San Miguel de AllendeThere are several top-notch food markets in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, all worth visiting. For a good introduction to the region’s foods and crafts, though, the bustling Mercado Ignacio Ramirez, known to most people as simply the central market, is a great place to start.

Locals shop here daily for fresh produce, meat and chicken, as well as fresh flowers. Adjacent to the artisan’s market, it is also a good place to begin learning about handicrafts of the region. Vendors and shoppers come in from nearby towns and the countryside to make a day of it. Tidy food stalls offer beverages, snacks and simple meals.

This permanent, covered market is located one block from the Plaza Civica with its equestrian statue of Ignacio de Allende.The market is open daily, 9:00 am to 9:00 pm.

Abundant vegetables, flowers and more

San Miguel de Allende
Fragrant guavas and balls of queso fresco in the San Miguel central market
San Miguel de Allende
Several vendors in the San Miguel market offer a variety of greens and herbs, as well as perfect avocados.
San Miguel de Allende
Vegetables in the San Miguel market, pre-cut for making soup

San Miguel de AllendeI visited the central market as the introduction to a day of cooking with Chef Paco Cárdenas. We had a chance to sample, as well as look at, the beautiful food; and he introduced us to some of his favorite vendors.

This friendly  family offers a wide range of Mexican pantry basics, from every dried chili imaginable to cooking oils, spices and dried hibiscus flowers.

After a tasting, they helped me select the best dried chilies to take home from my holiday.

 

San Miguel de Allende
Beautiful flowers in the Mercado Central, in San Miguel de Allende
San Miguel de Allende
An edible bouquet in the San Miguel market. Perhaps it’s a mark of the importance Mexicans place on beautiful produce?

Drinks, snacks and lunch

San Miguel de Allende
Made-while-you-watch jugo verde (green juice), a healthy and refreshing drink of greens and fruit. The perfect drink for a shopping break!
San Miguel de Allende
Tasty salsas, home-made and served with simple meals on brightly colored plastic tablecloths
San Miguel de Allende
Fresh garbanzo beans—Toss with lime juice and chilies for a pop of tasty nutrition.
San Miguel de Allende
The aroma of roasting corn wafts through San Miguel’s central market. Here, just three of the many varieties of corn available in Mexican markets.
San Miguel de Allende
A snack of fresh-roasted corn tossed with lime juice and chilies to taste

Clothing and handicrafts

San Miguel de Allende
The market is an ideal place to pick up some sun protection, and sport the style that suits you best!
San Miguel de Allende
The food market morphs into an arts-and-crafts zone en route to the wonderful Artisan’s Market. Here, a vendor shows the embroidered tablecloths typical of the region.

Visit the San Miguel Mercado (morning is best) to:

  • Replenish your stock of dried goods and home-produced pantry items, from herbs to frijoles
  • Source very fresh local produce, such as avocado and nopales (cactus paddles)
  • Taste street food, only the “street” is an indoor one
  • Pick up reasonably priced items from regional artisans
  • Buy flowers for your hostess or yourself

More time, and ready to branch out? Try these other, highly recommended markets: the vibrant open-air Tuesday market, with hundreds of vendors; and the Saturday organic market in Parque Juarez.

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This post is a contribution to Nancie McKinnon’s Budget Traveler’s Sandbox Travel Photo Thursday. Hop over there and enjoy links to a variety of photos and stories on her site!

 

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7 COMMENTS

    • Food–I love how it surprises! I too did not expect the guavas and garbanzos…and the beans, tossed with spices, turns out to be a perfect cocktail snack, as well!

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