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Inside the Icon: Mercado Miguel Hidalgo

Exploring Tijuana’s oldest outdoor market


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Named after Mexico’s would-be George Washington, the ring of some 80 mom-and-pop shops stands on Sanchez Taboada Boulevard in Zona Rio.

Lapping the market is a trail of exotic fruit: yaca (jackfruit), pitaya (dragonfruit), tuna (prickly pear), and guanabana (soursop), all prepped for eating on the spot, as, sadly, no produce can be legally crossed back into the U.S.

La Cava del Queso specializes in cheeses including chipotle, rosemary, jalapeño, cranberry, and coconut-and-raisin varieties from Valle de Guadalupe. And the U.S.’ three-kilogram import allowance translates to gourmet homemade quesadillas for days.

Not only does La Oaxaqueña, a small Oaxacan deli in the market’s northeast corner, stock southern Mexican delicacies like chapulines (dried and seasoned crickets), there’s a clandestine mezcal operation going down behind the register, too. Just ask.

Piñatas of countless incarnations, most of which are unavailable north of the border for copyright reasons, abound.

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