Recently, the word on the street seems to be that Eataly Boston is absolutely incredible and revolutionary.
However, after checking it out and eating there with a few of my friends, I was completely unimpressed. Although it is an is an eye-catching, fun place to be, I left the Prudential Center with a disappointing sense that Eataly Boston is overrated.
Before going to Eataly Boston, I heard nothing but rave reviews. The consensus among most of my friends who went before me was that it's affordable, and the restaurants are unbelievably good.
And most importantly, they encouraged me to go as they thought experiencing it is worth the often obscenely long wait. Due to this positive feedback from my friends, my expectations of Eataly Boston were quite high.
Upon walking into Eataly, I was overwhelmed by the immense crowds. What I expected to be a quiet Tuesday night looked more like opening day.
A Closer Look
Although the products being sold in the market and on the counter were enticing, the things that I saw were nothing that I felt was unique. Any of the products found at Eataly Boston can be found at other Italian markets for a fraction of the price.
The market seemed much more like a place for uniformed tourists to buy overpriced groceries than an ideal place to buy authentic goods.
My Dining Experience
After exploring the market, we decided to dine at La Pizza & La Pasta for a sit-down meal. However, upon sitting down, we were immediately rushed by our waiter to order. I decided on ordering the night's special, a spinach tagliatelle bolognese dish.
When my food finally arrived, I was let down. I realized that the dish was cold and didn't have much flavor once I took my first bite.
What My Friends Thought
"As a New Yorker who knows a thing or two about Italian food, I was underwhelmed by Eataly in Boston. Although some of the market items seemed authentic, they were overpriced and impractical to use."
"The cheese platter was good, but nothing worth taking the T over. The food resembled Chef Boyardee microwavable meals. Don't buy into the hype."
"While the food at Eataly wasn't unappealing, it felt devoid of personality. With so many great, authentic Italian food options throughout Boston, Eataly is not somewhere I'd rush back to. The white pizza I ordered was an acceptable meal; however, it wasn't outstanding."
"When you feel that you could find a similar if not better option at any hole in the wall pizza place in Boston, there is definitely a problem."
If you're looking for somewhere fun to wander around when you're in the Prudential Center or you're craving a quick snack, Eataly is a fine option.
On the other hand, if you're looking for a flavorful, authentic, Italian meal that will leave you wanting more, Eataly is not the place for you.
Luckily, there is no shortage of Italian food in Boston–if you're craving something fabulous, I'd highly recommend wandering around the North End or even South Boston for something more authentic.
Long story short, don't waste your time and money on a meal here–because Eataly Boston is overrated.