In Italy, you start the day at your nearby cafe where you fuel up with a jolt of espresso, a sip of macchiato (the kind dappled with milk foam, not drowned with caramel), or a cup of cappuccino, a milky drink reserved for the morning. Down your caffeine of choice standing at the bar. Maybe grab a cornetto—think Italian croissant—then off you go. It’s a morning routine all’Italiano.
Now at Eataly, you’ll be able to do the same. This week the Italian food emporium opens Caffé Lavazza, an all-day cafe downstairs from the Eataly Dallas markets and restaurants above. Eataly made its Dallas debut last December by bringing thousands of Italian products to a sweeping marketplace and dining to NorthPark Center. Caffé Lavazza, so named for the Torino coffee company ubiquitous in its home country, was the remaining component that wasn’t yet finished in December. (Also, if you’ve been to Italy, you’ve had Lavazza—unless you went to the Starbucks, in which case, vergogna!)
“This is very unique,” Adam Saper, Eataly executive business partner, says of Caffé Lavazza. “We will always have a coffee bar, but at each Eataly it evolves. None are cookie-cutter. This is a brand-new menu here, we’ve never done all this seating at a cafe the way we’ve done it here.”
On the food menu find items such as tremezzini (finger sandwiches) and heartier sandwiches, too, like one with house-made porchetta on brioche with salsa verde, veggie sides, plus a whole case of pastries—lighter fare perhaps than the pastas and pizzas upstairs. And that’s the point. Caffé Lavazza is a space where morning melds into lunch which spills into late afternoon or early evening spritzes or glasses of wine. This is the appeal of an all-day cafe: you can linger and whatever craving strikes, a two-tiered tower of sweet and savory pastries, say, it’s here. Want to switch from an americano to a sparkling bellini? Done.
If you really want to try something you don’t often see elsewhere, order the bicerin. It means “little cup” in Piedmont dialect (deriving from the more standard Italian word for cup, bicchiere, for any linguistic nerds out there) and consists of a rich, not-too-sweet chocolate melted under hot espresso and topped with a little whipped cream. It’s bliss in a little cup.
Aside from a place that you hang out with the laptop by day, trading it for friends and spritzes by evening, Caffé Lavazza has imported another quite Italian tradition: caffé sospeso. Meaning “suspended coffee” in Italian, caffé sospeso is a way to pay-it-forward by buying your drink and covering someone else’s. Full City Rooster started their caffé sospeso program, borrowing the concept from Italy of course, last March and has been going strong ever since. Saper says he hopes it really takes off at Eataly Dallas, too.
Caffé Lavazza is open now, find it through the ground floor NorthPark entrance or through Eataly Dallas, past the butcher counter, and down the escalator.