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An exploration of Mexico City food markets should be part of any itinerary to Mexico’s capital.
Markets in Mexico City are at the heart of the local culture – the places where the country’s colors, aromas, and flavors come alive.
The famous Chilean poet Pablo Neruda said it best, “Mexico is in its markets.” And just like Neruda, one could go from market to market for years.
On your visit to Mexico’s capital, experience an authentic Mexican food adventure at the market.
Visit at least one of these seven Mexico City markets to make life-long memories as you savor the core of Mexico.
Favorite Markets to Visit in Mexico City
Don’t have time to tour all of the local markets in Mexico City? No problem.
These are our top three markets in Mexico City and what makes them so special:
- Mercado La Merced – this is the food market Mexico City is most known for. It’s filled with traditional Mexican food, themed buildings, and a bustling atmosphere. It’s also the biggest market in Mexico City, making it unmissable! We highly recommend having a local tour guide to help you navigate it.
- Mercado de San Juan – famous for exotic meats, adventurous eats, and fresh seafood.
- Mercado Coyoacan – an exciting Mexico City market known for its abundance of local artisans, fruit juices, and vibrant appearance; journey through the neighborhood and make sure to visit the nearby Frida Khalo Museum.
Read more below for a detailed overview of each of these markets in Mexico City
AUTHENTIC FOOD QUEST TIP: In addition to visiting the best markets in Mexico City, you could also consider taking a food tour with a local guide. See the Top 10 Best Food Tours in Mexico City You’ll Want To Try
7 Best Food Markets in Mexico City
While there are so many fantastic food markets in Mexico City, these are the best of the best – you can’t miss them.
1. Mercado La Merced – The Largest Market in Mexico City
La Merced Market is one of the most iconic food markets in Mexico City. It is also the largest retail market for traditional food in Mexico City.
This traditional market was built in 1963 to accommodate numerous market stalls in the neighborhood.
Today, La Merced is housed in several buildings extending over several blocks. Visiting La Merced is an overwhelming and intense experience.
Countless vendors are filling every space available in the many buildings. Additional shops line up the streets surrounding the markets making it impossible to walk on sidewalks.
Shopkeepers, locals browsing and shopping, and delivery men all cohabitate amongst the intricate alleys and tight spaces.
It is easy to get disoriented in La Merced. We personally had to ask our way several times and found ourselves back in the same spot by mistake.
AUTHENTIC FOOD QUEST TIP: Having a local guide that can navigate the market with you can be really helpful. On a La Merced Market Tour, you will taste traditional Mexican food and learn about local and pre-Hispanic food.
Where and What to Eat at La Merced
In La Merced, each building highlights a specific type of product or activity. You’ll find prepared food (mercado de comidas), sweets (mercado de dulces), and flowers (mercado de flores).
To eat at La Merced, you want to go to Calle Rosario at the intersection of Calle Gral Anaya.
There is a small food court called Mercado de Comida where you’ll find typical traditional Mexican dishes.
We particularly enjoyed chilaquiles breakfast at Cocina Frida.
Along Calle Rosario are several vendors selling quesadillas, tlacoyos, tacos and ice-cream.
We were disappointed by Mercado de Dulces. We were expecting to find baked goods and traditional sweets from Mexico. Instead, there was a lot of candy and junk food.
We preferred the dry fruits hall which is located across Mercado de Comida.
How to Get to La Merced
Located on the east side of Centro Historico, the most convenient way to get to La Merced is by metro.
The metro stop La Merced is on Line 1 or the Pink line which passes through Reforma and Condesa. This is an easy and convenient way to go to and from La Merced.
The metro station is literally inside the market. When you get out of the station, you’ll enter the market with lots of shoe vendors filling up the stalls.
You will want to walk out several alleys before you get to the food section.
Address: Calle Rosario 159, La Merced, Mexico City
Hours: Open daily, from 5:30 am to 6:00 pm
Pro Tip: La Merced doesn’t have a reputation for being very safe. The neighborhood is known for prostitution and petty crime. Although we didn’t have any issues, we recommend as much as possible to blend in. The best thing would be to carry money safely and not in a backpack. Also, be discrete with cameras and other valuable items.
AUTHENTIC FOOD QUEST TIP: Make your culinary travels worry-free! With the right travel insurance, you’ll enjoy a delicious experience. From medical emergencies, flight cancelations, car rental protection, or tour cancelations, a good travel insurance has got you covered. Check out our travel insurance review for food lovers to get started.
2. Mercado de San Juan – Exotic Mexico City Food Market
San Juan Market (Mercado de San Juan) is one of the oldest markets in Mexico City. Although the market was built in 1955, the area has been associated with food vendors since the 1900s.
