Today is Mexican Independence Day, so what better day to talk about some Mexican street food classics? While in Mexico City we enjoyed a lot of amazing street food including a quest to find the perfect tacos al pastor (post forthcoming). However, for the most delicious street food in the smallest space under a single roof, Coyoacán’s street food market, the Mercado de Antojitos, is a veritable one stop shop for low-key, delicious, authentic, friendly and cheap food.
Part of the major draw, beyond the food of course, is the market’s location in the historical and charming Coyoacán neighborhood in Southern Mexico City. With its cobbled streets and faded mansions, you will feel like you’ve stepped into another era (before Mexico City engulfed it, it was in fact its own town). The Anotjito Market is tucked into a side street near the main square of Coyoacán. There are about a dozen stalls inside, each ringed with stools or benches. This is definitely not a touristy place, and the food is so good – and turnover so high – there isn’t much need for hawking or up-selling. People of all ages packed the stalls, and for added liveliness, a guitar band entertained.
We were spoiled for choice by all of the antojitos (literally “little cravings”): so what did we get? One of the most popular dishes on offer was the quesadilla, which means something different that it does in English parlance (no cheese!). Due to their prevalence and popularity among the market patrons, we knew we had to choose a quesadilla. The quesadillas we tried were deep fried and stuffed with huitlacoche, one of our favorite Mexican flavors. Huitlacoche is technically a corn fungus, and tastes something like a truffle!
Another popular choice for sale was pozole, a hearty stew made from hominy and pork, which was especially delicious on a somewhat dreary and rainy day. For a little Vitamin C, you can also get your fill of fresh squeezed juices in flavors like strawberry and papaya. Beyond its role in pozole and in the tortillas, corn is king at the market, and for an even purer corn experience try a thick cornmeal drink (atole) or a cup of corn kernels with epazote (esquite). The prices are also very reasonable, so you can get more than a meal’s worth for only a few dollars. A market full of street foods is potentially one of our favorite concepts – and the Mercado de Antojitos definitely did not disappoint.