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The Best Experiential Holiday Shopping Experience in 2023


meat skewers, red wine, and tuna poke
Eataly's rooftop restaurant, Terra

In 2023, there's no reason that holiday shopping shouldn't be an enjoyable full day experience that involves handmade pasta, Italian wines, and caviar. Your local shopping mall is super busy and doesn't have any of this stuff? Let me introduce you to Eataly.


This now global establishment was founded in Italy and is a really unique blend of market, restaurant, and learning center concepts.


The Bay Area store has a bakery on the first floor, wines for days on the second, and two restaurants or market at a learning center on the third.


Okay, so this is how you do an Eataly holiday shopping day the right way: Start off with lunch at Eataly's rooftop restaurant and lounge, Terra because nothing gets you in the mood better than caviar and truffle - which are in season RIGHT NOW. And A5 Wagyu, which is always in season (like, to me, I don't know if there's actually Wagyu season).


What to order at Terra:

  • Fornello Pugliese - great for groups

  • Tartare di Tonno con Caviale

  • Truffle tasting menu

  • Raviolo with egg inside (off the menu - ask for Chef Antonio's special dish)

  • Cavatelli al Ragù di Terra

  • Traditional Italian holiday dessert, Pandoro - with all the toppings

  • Ask your server to pair the wines for you


giant bowl of meat
Fornello Pugliese - great for groups



tuna tartare with caviar
Tartare di Tonno con Caviale

Raviolo with egg inside and wines on the table
(off the menu) Raviolo with egg inside (ask for Chef Antonio's special dish)

cavatelli al Ragù di terra pasta with red sauce
Cavatelli al Ragù di Terra

Traditional Italian holiday dessert, Pandoro - with all the topings and cherries
Traditional Italian holiday dessert, Pandoro - with all the toppings

Ask your server to prepare a glass or two of wines for you. Or four, or whatever you're in the mood for.

man drinking wine with a giant bowl of meat
Fornello Pugliese

Then once your mind is blown, go to the second floor and find Giacomo. He knows literally everything that there is to know about Italian wines, and he can pick out some really meaningful gifts for friends and family, and yes, you're encouraged to taste them first.


bar with Christmas decorations
Eataly's Wine Tasting Bar


Okay, we're finally arriving at the reason that we came here in the first place. And this little bar cart over here is actually a full bar where you can get a drink to carry around while you're shopping:


tree with garden lights and a woman standing there
Eataly's Bar Cart where you can get a drink form while you're shopping


Eataly has hundreds of different extra virgin olive oils, hundreds of different pastas, and basically any Italian food that you're in the market for you're going to find here - and you're going to find great gifts for people who also like Italian food.


If you're a shopper you can spend hours here, but if you want everything just packaged for you and ready to go, they have that too.

Eataly Gift Boxes with Italian food products
Eataly Gift Boxes with imported Italian food products

We got the Pandoro cake that we had for lunch, which is basically like a little slice of heaven.

boxes of Italy's other holiday cake - the Panettone
Italy's traditional holiday cake - the Panettone

We got the Panettone and put an American spin on it by making French toast the morning after Thanksgiving.

Traditional Italian holiday cake, Pandoro - packed for gifting
Traditional Italian holiday cake, Pandoro - packed for gifting

And then we got a bunch of the Pasticcini, the little tiny pastries, and brought them over as kind of like an appetizer. Big hit.


So if you need to do holiday shopping but don't want to get a meaningless gift that's gonna sit in the closet, or you're just looking for an amazing foodie experience, I cannot recommend Eataly enough.


chef and woman in a restaurant with a lot of plants
Etaly head Chef, Antonio

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