One of the most traditional covered markets in the country can be found in southern Mexico City, in the heart of the barrio of Xochimilco. Walking down the main aisle is a cultural experience that is both enriching and the best way to approach the region’s gastronomic customs. Enormous clay pots display different types of mole sauce. A characteristic delicacy is a tamale made with charales, small lake fish dried in the sun and seasoned with salt.
Markets in Mexico are not only for buying food and taking it home, but they are also places to have a delicious meal. The dining part of this market offers more than two dozen small shops selling antojitos (snacks) and comida corrida, a complete menu that includes soup, rice and a main dish, served with agua fresca, a sweetened, refreshing fruit-based beverage. Choosing a spot to eat is easy; the best are the ones that have the most diners.
On Saturdays and Sundays they sell pancita, a beef tripe dish seasoned with oregano, chile de árbol, and onion; tostadas with pickled pigs’ feet; and mutton barbecued in an underground pit. Each day before your eyes women prepare the market’s famed quesadillas filled with squash blossoms, huitlacoche (corn fungus), mushrooms flavored with epazote, and chicken and beef tinga (shredded meat in a spicy sauce), on griddles, along with many other dishes.
Address: Calle Nuevo León, barrio Santa Crucita, Xochimilco
City: Mexico City
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