Visiting the local markets in Mexico City is a memorable part of every traveler’s experience.
Latin American countries in general have incredible markets, but Mexico City’s are something special. Here you’ll find exotic meats, artisanal goods, fresh produce, jewelry, and more. If you’re craving a taste (literally and figuratively) of the local culture, then spending time at these markets is a great way to do it.
Wherever I go in the world, I make sure to stop by a local market at least once, and I’ve held onto that tradition while living in Mexico City for the past 6 months. I’ve found that there are many different types of Mexico City markets with varying levels of chaos. Some of the mercados are quiet and chill, while others are always overwhelmingly busy and hectic.
To help you figure out what market is an absolute “must-see” on your list of things to explore in Mexico City, I’ve compiled a list of the 11 best markets in Mexico City.
Let’s dive in!
Table of Contents
- 11 Markets in Mexico City
- FAQs About Markets in Mexico City
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11 Markets in Mexico City
A lively market with food, souvenirs, and 100 years of history
The two-story Mercado de Coyoacan is located about 30 minutes south of Mexico City’s historic center and has been in business for over a hundred years. Although this particular market might require an Uber ride, it’s worth the excursion.
Mercado de Coyoacán is a maze of food stalls, various clothing pieces, and art. There are local artisans selling their handicrafts and other unique souvenirs that you can grab at an affordable price. It’s a good catch-all market that will be a fun time for just about any type of visitor from families to solo travelers. Plus, they’re open all day every single day, so it’ll work for most tight schedules.
If you only have time to stop by one market in Mexico City and want to scoop up some souvenirs, I’d go with Mercado de Coyoacan.
🌮Feeling Hungry? There are a bunch of great food vendors at Coyoacan Market, but make sure you grab a bite at Tostadas Coyoacan. For more CDMX food recommendations, check out my list of the 25 best restaurants in Mexico City.
Mercado de San Juan
A massive traditional gourmet market with exotic products
San Juan Market, or Mercado de San Juan in Spanish, is a huge traditional market with gourmet goods and exotic meats.
You’ll have a hard time thinking of a food item or animal that you can’t track down at San Juan Market – from vegetables and seafood stalls to roasted scorpions and tarantulas served on a skewer. There is even tiger steak, wild boar, and kangaroo meat sold at Mercado de San Juan.
If an afternoon of pushing your taste buds to the limit sounds exciting, then Mercado San Juan should be on your list of things to do in Mexico City. It’s located near the Historic Center, so you’ll be close to lots of other popular attractions too.
Mercado de Sonora
A busy market selling toys, herbal medicine, and items for magical practices
Sonora Market is one of the busiest places to go shopping in Mexico City. It comes with a level of excitement, but it can also be a little stressful for newbies. Mercado de Sonora has some food stalls scattered around, but they mostly sell different types of presents, toys, herbs, and spiritual tools.
While Sonora Market is one of the most popular markets in Mexico City, it does have one major downside – there’s a section in the back of the market with puppies and cats for sale. Their living conditions will likely disturb foreigners because there are many animals per cage.
Personally, it was a bit too much for me to handle. If you do visit, don’t go too far into the back of the market to avoid seeing this.
👉Pro Tip: Mercado de Sonora is one of the busiest markets in Mexico City and it can be intense for visitors. That’s why I’d recommend booking a tour, like this Mexico City market tour that brings you to the Sonora and La Merced markets.
Mercado La Merced
The largest traditional market in Mexico City serving an array of local dishes
Mercado de la Merced is the largest market in Mexico City selling traditional foods and everyday items. It’s a great option for food lovers who want to experience the Mexican culture at local markets, but only want to visit one place. At La Merced, you’ll have endless choices of fresh and delicious local food.
While you’ll definitely be able to grab some tasty plates at La Merced, be prepared to take on an extremely crowded and giant market. People are in a rush to grab their goods and go when they stop by La Merced. Don’t take it personally if you get bumped a few times and hold on tight to your stuff.
👉Pro Tip: Mercado La Merced is one of the largest markets in Mexico City. That means there are a lot of incredible products, but there are also many petty thieves roaming around. To prepare yourself, I recommend reliable Mexico travel insurance just in case.
A modern-style food hall with international and fusion stalls
Mercado Roma is ideal for travelers who want to eat the day away at a big food market but aren’t interested in the mayhem of visiting bigger traditional markets. Mercado Roma is a little more modern and organized than some of the other markets mentioned on this list.
Mercado Roma is basically a food hall and gourmet market that serves a variety of international and fusion cuisine. Think sushi burritos, vegan tacos, and Mexican macaroons. There’s also a rooftop beer garden.
At the Mercado Roma food market, you aren’t going to get the glimpse of authentic local culture that other markets will provide, but it’s a great location for a leisurely day of trying cool foods and sipping on beers. They’re also open late, so you can keep the party going after the sunsets.
🛏️ Looking for a Hotel? Mercado Roma is located near the popular Roma Sur and Norte neighborhoods, which are great areas to stay in during your visit. To learn more about the best areas of CDMX, check out my guide about where to stay in Mexico City.
