Best Markets in Mexico City

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Best Markets in Mexico City

From the chef-favorite Mercado San Juan to the sorcerer special – Mercado de Sonora – Mexico City’s markets are lively, authentic and diverse in their offerings. Shop and haggle as the locals do and you’ll feel more a part of the city’s daily scene than at any tourist destination. There are huge markets that provide produce and meats to all of the city’s eateries, mixed-use food and shopping halls, amazing street food, crafts, art, jewelry and more at pre-Hispanic tianguis (trading bazaars) and chic modern-day hangouts. Join the flow of customers and soak up the smells, sounds and sights of this important cultural centerpiece of Mexico City. Here are the best markets in Mexico City at which to shop and dine (we’ve also included lists of the best food to eat and items to buy when you’re there):

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La Ciudadela
Looking for one-of-kind handicrafts? Head to La Ciudadela, loved by locals and visitors alike for nearly 50 years. The crafts you’ll find here come from all over Mexico and include blankets and tablecloths from Oaxaca, ceramics from Chiapas, mirrors, furniture, Guerreren silver, loom-woven blouses, toys and dolls, stuffed animals, hand-carved gourds and hair accessories. Insider tip: If you’re searching for baby and toddler clothing, look for vendors along the central passageways of the market – you can get beautiful baptismal dresses for newborns. Open daily.

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Mercado San Juan
Any self-respecting foodie will want to spend hours at Mercado San Juan, where you’ll shop alongside the countries renowned chefs. Look for fresh fish, seafood, wild game, toasted grasshoppers (a favorite local snack food), cheeses, salsas, ripe avocados and so much more. Just about everything here has been grown, harvested or caught in Mexico. Hungry? There’s an entire building devoted to food stalls, where you can get full meals, juices and pastries.

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Central de Abasto
Another gourmet favorite, Central de Abasto offers the quintessential local market experience. This is the biggie, the market that supplies produce to the other markets in the city and around the country. It’s best for market mavens, those who aren’t here to browse and snap Insta-worthy shots of colorful vegetables, but for those who want to lose themselves in the business of providing raw product to a city of nearly nine million people.

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Mercado de Sonora
Otherworldly and odd, yes? Captivating? That, too. This witchcraft market is devoted to selling supplies for spells, enchantments and healing potions. Curious? Come take a look at the market of “brujos” (witches) and find roots and herbs, dried animal skins, bird wings, skeletons, horns and teeth. Not looking to cast a spell today? It’s a great people-watching venue, too. Open Monday – Saturday, 9 AM-7 PM; Sunday, 9 AM-5 PM.

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Mercado Medellin
Broaden your palate at Mercado Medellin, the Mexico City market where expats from other Latin American countries come to find a taste of home. You’ll find items from the Caribbean, as well as Central and South American countries, from Colombian ajiaco to Cuban ice cream. Open Sunday – Saturday, 8:30 AM-6 PM.

 

Mercado de Jamaica
Brighten up your hotel room with a bouquet from Mexico City’s premier flower market, Mercado de Jamaica. Notice the absolutely massive funerary wreaths at some of the specialty vendor booths. Open 24/7, year-round.

 

Plaza de la Angel Antiques Market
Whether you’re searching for the perfect antique or a Mexico City souvenir, don’t miss Plaza de la Angel in the Zona Rosa. Saturdays are the most productive day to go, when the weekday vendors are joined by others who add to the selection of furniture, books, handicrafts, postcards, pictures and religious relics.

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Mercado de Dulces
Embrace your inner child, or just indulge your sweet tooth, at Mercado de Dulces. Stock up on Mexican candy like dried fruit rolled in chile powder, crackly sesame-seed peanut brittle, gelatin sweets and more – there are over 150 vendors!

