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The Mercado de San Ciprián is among the least well-known markets in all of La Merced. In fact, it’s home to just shy of 500 vendors. Many of them specialize in the odds and ends that don’t quite fit into what you think of as “the market.” It’s especially well-known for its gigantic toys and educational section. Sometimes billed as the “Market of Toys,” many of the products here, not all, are domestically produced for the Mexican market and can’t be found anywhere else.
But the market is also a fascinating newer architectural work. Built as four independent pavilions, these connect at a central courtyard. Like in most public markets, vendors often spread out a bit and make it not entirely easy to know what you’re looking at.
Built just in 1990, it’s one of the youngest of the City’s public market buildings. Many re-organizations have tried to bring some order to the sprawling market neighborhood over the years. The firm Sánchez Arquitectos y Asociados completed this project nearly entirely in steel, with glass roofs. They’re better known for the Engineering Institute on the UNAM CU campus, and for big housing projects like the Integración Latinoamericana complex just north of Metro Copilco.
Visiting the Mercado de San Ciprián usually comes after seeing every possible other thing in La Merced. But it has its mix of food and lunch vendors. They’ll be happy to see you and many are quite good. You’re pretty much guaranteed a real eyeful. It’s a fascinating and always living, breathing center of mass commerce.
Hours: Daily 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.