If you’ve ever traveled to Mexico before, then you know just how socially and economically important the local markets are. Every major city down to the smallest coastal fishing village has its own market(s) — Oaxaca is no different.
In fact, Oaxaca City is teeming with markets — food markets, artisanal markets, design markets, and more! There is a market for every tastebud, style, and budget.
It really is a market-lovers paradise in Oaxaca. You can find anything from authentic mezcal and chili-encrusted crickets to fair trade clothing and beyond.
So where are these markets in Oaxaca and when can you visit them? Read more below to get an insider’s look into Oaxaca’s best markets.
Best Markets in Oaxaca
Mercado de Abastos
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The Central de Abastos is one of the largest markets in the country, spanning over 800 acres. (Did you know? The largest indoor market in Latin America is in Guadalajara, Mexico.)
The Abastos Market is so popular that it attracted Netflix, who teamed up with Phil Rosenthal to feature Oaxaca City’s unmissable food locations in the series Somebody Feed Phil. In that episode, Phil visited Doña Vale, a local woman who makes delicious memelas.
Abastos is the market in Oaxaca that combines it all — food, clothes, trinkets, vegetables, meats, cheeses, shoes, toys, souvenirs, and other imported and local goods for cheap.
Travel Tip: Mercado de Abastos can be overwhelming for first-timers to Mexico. If you haven’t been inside such a sprawling and somewhat hectic market before, you may want to discover the smaller markets in Oaxaca (i.e. 20 de Noviembre, Benito Juárez, etc) to wet your feet first.
✨ Want to do a private cooking class and market tour? If so, you can book this experience which includes shopping for fresh ingredients at Abastos Market and then cooking it alongside your expert guide and local chef, Minerva. ✨
Atemporal Mercado de Diseño
If you love good vibes, all things design, trendy fashion, local music, and artisanal jewelry, then you’ll fall head over heels for the Atemporal design market hidden in Oaxaca’s city center. It took me weeks living in Oaxaca to finally stumble past this adorable market.
But Atemporal is more than just a market for selling goods. There is a very large artsy community to discover here that speaks to Oaxaca’s soul. It is, how you say… très Oaxaqueño.
“Atemporal no solo es un mercado, es una feria que integra la cultura, la música y los foros de expresión.”Atemporal
As Atemporal puts it, “Atemporal isn’t just a market, it’s an independent fair that integrates culture, music, and forms of expression.”
The market was founded by Carlos Cabrera and Yadira Castañeda in 2020 and has grown to include a wide variety of local and international artists, designers, and creatives. You can learn more and get a glimpse at their upcoming projects on their Instagram.
La Cosecha Mercado Organico
La Cosecha is a semi-covered outdoor market featuring fresh, organic vegetables, fruits, delicious street-style food, and artisanal products.
A highlight of La Cosecha is the food stalls with large picnic tables — the perfect place to grab breakfast, lunch, a refreshing Oaxacan tejate drink, homemade dessert, or pick-me-up organic juice or coffee.
Stepping inside La Cosecha will make you forget you are in the heart of Oaxaca’s bustling and historic center.
If you join one of Oaxaca’s “free” city walking tours, you’ll get to discover La Cosecha’s outdoor organic market as it is one of the stops during the 2–3 hour jaunt around Oaxaca Centro.
Of course, you can (and should) visit La Cosecha on your own, too, so you can experience this little quaint courtyard without a crowd.
Mercado 20 de Noviembre
The November 20 Market in Oaxaca is another must-visit for foodies. Despite international press covering this market — famed for its Pasillo de Humo or “Hall of Smoke” where you can chow down on grilled meats — it still remains very local and authentically Oaxacan.
Just beware — walking through the dubbed “Hall of Meats” is hectic, smoky, and loud. We strolled down the aisle of smog to experience the chaos in person, but we didn’t linger for a moment longer than necessary. Those sensitive to smoke or to raw meat should avoid this when visiting the market. For meat lovers, however, this place is an unmissable market to visit in Oaxaca.
Fortunately, the meal hall isn’t all there is to do and see (or taste) at 20 de Noviembre. Inside is a quieter and cleaner food court area where you can order classic Oaxacan food from a menu. We had an awesome meal (not to mention michelada) at La Abuelita.
Mercado de Artesanías de Oaxaca
The Mercado de Artesanías is another unmissable market in Oaxaca!
Unlike most of the other markets across the city, this one doesn’t feature food. Instead, it showcases and sells fair trade textiles, embroidered blouses, art, black pottery, alebrijes (painted wooden animals), and other handicrafts made by local and indigenous artisans in Oaxaca.
What’s great about visiting this market is that your purchase directly supports these artisans (which can be hard to decipher when shopping or bartering at pop-up vendors or salesmen). If you’d like more suggestions on ethical fashion and textile shopping in Oaxaca, you can read this article by Ecocult.
Tip: To better understand Oaxacan textiles and indigenous handicrafts when you shop, you should first visit the Museo de Textil de Oaxaca (free guided tours available). Also, being able to speak a bit of Spanish at this market or others in Oaxaca will help you responsibly barter while sparking a connection with the locals.
Mercado Benito Juárez
The Mercado Benito Juárez, named after Mexico’s Zapotec indigenous president Benito Juárez (1858-1872), is one of the popular local markets in Oaxaca for buying local and international products, street snacks (like fried grasshoppers — chapulines), and fresh produce.
I found this market to be a crazy maze. I’m pretty sure we turned around on ourselves several times before finding an exit! The Benito Juárez Market is like the Abastos Market — there’s a bit of everything here — but bite-size (in comparison).
Seeing as it’s just across the street from the November 20 Market, you can visit both in the same go!
Tlacolula Sunday Market
This final market in Oaxaca isn’t exactly in the city. But, it’s one of the top markets to visit in the state of Oaxaca, so that counts!
In any case, getting to Tlacolula from Oaxaca City is fairly simple (and cheap). Just head to the baseball stadium in Oaxaca and hop on a local bus ($10 MXN pesos) and get off about 45 minutes later in Tlacolula (the bus will stop in front of the gas station).
The Tlacolula Sunday Market (also called the tianguis de Tlacolula) stretches the entire length of Juárez street and is just abuzz with activity.
You will find literally everything here, including all types of Oaxacan food, drinks, and artisanal goods (even animals). It’s a very popular thing to do near Oaxaca City. Your senses will be invigorated, that’s for sure! This is also where the Fería de la Nieve y el Mezcal (ice cream and mezcal) takes place each year in April (you should go — it’s amazing).
More food & cultural tours in Oaxaca:
✨ Sabores de Oaxaca Street Food Tour (Badge of Excellence)
I hope you enjoy discovering the treasures that lie within these local markets in Oaxaca! If you have any questions or suggestions, please drop them in the comments below. I would love to hear about your market adventures in Oaxaca!
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