15 Oaxaca markets to visit for food, shopping, and culture!

Here are the best Oaxaca markets including how to get there, what to eat and shop, plus tips on visiting these vibrant markets in Oaxaca!

Oaxacan markets are special for their vibrant tapestry of colors, flavors, and traditions, reflecting the rich cultural heritage of the region.

These markets serve as hubs of community life, where locals and visitors alike can explore an array of handcrafted artisan goods, traditional textiles, and exquisite culinary offerings.

A well-known product of the state of Oaxaca is its mezcal. This distilled spirit is renowned for its smoky flavor, derived from the heart of the agave plant, which is roasted in earthen pits.

Mezcal embodies the spirit of Oaxaca, showcasing traditional production techniques that have been passed down through generations. You will find a lot of mezcal in these Oaxacan markets and you can even take them home!

As for the most famous market in Oaxaca, the Mercado 20 de Noviembre is in the lead. This market is celebrated for its vast selection of Oaxacan cuisine, including mole, tlayudas, and its “Pasillo de Humo,” (Carne Asada Hall).

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Here are the best Oaxaca markets including how to get there, what to eat and shop, plus tips on visiting these vibrant markets in Oaxaca!

1. 20 de Noviembre Market: best of the best Oaxaca markets

The 20 de Noviembre market is a staple in the landscape of Oaxaca markets, known for its rich history and deep cultural significance.

Nestled in the heart of Oaxaca City, this market has been a gathering place for locals and visitors alike, offering a window into the region’s culinary and artisanal heritage.

At the 20 de Noviembre market, you can immerse themselves in a vibrant selection of Oaxacan cuisine, from mole and chapulines to artisanal cheeses and chocolates.

The market is also famous for its Pasillo de Humo, where visitors can experience the unforgettable taste of freshly grilled meats prepared in traditional Oaxacan style.

Moreover, the stalls overflow with handmade crafts, textiles, and unique souvenirs, making it a perfect spot for finding gifts and keepsakes.

2. Benito Juarez Market

Benito Juarez Market, a cornerstone among Oaxaca markets, serves as a vibrant hub of commerce and culture in the city.

Named after one of Mexico’s most revered presidents, this market’s roots extend deep into the city’s history, providing a bustling meeting place for both locals and tourists.

Within the colorful aisles of Benito Juarez Market, visitors can explore a wide array of products, from fresh produce and exotic fruits to exquisite local crafts and textiles.

The market is particularly renowned for its selection of Oaxacan cheese, chocolate, and mezcal, offering an authentic taste of the region’s gastronomy.

Artisanal goods, including pottery, woven baskets, and traditional Oaxacan clothing, are also abundant, making it a treasure trove for unique finds.

Look for the small, hidden stalls often missed by casual visitors. These gems often offer the most authentic and unique items, from rare mezcal varieties to handmade crafts not found elsewhere in the market.

3. La Merced Market

La Merced Market is another gem among the Oaxaca markets, distinguished by its historical significance and the role it plays in the daily life of Oaxaca City’s residents.

With origins tracing back several decades, La Merced has established itself as a focal point for local commerce, embodying the rich cultural tapestry of the region.

The market’s offerings are a feast for the senses, featuring an array of fresh produce, spices, and flowers alongside stalls selling traditional Oaxacan snacks and dishes.

You can also find a selection of artisanal goods, including textiles, pottery, and handmade jewelry, reflecting the skilled craftsmanship of local artisans.

Additionally, La Merced is known for its variety of traditional medicinal herbs and remedies, providing a unique insight into the region’s herbal lore.

Seek out the local herbalists for a personalized consultation. These experts can often create custom blends of herbs tailored to your needs or curiosities, offering a unique, personalized souvenir that embodies the essence of Oaxacan traditional medicine.

See more markets in Oaxaca and nearby attractions through our interactive map!

4. Central de Abastos

Central de Abastos stands as the largest and most comprehensive of the Oaxaca markets, offering an extensive array of goods in a sprawling complex that serves as the main wholesale market for the region.

This market is the lifeblood of Oaxaca’s commerce, where everything from foodstuffs to textiles is traded daily.

Expect to find a bewildering assortment of products, including vast quantities of fresh fruits and vegetables, meats, fish, grains, and spices.

The market also offers an impressive selection of handmade crafts, clothing, and textiles, showcasing the diverse cultural heritage of the Oaxacan people.

Additionally, it is a prime spot for discovering rare and exotic items that are hard to find elsewhere.

