AA El Mercado De Los Angeles

AA El Mercado De Los Angeles

El Mercado De Los Angeles

El Mercado de los Angeles (also known as El Mercado) is the oldest continually operating indoor market in continuous operation in the United States. It was established in 1870 and is located in East Los Angeles. It was designated by the City of Los Angeles as a Historic Cultural Monument (HCM #105) on November 11, 1985.



Widely known as a social, cultural, and commercial center for the local Latinx community, El Mercado represents a traditional Latin American marketplace providing a space in Boyle Heights for the sale of traditional Mexican goods, religious relics, live mariachi music, and authentic Mexican food. The building is situated around a large interior courtyard and is distinguished by its red-tiled roof, arcade, and distinctive two-story arches.

Although El Mercado has become strongly identified with the Latinx community, the space was originally a multiethnic market. Founded in 1968 by Art Chaya on the former site of the Boyle Heights Lumber Company, the two-story stucco building served the local Mexican, Japanese, and Italian communities. The variety of cultures, products, and foods boosted its appeal to outside visitors. Though the building has evolved over time, its original spirit and purpose have sustained.

At “El Mercadito”, many of the food vendors are located on the market's second floor. Some specialize in a variety of hot chiles, spices, and moles. Huge buckets of mole paste come from México to be sold at the market. Mole verde and rojo from Guerrero, mole negro or colorado from Oaxaca, mole poblano, and many others. You can buy mole here by weight, add some broth and a protein to it, and you’ve got an entire meal.

I went today 8/10/21 and was surprised to see most of the shops are now in the parking lot. I purchased a pistachio ice cream.. Snacks are pre-packaged. Also, the ice cream, raspados and chips out door area is now behind plastic plexi. People seemed to keep social distances for the most part. I did see a few people with no masks and no masks on their kids. If you go just know you cant really eat there and their food is packaged to go. Keep your eye out for people that dont wear masks because those people werent socially distancing at all.

They moved a lot of vendors outside so theres less of a contagion risk. There are still some vendors indoors but most are outside as well as some food vendors. Parking is more limited now so I suggest you get there early to avoid crowds and get a parking spot.Most people were wearing a mask so that was also reassuring. All vendors I interacted with wore masks and were very helpful!



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