One thing’s for certain: Andrea Rasca, the man behind Italian market Mercato Metropolitano, doesn’t do things by halves. His recently opened 45,000 square foot site is home to a bakery, fishmongers, butchery, coffee roasters, artisan supermarket, pizza oven, pasta makers, cheesemongers and kitchen garden. And that’s even before getting to the street food side of things.
The market – located in an abandoned paper factory in the upcoming SoBo (South of Borough) area – is a result of Andrea’s success launching the same concept in Milan. ‘During the Milan Expo in 2015 I noticed that, despite being focused on food and saving the planet, there was no connection to farmers and big brands like Coca-Cola and McDonalds were sponsors,’ he says. ‘I just couldn’t agree with that, so started looking to set up my own food market that focused on proper, local food made with the very best ingredients. We hosted the first Mercato Metropolitano in a disused railway station in the centre of Milan for four months. During that time, 2.5 million people came to eat there, and when chef Massimo Bottura was asked by the New York Times where people should go to eat in Italy, he mentioned us.’