Venture into the market with a local guide who can navigate its labyrinthine aisles. Many guides offer specialized tours that reveal the market’s hidden corners and secret deals, providing an insider’s view into the bustling heart of Oaxaca’s commerce.

5. La Cosecha Organic Market

La Cosecha Market, the newest addition to the vibrant scene of Oaxaca markets, distinguishes itself by focusing on organic and locally sourced products.

This market has quickly become a favorite for those seeking to experience Oaxaca’s rich culinary traditions in a more intimate and sustainable setting.

At La Cosecha Market, you can indulge in a variety of organic foods, including fresh fruits and vegetables, artisanal breads, cheeses, and coffees, all sourced from local producers.

The market also features stalls selling natural cosmetics and medicinal herbs, reflecting a commitment to sustainable living and wellness.

Furthermore, the cozy atmosphere is ideal for enjoying traditional Oaxacan dishes prepared with a focus on organic ingredients.


6. Las Flores Market

Las Flores Market is a vibrant and lesser-known gem among the bustling Oaxaca markets, offering a more intimate glimpse into the local way of life.

Unlike the larger, more tourist-oriented markets, Las Flores has maintained a quaint charm that reflects the daily rhythms of Oaxaca City’s residents.

Here, you can explore a wide range of products, including fresh, locally-sourced produce, handmade crafts, and an array of delightful street food options.

The market is particularly celebrated for its florists, offering a colorful assortment of flowers that adds to the market’s lively atmosphere.

In addition, unique local specialties and traditional Oaxacan snacks are available, tempting visitors with flavors that are hard to find elsewhere.

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7. Mercado IV Centenario

Mercado IV Centenario stands as a historical beacon in the landscape of Oaxaca markets, its name commemorating the 400th anniversary of Oaxaca City’s founding.

This market offers a more relaxed shopping experience, away from the hustle and bustle of the city’s larger markets. It specializes in a variety of goods, from fresh fruits and vegetables to traditional Oaxacan textiles and crafts.

You can also find a selection of local herbs, spices, and medicinal plants, providing a glimpse into the region’s rich botanical heritage.

Additionally, the market features several food stalls serving up local delicacies, making it a great spot to sample traditional dishes.

For a truly unique experience at Mercado IV Centenario, seek out the artisans who specialize in custom-made goods.

Whether it’s a personalized textile or a handcrafted piece of jewelry, these artisans can create something special for you while sharing stories about their craft, offering a deeply personal connection to Oaxacan culture.

8. Sánchez Pascuas Market

Sánchez Pascuas Market is a cozy and bustling market nestled within the heart of Oaxaca City, known for its friendly atmosphere and the quality of its goods.

This market has served the local community for decades, making it a staple among the diverse Oaxaca markets and a beloved spot for those seeking an authentic shopping experience.

The market is renowned for its extensive selection of fresh produce, meats, and cheeses, all sourced from local farms and producers.

Additionally, you can browse through stalls offering beautifully crafted textiles, pottery, and other artisan goods, embodying the rich cultural heritage of the region.

The food stalls here are particularly enticing, offering a chance to indulge in traditional Oaxacan cuisine.

Engage in conversation with the vendors about their recommendations for preparing their products. Many are happy to share recipes or cooking tips, providing a unique opportunity to learn about Oaxacan culinary traditions directly from the source.

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9. Venustiano Carranza Market

Venustiano Carranza Market, while not as widely known as some of the larger Oaxaca markets, offers a charming and authentic shopping experience that reflects the local lifestyle.

This market caters primarily to the daily needs of Oaxaca City’s residents, making it a great place to observe and participate in everyday life in Oaxaca.

The market boasts a wide array of products, from essential groceries and household items to traditional Oaxacan foods and snacks.

You can also find a selection of local crafts and textiles, perfect for those looking for authentic souvenirs. Moreover, the market is a fantastic spot to try local delicacies and street food, offering flavors that capture the essence of the region’s cuisine.

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10. Noria Market

Noria Market is a quaint and inviting destination within the tapestry of Oaxaca markets, known for its friendly atmosphere and local charm.

This market is tucked away from the main tourist routes, offering a slice of daily life in Oaxaca City and a chance to mingle with the locals.

At Noria Market, you can discover a range of fresh produce, meats, and pantry staples, all sourced from the surrounding regions.

The market also features stalls selling traditional Oaxacan snacks and dishes, providing an authentic taste of the local cuisine. In addition to food items, shoppers can find a selection of handmade crafts and textiles, showcasing the artisanal talent of the area.

