In the “original Mexico” Mesoamerica, all markets, exchange centers and commercial routes were key to developing commerce. Not for nothing was the famous Aztec city of Tenochtitlan known for its magnificent “mercado” (market), which was so much more than a place to sell and buy provisions and livestock.
Tenochtitlan market was the place to barter or exchange goods for other things rather than money, which was called “trueque” and was commonly used by the Mexicas or Aztecs. Furthermore, this market was the meeting point for Mesoamerican civilizations and where all the cultural interactions took place.
Nowadays, markets can still be found in Mexico as really popular and folkloric spaces. However, not everyone notices that visiting and knowing about them is a fantastic way of understanding our country’s cultural identity. As said before, markets in Mexico aren’t just places where you can sell or buy stuff; they are authentic sources of handicraft and gastronomic techniques and social practices.
Therefore, we’ll share details about three Mexico City Markets, each with its own social and cultural characteristics that transform the most casual visit into a unique journey.
The favorite market for those who live in the Colonia Roma neighborhood or just with “chilangos” (people from Mexico City) who want the best Mexican fast food or some fantastically flavored seafood at amazing prices.
Moreover, this market is known for the variety of South American ingredients and products sold inside. Whether you want to search for a refreshing Peruvian Inca Cola, enjoy the texture of Colombian “buñuelos,” try an authentic “pisco antioqueño,” buy a bottled “chimichurri” or get to know some Latin American food products, Medellín Market is the best place in Mexico City to do it.
San Juan Market
Worldly known for selling armadillo, iguana, skunk, or lion meat, San Juan Market is a place where many secrets hide. The fish shops found inside are some of the best in Mexico City, as well as the crunchy “gusanos de maguey” and scorpions you’ll find ready to be tasted.
Don’t miss a chance to visit this market and try one Spanish “tapa” or a juicy crocodile “mixiote”. If you join us on our Centro Histórico Food Tour, you’ll be able to discover the best dishes in this market and get to know them better, understanding why it’s a favorite for some of the best Mexican chefs.
This famous market is one of the most popular foods, vegetable, and spice providers in Mexico City. Did you know that Frida Kahlo used to go there weekly to buy everything she needed? Going shopping and for a walk in the Coyoacán Market was one of her favorite hobbies, and we know many people who nowadays do the same thing as a leisure activity.
When you go visit, we’re sure you’ll find handicraft lovers buying things, small kids looking for the best costumes, and many tourists because in this market, you’ll also come across the best tostadas in the city.
Explore the culture and history of this popular district with our Coyoacán Food Tour.
Mexico City has 312 municipal markets, many of which specialize in specific products. Some of them offer just food, while at others, one can find plants, fruits, vegetables, clothing, and even tools.
Visiting one of these places is not just entering a world of colors, aromas, and textures. It is also traveling to the past, getting to know some aspects of Mexican culture, being warmly welcomed by everyone inside, and having your appearance and/or rank changed because people won’t stop calling you “güero/a” (blond), “joven” (young), “reina” (queen), or “rey” (king) while you walk by the stands.
Are you eager to visit one of these markets and try some of the delicious things inside? Don’t miss the chance to visit some of Mexico City Markets with the Best Food Tours in Mexico City.
Article by: María José Ordóñez Platas