The Mercado Arenal is one of the most celebrated public markets in the east side of Azcapotzalco. Though it’s not the biggest, with some 200 vendors, it’s an important town-center for the colonias Arenal and La Raza just across the street. It’s also an especially prominent point for the larger La Raza area to the east. The Mercado Arenal has been operating continuously since 1963.
The market opens onto a stretch of the Avenida Encarnación Ortiz. It thus provides a meeting center, and social point of interest. The market also abuts a small pre-school and so it ends up providing an important point of contact for parents coming and going. Usually teeming with schoolkids and younger people, there’s also a big contingent of older adults, local seniors and retirees. It’s their expertise that makes the place such an asset to the community.
Among the 200 or so vendors, a good handful are serving sit-down lunches and prepared food. For international visitors, this can represent one of the best opportunities for trying actual Mexican food in a sit-down environment. Although the street food is doubtless excellent, it can be a bit heavier, and generally less well balanced.
Within the City’s public markets, a recognized part of the Heritage of Mexico City, you get better food for better prices. You’re also supporting smaller and women-owned businesses, and even area farmers benefit from the business. It’s an important part of any trip to Mexico City, and a better way to eat.
Hours: Daily, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.