A Day at San Miguel’s Tuesday Tianguis: Shop, Eat, Repeat!

The Magic of the Marketplace

Welcome, dear readers! Today, we’re taking you on an adventure through the bustling stalls of San Miguel’s local tianguis, fondly known as the Tuesday Market. This is by far one of the highlights of my week. Now it’s time to share it with you all, so you can hopefully get as excited as my family does each Tuesday!

A Stroll Through History

The tradition of tianguis harks back to the pre-Hispanic era. Originating from the Nahuatl language meaning ‘market’, tianguis were the pulsating heart of the Aztec cities, the economic and social lifelines that threaded communities together.

Tuesday's Transformations

Luckily, this tradition still exists to this day. Every Tuesday, our town transforms into an open-air bazaar, a living museum of sorts, where local artisans, farmers, and vendors come together to sell their wares.

What to Expect at the Tuesday Market

From freshly-picked fruits and vegetables, artisan bread, local cheeses, to clothing, antiques, and even car parts – the Tuesday Market has something for everyone! Here’s a glimpse into what you can find:

  • Local Produce: Freshly picked fruits and vegetables, brimming with flavors and colors.
  • Artisan Breads & Cheeses: Savor the rich taste of locally-made breads and cheeses such as Oaxaca, Chihuahua, and Ranchero – an essential accompaniment to chilaquiles! 
  • Mexican Street Food: From tacos de cecina with French fries, to barbacoa, to fried fish, to quesadillas, tlacoyos, and huaraches, to pizza, to elotes and esquites – don’t miss the delicious and authentic Mexican flavors.
  • Clothing: Explore a variety of garments, ranging from traditional to trendy. The stands with the customized character designs (Sonic the hedgehog, Mario Bros etc) are always a hit with my kids and so much cheaper than buying in the stores or online. 
  • Antiques: Discover unique pieces of history in the form of antiques and vintage items.
  • Electronics: phone chargers, hairdryers, cables, and much more at a fraction of the price of anywhere else in San Miguel. 
  • Car Parts: Need a spare part for your vehicle? You might just find it here!

Our Top Tips

As a family we genuinely love everything about the Tuesday market and here are a few of our favorite bits that we make sure to pick up every week without fail. 

  • Cecina (cured meat) from Tacos Beto – I buy around ½ kilo each week, along with fresh tortillas, avocados, limes,  and cream – don’t forget to ask Beto to bag up the red and green sauces to take away, you won’t regret it! 
  • Tacos de Costilla – My husband and oldest son’s favorite. Just follow the queue – it’s a popular one and for good reason. 
  • Aguas del dia – You can find so many great flavors from watermelon, to banana, strawberry, coconut, and mango but my kids favorite is the horchata (a rice-based drink, sweetened with sugar and flavored with cinnamon). 1l averages $25.   
  • Honey – You’ll find fresh, delicious honey at around $120 a litre.

 

  • Kids stationary and birthday giftsWe don’t have a huge selection of places to buy kids treats here in San Miguel. There are some shops, but they’re expensive. Plus, the last thing you want to do is arrive at a party where every mom has bought the same gift from Miniso or spent a fortune in Liverpool! There are some great stalls at the market where you can get customized clothing with your favorite characters, unique stationery items, and something a little different (just be aware that the quality of certain items can vary).
  • FootwearI don’t know about you, but my eldest son outgrows his shoes from one week to another, and I can’t afford new trainers from Liverpool every time. We’re now huge fans of buying trainers from the Tuesday market. There’s a huge selection of all the new fashions for him, and the prices are unbeatable for me; the last pair were $400; it’s a win-win!
  • Clothes – My husband will often pick up second-hand t-shirts that are in great condition from $40-$100 each.
  • Fruit and vegetables – Ask for what’s seasonal and check out the bagged produce. I bought a kilo of fresh mini pears the other day for $20!! Beats supermarket prices any day and the quality and freshness are unparalleled. 
  • Haggling – Don’t be afraid to ask for the best price (el mejor precio), especially when you’re buying many things. You’ll often receive a small discount or get something thrown into the deal. For me this is just general market practice I inherited from my mother who’s always looking for a good deal! 

Preserving Tradition and Promoting Local Economy

It’s important to remember that the Tuesday Market is not just about commerce; it’s about preserving a tradition that has been passed down through generations, keeping Mexican culture vibrant and alive. It’s also about sustainable, locally-oriented commerce that supports our local producers and economy. But above all, it’s about community, camaraderie, and the sheer joy of discovering hidden gems in the most unexpected places.

Safety

I hate to even mention this part, as for me, tianguis have been an integral part of my Mexican experience since day one of arriving almost 20 years ago. However, I know that this is a concern for some, as several of my friends have even broached the subject. I can only speak from personal experience, and I have never once had a problem visiting these markets. I always dress casually (but that’s not unusual), don’t wear much jewelry (again, not something that I do on a daily basis anyway), and I keep an eye on my belongings at all times—the basics of any busy place I visit. Please don’t let fear stand in the way of this truly sensory Mexican experience.

Join Us On This Journey

So, grab your reusable shopping bags, don your comfy shoes, and discover the vibrant world of San Miguel’s Tianguis La Placita / Tuesday Market!

How to Get There

The Tuesday Market is next to the Fire Station and the Red Cross. If driving you can park behind the fire station or in the Plaza del Conde parking area.  

Click here for the exact location

Opening times: 8am-6pm  – but for me the best time is from 9.30am-3pm when all the stands are up and running and before they start to close down.

Sunday Market: We’ve just discovered that there is a scaled-down version of the Tuesday market on Sundays. From 9am-4pm there are food stands, fresh fruit and vegetables, clothes, toys, and much more.