LocationCalle Rosario S/N, Venustiano Carranza, Centro, Merced Balbuena,
Ciudad de México, Mexico
Everyone in Mexico City has a favorite mercado and a reason for its superiority. They’ll tell you to go to Sonora for witchcraft or to San Juan for cobra meat or to Jamaica because it’s one of the biggest. But really, all Mexican markets are pretty much the same. They are all vending the same produce trucked in from Central de Abastos (another market people will tell you to go to) with old grandmothers along the fringes selling homegrown fava beans and wild mushrooms. There’s also a new wave of hipstery, upscale markets for people who want to drink gin and tonics out of oversized wine glasses and stare at artisanal cheese.
I like the classics more. Of those, La Merced is my pick, based on its sprawling size and central location: it’s in Centro, easy to get to with public transportation, and has a dizzying array of everything, all broken down into sections: fruits, vegetables, sausages, meats, underwear, bootleg DVDs, belts, candy, games, toys, medicine, scissors, and so on. It’s a great place to get lost. But really: go to whatever market is convenient; they are all awesome.