Market Square (El Mercado), San Antonio

Market Square (El Mercado), San Antonio (must see)

Market Square, or El Mercado as the locals call it, is a three-block outdoor plaza in downtown San Antonio packed to the brim with Mexican cafes and restaurants, plus myriads of stores and stalls selling handcrafted traditional blankets, clothes, leather and metal goods, all brought from Mexico. Effectively, this is the largest Mexican market in the United States.

The "El Mercado" building was constructed in 1938-1939 after the existing municipal market house (known as the Giles building) had been torn down. The new building was originally named the "Municipal Truck Market", but the locals commonly referred to it as the "Farmer's Market" since the farmers used to sell their produce here, inside the open air building, straight from their trucks. The last ever produce sold on these premises was in 1975, upon which the market house underwent renovation, converted into an enclosed air-conditioned mercado.

Today, the Historic Market Square is a multi-business enterprise in which the majority of buildings are managed by The City of San Antonio. The "El Mercado" section houses 32 specialty shops, while the "Farmer's Market Plaza" section has 80. Businesses like “Cano Fruiteria,” “El Merkadito,” “Plaza Taxco,” “La Margarita,” “Viva Villa,” and “Mi Tierra” are owned independently. "Mi Tierra Cafe Y Panaderia" and "La Margarita Mexican Restaurant & Oyster Bar" are the major eateries, but snacks and specialty foods are also available at other shops.

Throughout the year, the historic market hosts many cultural events and fairs, including Fiesta del Mercado in April and Dia De Los Muertos in November, and is also the venue of Cinco de Mayo and many other fiestas. The on-site Centro de Artes runs a full season of solo and group exhibitions and annual programs, and is managed by the City of San Antonio, Department of Arts and Culture.

If you seek authentic, first-hand, unique San Antonio’s shopping, dining and entertainment experience – look no further than here!
Sight description based on Wikipedia.

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Market Square (El Mercado) on Map

Sight Name: Market Square (El Mercado)
Sight Location: San Antonio, USA (See walking tours in San Antonio)
Sight Type: Shopping
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in San Antonio, Texas

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