A colorful mercado filled with flowers, spices, and food
Mercado de Medellín is an ultra colorful market located near Roma Sur that specializes in flowers, spices, and produce. There’s also a food section with things like juices, tortas, and tacos. Mercado Medellin is special because they carry products from a variety of countries around Latin America. Hence its namesake.
Mercado Medellin is on the smaller side, so it’s perfect if you’re looking for a more relaxed market visit. It’s a fun stop for families with children as there are lots of bright and cool things to see, but not as many toys laying around that little ones might beg for.
👉Pro Tip: Most traditional markets in Mexico City won’t have bathrooms. If they do, they’ll probably be difficult to find and cost a couple of pesos to use. Carry some change just in case of an emergency, but try to use the bathroom before visiting Mexico City’s markets.
Mercado de Artesanias La Ciudadela
A chill market where vendors sell handmade products and art
Mercado de Artesanias La Ciudadela is one of the best markets in Mexico City for finding handmade goods and folk art. If you’re looking for gifts to bring home that aren’t the typical souvenir staples of Mexico, this is the market for you.
In addition to gorgeous handicrafts, La Ciudadela also has several restaurants inside. So, you can eat and shop all in one place.
👉 Pro Tip: The markets in Mexico won’t have bags for the items you buy, so make sure you bring a reusable grocery bag to carry your purchases. Most of Mexico expects people to have their own bags for groceries. For more advice about the country, check out these 23 Mexico travel tips.
Mercado de Jamaica
A cozy, vibrant flower market with several food options
Sometimes, you don’t want to visit a market to eat food or buy things, but simply to wander and take in the local lifestyle. If this sounds like your cup of tea, be sure to spend some time at Mercado de Jamaica, Mexico City’s main flower market. Here you’ll be surrounded by hundreds of bouquets and pre-made flower arrangements that make for a great gift or photograph.
Even though it’s called ‘the flower market’, Mercado de Jamaica also has food vendors, produce and gift baskets available to purchase as well. It’s probably one of the most aesthetically-pleasing markets on this list.
👉Pro Tip: Nobody knows the market scene better than the locals. So, I’d recommend joining a market or food tour like this small group markets tour and cooking class. Without a knowledgeable guide, you never know what you might be missing out on.
Central de Abasto
A massive wholesale market selling all types of ingredients for affordable prices
Central De Abasto, or the Central Supply, is Mexico City’s enormous wholesale market. There are literally thousands of vendors selling everything from fresh seafood to produce at Central De Abasto.
For home cooks who still want to whip up some meals on their visit to Mexico City, this wholesale market likely has all the ingredients you’ll need. It’s one of the best markets for finding an affordable array of food items.
A laidback food market with produce, meat products, and homemade tacos
Mercado Juarez is one of the lesser-known markets in Mexico City, but it’s still one of the best. It’s mainly a food market that sells produce, cured meats, and other edible products. While Mercado Juarez is a great place to do some shopping for ingredients, it’s also a good spot to grab some lunch. There are many different vendors selling local dishes.
I’d recommend El Ranchito’s barbacoa tacos with consome. The stall owners are super friendly and the food is top-notch traditional Mexican home cooking.
👉Pro Tip: Many foreigners are a little wary of scarfing down street food in Mexico City, but don’t let fear stop you from trying some of the best food in the world! The street food in Mexico is delicious and safe, as long as you’re using good judgment. For more information about how to stay healthy and safe during your visit, go through my guide to safety in Mexico City.
Tianguis Cultural del Chopo
A tianguis market specializing in punk music souvenirs
Tianguis Cultural del Chopo stands out from any other place because it’s one of the best markets in Mexico City for punk and metal music gear. Here, vendors sell things like old band t-shirts, collectible records, alternative clothing, and more. This market caters to a more targeted audience than others so if you’re into that scene, then shopping here will be a dream for you.
One thing to note is that Tianguis Cultural del Chopo is only open on Saturdays. So, if you want to make a stop here, be sure to plan it for the weekend.
FAQs About Markets in Mexico City
What is the biggest market in Mexico City?
La Merced Market is the biggest market in Mexico City. This enormous mercado specializes in selling everyday items and traditional food. Thousands of locals and foreigners shop at La Merced every day.
👉 Pro Tip: If you want to be awake enough to handle the biggest and best markets in Mexico City, you need a comfortable hotel to sleep in. If you still haven’t found your accommodations, be sure to read this list of the 13 best hotels in Mexico City.
What are the popular street markets in Mexico City called?
Mercado de San Juan, La Merced Market and Mercado de Coyoacan are the most popular markets in Mexico City.
What is the etiquette for bartering over price in Mexico?
Bartering over the price at markets is a common practice in Mexico and it’s something that you should try out. While you should never be rude or pushy in your negotiations, it’s recommended to haggle with vendors a bit if you want to get the best price for your goods. With that being said, don’t feel pressured to barter over every little thing in Mexico. Oftentimes, you’ll only be saving yourself a couple of dollars.
What is a Mexican tianguis?
A Mexican tianguis is an outdoor street market that’s similar to a farmer’s or flea market. There are over a thousand registered tianguis markets in Mexico City alone.
We’ve reached the end of my guide to Mexico City’s best markets. I’m hoping that you’ve found one (or more) markets that sparked your interest.
Before you go, check out my guide to the best time to visit Mexico!