Market Square is a traditional and historic shopping district in San Antonio, Texas. The district is the largest Mexican shopping center in the city. It is called El Mercado by the locals. It is also where some festivals and exhibits are hosted. wikipedia
This Market Square in San Antonio provids with an unique, interesting shopping, dining and entertaining experience. There in the center visitors can discover Mexican culture, bright, bold and beautiful. In fact I liked this neat place's calmness, cosyness, and cleaness over the real markets in real Mexico, where we got followed by dozens of folks without end in sight. And no restroom in sight either.
A very interesting shopping experince. There is plenty of things to purchase, all with a distinct Hispanic flavor. Though there are Texas goods to be had a plenty, it is the crafts from Mexico that make this area different. It is a market pleasent, the prices are reasonable. They are not what you would pay in Mexico for similar products, I am sure, but you are not in Mexico. I personally enjoy the colored pottery done in Talavera style. There is plenty to purchase that is sterotypical and unique things if you really look for you can find. Be preapred however, everything seems to look the same and most of the shops sell similar goods. I pefer the longer market without the food court in terms of quality of the goods and prices. Though the deals are not drastic, a few dollars, it is still fun. I tend to go and window shop more then purchase when I am here though. There are several resturants, food stalls, and street vendors so you wont go hungry. There are ATMS and everyone takes credit cards. And there is a museum to visit too!
It's a little known discovery that theres a Mexican Seafood restrurant in the market square. Its called La Jaiba. I recently discovered it on my last trip. This restrurant is NUMBER ONE!!! Oh my God, i couldn't believe how wonderful the food was, and how pleasant and informative the waiters and staff could be. We sat outside in the upstairs balcony, where the breeze was so nice, and the view was great. We had the most terrific time. Then afterwards we went downstairs to the club and danced the night away... this by far is the best place to go in the market square. You won't regret it.
The El Mercado is a festive and cultural shopping mecca situated adjacent to downtown San Antonio. However, each year the shops become more run down and the merchandise starts becoming overpriced junk. For instance, there are mass produced tinker toys and decorative art that have nothing to do with the Mexican culture and more suited for a fair booth.
The gem to find at the El Mercado are Day of the Dead sculpted dolls. Even then you must decide which are of good quality and which are overpriced cheap tourist traps. Look for ones that include symbolism and propaganda. For a small one, expect to pay about $30 and for a large one about $50 at the most, anything else is overpriced junk that is being exploited from the artist that they paid half of what they are charging.
Don't even bother with the Farmer's Market if you are wanting authentic Mexican merchandise, they are more like a flea market complete with Chinese retaurants. Definitely not the atmosphere the original Mercado is struggling to maintain.
market square is a interesting place to visit when in downtown san antonio. market square dates back to the 1820's and is more historic than the river walk. market square offers a number of restaurants, bars, and shops.
HISPANIC HERITAGE...VERYNICE PLACE TO VISIT...AND ENJOY TYPICAL MEXICAN FOOD WITH SOME MARIACHI MUSIC...LOTS OF CRAFTS PLACES AND SOUVENIR...SUMMER TIME SOME MEXICAN MUSIC PERFORMANCE...
Market Square Ataste of old Mexico Arts, craft and food in a unique market setting with over 50 specialty shops.
The first building in Market Square was built in 1820, but this area did not become a permanent market until the late 1890s. Throughout the 20th Century, the neighborhood was frequently rebuilt and revitalized into the traditional Market Square of today. The area houses a farmers market, the indoor shops of El Mercado, and dozens of storefront shops along Produce Row. There are two famous restaurants in this square: La Margarita Restaurant & Oyster Bar and Mi Tierra Cafe & Bakery.
Locals in the city gave us advice to come here for dinner rather than the trendy, expensive Riverwalk, and they were dead on! Though still somewhat touristy, this area was not over-crowded and had a more traditional feel. Plus the stroll from the Riverwalk takes you past many historical landmarks such as Bexar County Courthouse, San Fernando Cathedral, City Hall, Spanish Governor's Palace, and the O. Henry House.
Perhaps the most overblown location in San Antonio, the Mercado basically sucks.
It's a few Mexican restaurants, a band, a lot of people, lots of cowboy boots, and some souveniers. It's not even worth visiting to be quite honest, and I'm positive that it was created as a tourist trap.
The only good thing is that there was a guy doing some pretty cool magic tricks while I strolled through. He shouldn't be wasting his time in the alley that has, for some strange reason, become an attraction.
Yet another great place to eat, shop, and hang out in San Antonio is the Market Square, just west of the River Walk. This old farmers' market is one of the city's best places to visit and soak up the ambiance of this city.
This is a great market area with lots of Mexican atmosphere. Some really good restaurants as well as loads of colourful stores selling souvenirs, typical Mexican wares and clothing. Something for everyone.
There is a really lovely upmarket 3 level store, Los Pueblitos, which had some very nice wares indeed.
Hours: 10 a.m.-8 p.m. summer; 10 a.m.-6 p.m. winter.
See Market Square Travelogue.
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