Budget Europe 2008

by Ralph Martin


Parmesan cheese wheels the size of car tires are stacked up in one room; legs of prosciutto fill another, while tomatoes redder than any Under the Tuscan Sun fantasy are piled high (and at $1 a pound by today's exchange rate, you can actually buy more than one). This is Turin's Eataly marketplace, a 27,000-square-foot foodie paradise in the city's Lingotto industrial district. (The awful name has not stopped this venture from expanding: A New York branch is planned for sometime in 2008.) There are eight restaurants on-site, featuring what's sold on the stands that take up the rest of the complex: local Piemontese beef, fresh Ligurian fish, more than 200 cheeses, mostly organic fresh vegetables and fruit, and a significant dose of the Slow Food philosophy. Graze at the stands or sit down for a $9 cheese and salami plate; either way, kingly food can be had for peasant prices. Similar joys await visitors to London's Borough Market (pictured), a daunting combination of indoor and outdoor spaces on the southern bank of the Thames, and Berlin's all-organic Marheineke Markthalle. All are infused with a modern spirit of respect for local produce, time-honored agricultural methods, and, most importantly for your bank balance, cheap eats.

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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

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