The Magical Meat Market of Oaxaca, Mexico

Carne Asada in Oaxaca

Besting some of the most amazing meals we’ve had on our trip thus far, it is easy to see why Oaxaca, Mexico is considered the culinary capital of Mexico. However, of all the wonderful eats, nothing comes close to our lunch in the “Mercado de la comida”. A couple blocks south of the zocalo, all my carnivorous dreams came true. Travel to Mexico is not something that should be postponed or ignored, and here another example why.

The Carne Asada HallWe were aimlessly wandering the massive market when our nostrils were filled with the joyous scent of flame-searing meat. We soon added the sights to the smells. Smoke billowed from the tightly packed aisle, lined solely with meat stalls. At the end of the aisle was a collection of tables, vegetable stalls, and large painted archway stating “BIENVENIDOS A LAS CARNES ASADAS”.

After choosing our accompanying veggies, we set off to pick our meat. Even though the stalls are all independent of one another, they work together flawlessly. The onions were grilled directly on the coals, perfectly seasoned with lime juice. The peppers were seared and peeled (and ridiculously hot) before being added to our delicious meat platter. Together with a stack of corn tortillas and guacamole, the materials of seriously mind-blowingly-good carne asada tacos now sat before us.

We each tried to put our culinary thoughts into words, but the closest we could muster was “These are… mmmmMMMMMmm… oh my god… so f*cking good!”

With so many other appetizing distractions, don’t make the mistake of missing out on Oaxaca holidays in carne asada alley- your taste buds will never forgive you!

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Grill at Oaxaca Market

Carne Asada Hall

Grill employee in Oaxaca Market

Oaxaca Carne Asada Hall

Grilled veggies in Oaxaca

Meat and tortillas from Oaxaca Market

Chicken feet in a market

Fish market in the Oaxaca Market

Market in Oaxaca Market

Woman at the Oaxaca Market

Pig head at Oaxaca Market

Woman with tripe at the Oaxaca Market

Juice in the Oaxaca Market

Chihuahua in Oaxaca, Mexico

This dog is NOT edible nor part of the meat market. Traded a picture of the dog for a picture of my tattoo.

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38 Responses to “The Magical Meat Market of Oaxaca, Mexico”

  1. Gillian @OneGiantStep June 1, 2011 at 7:43 am #

    I love markets! I always feel so close to the food and the people who grow it – we rely too much on supermarkets here! Yummy!

    • Shaun June 1, 2011 at 7:20 pm #

      @ Gillian – I couldn’t agree more! No matter how many markets we go to, I never get sick of them.

  2. Dalene June 1, 2011 at 9:09 am #

    Oh, that looks and sounds soooo good. Guess what we’re having for dinner tonight, now that I’ve read this…although I’m sure it won’t be the same…

    • Shaun June 1, 2011 at 7:23 pm #

      @ Dalene – It changed my life. Although I know I won’t be able to fully recreate it, I can’t wait to try. 😀

  3. Punkoatl Rasposo June 1, 2011 at 1:37 pm #

    I dont eat meat anymore!! but your post is…….. daaamn i want a taco of cecina!!!!!!!

    • Shaun June 1, 2011 at 7:19 pm #

      @ Rey – I could never give up meat for this reason. 🙂

  4. Giulia June 1, 2011 at 7:39 pm #

    Wow, you made me hungry already before I opened the gallery… now I’m… more hungry!!!
    Amazing, I want to be there.:)

    • Shaun June 2, 2011 at 10:04 am #

      @ Giulia – Sounds like our work is done here. 🙂

  5. Angela June 2, 2011 at 1:40 am #

    This looks delicious, I love local markets, I never miss them anywhere I go!

    • Shaun June 2, 2011 at 10:06 am #

      @ Angela – Agreed! They are truly amazing.

  6. Evan June 2, 2011 at 2:01 am #

    Oh God. Between you guys with all this Mexican food and Duane from Reset, Live, Grow taunting me with southern food a week or so ago, I think I might actually die of food envy.

