It’s been almost a year since we visited this Mexican market, but I can still smell the rotisserie chicken.

The butcher’s cleaver slices through the pink flesh, hitting the board below with a “thock.”

I’m too close. A spot of blood hits my shoe.

Mercado San Juan butchers

Butchers working their magic on a carcass at Mercado San Juan.

We’re not in Whole Foods anymore.

Nope, we’re at Mercado San Juan, the shopping destination for Mexico City’s professional chefs, local foodies and travelers with cookbooks in tow.

Here you’ll find some of the city’s finest fish, produce and meat. The dead eyes of recently-killed quails, eels and chickens line the stalls, along with cheeses, fresh salsas and precarious pyramids of avocados. If your recipe calls for crocodile, wild boar or sting rays, this is the market for you.

Mercado San Juan salsa and vegetables

A stand devoted to salsas at Mercado San Juan.

It’s an awesome assault of sights, smells, and, if you hit the food stalls at the back, tastes.

Mercado San Juan rotisserie chickens

Screw cooking. There are tons of stands selling prepared foods, including rotisserie chicken.

Mercado San Juan’s history dates back to the Spanish conquest. The market existed to serve the Spanish their wines and cheeses from the old country.

The settlers could also pick up a slave or two during their visit.

Today, Mercado San Juan dabbles only in the trafficking of raw and prepared foods.


Check out more in the video below.


The market is located near downtown on Calle de Ernesto Pugibet, No. 21, Centro.

– Helen Anne

PS Want to learn more about Mexico City’s food scene? Here are some tips on where to eat. Maybe you’ll try some grasshoppers while you’re there?

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