It’s rare to find a place in London that has that ‘wants to be really cool’ look and the whole pop-up vibe that actually works and isnt just an overpriced gimmick. I’m a sucker for all the seasonal city events and anything themed, but I never go back more than once. Places like that rarely live up to expectations and are often gone before you get the time to visit.
Mercato Metropolitano looks like a pop-up, looks cool and I’ve been back three times now. It’s essentially a big indoor/outdoor Italian market nestled behind the Elephant and Castle roundabout. It’s permanent and open from 11am to 11pm. There’s fairy lights, stalls selling cocktails, £5 sourdough pizzas, fancy wine, incredible gelato and loads of craft beer.
If you don’t want Italian food, you can also grab Vietnamese bowls, massive cheese burgers, fries topped with shredded steak and as much cheese and bread as you could ever hope for.
The gelato is to die for- you need to try the sesame and the caramel as a matter of high importance. And while you’re at it, try the red wine from the Italian wine stall, they’ll let you sample as many as you like. If you don’t want to sample wine, sample beer. There’s beer for everyone- raspberry beer, sharp Italian beer, Camden ale, pale ale and you can also get fresh lemonade, mulled wine and bottle of fizz.
It’s at it’s best in the evenings after six but don’t be alarmed if you get there and the outdoors is empty- it’s all moved indoors after dark for winter. If you find yourself in the area during the day, you can get coffee and churros, big grilled sandwiches or a pizza to go.
It’s 100% worth a trip for dinner- good for dates, good for after work drinks, good for lazy hungry Sunday afternoons- just good generally. There’s also a jungle themed cinema you can only access through a secret entrance and a cosy little wine bar with twinkly lights. Put it on your London to do list- and take a scarf while it’s winter, it’s a market after all.