About two days ago, I decided to get back at it to exploring Mexico City.
In my years down here, I never really went out of my way ever to do touristy things.
Being honest, I just don’t give much of a damn about touristy activities unless they involve hiking, canoeing, etc.
Something to do with nature.
Anything to do with architecture, culture and history?
There’s a few parts of the world that I felt were very impressive in those areas and that I’d visit again.
But they are far and few in between.
To name some of them off my head, they’d be:
- That British museum in London with all the stolen objects.
- The area where Hitler killed himself in Berlin.
- Some of the architecture in Athens.
- That mountain in Potosi of Bolivia where so many died.
- The Vatican.
- The Berlin Wall.
A lot of those are in Europe as you can tell!
Truth be told, there’s not as many historical places in Latin America that are interesting to me but there’s a few that I definitely want to visit.
- Where the Bay of Pigs invasion took place.
- Guantanamo Bay
- Where the last battle for independence for Spanish South America took place
- Where the final battle of the War of Triple Alliance took place
- Some of the camps where people were tortured in the Dirty War by authoritarian governments in Argentina and Chile
- Maybe where some of the escaped Nazis landed when they left Germany to South America?
- Where Fidel was killed.
- Where Oscar Romero was killed in El Salvador.
So on and so on!
As you can see, I guess I do have more interest in authoritarian history and cold war shit.
Anyway, let’s get back to the article!
A Trip to Coyoacan
As readers know, I currently now live in Lindavista of Mexico City in the far north of the city.
And I have decided to spend the next year visiting all of the main touristy sites and lesser important areas of Mexico City.
Just because I am planning on leaving Mexico City eventually to travel around Latin America.
Therefore, I better get everything crossed off my list!
Now Coyoacan is in the southern bit of the city but I decided to start with my tourism activities there because my niece Isabel did a school project on Frida Kahlo.
Therefore, I arrived to Coyoacan first as you can see here to visit the museum of Frida.
It was about a 15 minute walk from Metro Coyoacan to Frida’s house that you can see a picture of here.
However, I found out that they only let those in who bought a ticket online.
Which pissed me off.
You mean I spent an hour traveling just to be turned away?
Well, I’ll make sure to get inside that place soon.
Isabel is getting her photos!
I’ll probably do it Sunday.
Anyway, I carried on and decided to visit the museum of Leon Trotsky.
This is actually one museum out of few that I actually am interested in because I do find some aspects of his life to be interesting.
The dude was even killed in Mexico City as you can see here.
However, here is the museum.
It was closed (until further notice, it says).
As I stood there in disbelief after realizing the two most important museums that I wanted to see that day were not possible, some American tourist walked up to me.
Which, as a side point, I hadn’t seen so many foreign tourists in one place for a long ass time until I went to this part of Coyoacan.
It was some fat blonde dude who asked me in Spanish “esta abierto?”
I said no.
Hearing my accent, he switches to English.
It turns out we were both on a Dora the Explorer mission.
Walking around the neighborhood checking off touristy things to see.
I asked him then “where is the center of Coyoacan from here?” because this is not a part of the city that I know well to be honest.
I’ve been to these parts before but I’ve spent 99% of my time in Coyoacan is less touristy parts by Pedregal de Santo Domingo and Copilco Metro.
Where, in those parts, I don’t remember ever seeing a single foreigner ever.
Especially not in Pedregal de Santo Domingo with its more sketchy reputation.
Suffice to say, I’m not that big into tourism usually or acting like a tourist.
All of this experience genuinely made me feel like a “tourist” again and not someone living here as I walked around among other tourists looking for places people on the internet mentioned to visit on their own blogs.
Made me feel like I was traveling South America again from some odd years ago almost.
Anyway, the dude pointed me in the right direction and off I went.
Arriving to Coyoacan Market
Walking a bit, I notice just how “hipster” the general crowd of foreigners in the area was.
Like I said, I hadn’t seen so many foreigners in one place since I was last in El Centro or when I lived in Roma Norte.
It’s always a tiny bit weird to me to see so many in one place.
It doesn’t bother me but it’s like being in a completely different city from what I’m used to.
So much more English used outside.
So many more people like me.
The culture of the area feels a little more different.
So many more local people hustling you for cash in English.
A more “touristy feel” that feels off a little bit, if you know what I mean?
And, as I said, the hipsters!
A SHIT TON of hipsters that I saw in Coyoacan that day.
As I was walking towards the center of Coyoacan, I noticed one European sounding lady discussing with another in English about some woven crafts that some random old lady was selling on the street.
While waiting for a chance to cross the street, I could see this very old lady (easily in her 80s from the look of it) looking up at them all confused as they discussed which of her products to buy in English.
Their main concern was which of them had more of a “authentic” Mexican style (they weren’t Mexican) and which offered more “spiritual meaning.”
Straight out of a comic book.
Anyway, not being sure if I’m going the right direction, I see some random dude crossing the street towards me.
I asked him where the center of Coyoacan was.
And he pointed me in the right direction and told me to “follow him” because he was heading in the same direction also.
