The markets of Mexico City are not for the faint of heart. Head to toe stimulation of your senses is an understatement and the adrenaline of colors, sounds, and action is non-stop- They are a beautiful coming together of humanity. This past spring we had the pleasure of stepping into La Merced, Tepito Market, and side street antique markets in the neighborhood of Roma Norte.
Pink sign: "Our best customers are kids because they break things and their parents buy them."
La Merced: La Merced is one of the oldest and largest markets in Mexico City. It sells EVERYTHING. There is the section for candy, the section for toys, the section for toys for birthday parties, the section for shoes, clothes, and make up, the section for fruits and vegetables broken down by type- an entire row of just tomato vendors, another row for just onion vendors- you get the idea. This market is huge and well worth the visit.
Tepito Market: After telling a friend that I had been to Tepito Market, he said, "Your street cred just went from zero to OG!". Tepito might be known as the best place to obtain fake documents, fake Louis Vuitton, and perhaps real kidneys for transplant, but it also houses a great antique market and has people watching for days. Walking down a cramped outdoor aisle of vendors imagine people getting tattoos and haircuts on one side of you while not more than a few feet away people are selling acid wash high rise denim and over-blinged cellphone cases. The best part is that you can get a refreshing michelada beer in the size of a Big Gulp cup to cool you down as you feast your eyes.
Cuauhtémoc Flea Market: My favorite of all was this weekend flea market that had an abundance of oddities and treasures. I wanted everything! From old brass door knockers in the shapes of lion heads to Persian rugs and mid century art. There were gems to be found everywhere!
This man's pants were embroidered with rainbow colored thread and findings. The most fashion forward gentleman on the block - no doubt. I asked him where he found his pants and he said, "I made them myself. It's the benefit of having insomnia!"
While exhausting oneself in the markets of Mexico City it's important to stay nourished and hydrated. My newest addictions (which will require a teeth cleaning as soon as possible!) were the endless supply of street vendors selling big heaps of tamarind fruit and fresh mango coated with tajin and Chamoy sauce- both snacks are sweet, sour, and tangy all at once. Another great snack are grillos, or rather Chapulines, which are crunchy spicy grasshoppers and SUPER delicious.
Artifact adventures always aims to travel with an open mind and with respect for the local cultures we are visiting. We understand that traveling to places outside of our home is a privilege and has an impact. To the best of our ability, it is our goal to support and uplift the local communities we visit.