Nutella, a recent food trend in the US unless you are from Europe and have grown up eating it, know this delicious hazelnut spread. For a part of my childhood my family lived in New Hampshire where we were lucky to have a variety of European imported goods in some stores. Otherwise we would have to bring Nutella back from our trips to the Czech Republic. Most of my friends thought it was weird that I was eating a chocolate spread just like how many Europeans find it weird that Americans eat peanut butter. But those who tried it loved it and by the time our family moved to the west coast, Nutella had started to become popular around the US.
When I heard that there would be a Nutella Café opening in Chicago this year I couldn’t believe my luck! Even though I was preparing to move out to Southern California in a few weeks I made sure I had time to stop by and enjoy a menu dedicated to Nutella.
Walking up to the Nutella Café, located on busy Michigan Ave, you will find a line out the door with a security guard guarding the entry of the café. Luckily when I went with my friend it was in the middle of the week, the café had already been opened for a few weeks so we didn’t have to wait as long. The line moved quickly and after about twenty minutes we were inside.
What surprised me the most was the price of the items on the menu, which were fairly average for downtown Chicago. I couldn’t settle on one choice so I ordered the banana and Nutella crepes and Steel-cut Oats with Almond Milk and berries and a cup of espresso. My friend ordered the Seasonal Fruit Crostata.
It was a beautiful day so we found a table outside facing Michigan Ave. My friend’s food came quite quickly and after a few minutes my oats followed. We gave it about another ten minutes and I started to wonder where the rest of my order was. You would think that an order would come out at the same time. Frustrated and hungry I walked back inside to ask if my food was ready. Of course the moment I had left my seat the server came with my order from the other side of the café. A few minutes of confusion at the counter and we figured out my food had been sent to my table already. I returned to our table and excitedly started to dig into my meal. I admit my expectations were pretty high. I have been eating Nutella since I can remember, usually on cut up slices of banana and strawberries or simply by the spoonful.
First bite into my oats and I tasted zero flavor. If it wasn’t for the scoop of Nutella in the center I think I would have passed on the bowl completely. Setting the bowl to the side I decided to give the food another shot with my banana and Nutella filled crepe. Disappointment. That’s what the crepes tasted like. If I am ordering Nutella filled foods from the World’s First Nutella Café that has had thousands of people flocking to it, it better taste above average.
So the service was a bit of a mess. The food was lacking in any flavor minus the fact that there was Nutella incorporated into each recipe. But that’s not all. As my friend and I are trying the foods and admitting our dissatisfaction she points to my bowl of oats and shows me a raspberry covered in white mold. I had to draw the line there. I finished my espresso and left the half uneaten food on the plate.
From the service, the food, and the wait it is definitely not worth it. I am so bummed to share this experience with you, I even hesitated whether or not to even post about it. In the end I decide to post it anyway because I know that before I go somewhere I like to read reviews. I will continue to eat Nutella from jars I purchase at the store but I won’t be visiting the Nutella Café again. I understand this is a review of my experience at the café. You may go and have incredible food and service but I cannot recommend going to Nutella Café in Chicago.
If you are in Chicago and craving a Nutella crepe than I do recommend going is Eataly where there is a Nutella crepe bar on the ground level. There you can enjoy a properly made Nutella crepe.
Food: Tasteless minus for the Nutella, at least the espresso was made properly. You have a chance of finding moldy fruit.
Service: Slow and not organized. Your food may not come out at the same time and take too long.
Atmosphere: As you wait in the line everyone seems excited. People are taking photos with the exterior of the café and everyone is asking each other what they think they will order on the menu.
Location: Right in the center of the city, the café is a close walk from the Randolph/Wabash “L” station as well as the buses that run from North and South along Michigan Ave.
Price: Average, for my oats, banana and Nutella crepe and espresso I paid $16.86.
Address: 189 N. Michigan Ave, Chicago IL 60601 USA
Disclaimer: I purchased all food and drinks mentioned in post, Nutella Cafe did not reach out to me. All opinions are my own.
x the Adventurer