Pablo Neruda was spot on when he said that “Mexico is in its markets”, and just like Neruda, I could go from market to market for years. Below you’ll find my tips for visiting three of Mexico’s most fascinating markets. Don’t forget to check my corresponding blog post for even more information!
GENERAL MARKET TIPS
- See here for an interesting insight into the geography of Mexican street markets.
- Lonely Planet do a good guide to novelty markets here.
- Rather than returning home laden with bags and hoarding plastic, I tend to take a large rucksack with me when I go to the market. I can stuff it to the brim and travel home much more comfortably on the metro. It’s also a good way to disguise what you have purchased.
- Visit food markets on an empty stomach. Some of the best places to eat are found in traditional markets.
- Many markets vendors do not allow photos to be taken of their wares. Ask first and look out for signs saying that photos are forbidden.
- If at all possible, avoid visiting markets on weekends as they can get crowded.
- If a food stand is packed full of locals, you can bet the food there is among the best.
- If visiting markets such as Sonora or Lagunilla, do not bring any valuables whatsoever, no phones, no cameras, no jewellery etc. You should have no problems in any of the three markets I visited for my blog post.
- For more information on Mexico City’s itinerant markets, see here.
- If you are staying in the Condesa neighbourhood, you’ll find a tianguis on Calle Pachuca on Tuesdays and along Nuevo Leon on Fridays. You’ll recognise them by the bright pink tarps covering the stands.
MERCADO SAN JUAN
- Located downtown on Ernesto Pugibet, between José María Marroquí and Luis Moya. You know you are close when you see the massive antenna next door.
- Metro stops San Juan Letrán and Salto de Agua are close by.
- Culinary Backstreets provide a detailed guide to some of the best food stalls at Mercado San Juan.
- Vegetarians may want to avoid the meat and fish stands heading straight to the back where you’ll find the fruit and vegetables.
- Eat Mexico do a four hour tour that includes Mercado de San Juan.
- Visit food markets such as San Juan early in the morning as they sell out quickly.
- Mercado Roma has its own website (in Spanish)
- The market is located on Queretaro 225, La Roma neighbourhood.
- For a great guide to what’s on offer see here.
- Mercado Roma gets packed at weekends so you may want to visit during the week if crowds aren’t your thing.
- The ground floor and mezzanine open daily 9am-6pm.
- The first floor and terrace are open from 9am-midnight.
MERCADO DE JAMAICA
- The metro stop Jamaica leaves you right outside the market.
- Be prepared for catcalls if you are showing even the slightest bit of flesh.
- The market opens 24 hours but I recommend you visit during the day.
- If you buy esquites at the market they usually offer varying levels of spiciness. You can usually tell which is the hottest by the amount of chilli peppers it contains.