Mercado Emiliano Zapata, Tetelco

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Photo courtesy of Jennifer Badillo on Facebook.


The Mercado Emiliano Zapata is one of a few public markets in Mexico City named for the Revolutionary leader. The Tetelco market is especially aptly named. The local people continually supported the land reforms proposed by Zapata. Even today, the legend and the sense of pride have hardly subsided. Hard-won land-reforms resulted in some, if not all, of the land being finally returned to the people who’d worked it for generations.

The Tetelco market is south of the main town, which is still in Tláhuac, but now in the neighboring alcaldía of Milpa Alta. The neighborhood is also named for Zapata. But now things are starting to get better and better. And the food is a big reason.

Remember, Tetelco’s reputation rests on its atoleros, generations of whom have served atole, the thick nectar-like corn beverage to the hacienda workers. They’re still here, in and around this very market. You’ll also find the area’s famous nopales, and plenty of food as fresh and healthy as anywhere in the City. If you’re in the neighboring towns of San Antonio Tecomitl or San Andrés Mixqic, it’s worth checking out. In fact, the cemetery of Tetelco is between Tecomitl and the market place. On and around Day of the Dead, this is the place to be.

Year round, regional delicacies at the Mercado Emiliano Zapata are everything. Among them here, try to sample the mole. At the right time of year, you can get it with wild duck. There’s also frog mixmole in green tomato with nopal and crayfish, gorditas de nata, tlaxcales, and just plain tamales. They’re exquisite. For tips on eating here, or at any fonda or comida corrida in the City, see the complete starter’s guide, here.

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