Travel around Mexico long enough and you’ll find that big, vibrant markets are one of the country’s calling cards.
Markets, here, are part of daily life, operating as shopping destinations, social hangouts and community support systems. Walk through a given market and you’re likely to see families eating, watching sports on TV, playing cards, caring for their children, cooking and sewing.
But in Oaxaca de Juárez, especially, this wealth is elevated to another level, thanks to its enormous bounty of wares.
The city, a quaint, walkable town with just 300,000 residents, is known for its craftsmanship — wood and leather goods, pottery and textiles among them — and its art. It is the Mecca of mezcal. And the food that originates here, from sweet black mole to tlayudas to fried grasshoppers, is unique, varied and flavorful.
As a result, sprawling markets seemingly wait around every corner, particularly in the south end of town. And all of them are just a little bit different.
Here are 7 markets to know before you go: