mercados de oaxaca

Ultimate Guide to Visit the Best Oaxacan Markets

Markets in Mexico are vibrant hubs of commerce, culture, and community. They are bustling marketplaces where locals gather to buy and sell a diverse array of goods, including fresh produce, meats, spices, textiles, handicrafts, and more. These markets have been central to Mexican life for centuries, serving as vital economic, social, and cultural centers in cities, towns, and villages across the country.

What do they Represent?

Mexican markets represent the heart and soul of Mexican culture. They embody the country’s rich culinary traditions, artisanal craftsmanship, and vibrant social fabric. Markets offer a sensory feast where visitors can experience the sights, sounds, and smells of Mexico, from the colorful displays of fruits and vegetables to the aroma of freshly prepared street food. They also serve as showcases for indigenous heritage, showcasing traditional crafts and textiles that reflect the diverse cultural heritage of Mexico’s indigenous communities.

Why are they Important?

Mexican markets are essential for several reasons:

  1. Economic Activity: Markets play a crucial role in the local economy, providing a platform for small-scale producers and artisans to sell their goods directly to consumers. They stimulate economic activity and support livelihoods, particularly for marginalized communities and rural populations.

  2. Cultural Preservation: Markets serve as repositories of cultural heritage, preserving traditional practices, recipes, and craftsmanship that have been passed down through generations. They are living museums where visitors can witness age-old traditions in action and learn about Mexico’s rich cultural tapestry.

  3. Community Gathering Spaces: Markets are social hubs where people from all walks of life come together to shop, eat, socialize, and celebrate. They foster a sense of community and belonging, providing a meeting place for neighbors, friends, and families to connect and exchange news, gossip, and laughter.

  4. Culinary Exploration: Mexican markets are paradise for food lovers, offering an endless variety of flavors and culinary delights. They are the perfect place to sample regional specialties, street food classics, and homemade delicacies that showcase the diverse regional cuisines of Mexico.

In essence, Mexican markets are much more than just places to buy and sell goods; they are living embodiments of Mexico’s cultural heritage, economic vitality, and social cohesion. They are where the past meets the present, and where the spirit of Mexico comes alive in all its colorful and vibrant glory.

What are the best Oaxacan markets to visit? 

 

1. Mercado Benito Juárez:

Mercado Benito Juárez is one of Oaxaca City’s largest and most popular markets. It offers a wide range of products, including fresh produce, meats, cheeses, spices, textiles, and handicrafts. Located in downtown you can see exact  location  here Mercado Benito Juárez – Google Maps

What to Eat: Indulge in traditional Oaxacan dishes such as tlayudas, mole, chapulines (grasshoppers), and tasajo (thinly sliced beef). Try refreshing beverages like agua de horchata or mezcal cocktails.

When to Visit: Mercado Benito Juárez is open daily from early morning until late afternoon. It’s best to visit in the morning to experience the market at its busiest and freshest.

2. Mercado 20 de Noviembre:

 Mercado 20 de Noviembre is known for its bustling food section, where you can find an array of stalls offering grilled meats, tlayudas, quesadillas, and traditional Oaxacan snacks. Its located near from the main square in dowtown, click here to see exact location Mercado 20 de Noviembre – Google Maps

  • What to Eat: Feast on grilled meats, including tasajo, cecina (marinated pork), and chorizo. Don’t miss the opportunity to try tlayudas, a local specialty similar to a large, crispy tortilla topped with beans, cheese, meat, and salsa.
  • When to Visit: Mercado 20 de Noviembre is open daily, but it’s particularly vibrant during lunchtime and early evening. Visit during these hours to experience the market at its liveliest.
 

3. Mercado de Tlacolula de Matamoros:

 Mercado de Tlacolula de Matamoros is one of the largest indigenous markets in Oaxaca, attracting vendors and visitors from nearby communities every Sunday. Explore the market’s diverse offerings, including fresh produce, textiles, pottery, and handicrafts. Immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere and cultural exchange.

  • What to Eat: Indulge in traditional Oaxacan dishes such as barbacoa (slow-cooked meat), tejate (a pre-Hispanic beverage), and chapulines (fried grasshoppers). Sample regional specialties from different vendors.
  • When to Visit: Mercado de Tlacolula de Matamoros takes place every Sunday, drawing crowds from early morning until late afternoon. Sunday is the best day to experience the market in full swing.
 

4. Mercado de Abastos:

 Mercado de Abastos is Oaxaca’s largest wholesale market, offering a vast array of products, including fruits, vegetables, meats, grains, and household items.  Explore the market’s expansive corridors to observe the bustling trade and vibrant atmosphere. Witness the logistics of supplying Oaxaca City and surrounding areas with fresh produce and goods. Its located near from the main square in dowtown, click here to see exact location

  • What to Eat: Here you can fin the famous place Memelas Doña Vale that went viral because a Netflix episode and multiple influencers went to visit her, this is definately a must go if you are looking for delicious memelas and garnachas. While Mercado de Abastos is primarily a wholesale market, you can still find food stalls and small eateries offering traditional Oaxacan snacks and meals. Sample dishes like memelas, garnachas, and tacos.
  • When to Visit: Mercado de Abastos operates daily, but it’s best to visit in the morning to experience the market at its busiest and most vibrant.
oaxaca markets
oaxaca markets
oaxaca markets

5.-Mercado de la Merced

Is the closest market to Hotel Casa Maguey to do your shopping or also sit down to have breakfast Mercado de la Merced. You can see exact location here Google Maps

  • What to Eat: At Mercado La Merced, you’ll find a wide range of delicious Mexican street food and traditional dishes. Don’t miss out on trying tacos, quesadillas, tamales, pozole, and fresh fruit juices. For dessert, indulge in churros or fresh pastries from local bakeries.
  • When to Visit: Mercado La Merced is typically bustling throughout the day, but for the freshest produce and liveliest atmosphere, consider visiting in the morning when vendors are setting up and locals are doing their shopping.
 

