Mercato Metropolitano (MM), a 45,000 square ft food market in Southwark, London (between Elephant and Castle and Borough) opened mid last year and has become one of my favourite places to hang out and eat in the city.
London has many fun street food markets but MM is unique. One of the reasons I was drawn to MM in the first place is because it’s basically a huge market space dedicated to a number of Italian food street vendors and artisans – Italian food heaven in SE1!. You can find all sorts of Italian delicacies from Italian home made gelato to wood oven pizzas, Italian sausages to freshly made tiramisu, fresh pasta to Italian cocktails. You get the picture.
You simply cannot leave MM without trying the Neapolitan pizza; the toppings are super authentic, so don’t expect to find any pineapple here! Another absolute must is a visit to Badiani, an artisan Italian gelato originally from Florence. Their gelato is made daily using the same recipe as their Italian site, so it’s super authentic. Don’t be surprised to find a long queue when you visit but I can definitely say it’s worth the wait. Badiani have a great selection of flavours, but their pistachio is my favourite. Another feature I love is the Enoteca, a very cosy hub for wine lovers. Pick a bottle of wine and take your time and enjoy it with friends in its inviting environment. As well as Italian food, there are also other street vendors specialising in Venezuelan arepas, Spanish tapas, beef brisket sandwiches and vegan food and much much more
If you are a food aficionado and love to cook Italian dishes like me then this next part is going to excite you. (Drum roll please) ……MM hosts a self enclosed Italian food delicatessen / supermarket called Prezzemolo e Vitale which is a family run business from Palermo, Sicily.
You’re welcomed with a very impressive deli counter hosting a great number of Italian cheeses, charcuterie, olives and other authentic antipasti. You will find delicacies here that you won’t find at your local supermarket that’s for sure – this is the real deal, as you can imagine the excitement levels were very high at this point! There’s a great selection of wines to choose from, fresh fruit and vegetables and walls stacked with hundreds of goodies to fill up your larder. If you’re an Italian who has recently moved to London, this place could possibly stop you feeling home sick. It even smells Italian when you walk in. It’s hard to explain how, but it does – trust me you’ll know what I mean when you visit!
As well as a great selection of food and wine to choose from and a supermarket to peruse and lose yourself in, there are other fun things to entertain yourself with under the MM umbrella. If you fancy getting your hands dirty or just want to learn a new cooking trick, head to the self-contained area called the ‘Kitchen’ where regular cooking classes and other workshops take place (Find a list of whats going on here ) However, if chilling out in front of a classic movie is more your thing, grab a seat at the Backyard cinema with it’s quirky deco and comfy beanbags. Finally, if you want to work off that pizza pasta belly, head to Rooneys boxing gym above the market, to get your fitness on.
So if you haven’t already been, head to SE1, grab a slice of Napolitan pizza, order yourself a cheeky cocktail or glass of wine and enjoy some of the fun available at MM – a little bit of Italian foodie heaven in South London!
Mercato Metropolitano, 42 Newington Causeway London SE1 6DR,