Mercato Metropolitano Elephant and Castle // Cuisine For All Four Corners of the Planet

Mercato Metropolitano - London

Mercato Metropolitano // Chinese or Caribbean, Greek or German

You’d be hard pressed to find a Market that covers more international cuisines than Mercato Metropolitano Elephant and Castle in London. This is the real deal, this place has it all!

Do not be fooled by the Italian name – this is a place to suit every single taste bud on the planet!

QUICK FIRE FACTMercato is Italian for Market.

Mercato Metropolitano

Upon moving to London, MM (as it’s referred too by themselves) was near the top of my hit list given the fact it seemed to have something for everyone.

Rarely can you find a place that sells authentic Uzbek cuisine, and next door, wondrous West Indian dishes.

After settling into a new life in the heart of London we were delighted to see the doors of Mercato Metropolitano re-open after the COVID restrictions of 2021 in the UK.

With over 10,000 Google reviews at an average of 4.6 out of 5 the word seems strong but of course you want to experience it yourself right?

We therefore ventured over to see if it matched up to the hype. Here’s what we thought.

Mercato Metropolitano Elephant and Castle – Where is it?

Mercato Metropolitano Elephant and Castle – How to Get There?

Mercato Metropolitano Elephant and Castle – What Can I Eat?

Mercato Metropolitano Elephant and Castle – What Can I Drink?

Mercato Metropolitano Elephant and Castle – Prices?

Mercato Metropolitano Elephant and Castle – The Shop

Mercato Metropolitano Elephant and Castle – Other Details

Mercato Metropolitano Elephant and Castle – Where is it?

Mercato Metropolitano Elephant and Castle is one of two branches in central London, the other being in Mayfair. We’ve yet to visit the Mayfair equivalent but believe the Elephant and Castle branch is the big draw out of the two.

Elephant and Castle is based in the SE1 postcode of London meaning it’s very central, on the south side of the Thames River.

The Mayfair branch is based on the major shopping street that is South Audley Street, right in the heart of London, but this time on the north side of the Thames.

Mercato Metropolitano Elephant and Castle – How to Get There?

The Elephant and Castle branch is based in the London Borough of Southwark and can be found via a short walk from the Elephant and Castle Underground station as this map shows below:

It you’re arriving with your car the address for your Sat-Nav is:

ADDRESS – 42 Newington Causeway, London SE1 6DR

For the Mayfair one, your nearest Underground station is Bond Street which is again, a short 5 minute walk. If your London geography is as bad as mine is, just remember it’s to the east of Hyde Park!

LIKE CHINESE FOOD? We found an amazing place in the heart of London you’ll love!

Mercato Metropolitano Elephant and Castle – What Can I Eat?

Anything.

No seriously, I challenge you to find something they don’t have!

Upon entering MM through the Shop (which we’ll come to later), you head outside into a small garden with a couple of stands… however it’s when you head around the corner you see all the treats before your very eyes.

  • Italian
  • Chinese
  • Japanese
  • Uzbek
  • Lebanese
  • Greek
  • Vietnamese
  • Argentinian
  • West Indian
  • Jamaican

And that’s barely scratching the surface!

Grab yourself a table outside (there’s plenty of space) and pick the cuisine of your choosing.

I’d recommend getting a variety between you and sharing to really get a feel for them all.

Bianca (missing Pizza from her native land) obviously diverted straight to the Italian stand to grab a Piccante Pizza and when I saw the Vietnamese stand had one of my all time favourites, the Banh Mi, I was instantly sold.

How did they fare though?

PIZZA – on the whole it was a “fair effort”, 7/10 according to Bianca (I myself did quite enjoy it, but my standards aren’t quite the same as a native Italian)! The topping was very slightly watery but the pizza, compared to some we’ve experienced abroad before, wasn’t too dissimilar from something like Bottega in Beijing.

Certainly streets ahead of Domino’s!

BANH MI – maybe it’s because I hadn’t enjoyed a Banh Mi for over half a year but it was superb. Probably falling short of my favourite Banh Mi ever in Hong Kong, but still a solid effort. I plumped for the Satay Chicken version, not a traditional one in Vietnam but a flavour that tickles my taste buds!

It had plenty of flavour, plenty of spice and was very generously filled as you can see below.

I had a side of (absolutely fantastically fresh) Summer Rolls and Prawn Crackers to munch also.

