The Nave Menor at the Merced Market is the other big annex to the original building, the Nave Mayor. This one is just about as big as most neighborhood markets in Mexico City ever get. It’s still only about 25% of the size of the larger building. Don’t confuse it with the Mercado Anexo Merced 106 nor with the Mercado de Comidas/Merced 2000. Of these, it’s most similar to the Mercado de Comidas, but without the big “lunches only” section.
The Nave Menor is still jammed with vendors, about 460 of them. Here, they specialize in “wet food” including produce and meats and fish. The Nave Mayor, on the other hand, has mostly dried foods. It’s still a terrific traditional market to visit, although people are just as likely to wander in not totally sure where they are.
After all that, there’s still a lot to be said for popping into the smaller market building. With the giant half-barrel vaults that you’ll see all over Mexico City, especially in La Lagunilla, it’s a terrific place to get lost in. Even the most indifferent wholesalers here are happy to see you. And for lunch, there are more than a good handful of people preparing lunches and even truly gourmet-level foods, without all the pretense (or expense) of a restaurant.
If you’re really lost, we put all the Merced Markets onto a single page so you can find your way among them. It’s a great way to spend an afternoon, learn something, and eat like a king.