When you get to the Mercado de Culhuacan you’re deep into everything for which Mexico City is rightly beloved and famous. It’s a great place to eat with little pretense, and all kinds of honest, good food. It’s also a neighborhood center for clothing, shoes, housewares, and similar goods. Merchants here have been at it for more than fifty years.
The market is one of the true centers of life in Culhuacan. It stands just north of the Metro station, and a three-minute walk from the Señor del Calvario Church. The streets between are marvelously crooked.
The market is surrounded by a couple of public plazas that were rehabilitated in 2014. That’s made the center of Culhuacan into something of a walkable destination in and of itself. Of course, the market is the hive of commercial activity for the entire area.
Culhuacan was settled as early as 600 CE. It’s believed to have been, a little later, a recipient of those departing the recently fallen city state of Teotihuacan. This is shown in the archaeological record, although the entire issue is cloaked in a fair bit of mystery. Of course, the Cerro de la Estrella is just above the town center.
With a wonderfully irregular pre-urban-planning street plan, it’s an obviously ancient neighborhood. It’s arguably far older than anything in Mexico City with the exception Cuicuilco. Today, it’s recognized in 11 distinct neighborhoods, but the market is still at the center of all of them.
The Mercado de Culhuacan is home to dozens of vendors, but among them are a number of excellent eateries. Having lunch here is nearly guaranteed to be better than what you’ll get in the street, or at most restaurants in the city, too. You’re supporting smaller businesses and farmers, and eating healthier and fresher, too.
Hours: Daily, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.