Here’s a close up shot of our selected treats.

With so much variety this is a place that needs to be visited more than once. If you can, try to order differently each time to get a full flavour of worldwide cuisine.

Easier said than done when your previous choice was a strong one, granted!

LOVE ITALIAN? Check out one of our favourite places to get an Aperitivo in Beijing.

Mercato Metropolitano Elephant and Castle – What Can I Drink?

You have two choices here – go crazy for cocktails, or pick from the mammoth list of beers available.

Beer Garden in London

We went with the former and unfortunately it didn’t pay off on this occasion.

The reason why we voted for cocktails was because we’d been craving an Aperitivo since leaving Italy (yes, very much like the Pizza), but sadly it was overpriced and lacking in any sort of flavour or resemblance to the Italian classic.

We pitched up, and ordered from The Shack Bar (pictured here).

An aperitivo was 10GBP, and a Long Island was the same price.

Both flattered to deceive unfortunately.

Given the COVID restrictions everything was ordered through an app, something many of us enjoy these days.

The lack of not needing to queue is nice… table service, yes please!

However, it wasn’t busy and the drinks took quite some time… then proceeded to underwhelm.

I believe we simply chose wrong. There were a tonne of excellent beer choices from the German style bar, all coming in around half the price of those cocktails.

I know what I’ll be heading towards next time!

Mercato Metropolitano Elephant and Castle – Prices?

In general (bar the cocktails mentioned above) it’s not all that bad. Very “London”.

I paid 12.50GBP for:

  • A Banh Mi (a well filled baguette pictured above)
  • Summer Rolls (essentially spring rolls)
  • Prawn Crackers

Not the cheapest, and certainly it’ll be found cheaper in Asia… but that’s not exactly around the corner anymore!

Bianca paid 10GBP for her Piccante which compared to many London restaurants is actually quite well priced.

The cocktails as you’ll know doubled that. Beers next time please!

Mercato Metropolitano Elephant and Castle – The Shop

When first arriving to Mercato Metropolitano Elephant and Castle you enter the shop, a chance to see all their Italian products.

Street Food in London

They’ve got it all in there. Heaven for most, especially those native Italians.

The sad thing? The prices put you right off.

Small blocks of Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese which cost a few EUR in Italy and at supermarkets around Europe, are extortionate here at MM.

That’s just one example of many – in fact everything in there is overpriced. From wines, pastas, sauces…

Yes, it’s imported, yes that’s common practice… but having spent our previous 6 months in Italy itself, there was no way we were going to pay double, treble, even quadruple to enjoy the same things… no thanks.

It’s cool to see, and all beautifully laid out, but unless you are absolutely craving something, or genuinely care nothing for the cost… avoid it and save your money for outside in the MMarketplace.

Mercato Metropolitano Elephant and Castle – Any Other Details

Busy?

I was fearing it’d be absolutely heaving before going to MM, especially given the fact this was only the 3rd weekend in London that restaurants were open for business again.

We arrived earlier and saw a queue out the front… uh oh!

However, it was absolutely fine. In fact, there were a huge number of tables for us to choose from during our whole stay, from about 11.45-2pm.

Perhaps in the Summer months it’d be a different story but otherwise, we had zero problems.

Opening Times?

The Marketplace is open 7 days a week and the hours can be found here on the MM website.

The grocery store however is closed on Monday and Tuesday. Slightly unconventional days so do be aware of that.

Otherwise it’s open 10am – 6pm Wednesday to Sunday.

Mercato Metropolitano Elephant and Castle – FAQ’s

Where is Mercato Metropolitano?

The main branch in London is based near Elephant and Castle Underground station. The second one is in Mayfair, near Bond Street station.

How many Mercato Metropolitano’s are there in London?

There are two in London in total. Their first and main branch is based in Elephant and Castle. The second one is in Mayfair, near Bond Street station.

What cuisine do they sell at Mercato Metropolitano?

A bit of everything. You’ve got a wealth of options to choose from including:
Italian
Japanese
Korean
Chinese
Lebanese
Uzbek
Argentianian
West Indian
Jamaican
… and many more

How big is MM?

Huge! The main MM in Elephant and Castle is over 45,000 square feet according to their website.

How many vendors are there at MM?

There are over 40 vendors selling all kinds of food and drink.

Recommended Articles