6.-Mercado La Cosecha

Mercado La Cosecha, located in Oaxaca City, is a vibrant market that celebrates the rich culinary traditions of the region. It’s a bustling hub where visitors can experience the flavors, aromas, and colors of authentic Oaxacan cuisine.

As you enter Mercado La Cosecha, you’re greeted by a lively atmosphere and an array of stalls brimming with fresh produce, spices, and local specialties. The market is a feast for the senses, with vendors proudly showcasing their goods and inviting passersby to sample their offerings.

One of the highlights of Mercado La Cosecha is its diverse selection of traditional Oaxacan dishes. From savory tlayudas and rich mole to tender tasajo and crispy chapulines, there’s something to satisfy every palate. Local chefs prepare these dishes with care and expertise, ensuring an authentic and delicious dining experience.  You can see exact location here Google Maps

  • What to Eat: At Mercado La Cosecha Oaxaca, savor the flavors of authentic Oaxacan cuisine. Try dishes like tlayudas, mole negro, tasajo, and chapulines (fried grasshoppers). Don’t forget to pair your meal with a refreshing agua fresca or a glass of mezcal.
  • When to Visit: Mercado La Cosecha Oaxaca is open from Wednesday to Sunday, but for the best selection of fresh ingredients and a lively atmosphere, visit in the morning or early afternoon.
 

7.- Mercado de artesanias 

The Mercado de las Artesanías, or Crafts Market, in Oaxaca is a bustling hub of artisanal activity where visitors can immerse themselves in the rich traditions of Mexican craftsmanship. Located in the heart of Oaxaca City, this market offers a wide variety of handmade goods, including textiles, pottery, wood carvings, jewelry, and more.

Upon entering the market, visitors are greeted by a kaleidoscope of colors and textures, with stalls overflowing with beautifully crafted items. Skilled artisans from across the region showcase their talents, demonstrating techniques that have been passed down through generations. You can see exact location here Google Maps

  • What to Eat: While Mercado de las Artesanías is primarily known for its handicrafts and artisanal products, you can still find food stalls offering snacks and refreshments. Enjoy traditional Mexican snacks like elote (corn on the cob), esquites (corn kernels), and freshly made fruit salads.
  • When to Visit: Mercado de las Artesanías is open daily, but for the best selection of crafts and a vibrant atmosphere, visit during the morning or early afternoon when artisans are showcasing their work and the market is bustling with activity.
 
 

8.-Mercado de Sánchez Pascuas:

Located near the center of Oaxaca City, the Mercado de Sánchez Pascuas is a bustling market known for its fresh seafood and traditional Oaxacan cuisine. The market is a favorite among locals and visitors alike, offering a vibrant atmosphere and a wide variety of culinary delights.

As you wander through the market, you’ll be greeted by the enticing aroma of grilled seafood and spices wafting through the air. Rows of stalls offer an array of fresh catches, including fish, shrimp, octopus, and more, sourced from the nearby Pacific coast.

Visitors can indulge in a seafood feast, sampling dishes like ceviche, aguachile, and fish tacos, all prepared with the freshest ingredients and authentic Oaxacan flavors. Pair your meal with a cold beer or a refreshing agua fresca for the perfect culinary experience.  You can see exact location here Google Maps

  • What to Eat: Mercado Sánchez Pascuas is known for its seafood offerings, including ceviche, seafood cocktails, and grilled fish tacos. You can also find traditional Oaxacan dishes like memelas, tlayudas, and empanadas. Finish your meal with a cold agua de horchata or tamarind agua fresca.
  • When to Visit: For the freshest seafood and a bustling atmosphere, visit Mercado Sánchez Pascuas in the morning or early afternoon when vendors are serving freshly caught fish and seafood.
 
mercados oaxaqueños
mercados oaxaqueños
mercados oaxaqueños

Additional Tips:

 

  • Bring Cash: Many vendors at Oaxaca’s markets may not accept credit or debit cards, so it’s advisable to bring cash in small denominations.
  • Support local artisans and families:  Although bargaining is common at the markets and price negotiation is still welcome, consider that these are local artisans and entire families benefit from your purchase, before asking for a discount ask your self how much would be a fair price for both? Remember  that your purchase is intended to support local community and preserve traditions for future generations.
  • Respect Local Customs: Be respectful of the indigenous communities and their customs while visiting the markets. Ask for permission before taking photographs and engage with vendors in a courteous manner.

Explore the vibrant markets of Oaxaca to immerse yourself in the rich culture, flavors, and traditions of this enchanting region.

Remember that we also offer different types of tours to discover Oaxaca that includes round-trip transportation from Casa Maguey Hotel, meals, english guide, and much more!  Ask for the tour of your preference in front desk!

 
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