Surely by now you are aware of the common “mercados” (markets) there are in our country, but have you heard the word “tianguis”? Well, it is basically a small market that although is not situated on a fixed place it’s generally installed at the same location every week.
The term originated in “Nahuatl”, the native language of our ancestors, and it means public market. These spots used to be a place of social and cultural exchange and their history began a couple of centuries ago among indigenous groups. Many years ago, these traditional markets were located downtown, but nowadays you can find them anywhere in the city. They are usually located right in the middle of the street, and that is why most of the time they are set up on weekends, when there is less traffic. They are very easy to identify by their colorful plastic tarps with fresh and delicious fruit displaying.
In a tianguis you will find great variety of products such as clothes, fruit, vegetables, meat, home goods, herbs, spices, etc. Shoppers usually stay to have some traditional Mexican dishes like tacos, gorditas or tortas.
Don’t be afraid to take a walk in a tianguis. They are safe places and the vendors are really nice to their customers, they are very well organized and care for each other so mugging and robberies are not likely to happen. However, always be aware of pickpockets and avoid wearing flashy clothes or objects.
Take into consideration that some products may be a little bit more expensive than in certain supermarkets, but the quality and freshness of goods are worthy. Also remember that credit cards are not accepted, only cash.