We were invited to the preview evening of Mercato Metropolitano (MM), an exciting new food market featuring the best of Italian food and more. Following the success of a similar market in Turin, founder Andrea Rasca wanted to bring the concept to London. The idea is simple – bring together the quality products of small producers along with artisan makers of bread, pizza, cheese, pasta and other products in a market and food hall environment.
MM is located along Newington Causeway in Borough with easy access to Elephant & Castle and Borough tube stations, and occupies the site of an old paper factory. The market consists of three main areas: firstly, a huge outside terrace covered by an awning where you can choose from various types of street food; secondly, a deli-supermarket where you can buy all the ingredients you’ll need to cook up an authentic Italian dinner and thirdly, two indoor food hall areas with bench seating in the middle surrounded by various stalls.
The deli-supermarket is a family run business from Palermo called Prezzemolo & Vitale and sells everything from meat, fish and veg to a dozen varieties of breadstick and many types of pasta, as well as the usual salami and cheese and so on. There are a lot of products that you won’t see in your average supermarket, so if you’re looking for something different in Italian food, this is the place for you.
We were entertained in the food hall by a swing dance band along with dancers – MM promises to have regular entertainment evenings here. Drinking some lovely Prosecco, we enjoyed freshly made gnocchi along with hand-made mozzarella cheese. There was also pizza and other Italian food at reasonable prices as well as cafes and bars with a full range of drinks. MM also plans to hold workshops, cookery demos and talks so you can refine your own culinary skills too.
I can see Mercato Metropolitano as a really buzzing place to go in the evening and at weekends where you can eat, drink and be entertained, as well as being a great community facility for people to learn about Italian food and cooking. More stalls will be opening soon and the official opening of MM is in September, but you can go along for your own preview before then.