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Grazing an Entire Country at a Mexico City Market

Grazing an Entire Country at a Mexico City Market


At Mercado Roma Coyoacán, visitors can devour a delicious mishmash of foods and fusions from all over Mexico (and beyond).

The chimichanga perrona from Tetakawi, one of the stalls at the new Mercado Roma Coyoacán in Mexico City.CreditJaime Navarro

The best time to visit Mercado Roma Coyoacán — the new three-floor food hall made up of 42 different vendors in the Mexico City neighborhood of Coyoacán — is during a televised soccer game. As the scent of simmering pork and just-heated corn tortillas lingered in the air, the cries of “gooooooaaaaallll!” from the various TVs echoed through the space as patrons fist-pumped and high-fived each other.

A 15-minute walk from Coyoacán’s leafy Plaza de la Conchita, the market, like its four-year-old sibling in the Roma neighborhood, is an upscale take on the salt-of-the-earth food stalls that have long existed in various neighborhood markets throughout the capital. Here, though, visitors can devour a delicious mishmash of foods and fusions from all over Mexico and the world.

At La Botica del Té you can order a tea infusion based on your astrological sign. An Italian stand serves “Italian tacos” (meat and veggies wrapped in a thick tortilla-like piadina, a specialty of Emilia-Romagna). Or at Kome, you can eat a sushi burrito. Then there are regional offerings: cemitas from Puebla, tacos from Yucatán, and, of course, grasshoppers (a classic market snack).

I steered clear of both insects and gastronomical mash-ups. I instead sampled above-average chicken enchiladas smothered in Oaxacan mole and sprinkled with fresh white cheese at Lucy’s. At Kua 32 — the Nahuatl word for “to eat” plus the number of states in Mexico (including the capital) — I scarfed down a taco stuffed with carnitas made from duck instead of the usual pork. At Tacos Áribes Tripoli, I grazed on a taco Arabe: lamb meat shaved off a spit and served on a thick pita-like tortilla, the ancestor of the taco al pastor and a culinary fusion old enough to now be considered “traditional.”

I was largely satisfied. Then I plopped myself on a stool at Tetakawi, a spot representing the cuisine of Sonora, a northwest region hugging the United States border and the Gulf of California. Eduardo Arenas, the chef and owner (and one-time contestant on the popular Mexican version of the TV show “Master Chef”), put a taco filled with grilled octopus doused in a barbacoa sauce in front of me. The taste was sensational: a salty fresh sensation of the sea fused with an earthy smokiness from the sauce.

Next I tried the chimichanga perrona, a deep-fried burrito filled with marlin, shrimp, güero chili peppers and queso crema. “‘Perrona’ could be loosely translated as ‘extraordinary,’” he said. Indeed. The fried exterior of the tortilla belied a soft and juicy interior: the creaminess of the cheese, the snap of the shrimp, the freshness of the marlin and a slight kick from the chili. “Chimichangas are really popular in Sonora and northern Mexico,” Mr. Arenas said, “and they usually have pork or beef in them but I love cooking with seafood so I did my own take.”

I capped off my visit by stopping by Cafexolgía, which marries alcohol and coffee. As I sipped on a cup of a mix of rum, horchata, cinnamon and espresso, the televisions began to blare again with cries of “goooooaaaallll!” Finding Mercado Roma Coyoacán was, indeed, a score.

Mercado Roma Coyoacán, Miguel Ángel Quevedo 353;; dinner for two, without drinks or tip, is about 400 pesos, about $20.

A version of this article appears in print on , on Page TR8 of the New York edition with the headline: Tastes From Mexico and Beyond Under One Roof. Order Reprints | Today’s Paper | Subscribe

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