Mexico city has numerous food markets and some of them share the same name, which makes it a bit difficult for the visitor to get to the desired destinations. The Mercado de San Juan Arcos de Belén, is different from the famous Mercado de San Juan – which was our destination. Since we were never able to get a set address and following a multitude of different directions, we found ourselves at here. Funny enough, it was after a few days later that we realizes it was a different Mercado de San Juan!!!
Fortunately our surprise detour brought us to roughly 125 square meters and 400 stales of fruits, vegetables, prepared foods, nuts & seeds, meats, chiles, moles, juices and so on. At first the view of hanging strings with colorful plastic bags and signs everywhere advertising all the wonders of a traditional Mexican food market was a bit overwhelming.
After walking the through all the stimulating aisles of market, we decided to eat at Gloria y Familia Taco Placero located in stalls 191, 208 & 209. Her selection of prepared foods grilled vegetables, rices, stewed huitlacoche, salsas, salads, tamales, beans and soups, seduced our senses each time we passed by. It was also appeared as the most veggie friendly place with its series of ceramic trays displaying all kinds of delectables.
Our lunch really consisted of food that could be used as vehicles for all the different hot sauces. Gloria had at least 10 different kind of freshly made salsas and hot sauces in her booth; all delicious and full of happiness! So much so, that at the end, we asked here to fill our empty water bottles to carry these bursting flavors with us.
We ate grilled nopal cactus, sated onions, yellow rice, and vegetable rice, many herbs native to Mexico, as well as stuffed poblano chiles, tamal (a corn-based dough wrapped in a leaf, which is steamed or boiled), and elote.
After lunch, we stopped at a few stalls to buy moles and chiles. Our favorite stall being Moles Sarita (55182235) stalls 194 & 195. Here we stuffed our bags with a generous sampler of moles and chiles. In general every place we inquired the people seemed friendly and prompt to answer our many questions regarding names, origins and usages on all the wonderful foods.
Mercado de San Juan Arcos de Bélen Info:
Arcos de Belem y Lopez Centro 06010, México, D.F.