In the “original Mexico”, Mesoamerica, all markets, exchange centers and commercial routes were key to develop commerce. Not for nothing the famous Aztec city of Tenochtitlan was 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 be still found in Mexico as really popular and folkloric spaces. However, not everyone notices that visiting and knowing about them is an amazing 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, social practices, and beliefs that are shown via everyday outlooks. Therefore, we’ll share some details about three Mexico City Markets, each of them with its own social and cultural characteristics that transform the most casual visit into a unique journey.

Medellín Market

Definitely the favorite market for those who live in the Colonia Roma neighborhood or just some “chilangos” (people from Mexico City) who want the best Mexican fast food or some greatly flavored seafood with amazing prices. Moreover, this market is known for the variety of South American ingredients and products that are sold inside. Whether you want to search a refreshing Peruvian Inca Cola, enjoy the texture of Colombian “buñuelos”, try an authentic “pisco antioqueño”, buy a bottled “chimichurri” or just 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’ve got enough nerve to experiment our Centro Histórico Food Tour you’ll be able to discover the best dishes in this market and get to know it better, understanding why it’s a favorite for some of the best Mexican chefs.

Coyoacán Market

This famous market is one of the most popular food, vegetables, and spices’ provider 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 with the best tostadas in the city.

Mexico City has 312 municipal markets, many of them specialized on specific products, some of them offering just food, and others where one can find plants, fruits, vegetables, clothing, and even tools. Visiting one of these places is not just entering a world of irradiating colors, aromas, and textures; it is also traveling to the past, getting to know some aspects of Mexican culture, being warmly welcome 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 now eager to visit one of these markets and try some of the delicious things they hide? Don’t worry, because apart from the now available San Juan Market experience in our foodie walking tour Centro Histórico, you will soon have another one in the Coyoacán Market with our walking food tour Coyoacán. Stay tuned for more information in our social media, Sabores México Food Tours and don’t miss the chance to visit some of Mexico City Markets in the best food tours in Mexico City.

Article by: María José Ordóñez Platas