Look for vendors offering homemade salsas and moles. These are often prepared in small batches and can provide an unparalleled taste of Oaxacan culinary traditions.

Engaging with these vendors not only supports local businesses but also offers a chance to learn about the ingredients and methods used in their preparation.

11. Oaxaca Artisan Market

The Oaxaca Artisan Market is a focal point for the arts and crafts scene in Oaxaca City, offering a kaleidoscope of handcrafted goods that represent the best of Oaxacan artistry.

This market is a must-visit for anyone interested in the rich tapestry of Oaxacan culture and the incredible diversity of its markets.

It specializes in high-quality artisanal products, from intricately woven textiles and hand-painted ceramics to exquisite silver jewelry and unique wood carvings.

You can also find a variety of traditional Oaxacan garments, colorful alebrijes, and other folk art, making it an ideal spot for picking up unique gifts and souvenirs.

The Oaxaca Artisan Market also serves as a hub for artists and craftspeople, many of whom are happy to discuss their techniques and the inspiration behind their creations.

Plan your visit around one of the occasional workshops or live demonstrations hosted by the artisans.

These sessions offer a rare opportunity to see Oaxacan crafts being made firsthand and provide a deeper appreciation for the skill and tradition embedded in each piece.

12. Rayon Pochote Organic Market

Rayon Pochote Organic Market is a testament to the sustainable and organic food movement within the vibrant landscape of Oaxaca markets.

Established by a collective of local farmers and artisans, this market is dedicated to promoting health, sustainability, and the support of local economies.

Here, you will find a diverse assortment of organic produce, ranging from fruits and vegetables to herbs and grains, all locally sourced.

In addition to fresh food, the market offers organic coffee, chocolate, baked goods, and artisanal products such as soaps and natural remedies.

It’s also a great place to sample organic Oaxacan cuisine at the various food stalls that prioritize local, seasonal ingredients. Participate in one of the occasional workshops or talks offered by the vendors.

These can range from organic gardening and sustainable living to cooking classes that teach traditional Oaxacan recipes with a modern, healthy twist, providing a deeper connection to the region’s food culture.

13. Hidalgo Market (Mercado Hidalgo)

Hidalgo Market, or Mercado Hidalgo, is a bustling hub of activity and commerce, serving as a cornerstone of daily life in Oaxaca City.

Known for its expansive size and a wide variety of goods, this market encapsulates the lively spirit and rich culture of the Oaxaca markets.

The Hidalgo Market is a one-stop shop for everything from fresh produce and meats to textiles, pottery, and traditional Oaxacan crafts.

It’s particularly renowned for its extensive selection of local cheeses, moles, and spices, offering a true taste of Oaxacan cuisine.

Moreover, the market is a treasure trove for those seeking authentic souvenirs, such as handmade textiles and artisanal crafts, making it a popular destination for both locals and tourists.

14. Tlacolula Sunday Market: best market near Oaxaca City

The Tlacolula Sunday Market is an iconic open-air market that transforms the town of Tlacolula, just outside Oaxaca City, into a bustling marketplace every Sunday.

This market, one of the oldest and largest in the region, is a vivid representation of the cultural diversity and richness of the Oaxaca markets, drawing locals and tourists alike.

Here, you can immerse yourself in a sea of vibrant textiles, handcrafted pottery, traditional clothing, and an array of local foods, including mezcal, chocolates, and the famous Oaxacan tamales.

The market is also a fantastic place to sample local delicacies, such as barbacoa and chapulines, offering a taste of the region’s culinary traditions.

Additionally, fresh produce and live animals are sold, highlighting the market’s role in local agriculture and trade.

Bring a small, empty basket or tote bag. Not only will this make shopping more convenient, but it also serves as a great conversation starter with vendors, many of whom take pride in seeing their goods appreciated and utilized by visitors from around the world.

15. La Asuncion Artisan Market in Santa Maria Atzompa

La Asuncion Artisan Market, located in the pottery-centric village of Santa Maria Atzompa, is a special enclave within the broader Oaxaca markets, dedicated exclusively to the region’s renowned ceramic arts.

This market offers a deep dive into the traditional pottery techniques of Oaxaca, showcasing a wide range of ceramic goods, from functional kitchenware and decorative items to intricate sculptures and tiles.

Each piece reflects the unique styles and glazes that have been passed down through generations of artisans in the area.

You can also find a selection of other artisanal products and local foods, making it a comprehensive cultural experience.

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