At some point, he stopped as he wanted to enter a café and told me how to finish the path.
As I walked along from there, I noticed this place here.
The Coyoacan market!
I heard of this place was a “top sight to see” in Coyoacan so I figured to check it out first.
Which is what this article will show you what the inside of it looks like.
Let’s get to it and wrap this up.
Inside Coyoacan Market
So I walked through the entrance of the building that you saw above.
Which was nice to get out of the heat given how god damn hot it was that day walking around Coyoacan outside.
Once inside, I immediately started getting bombed with requests to buy things.
One lady at the front by some restaurant was saying to me “joven..joven!!! Comida? Que buscas?”
Asking me if I want to try her food basically or what am I looking for exactly.
As a side point, I always appreciate being called “joven” in Latin America.
As I get closer to 30, it’s much appreciated to remind me how I’m still young!
Though, as we’ll see, I feel the word “joven” doesn’t have much meaning when it’s applied to grandpas also.
Maybe Latinos are just nice with the compliments, no?
Anyway, I remember reading on the internet in this article here about how I need to try “Tostadas de Coyoacan.”
Where this tostadas place is apparently in the market.
Given that I’m doing what isn’t typical of me by engaging in tourism activities, I have referred to the tourism experts of Mexico City online regarding what I should do!
After all, it’s out of my league.
I’m more familiar with bribing cops, bribing store owners to break Covid rules to sell me liquor, chasing tail, living in neighborhoods that would make most foreign men wet their panties and other nefarious activities.
Yet to try drugs like cocaine though!
So, when it comes to tourism activities, I need a little guidance as to what to do.
Therefore, when I walked into this market, my eyes were open for this “tostadas” place since it apparently has a good reputation.
And I carried forward
Here are some photos of the inside of the market that I saw initially.
Right away, I noticed a lot of items being sold were candies or Halloween/Day of the Dead stuff.
Though people say that Mexicans don’t celebrate Halloween (most don’t), I have seen a few kids in my years here do “trick or tweet.”
Anyway, I carried forward with A LOT of people trying to stop me to buy something.
Soon enough, I stumbled into some part of the market where meats, fruits and vegetables are sold.
And you know what?
This is where I started to feel like this is a “typical market” in Mexico.
Because, when you read why people like this market online, some of the narrative is focused on how this market is “typical” of Mexican markets!
So if you want something AUTHENTIC, you must go here to Coyoacan Market!
Being honest with you?
It didn’t feel very authentic in most of the place.
I’ve been to other markets.
When I was here, I remembered my time going to the markets in Pachuca.
Night and day difference.
While both sold similar products (like food mostly), this place had a lot more tourism items on display.
But, more importantly, the atmosphere was much more “GIVE ME MONEY GRINGO!!!!”
“OH SI SI UN GRINGO!! YA VEO DOLARES!! DOLARES EN MIS OJOS!! GRINGO VEN ACA PENDEJO!!! ERES MI CAJERO AUTOMATICO!!!”
Now, to be fair, it wasn’t THAT bad.
Well, it kinda was
It didn’t ruin the vibe for me but I was just constantly getting folks trying to sell me something.
Compared to other markets I’ve been to in Mexico?
I don’t ever get pursued as aggressively.
We’ll get to a good example in a second.
Anyway, I will be fair in saying that the food area of the market did remind me of my time in other markets like those in Pachuca.
Seeing plenty of locals sitting down eating food to all of the meat and vegetables being sold to bring home.
If I was living in this part of Coyoacan, I’d probably shop here more often.
But I’m not entirely sure if I would?
Given it’s touristy reputation, prices here are probably higher than elsewhere if I had to guess.
And I wouldn’t like the people trying to sell me something every second of me walking around here whenever I would need groceries.
If there were other markets nearby not at all touristy, I’d probably walk there first if I lived in this part of Coyoacan.
When I lived in Pedregal de Santo Domingo in Coyoacan, the markets were much more normal, not at all touristy and some of the folks seemed a little more respectful.
Anyway, I did ask some random vegetable vendor about where this “tostadas de Coyoacan” is.
I genuinely had no idea.
He knew right away what was I asking for though and pointed me in the right direction.
Eating Tostadas in Coyoacan Market
When I walked over, I see that they had all these tostadas on sell and clearly seems to be a popular tostada place!
Plenty of people sitting down eating.
And, as you can see here, this place has been open for decades now.
I guess this is it?
As I write this, I have no idea if I found the right place but let’s roll with it.
It’s good enough.
So I sit down and check out the menu.
Thankfully, I don’t think the guy was trying to “gringo price” me.
Which is a good start.
And I check out the menu.
Half of it in fish tostadas and the other half not including fish.
I order 2 tostadas (one chicken and one beef) with a coca cola.
Got to have that coca cola – I’m an American!
Supports a company of my country which then supports my country, right?
They bring the food out fairly quickly.
Surprisingly quickly actually.
Here’s a picture of it.
