Nutella Café opens to legions of chocolate hazelnut spread fans


Fans of the chocolate hazelnut spread rejoice. The first stand-alone Nutella cafe opened in Chicago.

Chicago’s culinary greatness expanded with the opening of the first ever stand-alone Nutella cafe. Located on Michigan Avenue, the new cafe offers a varied menu of sweet and savory items. With hundreds lined up for the opening, the new cafe appears to be a huge success.

Created by the Italian candy company Ferrero, Nutella is a chocolate hazelnut spread. The spread dates back to World War II. When cocoa was in short supply due to the war, Ferrero added the plentiful Italian hazelnuts to extend the chocolate. After a few reformulations, the first jar of Nutella was produced in 1964. Nutella has been popular ever since.

While many people enjoy the popular chocolate hazelnut spread at home, this café is the first permanent location. Previously, Nutella opened pop up cafes. Chicago appears to be a test market for the concept. The company hasn’t announced future expansion, but hasn’t ruled out expansion either.

Chicago is a logical choice for the first stand-alone Nutella restaurant. Chicago’s culinary scene is vibrant. From internationally recognized chefs to a bustling restaurant scene, Chicago welcomes new and innovative concepts.

The Nutella café features the brand’s iconic colors, hazelnut references and even nods to the Nutella container itself.

On opening day, the lines at the new Nutella Café were long. The café did offer freebies to the first 400 guests, which could have accounted for some of the lines. Still, new Chicago restaurants, especially one with a lot of hype, attract crowds. Like many new restaurants, everyone is wanting to be one of the firsts to try something new.

According to reports, the café’s menu offers sweet and savory items that can be enjoyed throughout the day. Expected dishes, like Nutella filled croissants and crepes, utilize the spread. Other non-traditional uses, like panzanella fruit salad with yogurt, sound more intriguing.

Hazelnuts, not just the chocolate hazelnut spread, are incorporated into many of savory dishes. Paninis and salads make up most of the savory items. Hopefully, these dishes leave room for some shortbread cookies for dessert.

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Nutella Café is located at 151 N. Michigan Avenue in Chicago. The restaurant opened May 31. Crowds may be large for the first few weeks, but diehard Nutella fans may not mind the wait.