The 6 Best Markets in Mérida, Mexico

Mérida is home to a number of lively markets selling local produce
Mérida is home to a number of lively markets selling local produce | © Chuck Place / Alamy Stock Photo
Stephen Woodman

A traditional center of Mayan culture, Mérida, the capital of Yucatán state, is widely regarded as one of Mexico’s most elegant colonial cities. If you’re keen to stock up on gifts or enjoy a cheap, tasty meal while you’re there, markets are the place to head. Here’s our guide to the best ones Mérida has to offer.

1. Mercado Lucas de Galvez

Market

Marktstand, Obst und Fruchte, Mercado Lucas de Galvez, Merida, Yucatan, Mexiko
© Schoening / Alamy Stock Photo

This iconic Mérida market is lined with stalls dedicated to local handicrafts, clothing and food. Among the largest and busiest markets in the city, Mercado Lucas de Galvez is also a popular and cheap place to eat. A highlight can be found downstairs in the northern end, where you’ll find a range of coctelerías serving delicious seafood cocktails – a favorite local hangover cure. Book a Merida Cooking Class and Market Visit to get a guided tour of Mercado Lucas de Galvez, where you’ll pick up some ingredients for the masterclass.

2. Mercado San Benito

Market

While Lucas de Galvez is very much the city’s primary market, you’ll struggle to find a more authentic Mexican place of trade than Mercado San Benito, just five minutes down the road. A colourful variety of fresh fruits dominates most of the stalls, including some variations that you’ll struggle to find outside of Mexico. Join the Merida Walking Food Tour and you’ll also discover the market’s excellent salbutes and tamales stalls.

3. Mercado Miguel Alemán

Market

Mexican seller of fruits stand at a local market, Merida, Yucatan, Mexico
© directphoto.bz / Alamy Stock Photo

This small, clean market is a favorite for locals seeking fresh vegetables, meat and cheese. For tourists, it’s a great place for a glimpse of a refurbished yet authentic Yucatán market. Mercado Miguel Alemán is also a top spot for breakfast. Keep an eye out for kibis, which are snacks made from ground wheat stuffed with different meats and cheeses. With roots in Middle Eastern cuisine, kibis have a similar taste to falafel.

4. Mercado Municipal No 2 Santos Degollado

Market

La Lupita Taqueria, Merida
© Megapress / Alamy Stock Photo

This centrally located market is a great place to hunt for quirky souvenirs at prices lower than you’ll find in the shops or the airport. Open weekdays from 8am until 3pm, the covered market is divided between handicraft stalls and food stalls selling regional fare. Make sure to stop at Taqueria La Lupita, which offers some of the best tacos in the city, if not the state.

5. Mercado Santa Ana

Market

Poc Chuc, Mexican food. Yucatecan pork dish marinated in citrus juice, putting spicy salsa on a taco
Robert Briggs / Alamy Stock Photo

Located just a block from the iconic Paseo de Montejo, this market opens at 5.30am each day and is a family favorite for breakfast. You’ll find a broad range of Yucatecan cuisine here. La Socorrito is a legendary hole-in-the-wall institution that offers cochito horneado – a marinated pork dish that’s slow-cooked in underground pits. Get there early at weekends, as it tends to fill up quickly.

6. Mercado San Sebastián

Market

Huevos Motulenos - breakfast food in the town of Motul (Yucatan) dish is made with eggs on tortillas , ham, peas, plantains,
© Alexander Mychko / Alamy Stock Photo

Another beloved food market, Mercado San Sebastián is packed with excellent and inexpensive eateries, and is often less crowded than the other markets on this list. Make sure to try huevos motuleños – a breakfast dish named after the nearby town of Motul, consisting of eggs on tortillas with black beans and cheese. The market is open every day from 6am until midnight, with a two-hour siesta from 3-5pm.

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