Known as a traditional refuge of Mayan culture, Mérida, the capital of Yucatán state, is widely regarded as one of Mexico’s most elegant colonial cities. Mérida’s markets are the place to head if you’re keen to stock up on gifts or enjoy a cheap, tasty meal. Here’s a guide to the best markets Mérida has to offer.
Mercado Lucas De Galvéz
This iconic Mérida
market offers stall after stall dedicated to local handicrafts, clothing and food products. Among the largest and busiest markets in the city, El Mercado Lucas De Galvéz is also a popular and cheap place to eat. One of the highlights is found downstairs in the northern end, where you’ll find a range of coctelerías serving delicious seafood cocktails – a favorite local hangover cure
Mercado Miguel Alemán
This small, clean market is a favorite for locals looking for fresh vegetables, meats and cheeses. For tourists, it is a great place to visit for a glimpse of an authentic yet refurbished and orderly local market. We would also recommend El Mercado Miguel Alemán as a place to eat breakfast. Keep an eye out for kibis which are made from ground wheat stuffed with different meats and cheeses. With roots in Middle Eastern cooking, kibi has a similar taste to falafel.
Mercado Municipal No 2 Santos Degollado
This centrally located market is a great place to hunt for quirky souvenirs at prices lower than those found in the shops of central Mérida
or the airport. Open weekdays from 8 a.m. until 3 p.m., the covered market is divided between handicraft stalls and food stalls selling regional food. Make sure to stop by Taqueria La Lupita, which offers some of the best tacos in the city, if not the state.
Mercado Santa Ana
Located just a block from the iconic Paseo de Montejo, this market opens at 5.30 a.m. every morning and is a favorite spot for breakfasting families. You can find a very broad range of Yucatecan cuisine in the market. La Socorrito is a legendary hole-in-the-wall institution that offers cochito horneado, a marinated pork dish that is slow cooked in underground pits. Be aware that the market fills early at weekends.
Mercado San Sebastián
Another beloved food market, El 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 food named after the nearby town of Motul. The dish consists of eggs on tortillas with black beans and cheese. The market is open every day from 6 a.m. until 12 a.m. with a two hour siesta that begins at 3 p.m.