The Mercado San Lucas is among the oldest continually operating public markets in the city. It began as a neighborhood market in the 1880s. At the time, livestock from the “Mexico City-San Antonio trail” arrived here from the ranches along the Calzada de Tlalpan to the south. Undoubtedly some would arrive from further afield. The south of Mexico City had been home to slaughterhouses since the early 17th century. By the early 19th century, the area was referred to as the “Rastro San Lucas.” That is, to the San Lucas slaughterhouse.
This partly explains the area’s relative undesirability at that time. Hence, the women’s shelter and correctional facility were also located here. Only the remarkable Santa María Magdalena Chapel remains from that institution. That’s on the Plaza de San Lucas around the corner from the original Chapel of San Lucas. All are in the shadow of the enormous Pino Suárez Plaza Commercial complex.
The Market Today
But just east is the real heart of the neighborhood. Designed by architect and civil engineer, Antonio Torres Torija, he served as Director of Public Works during the government of Porfirio Díaz. He’s best known for his work on the Lecumberri Palace Prison Complex.
The Mercado San Lucas is still the true center of the old residential neighborhood. With everything you need to eat, clean, and keep your home going, of course, it’s a fantastic place for lunch, too.
- The San Lucas market is also home to one of the City’s favorite clown supply shops (pictured above). Don’t be surprised if you meet one or two when you’re inside. Don Chucho will be glad you’ve stopped by.
If you’ve not eaten in one of Mexico City’s Public Markets, we’ve put together a complete guide to the fondas, comida corrida, and daily menus you’ll find in each of them. It’s not just a better deal. The food is fresher and you’re supporting smaller, local businesses, and farmers.