Milan for foodies – the food emporiums: Peck and Eataly
If you are a foodie visiting Milan there are a couple of places not to be missed.
In the center of town, within a couple of minutes walk from the Duomo on Via Spadari 9 (Google Map directions were confusing, just take Via Torino from the Duomo and turn right on Spadari) you will find Peck, a high end gourmet food store and restaurant that is rightly described as a gastronomical temple celebrating the best foods from not only Italy but from around the world.
With a history spanning two centuries Peck evolved from a sausage making artisanal shop to the food equivalent of a Louis Vuitton. Food is made in-house in the vast kitchen at the back. You can peek around the corner behind the cheese counter and watch the chefs labouring over beautiful food soon to be available on the counters in the store. More kitchens are hidden downstairs.
Behind glistening glass you see display after display of fresh yellow pasta, crusty breads, rare cheeses, piles of fresh truffles, delicate pastries, luxury take out foods, fruits and vegetables, international coffees and teas, exotic preserves and of course for the non-vegetarian an impressive charcuterie selection, all artfully presented and hard to resist. I must admit it made me feel, yes, a little envious of the Milanesi who can walk into this place any time they want for all it has to offer. But Peck’s luxurious food doesn’t come cheap. Take a look at the prices in the images below.
Also not to be missed is the newly offered Sunday brunch at Peck’s on the first floor (second North American floor) but I will report about that later.
Another food emporium you must not miss is Eataly in the former Smeraldo theatre near the Corso Como area and a $10 Euro taxi ride from the Duomo. You may have heard of Eataly as they have establishments in NYC and Chicago, but Eataly is an Italian phenomena that got its start in Turin with a flagship store now in Rome. Also geared towards high end quality food but more accessible in style and prices, Eataly in Milan is four stories of food heaven that would truly make your head spin. Fruits and vegetables market, pasta shop, bakery, pastry shop, entire floor dedicated to wines, restaurants, coffee bars, cooking classes, cookbooks and more are all under one roof creating a unique Italian village that is sophisticated, artisanal, educational and exciting. Walking through the doors your senses are pleasantly assaulted by the sights and sounds and there is no mistake where you are: in Italy.
The concept behind the store is to provide quality food that represents the Italian provinces and make it accessible to everyone but that’s not all. They also want to connect the consumers with the food sources: the farmers and artisans that grow and make the food we eat. They tell the stories of the people behind the food, the cheese makers, olive oil producers, tomato growers etc.
Eataly had a major presence at Expo Milano this year and for me they were one of the main highlights. Set in a 2 building pavilion covering 8K square meters Eataly set up some 20 restaurants, each representing the foods of an Italian province or group of smaller provinces. The food was authentic and delicious and we tried almost all of the restaurants, sharing a dish from each to make it work. I was not going to pass on the opportunity and glad I didn’t. I would say that the entire Eataly expeirence is one you shouldn’t miss. Check out some images below.