The Mercado 53 Rio Blanco sits on the edge of the Colonia Martires de Rio Blanco. It also serves the communities of Belisario Dominguez and Tablas de San Augustín, all in La GAM in the very north of the city.
As public markets go, Rio Blanco is one of the freshest and cleanest of neighborhood places. As the photo shows, it’s also very well-maintained and an important part of the community. As always is the case, the markets that maintain a good social media presence can in general be inferred to be those most interested in meeting and welcoming outsiders. So you’re invited!
Having opened in 1963, the market has been a mainstay and not just for produce and butcher cuts. Like any good neighborhood market, it’s staffed by a number of fondas, lunch counters, and terrific places to eat.
Who were the Martyrs of Rio Blanco?
The La GAM neighborhood is named for the 1907 strikers at a French-owned textile factory in Rio Blanco, Veracruz, near Orizaba. At the time it was the biggest such factory in Latin America. Some 1,700 workers, among them 60 women, worked 12-hour days and saw their wages deducted for all manner of minor (petty) offenses. Labor unions were entirely forbidden, though the factory regularly injured and even killed workers.
In 1907, they went on strike in a riotous situation eventually put down by Federal police sent from Mexico City. Conservative estimates put the dead at between 50 and 70, with hundreds more wounded. This, together with strikes in the northern state of Sonora, is considered one of the leading precedents for the outbreak of the Mexican Revolution three years later.
The Mercado 53 Rio Blanco is today a peaceful neighborhood market. It’s a great place to eat and enjoy, and to learn about the everyday lives of Mexico City neighborhood residents.
If you’ve not eaten at a neighborhood market in Mexico City, this is a good one to start with as it’s not dauntingly enormous. Check out the Guide to the Mexico City Fonda for tips on what to look for and ordering. It’s easier than you might think.
Hours: Daily 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.