Mercato Metropolitano** is a sustainable community market in Elephant and Castle made out of lots of food stalls, bars, an organic supermarket and so much more. Originally hailing from Italy, Mercato Metropolitano brings together local businesses, as well as growing a big amount of their produce and ingredients on site. The market reminds me a little bit of the Pop Brixton complex with its community spirit, although this one is much larger in size!
Mercato Metropolitano is about a 5-minute walk from both Elephant and Castle and Borough stations, but you can also walk there from Waterloo and Southwark in about 15-20 minutes. Wherever you end up coming from, I promise you it’ll be worth it – visiting MM (as it’s familiarly known!) is such an immersive experience and there are so many different things to do and try!
Mercato Metropolitano is made out of two outdoor and one indoor space. All spaces have something in common (you can find amazing food and drink in all three areas!) but they all also have something special that makes each of them unique.
The first outdoor space (when coming from the Borough side) has been transferred into a south of France/Provence type of area, complete with cute little pastel stalls serving everything from macarons and fresh juices to French tartines and other savoury food options. There’s also a champagne bar (of course) and a little sandy enclave for playing pétanque.
In this bit, as in all of the areas in MM, you can clearly see the community spirit, too: there are lots of little flower beds and pots for growing herbs and other ingredients that will later be used in the food and drink served here.
The inside bit of Mercato Metropolitano is the biggest and the one with the most variation. There’s lots of different food on offer here, as well different types of drinks for all different kind of tastes.
Foodwise, you can find all sorts of different cuisines here: Mexican (I had a veggie burrito from the Mexican stall which was amaaaazing!), Japanese and, of course, Italian, to name a few. Italian cuisine especially plays a big part here – there is gelato from Badiani, one of Florence’s oldest gelaterias and the winner of last years London Gelato Fest (I tried the salted caramel flavour which was honestly one of the best ice cream flavours I’ve ever had!), as well as pizza from Fresco, pasta from Pasta Lab and gluten free Italian treats from Leggero.
When it comes to drinks, you’re also very much spoilt for choice. There’s Enoteca, an adorable wine bar which feels totally different in style to the rest of the venue (it’s very romantic and a lot calmer in pace!) and That’s Food, serving cocktails from the cutest caravan, but the most impressive drink option here is German Kraft, a craft beer brewery serving beer fully brewed right here on site. German Kraft is a sustainable brewery that produces a minimal amount of waste and energy – something I can definitely get behind of, even if I’m not usually the biggest beer drinker!
The inside part of Mercato Metropoliano also hosts different courses and events if you would like to get involved: in the past, they have hosted everything from cookery lessons to wine tastings.
The last space (which is also the second outdoor space) offers yet more food and drink options (Churros! Waffles! Hotdogs!) as well as more really cool sustainability projects. My favourite part of this area, and maybe the entire market, is the old London double-decker bus (which you can see in the photos below) that a company called Rootlabs has converted into something that they call the ‘Farmbus’.
The bus has been made into a little farm and a plant shop, as well as a sort of showcase into different types of indoor gardening. You can buy plants to take home with you from the bus, and there’s also going to be a strawberry farm (yes!) at the top deck where you can go and pick your own strawberries. How cool is that?!
I honestly enjoyed my visit to Mercato Metropolitano so much and would recommend it to anyone interested in sustainability, or even just good food and drink (and who isn’t a fan of those?!), to visit. I’m lucky to live only a few minutes away by train, but really, it’s worth the trek from further away in London, too. It really is a one of kind place!
Follow me on