Updated: Aug 23
A little over a month into its opening on the 2nd of September, the Mercato Centrale in Milan is already a success, having joined Florence, Rome, and Torino. While ready to open in April 2020, another wave of COVID restrictions blocked the original opening date, pushing it to the Fall.
No ordinary market, the multi-level foodie mecca, features delights from every delicious category, from wine to gelato, to a fish market to Italo-Chinese dumplings. A representation of the city’s culinary tapestry, the halls are a “who’s who” of the Milanese food scene. A full list of the featured concepts can be found here.
Long-time Milanese residents will recognize names like Marco Bruni of the popular Genovese restaurant, U Barba, Agie Zhou with her Italo-Chinese dumplings, the chef Mattias Perdomo of Contrasto, the enchantress Rosalba xxx a jazz singer, florist, and owner of Potafiori in Porta Romana, and Joe Bastianich of MasterChef Italia among the local food scene legends with their culinary concepts represented in Milan’s Mercato Centrale.
Besides the high quality of food and culinary talent present at the Mercato Centrale, perhaps one of the most impressive attributes is the clever aesthetic diffused throughout the entire space. While made to reinforce a street-food ambiance, the design itself has its merits beyond simple branding. After decades of trying to combat the constant tagging and graffiti on historical buildings and monuments throughout Milan, the brilliant design recalls one of the basic and trusted tenets of inspired design: working according to the environment. Instead of trying to ignore or constantly carry the expense of removing the tags and graffiti, the visuals are enhanced and given a narrative, one that very honestly represents the current state of the city. The once considered “gritty-looking” vandalism is instead elevated by applying a coherent design structure that tells a story of an ever-changing City, wrapped in history and steadfast expressionism.
Have your green pass ready.
Already hosting crowds of hungry residents and travelers eager to experience the new concepts, the station has implemented strict COVID controls, including frequent Green Pass checks by officials. While spacious, the halls can be crowded at peak lunch hours and there may be lines. Tables and chairs are in abundance and are available at no extra charge with servers passing often to take orders, clear tables and check on guests. The young and enthusiastic service staff is attentive and efficient, even taking quick orders at tables.
Central Market is another milestone for Milan as the city continues to leverage its multifaceted heritage, adapting to the future.