Today, the market is famous for serving a wide range of exotic kinds of meat. You can find tiger steaks, lion burgers, armadillo, wild boar, alligator, and more.
If the meats are too exotic or foreign, you can try fried grasshoppers or ant larvae, which are surprisingly tasty.
Besides the unusual meat choices, this is the best market in Mexico City for imported and difficult-to-find items.
The market is popular with chefs and food lovers for high-quality produce, meat, and seafood.
Where and What to Eat at San Juan Market
There are plenty of food stalls at Mercado de San Juan. If you want to go beyond your comfort zone and try exotic meats, head to El Gran Cazador.
You’ll find this small, sit-down eatery at the rear of the market. On the menu, there are unusual foods like worms, insects, and exotic meat burgers.
Beyond these adventurous options, enjoy some of the city’s freshest fish and seafood. The seafood section of San Juan market is considered the finest.
The place to go is stall “Local 84, Pescadería Eladio.” The ceviche is known to be excellent and even better when paired with cucumber, chia, and lemon water.
How to Get to San Juan Market
San Juan market is located at Calle Ernesto Pugibet 21, in the historic center. It’s just a few blocks south of Palacio de Bellas Artes.
Alternatively, you can get there by Metro and get off at the Salto de Agua station.
Address: Ernesto Pugibet 21, Plaza Buen Tono, Centro Historico, Mexico City
Hours: Open daily from 10:00 am – 7:00 pm
- If trying exotic meats is on your agenda, note that the prices will be considerably higher than regular meat dishes.
- Credit cards are not accepted at all local market stalls. Carry cash (safely) to ensure you can try what you want.
AUTHENTIC FOOD QUEST TIP: One of the best ways to get around Mexico City is to take the Hop-on/ Hop-off bus. We typically do not take sightseeing buses like these, but several long-term Mexico residents highly recommended this mode of transportation. We’re glad we listened to their advice and were thrilled to be able to see Mexico City, stress-free despite the traffic. There are stops at many of the neighborhoods where these markets are located making it easy to move around. You’ll be pleasantly surprised, as we were, with the Mexico City Hop-on/ Hop-off bus.
3. Mercado Abelardo L. Rodriguez – A Hidden Gem in the Historic Center
In the northeast corner of Zocalo sits one of the best markets in Mexico City. Abelardo Rodríguez Market is often overlooked by visitors to Mexico’s capital.
The hallmark of this market are the enormous murals by students of Diego Rivera, the country’s most prominent male artist.
As you walk into the market, look for murals by the entrance, stairways, and on the second floor.
Colorful and powerful, the murals cover themes of Mexico in the 1930s. Food production, exploitation of the workers, industrialization, greed, and more.
Entrance to the market and murals is free. Take advantage and see the works of lauded Mexican and American masters.
The market itself is much more manageable in size than La Merced and is filled with throngs of vendors.
You’ll find a section of fresh fruits and vegetables by the entrance. Behind them are poultry and meat stands and all around are juice and food stalls.
Where and What to Eat at Mercado Abelardo L. Rodriguez
We visited this market on a street food and market tour. While there are several eateries, our guide took us to what locals consider the best stall at the market.
Walk through the market all the way to the end and you’ll see a small popular stand with the marking “Local 219”. The stall opens onto the street at the intersection of calle Rodriguez Puebla and Republica de Venezuela.
This stand is popular for tamales and atole. We enjoyed sampling a wide variety of tamales from savory to sweet. The atole drinks came in different flavors and we liked the chocolate-flavored version.
Apart from tamales and atole, you can also have sandwiches and tortas. The long lines at this stall attest to the popularity of the place.
How to Get to Mercado Abelardo L. Rodriguez
If you are already in the historic center of Mexico City, head towards Plaza Santo Domingo and then go east on Republica de Venezuela. From there it’s only about a 4-block walk.
Mercado Abelardo L. Rodríguez runs along República de Venezuela and Callejón Girón.
Address: Cjon. Girón, Centro Historico, Mexico City
Hours: Open daily from 7:00 am to 6:00 pm (7:00 pm on Tuesdays)
4. Mercado de Coyoacán – Art & Food at Coyoacan Market
The Coyoacan market or Mercado de Coyoacán is a colorful and vibrant market a few blocks from downtown Coyoacán.
It is also located a couple of blocks from the Frida Kahlo museum. As a result, it is a market well-frequented by tourists and locals alike.
Built in 1956, Coyoacán market is unique due to the presence of artists nearby and sales of crafts and arts.
You can buy traditional clothing, toys, gifts, and other crafts making it a great stop for souvenirs before returning home.