    • Shaun June 2, 2011 at 10:11 am #

      @ Evan – We totally understand. Even just being away from Mexico for like 2 weeks we were going through withdrawals. So glad we’re back in the Yucatan now.

  7. Debbie Beardsley @ European Travelista June 2, 2011 at 1:50 pm #

    Love markets like this! Why does “flame-searing meat” smell so dang good?

    • Shaun June 3, 2011 at 9:43 am #

      @ Debbie – I’m not sure what it is, but it was almost mystical in there.

  8. Juno June 2, 2011 at 10:10 pm #

    God, girl! I love markets and especially market food. Yum!!! 🙂 Nice photography like usual.

  9. Jaime June 2, 2011 at 10:18 pm #

    Makes me wanna go back… it was so good!!!

    • Shaun June 3, 2011 at 9:43 am #

      @ Jaime – Lets do it!!!

  10. Laura June 2, 2011 at 10:21 pm #

    I love the first photo, great shot! I didn’t eat here the last time we were in Oaxaca, but I remember wandering through. I never pass up an opportunity to visit a market in Mexico! 😉

    • Shaun June 3, 2011 at 9:45 am #

      @ Laura – We were sucked in immediately and I’m so glad we were!

  11. dtravelsround June 5, 2011 at 8:42 pm #

    And now I’m craving Mexican. You should warn the hungry people at the beginning of the post that what they are about to read/see will make them even hungrier. 🙂

    • Erica June 6, 2011 at 1:06 am #

      I’m sorry! I’m just starting to get used to taking pictures of food!

  12. Lindsay aka @_thetraveller_ June 6, 2011 at 10:04 am #

    That looks amazing! I miss market food so much. Tacos are my favorite!

    • Erica June 6, 2011 at 12:52 pm #

      @Lindsay: Market food is sooooo goooooood. I’m all about tacos al pastor.

  13. Federico June 6, 2011 at 10:36 am #

    Food markets are so cool everywhere in the world…and I see this was no exception!

    • Erica June 6, 2011 at 12:53 pm #

      @Fede: I think this is one of my favorites. We could have wandered for hours!

  14. Margo June 6, 2011 at 2:13 pm #

    drool. seriously just drool. I will not be able to stop thinking about grilled onions and lime juice for the rest of the day 😉

    • Shaun June 7, 2011 at 10:55 am #

      @ Margo – You’re welcome! 😀

  15. The Travel Chica June 6, 2011 at 2:23 pm #

    The GOOD kind of meat market… Sounds like the perfect place to wander and put together a good lunch.

    • Shaun June 7, 2011 at 11:02 am #

      @ Travel Chica – Even if there was a ‘meat market’ within the meat market, all the promiscuous prowlers would be completely ignored by the hungry carnivores. 😛

  16. Abby June 6, 2011 at 3:45 pm #

    I love meat, but I usually hate meat pictures. Only you could make one look so tasty! I love how you describe all of the stalls being independent yet coming together for one amazing meal.

    • Shaun June 7, 2011 at 11:03 am #

      @ Abby – Yeah, Erica is really getting into the food porn industry. 🙂

  17. Sarah Wu June 10, 2011 at 2:13 am #

    wow that pig head looks scary, but I still really enjoy the market photo tour. I’m all about market so love this post. I wish I was there with you guys.

  18. Mica June 14, 2011 at 5:17 pm #

    I love markets, and I love your pictures. Eat on.

    • Erica June 28, 2011 at 6:20 pm #

      @Mica: And BOY, do I LOVE to eat! More food porn incoming!

  19. Michael Hodson June 19, 2011 at 12:24 pm #

    I am hungry and now require a HUGE plate of meat to save my inner soul!

    • Erica June 28, 2011 at 7:10 pm #

      @Michael: NOMNOMNOMNOM

  20. Laura June 20, 2011 at 10:53 am #

    FEED ME!!!!

    • Erica June 28, 2011 at 7:21 pm #

      @Laura: You go to Mexico all the time!

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