It doesn’t include the chicken tostada because I already ate half of it before remembering to take a photo and I didn’t want to show you a half-eaten tostada
That’d be rude.
Total price? 80 pesos for the two tostadas and coca cola.
Was it good? Sure!
It wasn’t amazing but it tasted good.
Would I eat there again?
If I was living in this part of Coyoacan, then maybe.
But probably not regularly if I’m being honest.
The food was good but not so good that I’d be running towards the door to try it again and again.
It was fine.
The customer service was fine
I gave the dude a tip of 20 pesos and carried on.
Right before I did though, I saw some restaurant dude try selling his food to some old local dude who could’ve been in his 60s or older.
As he walked away, the restaurant dude was calling him “joven!! Joven!!”
That’s always been a funny thing to me -- how some Latinos sometimes even call old people “joven.”
I’ll give them that – it’s polite!
But that was the same dude who turned on me to buy food as I got up from the table.
“I Just Ate, Pendejo. And You Saw Me Eat.”
As I got up, I walked around the market some more.
Right away, this skinny ass dude stopped me from walking any further and was standing in my way trying to keep me from walking ahead of him.
Literally blocking the fucking path as he attempts to read me his menu.
And I said to him like 3 times “I already ate.”
It was on the third try that the dude said “vale” and moved to the side to let me keep walking.
What was weird was that the tostada place I ate at was basically in front of the place he was pitching.
I know he saw me because he was making his pitch to customers right in front of me as I was eating.
Why would you pitch lunch to someone who just had a meal?
Sometimes the logic of some of the locals in Mexico is foreign to me.
IQ 80? Maybe that’s too generous.
Anyway, I kept on walking as I said.
Here’s a few more photos I took.
The Cool Halloween Vendor
I found myself in some heavy Halloween/Day of the Dead section.
And the vendor for some Halloween masks (including a joker one) made small talk with me.
I asked him genuinely if people actually celebrate Halloween here?
Because I have seen some kids ask for candy at stores in Mexico City but they are far and few in between.
He said “well, a few” as he does sell the masks to those interested.
Including adults who just want some costume for some house party.
And he had some actual Day of the Dead stuff.
Some of his stuff did look cool too.
A scary mirror and some cool lights.
If I had my own house, I’d have bought some of his stuff for sure.
He seemed like a nice and cool dude also as we got along well and had a cool chat.
It didn’t feel like he was trying to squeeze me for money and he was all around good humored.
Like I said, if I had a house to decorate, I would’ve bought something from him.
"Gringo!! Gringo!! Dame Dinero por la Foto, Pinche Gringo!!"
Anyway, I carried on and took another photo here as you can see.
By this point, some fat middle aged lady got angry at me.
Very passive aggressive.
She started saying “you can’t take photos here!”
Then demanded money!
Saying “it costs money to take photos of the market.”
Not just of her shit – but in the entire market she clarified!
As I told her that I didn’t take a photo of her since she wasn’t in the shot nor was her merchandise.
“No importa!” she claimed.
At that point, I just laughed and carried on.
As I walked down some aisle of hats, she said to me “joven!!”
And insisted that I owe her money.
To which I said “quien eres? La policia? No jodas conmigo.”
And i don’t think she was expecting a gringo to hit back in Spanish.
She probably just saw some random gringo and thought I was a tourist.
But I’ve been through this shit before with locals demanding money when you take a photo that doesn’t even include them nor their shit.
They just see a tourist and pretend to make up rules going “OH SI SI!! UN GRINGO!!! YA LLEGA MI OPORTUNIDAD DE TENER DINERO!!”
To which I can only imagine myself saying “ya vete a chupar unas vergas en Tepito, puta vieja.”
Anyway, I didn’t pay her and just kept on walking after my last comment.
She had some confused look on her face as I said in which maybe she wasn’t expecting a gringo who has seen that bullshit before and isn’t just a tourist.
But, by this point, I had already seen most of the market and left.
Here’s another photo of it from outside.
When outside, I also found this small park area that you can see below.
A Break from the Market: Jardin Allende
It was right across from the Coyoacan market.
Here’s some photos of it.
I was going to write a full article on it but I only spent like 5 minutes here because this “garden” or park area is so small anyhow.
It was nice though!
Despite how touristy this area is, I genuinely did like the parks that I have seen so far like this one.
Very nice to check out.
Calm and quiet.
I love sitting down on a bench in quiet and just people watch.
Think about important thoughts like “what is the meaning of life?” to “how can I get Alejandra to suck my dick today?”
Both equally important topics!
And this park, with all its tranquillity, seemed like a nice place to visit.
With the market across the street, you could even buy a small snack or something and enjoy your time here.
Perhaps with those tostadas?
Anyway, I soon found myself wanting to see “the center of Coyoacan” as I said before that was the place I was headed to initially.
In this park, I found some street vendor and asked him which street I should walk down on.
He pointed me in the right direction.
If you’re curious about my Coyoacan adventures, then check out this next article here where I go to the center of Coyoacan.
And follow my Twitter here.
Thanks for reading.