building that houses Harajuku's IKEA store.

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Bonson Lam a month ago
Life is too short not to eat and drink well. Definitely, something to live by. Make every meal special.
Sleiman Azizi a month ago
Great subtitle!
Sleiman Azizi a month ago
Well then, there you go.