A new favorite place of ours is Eataly in Downtown Chicago. From Mario Batali, there is an Eataly in New York City as well. This indoor market place is a combination of grocery store, kitchen shop, and restaurants too.
On the ground level there is a coffee bar, a dessert stand, and a gelato stand too. There are a few household items like bakewares and lovely packaged snacks to bring home. If you go one floor up, the options seem to be endless. Not only do you have a produce section, a cheese area, and a butcher counter, but there are also different places to sit down and eat. You can enjoy pizza out of a true pizza oven. Or, you can buy a sandwich made with the freshly baked bread that they sell. And, you can even enjoy some seafood dishes near the fish counter, or some cheese and charcuterie near the cheese counter.
There are so many great things for sale that would make a lovely hostess gift, a housewarming present, or even something to spice up your own dinner party. I recently went with my mom and we made a dinner of cheese and charcuterie to bring home. I love buying the fennel tarali and crunchy, skinny breadsticks, both are something that my grandmother always had in her kitchen growing up. We got some olives, jams, a semolina baguette, and of course, a few cheese options and dry sausage. Their semolina baguette is made with the flour that they use to make pasta. It's has a yellow hint to it, and so delicious. We make sure to buy two so that we can eat one on the way home. My favorite cheese that they carry is called La Tur. It's a soft, Italian cheese that is made of cows milk, sheeps milk, and goat milk. It's perfect when spread on a slice of baguette. It was the perfect spread.