The Michoacán Market is a “mercado público”, or a traditional retail food market located in one of the more prestigious areas of Mexico City, La Condesa. It is situated between Michoacán, Vicente Suárez and Tamaulipas streets where three colonias intersect. The Michoacán Market is considered to be “the heart of La Condesa”.
The market is located among boutiques, restaurants and bars, with the streets around the market usually jammed with cars. In 2008, the city proposed a plan that would partially close off Avenida Michoacán and convert the market into a cultural forum. However, this plan was rejected by residents of the area.
The vendors in the market do not live in the Condesa area. They are middle class who come here each day to work. While the market was designed for retail trade of foodstuffs, most of its sales are to the many restaurants which are located in this area.
Although most buyers are restaurateurs, they do not purchase here in bulk as they have other sources for this. Much of the purchase are fruit and vegetables to supplement their basic stock. The rest of the clientele consists of elderly housewives who do weekly shopping and passers-by who generally frequent prepared food stands. The outer stalls of the market, especially at its narrowest corner are dominated by these food stands. These stands, selling mainly typical Mexican street food, contrast with the finer restaurants and bistros on the surrounding streets.
The three colonias are mostly residential neighbourhoods, with some office buildings. They are considered cosmopolitan, with Art Deco and other architecture from the 1930s and 1940s, along with a number of modern structures. It is an upper income area, although it has had problems associated with urban decay.
The market building is functionalist in design, which was popular in the first half of the 20th century when it was established. It was considered modern and European with certain design elements distinctive from much of traditional Mexican architecture, including the use of steel and concrete, lightweight walls, the absence of ornamentation both in the interior and exterior and large windows. The façades were decorated with stencils in 2008 as an example of “street art.” The building covers 360 square metres, almost the entire lot, so there is no parking and no green spaces except for a few trees that are nearby.