A Trip to La Merced Market, Mexico City. Insanity.

La Merced is one of the largest markets in Mexico City (and there are a lot). You can buy ANYTHING there -- dirt cheap fruits and veg, bulk dried goods, fake flowers, ceramic pigs, headbands with giant penises on them ... I mean ANYTHING. 

There's also the usual cheap-o food stalls selling tacos/tortas/tortillas/huaraches and the like. You can find Mexican sweets too which range from amaranth bars to milk candy to coconut macaroons, to jewel-coloured dried fruit such as papaya and fig, to my personal fave -- chili or sugar-covered tamarind balls. YUM YUM YUM.

I probably don't need to mention that I've gained at least five to ten pounds living here.

Anyway, it's all a dizzying cacophony of noise and old ladies barreling by you and people sticking pieces of cheese and slices of avocado in your face. It's what my boyfriend calls taking un baño de pueblo, which means experiencing the low culture of the towns outside the city. He's a horrible person.

Head further west and you'll get to the famed witches' market (Mercado Sonora) where I saw a rooster being bled out into a dish. YES REALLY. It sells all sorts of potions and herbs and scary Saint Death statues. It's mostly been taken over by the party supplies on offer. Anyway, here it all is in photos:

Chicken tacos in green salsa with crema at a random stall.

Cheap nuts. I'm addicted to soaking walnuts and making smoothies with them.
18 million types of delicious dried chili, in varying degrees of spiciness.
Yum! Natural honey.
Ready-made moles: one made with Adobo chili and the other, obviously, green.
Mexican sweets. Dried figs and papaya. Milk sweets. Amaranth bars.
My boyfriend in his natural habitat: amid the candy.
Market insanity, all of it more-or-less completely illegal but cheerfully operating anyway.
The witches' market, offering mostly party favours but also potions, powders, candles, and beads.
A variety of natural remedies in the witches' market. Diabetes is a big concern. Gastritis too (caused by too much spicy food).

 How To Get There

Take the subway to La Merced (pink line). You've arrived!


Have a 5 peso chamoyada (lime or mango sorbet covered in chili sauce/powder with a tamarind candy stuck in). Buy dirt cheap onions, nuts, tomatoes, and limes. Check out the witches' market.


An old lady at one of the stands told me to take off my gold necklace, as people have been known to run by, tear off your jewelry, and flee. Seriously. I didn't take it off as I hate people scaring me but there you go. Also, watch your wallet. And wear bullet-proof clothing. Joke! It's safe. The market is labyrinth-like but people are super friendly and will help you with directions.


Unknown said...

awesome article! im from toronto too and going to mexico city with a friend. Reading your article is making me even more excited!

Arvin Travels said...

Thanks! Hope cameras are safe


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