Besides the typical fruit, vegetables, meat, and fish stands, you’ll also find many popular food vendors and juice stalls.
From snacks, tostadas, quesadillas, meat or seafood, and juices or sweets, you’ll find food to your liking.
Where and What to Eat at Mercado de Coyoacán
In the middle of the market is the popular Tostadas de Coyoacán. This bustling large food stall has been around since the market opened.
The ambiance is chaotic as tourists and locals compete for available seating.
The seafood tostadas are quite appetizing and are well written about.
If the tumultuous atmosphere isn’t for you, and you’re craving seafood, go to Hostioneria El Limoncito instead. Their fish tacos and ceviches are some of their most delicious and popular items.
End your meal with a sweet treat from El Portal del Sabor next door. This ice cream shop serves an extensive variety of traditional Mexican ice cream.
How to get to Mercado de Coyoacán
The closest metro station is Coyoacán on Line 3 which connects Mexico City North-South. From there, it is a leisurely 20-minute walk or about 1.6km or 1 mile.
Uber and other car-sharing providers are also available to get you there for a very reasonable price.
Address: Mercado Coyoacán runs along Malintzin between Ignacio Allende and Abasolo
Hours: Open daily, 8:00 am – 6:00 pm
5. Mercado Roma – Mexico City Gourmet Market
Mercado Roma is unlike the traditional Mexico City markets we’ve highlighted. This market is part of the newer generation of Mexico City markets.
It was the first gourmet market in Mexico City, and it resembles a food hall more than a food market.
Opened in 2014, Mercado Roma is a gastronomic project marrying more than 50 food concepts.
You can find organic and artisanal products, Mexican and international restaurants, as well as coffee and beer bars.
The idea behind this gourmet project is to offer visitors a common place to share good food and beverages and create memories.
Where and What to Eat at Mercado Roma
One of the most iconic and famous vendors in Mexico City is Churreria El Moro. Located at the back of Mercado Roma, right in front of the terrasse, is this busy small counter.
This is a great spot for churros with hot chocolate as you get tempted by the surrounding offerings.
Another popular stand is Pozole de Jose Guadalupe. Try the hearty soup and specialty from Jalisco, made by Chef Zahie Téllez.
For something sweet, head to Mexican Chocolate at Que Bo!, recognized as one of the best chocolatiers in the world.
While not a market for groceries, it is a place to hang out and mingle while munching on gourmet Mexican dishes.
How to Get to Mercado Roma
Mercado Roma is located at the edge of Roma Norte and La Condesa, one block from Avenida Insurgentes Sur.
Depending on where you are coming from, you can take the Metrobus that will drop you at Avenida Insurgentes Sur. Alternatively, using Uber in Mexico City is reliable, fast, and pretty inexpensive.
Address: Calle Querétaro 225, Colonia Roma, Mexico City
Hours: Open daily; 9:00 am – 10:00 pm – Open till 11:00 Thursday-Saturday – Restaurants open daily; 3:00 pm – 2:00 am
6. Mercado de Jamaica – Flowers at Jamaica Market
One of the main traditional markets in Mexico City, Mercado Jamaica opened its doors in 1957 – It’s best known for flowers and plants.
Mercado Jamaica is the largest flower market in Mexico City and in Latin America; it’s impressive, exuberant, and bursting with colors.
Even if you are not shopping for food, the lively atmosphere makes this a fascinating Mexico City market to visit. As you enter the market, the striking displays of fresh produce will captivate your attention.
Fruits like brightly colored oranges, gleaming strawberries, and displays of Ataulfo mangoes will tempt you.
Vegetables you’ve never seen, like nopales, jicama, and tiny green tomatillo tomatoes, will pique your curiosity.
Walk deeper into the market until the first fragrance hits your nose. You’ll see bundles of roses, huge bouquets of fresh-cut flowers, and formal arrangements for baptisms, weddings, and funerals.
Where and What to Eat at Mercado Jamaica
In the middle of the market, we enjoyed tasty barbacoa tacos at El Profe, a popular stand with stainless steel tables and chairs.
On the far side of the building, by the flower section, you’ll find esquites, a popular Mexican snack.
Unlike elotes which are grilled corn on the cob, esquites are corn kernels served in a cup. The esquites we had were in a citrusy chili marinade topped with a crumbly cheese.
For a more substantive meal, head to the “comida section” of Mercado Jamaica for huaraches, a Mexico City specialty.
For over 100 years, Ramoncita Restaurant has been making this legendary dish. Huaraches are oval-shaped corn masa cakes, stuffed with beans and then fried; they serve theirs with beef ribs.
