"Eataly reminds me of every part of Italy that I adore"

When I think of the most incredible places I have been, Italy is always on the top of the list. It's a country that offers so much. Luckily, as a fashion model and blogger, I am brought to Italy at least a few times a year for work. What I really admire about Italians is their "quality over quantity" mentality that lives on generation after generation. It applies to everything from their clothing, their hospitality, their way of living, to most importantly, their food.

While I am home in New York, Eataly NYC Flatiron is where I go to eat, shop, learn and get my fix of Italian culture when I’m missing Italy. I get excited by the rush of energy the moment I step inside. I like getting lost in it's aisles, the restaurants, and variety of cookbooks. Eataly NYC Flatiron is dedicated to Italian excellence and working with artisanal producers, both from Italy and locally. This space was born to gather under one roof, high-quality food at sustainable and accessible prices, celebrate Italian biodiversity, and create an informal, natural, and simple place to indulge in all things Italian.

Eataly reminds me of every part of Italy that I adore. I have road tripped through Tuscany, the Amalfi coast, Rome, and Naples under the boiling hot summer sun. I've spent winters on work trips in Florence, fashion weeks in Milano, and red carpets at Venice Film Festival. There's still so many aspects of Italy to discover, and I can do that much of that right here in NYC at Eataly NYC Flatiron. Italians really understand the art of living, loving, and indulging. What really makes Italy a special place for me is the love for food. When I think of an Italian dinner party, I think of rustic long wood tables covered in greenery, fresh fruits, and a ton of wine. To me, there certainly is no greater love than the love for food.

Here I take you through 3 of my favorite spots inside Eataly NYC Flatiron that always keep me coming back for more:

La Pasticceria, Caffè Vergnano 1882 & Venchi

This counter just got a totally new updated look. There are days when I want to bring my team little extra sweets in the morning before a long work day. I stop by here to grab my morning cappuccino, along with a colorful selection of Italian pastries. I also find the "make your own croissant" option to be incredible. They are filled with freshly made cream filling. Talk about a dreamy ands sweet way to kick off your day.

La Piazza

There is so much energy in La Piazza, in the center of Eataly NYC Flatiron. In the late afternoons all you can hear is chatter and clinking of wine glasses. It feels like you are in someone's home, hanging out in the chef's kitchen. I like to take afternoon meetings in La Piazza over an amazing charcuterie plate and Aperol spritz. Everything from the cheese to the meat are super fresh and delicious. It reminds me of summers in Venice.

SERRA ALPINA by Birreria within Eataly NYC Flatiron

This gorgeous winter "greenhouse" restaurant on the roof of Eataly NYC Flatiron is super intimate. Inspired by the Stella Alpina, a rare flower found in the Italian Alps across northern Italy, SERRA ALPINA features rustic tables and down-to-earth dishes made with simple but quality ingredients. How incredible are these paper leaves that line the walls and ceilings? This feels like a beautifully lived-in and cozy dining room. My go-tos are the Insalata di Cavolo e Arancia Rosso salad, a delicious and refreshing mix of Kale, Blood Oranges, and Almonds, along with the Zucca Arrostita, a baked Butternut Squash dish topped with Liuzzi Stracciatella and Hazelnut Vinaigrette. It's also a spot of experimentation, especially with the cocktail menu. You will find glacier wines, craft cocktails infused with mountain herbs, an extensive bitters menu, and housemade Vin Brulè, the Italian version of mulled wine steeped with orange peel and spices.

Between the market, counters, and restaurants, Eataly NYC Flatiron is the perfect place to get a full authentic Italian experience. At Eataly NYC Flatiron, locals and tourists alike come to shop what they eat and eat what they shop - all while learning along the way.

Italy suddenly feels a lot closer to home.

About the author

Modelling since the age of 15, Natalie Lim Suarez has been a notable figure in the fashion industry for years. With her passion for photography, creative direction, design, music, writing, modelling, style, and inspired by the "model off duty" on-the-go lifestyle, NATALIE OFF DUTY was born. Already noted for her winning fans in Harper's Bazaar UK, featured editorials in ELLE, and WWD for her "good taste", along with campaigns and ambassadorships to top fashion and beauty brands from around the world.