Elaborate cocktails are sipped next to an open spit of rotating pork knuckles, while burgers are flipped just a few steps away. A cheese and meat platter is accompanied by a glass of chianti, and a wine tasting vending machine is in constant use by curious lovers of vino. Industrial, hip, and incredibly laid-back, Mercato Metropolitano is so…Milan.
Housed at the site of a former railway station warehouse, the food market is 15,000 square meters of flavor and fun, built to coincide with Expo 2015.
It’s an atmosphere that wouldn’t feel out of place in old school Brooklyn, with graffitied walls adding to the cool urban space.
Spanning both inside and out, vendors offer up tasty cuisine with the fresh ingredients that Italy is known for. From colorful food trucks serving street food to rustic wooden stands offering traditional Italian dishes, you’ll be spoilt for choice.
None of the food is particularly complicated, but it doesn’t need to be. In fact, the non-pretentious offerings go along with the motto of Mercato Metropolitano: “Good Italian food is not a luxury.”
While there are more than a few honorable mentions, the most unique feature is the wine machines. The amount you receive depends on the price you want to pay – €1 for a taste, around €2.50 for a small glass, or up to €4 for a proper glass (depending on which wine you choose). The pours are activated by pre-purchased credits, which can be bought next to the machines.
There’s no shortage of cocktails, and you can choose whether you want to order from a gazebo strung in clear lights, or a vintage caravan. Either way, you can’t go wrong.
Italian wines, pastas, and produce can be purchased inside, if you want to try to replicate some of the recipes at home. But you’d be forgiven if you chose to simply return again, if only for the lively atmosphere – which is probably a lot more fun than your own kitchen.
Unfortunately, you only have until October 31 to visit Mercato Metropolitano. After that date, a new version of the food market will be popping up in a city which is currently being kept secret. However, the brains behind the establishment promise that Milan is “in their hearts” and they’ll be returning “very soon.”
Monday-Thursday: 11a.m. – midnight
Friday: 11a.m. – 2 a.m.
Saturday: 9 a.m. – 2 a.m.
Sunday: 9 a.m. – midnight
Address: Via Valenza, 2 (Porta Genova station)