Mercado de Xochimilco

Photo: LWYang on Wikimedia Commons.


The Mercado de Xochimilco is, by most estimations, the defining presence of what we today call Xochimilco’s Centro Histórico. It’s astounding by nearly any reckoning. The market takes up two giant market buildings. The second one is often called the “new” market. Together, they make up what amounts to a regional distribution center for what is easily the city’s most productive and prolific agricultural area.

It was the Viceroy himself, Antonio de Mendoza, who granted permission in 1550 for the establishment of the marketplace. One of his last official acts as Viceroy, the outdoor tianguis flourished for centuries. The current buildings date from the 1950s.

With a constant of about 450 vendors inside and out, it’s a teeming hive of commerce, culture, and food. The Mercado de Xochimilco is a spectacular place for lunch, and a vital part of the entire region, and certainly of Xochimilco’s economic and cultural scene.

For comida corrida, or for something faster, vendors here are accustomed to feeding lots of people. If you’re hesitant, due to language or lack of familiarity, check our crash course in fonda food and eating. You’ll find it a welcome relief from too much street food. You’ll also be supporting local small businesses, and the people of Xochimilco, who centuries later, continue to serve their communities.

Hours: Daily from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Clock Tower of Xochimilco

On the esplanade outside the Xochimilco Cathedral, a time-piece provides a perfect meeting point.

Barrio La Concepción Tlacoapa, Xochimilco

One of the younger neighborhoods in Xochimilco has held on the longest to its Nahuatl name and it's close.

Barrio La Asunción Colhuacatzinco, Xochimilco

Among the most dramatic stretches of canal, an ancient neighborhood rolls out the welcome mat.

Barrio La Guadalupita Xochitenco, Xochimilco

Xochimilco's littlest historical neighborhood is among the biggest participants in the local processions.

Barrio San Juan Bautista Tlateuhchi, Xochimilco

An ancient ceremonial site gave rise to one of Xochimilco's most colorful neighborhoods.