Mexico City

Eating at the San Juan market

By Sergio Camalich

Continuing with my series of posts about being a tourist in your own city, I decided to go to one of the most famous markets in Mexico City, and one in which I had never been to before: the San Juan market, which is located near the city’s downtown.

I’d heard wonderful things about this market, from the exotic meats you can find to the amazing food you’ll surely stuff yourself with, so I decided to check it out and see if it lived up to the expectations.


First impressions

At first, the market looks like any other roofed market in the city, with big bold letters on the front inviting you to come in and people shouting at you to buy their stuff.

But don’t let this fool you. Once inside, it didn’t take us long before we started finding crocodile, iguana and deer meat; among other exotic animals. Plus worms, any kind of sea food and lots and lots of weird fruits and vegetables.

For the food junkies

You can find really good food here, so my recommendation was to do some “stall hopping”. Eating little bits of everything and getting a better sense of the whole place instead of eating in just one place.


Our first stop was La Jersey, the most famous tapas restaurant, with more than 85 years on the market, full of imported meat, good wine and fancy cheese.

It is managed by Doña Maru and a very friendly staff that makes you feel like you’re home.

We ordered a small baguette with prosciutto, salami and green cheese with a pesto touch, accompanied with a cricket and chipotle salsa(you read that right). And it was just amaaazing, like I wanted to marry that baguette.

3 (free) glasses of wine later, the baguette and an amazing slice of bread with mascarpone cheese, nuts and bee honey as desserte, we were ready for our next round: Seafood!

For the seafood fans, like me, there’s an area on the market dedicated exclusively to it, like a small piece of heaven.

So we searched for a place we liked and ordered a dozen chocolatas(big oysters) and a cold one.

And since we were taking lots of pictures, it seems like they thought we were writing a fancy article for a big magazine or something, because we even got free ceviche on the spot.

After this, we were more than full so, to let our stomachs rest, we searched for the organic café of Triana, where I drank one of the best coffees I’ve ever had. And that’s coming from a non-coffee person.

DSC_0789Doña Maru, always on the move

After thoughts

San Juan is a great place to experience a different kind of market, where you’ll find a perfect mix between common ingredients and gourmet cuisine.

And even though I saw a small group of tourists, I wouldn’t call this a touristy place. So if you’re looking for a genuine experience while sipping some wine and having a good time, you must come here.

sanjuan-collage2 DSC_0813There’s no such thing as “too much seafood” DSC_2300Cricket salsa and chimichurri!

Where next?