 

Mercado de la Merced
This is it, Mexico City’s largest market. Plan to spend the better part of the day here, wandering throughout a market so large it has its own little neighborhoods. There are areas devoted to teetering piles of nopales cacati leaves, delicious tacos de guisado, adventurous snacks, like ant eggs and more. This is also a good place to find kitchen gadgets you may not find at home, like molcajetes and metates (mortar and pestle). Find the Mercado de la Merced east of the main zócalo, north of the boulevard Fray Servando Teresa de Mier. Open Sunday – Saturday, 6 AM-7 PM.

 

Bottega Culinaria
If your favorite souvenirs are the edible kind, stop by Bottega Culinaria before heading to the airport. Gift a foodie friend with sal de gusano (sea salt infused with the ground worms from Mexican agave) or grab some Ancho Reyes (a chile-ancho liqueur) for your next cocktail party. Mexican vanilla and chili chocolates are traditional favorites. Open Monday – Saturday, 9 AM-11 PM; Sunday, 9 AM-10 PM.

 

El Bazaar Sabado
Stroll through this Saturday market that appeals to all ages and all tastes. It’s located in San Angel, in the south of the city, and has a sweet neighborhood feel to it. This artisan market brims with handmade jewelry, textiles and crafts – and a lot of art. There are spice stalls, blown glass and sculptures. Grab a quesadilla and a beer and lose yourself in a traditional Mexican Saturday afternoon at the market. Street musicians and performers add to the lively atmosphere. Open Saturday, 9 AM-6 PM.

 

Tianguis de Condesa
If it’s Tuesday, make your way to west Condesa, where three blocks of side streets are blocked off to make way for this tidy little farmers’ market. It’s a bit pricier due to its location, but worth a stop for the wild mushrooms, farm-fresh eggs, avocados, meat and fruit.

 

Mercado Roma
This fun three-story market plays right into the gentrification of the neighborhood, but it’s hard not to love it for its convivial appeal. Hang out in the rooftop beer garden or shop for Spanish wines and expensive cheeses. The street food represents restaurants around the city, so you can grab tapas, tacos and coffee.

 

Milan 44
A market for a new generation of Mexico City residents, Milan 44 is as modern a market as they come. A local microbrewery, Cru Cru, runs the rooftop bar and there are healthy-as-it-gets acai bowls and green juices on sale at Ojo de Agua. Up-and-coming restaurateurs have a few mini food stalls that you’ll want to check out, and if the mood strikes, pull up a chair at the sushi bar.

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Coyoacan Market
One of Mexico City’s most iconic market, Coyoacan was established in 1921. It’s colorful, lively and full of textiles, woven bags, fresh lunch items, spices, fruits and vegetables. Food isn’t the only thing you’ll find here – there are clothes, Mexican toys, plants, souvenirs, crafts, costumes and more. Want to really find your way around? Hire a private guide to lead you through the narrow alleyways to best bargains.

 

La Langunilla
Harkening back to the pre-Hispanic period, La Langunilla focuses on antiques – mid-century modern furnishings, vintage clothing, classic records, heirloom jewelry and the like. Have fun haggling, then reward yourself for your bargain with a michelada (Mexican beer with lime juice, Tabasco, Worcestershire and soy sauces). If you love a good flea market, give this Mexico City market a try. Open Sunday.

 

Sullivan Tianguis
Find Sullivan Tianguis on James Sullivan in San Rafael between Gabino Barreda and Rosas Moreno. Open Saturday and Sunday. Come hungry – there’s a great stand selling mixiotes (barbecued meat) tacos and a woman who has been making incredible antojitos (small bites) for 30 years in the same spot. Or, try a cemitas poblanas (a traditional sandwich from Puebla, Mexico).

 

Mercado Abelardo L. Rodriguez
Tucked in the historic center of Zocalo, this market is a hidden gem. Art lovers will enjoy the massive murals by students of Diego Rivera, representing life in Mexico in the 1930s. Look for the eye-catching murals at the entrance, on stairways and on the second floor. There’s also a good selection of fruit and vegetable, juice and meat stands, and several food stalls.

