With stalls heaped high with exotic fruits, an array of brightly colored handicrafts, and plenty of delicious street food, Oaxaca’s markets are among the best in Mexico. Here are a few of the top markets in Oaxaca.
Mercado 20 de Noviembre
The Mercado 20 de Noviembre is one of the best places in Oaxaca city to sample local specialties and street food. Right next door to Mercado Benito Juárez, its tightly packed fondas (food stalls) present grills of sizzling meats, pots of spicy mole negro (a sauce of chillies, spices, and chocolate), heaps of freshly baked bread and pastries, and steamy mugs of chocolate con leche (hot chocolate).
Mercado Benito Juárez
A popular indoor market located just off the Zocalo in the heart of Oaxaca city, Mercado Benito Juárez is a dimly lit labyrinth of stalls, selling everything from handicrafts to fresh seafood. It’s a great place to pick up authentic souvenirs, including traditional Oaxacan clothing, weavings, embroidery, and wrestling masks, as well as Mexican specialties like coffee, mole powder, chocolate, and mescal.
Mercado de Abasto
A sprawling flea market with a huge range of merchandise, Mercado de Abasto sells everything imaginable: fresh vegetables, used clothing, cane baskets, wooden molinillos (chocolate-stirrers), car parts, and the region’s famous black pottery. Held every Saturday, it’s a great place to bag a bargain, and haggling is expected.
Mercado de Zaachila
Just south of Oaxaca city, the villages of Ocotlán, San Bartolo Coyotepec, and Zaachila all host weekly food and handicrafts markets, but one of the best is in Zaachila. Held each Thursday, the lively open-air market is most renowned for its exquisite pottery, handmade by local artisans, but you’ll also find fresh produce, household goods, and even livestock.