Mexico City has a lot to offer. Vibrant festivals, historic pyramids and magical neighbourhoods. It is also one of the best foodie destinations on the planet. So, what better way to get a feel for authentic Mexican food than doing a market tour? Here’s the low-down…
Foodie Heaven at The World’s Biggest Market
When your guide tells you that your first stop is the biggest market in the world, you take it with a pinch of salt. Until you step inside. The Central Supply Market is massive. The size of 203 football pitches, it handles over 30,000tons of fruit and veg a day, supplying 80% of the city with its food. Taking a stroll through its bustling channels, enthusiastic vendors welcome you with little tasters. Wedges of juicy pineapple, slices of buttery avocado and sticks of chocolate covered strawberries.
However, the best is saved for the taco stalls. Market workers huddle around sizzling cooking shacks as piping-hot, hand made tacos are passed around. Top off your pork or beef with a choice of avocado, salsa and cactus, roll it up and savour the culmination of all the flavours which you’ve just walked past. Absolute heaven.
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Fresh Fish Everyday
Sitting bang in the centre of the country, you might be fooled into thinking that Chillangos aren’t fans of fish. Quite the opposite, Every night, 1,500 tons of all kinds of fish are driven in refrigerated trucks from the coasts to the Nueva Viga fish market. This market is ‘only’ the second largest fish market in the world, after the Tsukiji Fish Market in Tokyo. It provides both local families and large restaurants and hotels the best place to pick up the freshest catch.
Our guide, Rene, and his resident chef took us on a wander through the various stalls, pointing out and explaining the massive variety of catch which the Gulf of Mexico is home to. Like the Supply Market, where’s there’s fresh produce, there’s great street food. Round the back of the market, family businesses churn out shrimp empanadas and spicy deep fried fish.
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Short of time? Get a Guide.
Confession time. I don’t always explore places myself. There, I said it. Sometimes it’s just better to get a local guide. A good guide will know where to go (and where not to go), what to see and where the best foodie places are. When you’re short of planning time, it’s the best way to make the most of your time in a destination. I’m a big believer in word-of-mouth recommendations (or word of blog!) so I got in touch with Rene at Stepping Mexico and booked a market food tour.
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If you love you’re in Mexico City and love your food, these markets are an absolute must. Just one suggestion – skip breakfast, you’ll need the space!