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Yes, Eataly IS overrun with tourists in the middle of the day, but there are two quick lunch options you should know about: the panini stand, and the rotisserie stand, where you can get a prime rib sandwich as well as a sandwich of the day. Plan to nap after lunch if you go for the prime rib.
Eataly is a specialty grocery store in that it sells a big variety of high-quality, small-batch products from specially-sourced producers. It’s not, however, a specialty grocery store in terms of focusing on one, two, or 50 types of goods. Both the Flatiron and FiDi locations of this national mini-chain have multiple football field-sized floors filled with butcher cases of Piedmontese beef, cheese counters full of fresh mozzarella, and various sections for housemade pastas and 100 different types of extra virgin olive oil.