What to Eat at Mexico City’s Markets

 

Bring a hefty appetite to La Merced, where you’ll want to start your foodie exploration at Calle Rosario at the intersection of Calle Gral Anaya. Head to the food court, Mercado de Comida, where you can start the day with a chilaquiles breakfast at Cocina Frida. Look for quesadillas, tlacoyos, tacos and even ice cream along Calle Rosario and the dry fruits hall across Mercado de Comida.

 

After viewing the Rivera-influenced murals at Mercado Abelardo L. Rodriguez, walk to the end of the market and look for the Local 219 food stall. The line is typically long, giving credence to its delicious tamales and atoles in several flavors, including chocolate!

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Pick up some flowers at Mercado Jamaica, then head to El Profe for barbacoa tacos, buy some chili-citrus-marinated esquites (corn kernels) to snack on or make your way to the comida section for huaraches, a Mexico City specialty. They’re particularly good at Ramoncita Restaurant, which as been making these fried, oval-shaped corn cakes, stuffed with beans, for more than a century.

 

Have a hankering for ice cream? Make your way to Mercado de Medellin, to the popular Cuban Heladeria food stall. Too busy? Try Palmeiro at Local 507, another excellent Cuban ice cream spot where they make their frozen treats with fresh Mexican fruit. Don’t want dessert before dinner? Head first to Los Canarios for tuna and salmon or Mexican alambres, grilled beef smothered in bacon, peppers and onions, cheese, salsa and avocado.

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Spend some time at the trendy Mercado Roma, where you can get churros, pozole from Jalisco and Mexican chocolate from Que Bo!, one of the world’s best chocolatiers.

 

Finally, don’t finish your tour of Mexico City’s markets without an unusual local snack – think worms. For this, visit Mercado San Juan, where you can sit down at the tiny El Gran Cazador and tuck into fried insects and exotic meat burgers. Not your thing? This is also Mexico City’s best seafood market. Try the ceviche at Local 84, Pescaderia Eladio.

What to Buy at Mexico City’s Markets or Other City Shops


El Bazaar Sabado: Look for popular Mexican designer Carla Fernandez’s wares among the many clothing items and accessories you can find here.

 

La Lagunilla: Bit and pieces, antiques and flea market finds are among the offerings at this Sunday tianguis.

 

La Ciudadela: Seek out huipil blouses, San Miguel de Allende tin mirrors and Oaxacan alebrijes (wooden carved animals).

 

Coyoacan Market: Shop for Chiapan handicrafts, handwoven bags, purses, typical Mexican blouses, dresses and accessories in this quirky neighborhood that was once home to Frida Kahlo.

 

More Items to Buy in Mexico City
If you can’t find the following souvenir items at the many markets in Mexico City, check out the other popular shopping areas, such as Centro Santa Fe, Reforma 222, Centro Coyoacan, Galerias Insurgentes, Presidente Masaryk, Barrio Alameda and Sanborns de los Azulejos.

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  • Hand-blown and mouth-blown glass, from margarita glasses to pitchers
    Silver jewelry from Taxco, or other pieces made from turquoise, jade, amethyst and coral (the Condesa neighborhood is particularly known for its jewelry stores)
  • Dia de los Muertos handicrafts, including catrinas (mini skeleton dolls dressed in clothing) and calaveras (mini painted skulls)
  • Tribal art, inlcuding a pre-Colombia-style mask, statue or pottery, a jaguar warrior statue or a mask depicting the Mesoamerican deity, Quetzalcoatl
  • Chocolate, especially the cinnamon-scented flat round disks of chocolate, blocks of hard chocolate for baking or hot chocolate or chili-tinged chocolate bars
  • Tequila, the national drink of Mexico, with countless varieties, from Blanco or Plata (silver or white) to Añejo (aged or vintage)
  • Huipils (blouses or dresses) worn by indigenous Mexican women for ages – look for the biggest selection at Mercado de la Merced
  • Vanilla, known for its rich, smooth and spicy characteristics – try the upscale grocery store, Comercial Mexicana Sumesa, in the Polanco neighborhood
  • Crosses, from Mercado de La Ciudadela, which comes in a variety of sizes and materials, including handpainted talavera, wood and metal

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