Imma and Mario's Mercato has grown from its humble beginnings as a small deli established on St Bernards Road in 1972. Today, the next generation of the family continues the business, capturing the essence of that heritage in their now much larger and hugely popular store on Lower North East Road in Campbelltown.
Mercato is really four stores in one. A grocery store, a salumeria, a wine store and a bar and kitchen.
The grocery store has all the essentials for any Italian cook's kitchen. There's flour, herbs and oils to pasta, sauce and sweets. Mercato makes their own olive oil every winter, sauce every summer and fresh pasta every Monday. They also blend their own coffee blend and can grind to order.
The salumeria features the best antipasto from Italy and Australia. You'll find some treats here that you won't find anywhere else in Adelaide, like Nduja, the spicy Calabrian spreadable salami! There's a huge range of stuff and a wide freezer selection for even more take-home deliciousness. On the flipside of the salumeria, you'll find the best of Italian cheese and other specialties.
Bar Mercato is where it's at for breakfast and lunch. There's so much on display at the counter that it's easy to miss the menu and the specials boards but take your time and browse them all. Pizza at Mercato is 'Pizza al Taglio', meaning served by the slice, and you can select from the colourful display at the counter. The pasta is hand made in house by 'Nonna' every Monday... team that up with authentic meatballs in housemade sugo and you're onto a winner. Add in the selection of panini and the range of real Italian cakes and desserts and you've got something quite special.
A wide range of wines and beverages from Mercato Vino are available at the bar for you to indulge in alongside your long lazy Italian lunch. There's also a wide selection hot and cold drinks to choose from.
On our visit we had the hot roast Porchetta roll with salsa verde and a side salad of rocket and fennel from the specials board, and spaghetti and meatballs from the menu. The Porchetta looked like bacon, but it definitely wasn't salty and dry like bacon. Thin slices of rich and tasty roast Porchetta were served on a crunchy roll with a yummy oily pesto to balance the not so salty pork. The salad was sweet and piquant and offset the savoury roll nicely. The generously portioned spaghetti and meatballs was the perfect riot of red and yellow colour with a smooth combination of flavour that only authentic Italian recipes ever achieve.
We finished up with Sicilian cannoli and choc torte with coffee. Both were rich and decadent and lived up to the fine Italian tradition of Mercato. There's plenty of other Italian pastries, sweets and gelato to choose from as well! The coffee was bold and strong, in true Italian Monday style.
If it's got anything to do with Italian cooking, you'll find it here. You can find pasta in shapes and sizes you've never seen before, take-home meals, gifts, books and kitchen stuff. There's plenty to see and try at Mercato so it's worth spending some time looking around.