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The Mercado de Mixcalco is very likely the easternmost of the La Lagunilla Markets, rather than the northernmost of the Merced Markets. This is due entirely to the line of products available here, rather than to its location. Sometimes referred to as the Mixcalco Merced market, with a front door on ultra-busy Circunvalación, it’s hard not to be in the Merced. This market is, though, on the Centro side of the street, in the Barrio Antigua Merced Mixcalco, rather than on the Venustiano Carranza side. That’s not the only difference.
The Mixcalco market is all about the quinceaneras: dresses, shoes, party outfits and related merchandise. Everything that revolves around parties for the 15-year-old girls is in particular focus here. Of course, the market also holds its own selling most other kinds of formal wear, for first communion celebrations, weddings, and similar events. There are some hat tips to regional clothing like guayaberas. But there’s also footwear, sportswear, and all kinds of related accessories.
For lots of international visitors, all that means that there’s a lot to look at. La Lagunilla began as a clothing and garments center in 1590. A well-regarded embroiderer named Amaya set up shop at the corner of today’s República de Chile and Mariana Rodríguez del Toro de Lazarín. The clothing business has been going strong basically ever since. And, as mentioned, this is just one of the bigger clothing-exclusive markets.
Somehow the Mercado de Mixcalco is said to have about 920 vendors, inside! It’s a huge market. The Nahuatl word, Mixcalco, means “House of the Clouds.” In fact, the market is said to be more brightly lit inside than most similar markets. Open since 1957, the market saw a hey-day in the 1960s when manufacturers were still crowded in the area. Since then, the market has seen floods of much cheaper imported clothing. Ongoing changes to where and when and how people are permitted to sell in the City Center have meant other vendors and more competition. And the market has seen licensed retailers, even for some top brands move in. There’s never a dull moment.
Hours: Daily 10:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.