El Bazar Sabado
Every Saturday in the barrio of San Angel in Mexico City, this little corner of the city is transformed into an outdoor artisan market, selling handcrafts, art and food. So even though you are in the middle of the city, you feel like you are in a bustling town.
The market spread over two outdoor squares and includes indoor stalls in an old 18th century home. It is a great place to shop for finer quality gifts and enjoy a nice meal out. The market is only on a Saturday, but the shops that line the streets leading to the main square and the restaurants are open throughout the week.
You can find Otomi embroidered cloths, paintings in the square and in fact my favorite potter (and the mug I have used no-word-of-a-lie every single day for the last 11 years since I first visited San Angel) is still there. If you are going with young children there are a lot of cobblestones and the sidewalks are crammed with people and vendors. So you can move about with a buggy, but it won’t be smooth sailing. I would go without a stroller or take a baby carrier if you can.
This time we started at Museo Casa Estudio Diego Rivera y Frida Khalo. We often take a taxi as parking looks crazy, but we easily found parking just down the road from the museum studio on Alta Vista road for 50 pesos for the day in a lot. It’s a bit of a walk from the market square, but the walk over is through winding side streets and old houses covered in bougainvillea so it’s a nice way to go.
To tour the studio it is first come, first served. It’s open Tuesday to Sunday 10 a.m. to 17:30 a.m. Sundays are free. Adults pay $40 pesos, children under 13 are free, teachers and students who go to school in Mexico are free. You can see Diego Rivera’s house-studio and Frida’s studio which was open, but currently empty. Juan O’Gorman, the architect who designed the buildings, also has a studio on-site you can tour. The buildings are from 1931-32 era and it was interesting to imagine them creating their works there with large windows to pull their pieces in and out of. On the Saturday they also had workshops for the children. You don’t need long here, but if you love Diego Rivera it is worth a visit.
We then wandered over to the market via the pottery shop Trinitate which I love! And down Gral. Marcia Lazcano to Plaza San Jacinto and the market, stopping at the church Parroquia San Jacinto along the way.
Benito Juarez street has lots of little shops in the buildings — some are deceiving and go quite far into the back. Boutique San Angel, Local Mexico — which supports local artists, and Paskwarho are all favourites along here.
On weekdays these shops are open and there is a cute cafe, Cafe de las Artes, across the square where you can also park that is closer. I don’t know if you would be able to squeeze in on a Saturday, though!
The small square has covered stalls outdoors on Saturday selling a little bit of everything, luchador masks, leather belts, tablecloths, clothing and more. In the main outdoor square of San Jacinto you will find the artwork on Saturday. And across from the artwork, there is a building on the corner that is open on Saturdays with shops inside and a restaurant, Oxa. The last time we went we had a really nice meal there and the cocktails looked great! The ambiance is really nice as you are seated in the centre of the building around the old fountain and a huge tree which we think is a jacaranda tree. The shops inside this building are varied, jewellery, food, housewares, decorations, ceramics and textiles. My favourite potter, Taller Experimental de Ceramica, is there.
Outside this building but on the plaza, we have also enjoyed a lunch at Saks, as well as upstairs at Jacinta which gives you a nice view of the square if you eat upstairs. Back by Diego’s house-museum is the famous San Angel Inn which we have always tried to book last minute (as in, as we are leaving the house) and have never managed to get in. So we clearly need to plan ahead and go back on another Saturday!
Museo Casa del Risco is worth going through, if only to see the gorgeous fountain! This is especially nice in October leading up to Dia de los Muertos.
Further down Madero is a Fabrica Social which sells handmade and designed clothes that are just a bit different and they always have something new and interesting in the shop. They put the name of who made it and how long it took them to sew it, I love their slow fashion!
If you keep walking to leave San Angel, you will come out to the busy road of Revolution (better place to get a taxi/uber than inside the congested square) and down to the left is a flower market. They have Christmas trees in December.
We have always gone early, had a 1 p.m. lunch and then left as it gets really busy and crowded. There are also many vendors who line the sidewalk selling baskets, embroidery, weavings and more. So take your cash and walking shoes and enjoy Bazaar San Angel on a Saturday.