Be aware the portions are generous. If you have been snacking at the market, we recommend sharing a plate unless you are really hungry.
How to Get to Mercado Jamaica
Mercado Jamaica is easily accessible by public transportation. Simply take the #9 metro line and exit at the station Jamaica.
Address: Guillermo Prieto 45, Colonia Jamaica, Mexico City
Hours: Open 24/7, 365 days a year.
7. Mercado de Medellín – Latin Flavors at Medellín Market
Mercado de Medellín is both enjoyable and manageable – covering one square block in Roma Norte, you can leisurely walk through it without feeling overwhelmed.
This is the perfect market to acclimate yourself to the neighborhood food markets in Mexico City.
One of the specificities of this market is their offerings from Latin American countries. You can find arepas from Venezuela, Colombian coffee, Cuban ice cream, or chorizo Argentino.
This market is actually known as “La Pequeña Habana,” or “The Little Havana,” named after the Cuban products available.
The food market is located in the middle of the square, with food stalls and stands sprawling with beautiful fruits and vegetables.
Meat and seafood stalls, known for their quality and freshness, also seek your attention.
Surrounding the central food stalls are several restaurants to keep you from getting hungry.
Where and What to Eat at Mercado de Medellín
One of the restaurants not to miss is Los Canarios. This local restaurant occupies a bright and airy space inside Mercado de Medellín.
On the menu is fresh fish like tuna and salmon as well as delicious Mexican food like alambres.
This Mexican dish consists of grilled beef topped with bacon, peppers, onions, cheese, salsa, and avocado.
Los Canarios is open from 11:30 am to 5:30 pm.
Another unmissable food stall is the Cuban Heladeria or Cuban ice cream shop Palmeiro at Local 507.
This stall makes Cuban-style ice cream with fresh Mexican fruits. It is open from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm.
How to Get to Mercado de Medellín
Mercado de Medellín is located in Roma Sur, a few blocks from Avenida Insurgentes Sur. The Metrobus station Campeche on Insurgentes is the closest stop to get you to the market.
Alternatively, you can get there by Metro from the Line 9 Chilpancingo station.
Address: Campeche 101, Roma Sur, Mexico City
Hours: Open daily from 8:00 am – 6:00 pm
FAQs Mexico City Food Markets
Here are some common questions that we get about the best Mexico City food markets:
What is the name of the most famous market in Mexico City?
The most famous market in Mexico City is likely Mercado La Merced. This massive wholesale market has everything you could be on the hunt for – from street food to produce to fresh-cut flowers.
Which market should you visit in Mexico City?
The best food market in Mexico City truly depends on what your priorities and interests.
Interested in seeing some amazing local art? We recommend visiting Mercado Coyoacan.
Want to sample fantastic Latin American food? Mercado de Medellín is the market for you.
Some even consider it the best food market Mexico City has to offer.
Because there is such an abundance of local markets, there’s a perfect spot for everyone’s needs.
What is the best fruit market in Mexico City?
While it’s most known for its floral offerings, Mercado de Jamaica also has a gleaming selection of fresh produce including amazing fruits. Visit this market to sample never-before-seen varieties.
Is a Mexico City market tour worth it?
If you’re passionate about food like us, we recommend taking a food tour when you visit Mexico City. This will give you access to all the incredible food markets that Mexico City has to offer, including the best street food, Mexican cuisine, and unique local vendors.
A food tour will also get you valuable insight into Mexico City’s markets from local guides.
Exploring Mexico City through its food markets is one of the most fascinating experiences to be had in Mexico’s capital.
Though you’ll find the same produce, meats, fruits, and food vendors, the vibe at each Mexico City market is different.
To soak up Mexican culture, grab your shopping bag and get lost in the market aisles.
Depending on how much time you have, check out as many of Mexico City’s markets as you can on this list.
As your senses come alive at these Mexico City food markets, you’ll discover a multi-layered richness and vibrant culture.
You’ll find like we did, that the markets in Mexico City became the highlight of your trip.
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Rosemary is the editor-in-chief and strategist at Authentic Food Quest.
Traveling slow since 2015 with her partner, Claire, she has explored the cuisine in 45 countries and more than 240+ culinary cities.
Her writing about local food specialties has been featured in Lonely Planet, Business Insider, Honest Cooking, Food Insider, and Huffington Post.
As a food and travel writer, Rosemary has co-authored three books, including one in collaboration with Costa Brava Tourism.
Rosemary is an avid runner when she’s not eating and exploring new destinations. She has run ten marathons and counting.
Before Authentic Food Quest, Rosemary held senior-level strategy positions in advertising.
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