Gourmet San Juan Market & Street Food

Classic Mexican Market

Vibrant 1930s-Era Neighborhood

Adults 18+ Only

For almost 10 years, we’ve scoured the Downtown Historic Center to find the best cooks and the best places to eat. The result is this tour! You’ll visit the city’s gourmet San Juan Market—known for its upscale ingredients—and the colorful Arcos de Belém market, known for its prepared food and rows of fondas. Before and after your market visits, you’ll try steak tacos, seafood tostadas, mole, quesadillas and more. Because we visit a bar on this tour that does not allow minors, participants must be at least 18 years old.

Highlights

Try some of the best food in the Downtown Historic Center, and meet the cooks who prepare it

Taste native Mexican fruit and touch/smell classic Mexican ingredients, under the guidance of our expert guide

Walk inside a working tortillería and meet the family who’s owned it for more than 75 years

Click the tabs to find out more

Price

Adults: $85
Babies in carriers: free

Looking to go private? Private tour option $40 per adult available at check-out. Subject to availability.

Note: Adults (18+) only tour. Families with children who are interested in this tour can try our Streets & Sweets tour, a modified kid-friendly version.


Availability & departure time

Daily: 10:30AM and 11AM


Meeting point

Front entrance of the Sears building on Av. Juárez #14, Colonia Centro


Duration

3 to 4 hours


Group size

Minimum 2 people, maximum 6 people


Included
  • All the food you can eat (enough for a big breakfast and lunch)
  • Mexican fruit tasting
  • Pulque tasting (ancestral Mexican beverage that contains alcohol)
  • Filtered water throughout the tour
  • Generous tips for vendors

Not included
  • Transport to/from the meeting and end points of the tour
  • Souvenirs
  • Tip for your guide
  • Additional personal beverages, outside what’s included on the tour itinerary

What to bring
  • Comfortable walking shoes
  • An appetite
  • Water to stay hydrated
  • Tip for your guide if desired (we also offer the option of pre-paying the tip at checkout)
  • An umbrella during the rainy season months (June through October)
  • Tote bag for purchases, if desired

Participation requirements

Guests must be over the age of 18 due to a bar stop on the tour. Participants should be able to walk for three hours, with some stops to rest. This tour is NOT wheelchair accessible.


Staff on tour

You’ll be accompanied by one of our local, bilingual culinary guides. Each has a degree in gastronomy and/or has worked in local kitchens. They’ll enrich your experience by sharing their knowledge of Mexico City’s food scene, their own personal traditions, and the vendors’ stories. Read more about our guides here.

The Gourmet San Juan Market traces its roots to the 19th century, and it’s still one of the top places to buy high-end ingredients in the city. On this tour—which takes place in a vibrant Art Deco neighborhood, and a landing spot for Spanish immigrants who fled the Civil War—you’ll get an insider’s view of the market and try a half-dozen of the best street and market stalls in the neighborhood.

At the San Juan Market, you will:

  • Sample Oaxacan snacks, including fresh, tangy quesillo and crunchy grasshoppers
  • Learn about Mexican dried chiles, and smell the smoky, hard-to-find chile pasilla oaxaqueño
  • Sample seasonal Mexican fruits such as mamey, guanábana, sweet lime and more

Meanwhile, in the neighborhood, some of the items you’ll try include:

Blue Corn Tlacoyos
These oval-shaped patties, made from nixtamalized corn dough (masa in Spanish), are hand-shaped and topped with cactus, cheese and salsa. We’ll take you to a stand staffed by Doña Rosa Peña Sotres, who’s been making tlacoyos for more than 30 years.

Homemade Mole
A tiny eatery near the market has churned out homemade mole cooked in a clay pot for almost 50 years. Join us in learning this family’s story, and in learning why this mole deserves to be carted home in your suitcase!

Seafood Tostadas
Mexico City may be landlocked, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find some of the freshest seafood around, carted in daily from the Gulf and other coasts. These shrimp or octopus tostadas, studded with tomato, deserve a spritz of lime and a drizzle of hot sauce.

Pulque
An ancestral Mexican beverage, pulque is an example of living Mexican history and heritage. It’s made from fermented maguey sap and contains alcohol. In recent years, it’s become a very popular beverage among the city’s youth. We’ll take you to one of the liveliest pulquerías in the Downtown Historic Center.

Plus several more items!

  • The tour is conducted rain or shine.
  • We like to blend in with the locals. Dress in comfortable clothing, and leave any flashy or expensive clothes and jewelry at home. Note: Mexico City can be chilly in the mornings and warmer in the afternoon, so it’s best to dress in layers.
  • This tour includes a lot of food. We recommend arriving hungry, and not eating breakfast beforehand.
  • Vegetarians can be accommodated on this tour, but meat and vegetables will be cooked on the same surface.
  • Feel free to bring your own water bottle. We’ll stop to refill it with purified water.
  • Mexico City sits at nearly 7,300 feet high. This means you’ll feel more tired than normal if you’re not used to the altitude. Don’t do this tour if you haven’t gotten any sleep the night before, or if you’re arriving to the airport on the same morning.
  • If you’d like to make any purchases (see our FAQ on souvenirs), bring cash a small tote bag. Credit cards are not accepted at most places.
Does the tour end where it starts?

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No. The tour meets at the front entrance of the Sears building on Av. Juárez #14, Colonia Centro. It will end at Taquería Gonzalez, on calle Lopez, 100, Colonia Centro. If you need help getting back to your hotel at the end of the tour, your guide will help you find the nearest subway station or an Uber.

Will I eat a lot of food?

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Yes! You can eat as much as you want in each of the stops. Our guide will let you know how many stops remain so you can pace yourself. No one knows your appetite better than you!

Do I need to take cash with me?

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If you plan to tip your guide, you should bring enough cash to cover that—about 10 to 15 percent is standard. (We also offer the option of paying your guide’s tip ahead of time at checkout.) You may also choose to bring a bit extra for any market souvenirs. All the food you can eat, plus at least two drinks and purified water, are covered by us.

Is there an ATM on the route?

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No, please bring cash if you plan on buying anything outside of what’s included on the tour.

Will my guide speak English?

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Of course! Our guides are culinary experts and speak perfect English.

Is this market good for souvenir shopping?

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Not really. It is a good place to buy food or Mexican ingredients. The market does not carry items such as colorful ceramics, Mexican textiles or folk art.

Is it safe to walk in this neighborhood at night?

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We have offered this tour since 2010 and never had an issue with violence or theft. That said, Mexico City is an enormous place and pickpocketing can happen. If you wear plain clothing, leave your jewelry at home, and keep your wallet and cellphone tucked away, there should be no problem.

Can I do the tour if I am traveling alone?

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We usually require a two-person minimum on our tours. If you’re a solo traveler, you’re welcome to book the date of your choosing—if it has other guests, you’re good to go. If three days prior to the tour date, the tour does not have any other guests, we will reach out to you about choosing a different date or refund your ticket.

Have more questions? Check out our FAQ page!

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