Naples is normally not associated with urban, downtown elegance. This was especially true of visitors who came to the area before the Waterside Shops showed up at the beginning of the 21st century. Waterside Shops was the beginning of Naples’ transformation into an urban escape in addition to its reputation as one of the best beach and fishing destinations in the United States.
However, the newest development, in Naples, that has really transformed it into an urban escape, now with downtown elegance and luxury equal to that of major cities like New York City, Boston and Chicago is the Mercato.
The Mercato was first established around 2009, as a luxury shopping center with great dining. However, it has become more than a luxury shopping center. In addition to its high-end shops, fine dining restaurants, and great nightlife, it has become one of the most affluent and most desired residential communities in Naples. Some of the finest condos are available for sale here at the Mercato, in addition to some of the finest luxury apartments available for rent in the city.
What Makes Mercato Different
So, what makes the Mercato such a desirable area in Naples, in comparison to some of the more notable sites like Fifth Avenue South, Third Street South, or even the Waterside Shops? One simple word really, and that is variety. Variety with a high-end flair to be more specific.
Unlike Fifth Avenue South and Third Street, which are celebrated for their small boutique shops and intimate, yet well-acclaimed restaurants, and the Waterside Shops, which has some of the best luxury shopping comparable to major urban escapes like Chicago, New York City or Boston, the Mercato has more of the feel of a downtown district rather than a shopping center, an affluent shopping district or a small business shopping/dining haven.
The atmosphere here at the Mercato is comparable to other downtown districts like Boston’s Back Bay and Downtown Crossing, Midtown Manhattan in New York City, or Chicago’s The Loop to give you an idea. However, in contrast, the Mercato is in a smaller, more concentrated area than the other downtown districts mentioned in the latter sentence.
Nonetheless, its size doesn’t diminish its vibe as a great urban escape destination with the same allure as the many happening downtown districts that can be found in Boston, New York City and Chicago.
Shopping and Dining Options at Mercato
So, what shops, clubs and restaurants does the Mercato have that makes it comparable to Boston’s Back Bay or Downtown Crossing, New York City’s Midtown Manhattan, or Chicago’s The Loop?
In regards to shopping, you have a variety of high-end boutiques to larger retail shops that sell items great for the entire family. These include Sur la Table, Paper Source, Bio New York, Charming Charlie, Tommy Bahama, Nordstrom Rack, Z Gallerie, and ULTA Beauty. This variety also extends to the restaurants available at the Mercato.
These include the innovative Mexican restaurant MASA, the Asian-fusion cuisine of AZN Azian Cuisine, the fantastic steaks and upscale American cuisine at the Capital Grille, great Italian restaurants like BRAVO! Cucina Italiana and Naples Flatbread Company and Wine Bar, the fabulous seafood at McCormick and Schmick’s, and the creative dining experiences at The Counter Burger and the Stage 62 Deli.
CLUBS, BARS & ENTERTAINMENT
What really helps the Mercato stand out are its unique yet edgy clubs filled with great nightlife and cocktail menus that make you forget your in Naples, but for a moment, make you feel like you are in a hip bar in New York City or Boston. Perfect examples of this are the Cavo Lounge, the Blue Martini, BURN By Rocky Patel, The Wine Cellar of Naples, The Wine Loft, and TAPS Restaurant, Bar and Lounge. Not your scene? The Mercato also has wonderful family-friendly bars and pubs, like The Rusty Bucket Restaurant and Tavern, The Pub Naples, and the bar at Whole Foods.
Outdoor Festivals at Mercato
In addition to the great shopping, sophisticated night life, and fine dining choices at the Mercato, it is also a location for major festivals throughout the year. These events include the Sidewalk Music Series, The Brew-Ha-Ha Craft Beer Festival, The Hallowine Walk, Mercato Goes Purple, the Naples International Film Festival, Strutt your Mutt, the Halloween Extravaganza, and their Outdoor Movie series.
Mercato has live entertainment and other special events throughout the year. You can learn more about these events and others by visiting www.mercatoshops.com.
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