Markets — Oaxaca City, Oaxaca
market notes go here...
Mercado de Abastos • Market • (A)
The massive Abastos market, a maze of stalls several city blocks in size, offers a full range of Oaxacan goods, as well as practically any other product imaginable. Indeed, imagine it and there's probably a stall selling it. Fridays and Saturdays are the main shopping days when vendors, many of different indigenous groups, come from all over the valley and other regions of the state to sell their foodstuffs, wares, and handicrafts. With this mix of peoples present, it's normal to hear buyers and sellers haggling in languages other than Spanish, usually Zapotecan and Mixtecan. For first-time visitors the market appears to be utter chaos. Actually, though, it's well ordered, with each type of product grouped into its own area. And sure, it's a bargain hunters paradise, but it's also a great place to experience the noises, the grime, the heat, the smells, the tastes, the colors that are Oaxaca.
- West of Periférico Sur and south of De La Casas; South of Independencia, Centro Histórico; open daily.
El Pochote Market • Market, Organic • $-$$ • (P)
With two locations in town, El Pochote Market is the best place in the city to buy fresh organic produce directly from local growers. In addition to produce, a lot of the vendors sell packaged organic products, including even mezcal. One of the Pochotes materializes every Friday and Saturday at 8:30 in the morning in the courtyard of the Templo de Santo Tomás, in the Barrio de Xochimilco, and runs until around 3:30 in the afternoon, while the other other one, which runs daily from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. except for Sundays, operates out of a brick-and-mortar building four blocks southeast of the Zócalo. Be sure to bring along a sturdy tote bag for your spoils.
- Benito Juárez, between De Progreso and Porfirio Díaz, one block north of Niños Heroes; Barrio de Xochimilco; Fri & Sat 8:30 am - 3:30 pm.
- Rayon 411, between Melchor Ocampo and Xicoténcatl, four blocks southeast of Zócalo; South of Independencia, Centro Histórico; Mon - Sat 9 a.m. - 4 p.m., Closed Sun.
Mercado 20 de Noviembre • Market, Oaxacan Restaurants, Mezcal • $-$$ • (A)
O.K., folks, this place is it, the real deal – a whole city block of food stalls catering to locals and serving only authentic Oaxacan food, all for only a few pesos. For breakfast, head straight to the La Pereñita food stall and order a righteous cup of steaming champurrado, atole mixed with chocolate, which goes down nicely with a roll of pan de yema, egg-yolk bread. Outside, ringing the market, there are several well-stocked mezcal shops, making this a good place to pick up a bottle at a bargain. Be sure to sample the product before buying.
- Two blocks south of the Zócalo between J. P. García & 20 de Noviembre; South of Independencia, Centro Histórico; Daily 7 a.m. - 8 p.m.; MX$10 - 100.
Mercado Benito Juárez • Market • (C)
Located one block south of the Zócalo, the one-block square Mercado Benito Juárez was the City's original market. However, today, because of that proximity, it's the most touristy of the major markets, so it's important to be discerning when shopping here because the stuff sold is a mix of trash and treasure. Still, its worth a visit and deals can be found here among a variety of goods: fresh produce, seafood, meats, regional pottery and other traditional crafts, contemporary clothes and shoes, and leather goods.
- One block south of the Zócalo between 20 de Noviembre and Flores Magón; South of Independencia, Centro Histórico; daily 9 am - 9 pm.
Mercado de Artesanías • Arts & Crafts, Market • (D)
This large clean indoor crafts market was setup by the city so that street vendors would have a permanent place to sell their handicrafts. Unfortunately for both sellers and shoppers it's outside of the main tourist haunts immediately around the Zócalo and north of Independencia, so an effort must be made to get here to shop and business appears to be slow because of it. Still, it's a pleasant place to shop and there are quality handicrafts to be found here (though poor quality as well) so it's worth the 10 minute walk from the Zócalo. The stalls here feature mostly ropa típica: huipiles, camisas, blusas, and pantalones and some other traditional crafts like: alebrijes, tinwork, and tapetes. Don't be afraid to haggle over price - it's expected.
- Corner of J.P. García & Zaragoza; South of Independencia, Centro Histórico; daily.