Mercado Público: “The” Fresh Fruit, Veggie, Meat, & Fish Market

Colombians are very entrepreneurial people selling fruits, vegetables, hats, tchotchkes, clothing, services, cardboard and just about anything.  There are pop up stands, rolling carts, booths, small stores, and large stores selling your heart’s desire.  Do you need a Mercado Público?

Fruits & veggies can be bought on the street by various vendors selling them off push carts or bikes with carts.  This allows them to  easily move their goods around to high traffic areas.

The largest food market we have encountered is called Mercado Público.  The market fills a two story building that takes up the entire block.  And in fact, it is so large that it spills out onto the neighboring streets.  Matt, Mia (from “Itchy Foot”), and I visited this market one morning which was absolutely overwhelming to all of our senses.

We visited the outside fish market first.  There are lot of fisherman selling a variety of fish that have been cut and cleaned for you.  You could get a great fish, if you knew what you were looking at and could put up with the assault on your nose.

Entering the two story building on the first floor you see that it is divided into two sections for fish and meat. We decided to continue to torture our noses by finishing up the fish area.

As we completed the fish section, we crossed over to the meat section which has all meats except chicken.  Where the fish attacked our sense of smell, the meat besieged our vision!  I get it, I eat meat and meat comes from animals.  I am not a vegetarian, but I do not eat red meat (for health reasons).  But, seeing the meat market almost made me change my ways.

We did not make the entire round as you’ve seen one pig’s head and foot you’ve seen them all.  We moved upstairs to the fruit and veggie market which was far more pleasant to see and smell.  In fact, some of it was mouth watering to be around!

In addition to food, you can also buy some pets.  We found a few vendors selling birds in the main building and then stumbled across the pet store street.  In this area, they group like vendors together to make it easier for shoppers.


  • pet street
  • hardware street
  • fabric street
  • auto street

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