Major Remodeling At Mercado Municipal

That’s the local market in San Jose

The local market in San Jose, known as the Mercado Municipal, is undergoing a significant remodel and has been under construction since July. It was so-called guaranteed to be done in less than four months. Well, it’s almost been six months and the city told us last month that they are only two-thirds of the way finished.

They also told us they had hoped the market would ready by December 20. Ha! That was never going to happen because all of the city workers take most of December off for Christmas (which means that basically nothing gets done for at least a month).

mercado.JPGThe market remains open for business during the remodel. The food court is closed while construction is going on, but many of the food vendors have relocated to other sites in the meantime, just about a block away.

In total, the government is spending $177,000 USD for this project. Of that, $70,000 comes from the federal government, $37,000 from the state government and $70,000 from the city government. The majority of this money is set aside for infrastructural improvements and upgrading the kitchen area within the food court.

Resources will also be provided to the eight restaurants in the food court to help with food handling, quality of food service and business plans and sales, in an effort to further improve the food court. The goal of the whole project is to get more visitors to the market, both locals and tourists alike.

If you don’t live in San Jose, you might not have even heard of this place. It’s kind of a well-kept secret. The market is in downtown San Jose and can be very difficult to get to if you don’t know where you are going. The easiest way to get here is from the northbound fourlane, turning right on Coronado Street, almost to the traffic circle that’s in front of the Pemex. It is the giant red and white building on your left side (three blocks from the highway). It has been there since 1977.

The market is basically a large building with a number of different stalls that are rented out to local businesses, almost like a small mall. You can find just about anything you need to cook a meal (or you can eat one at the food court).

The best part about the market is that it is all local; all the products sold there come from local sources. You can find fresh meat, poultry, fish and seafood, cheeses, fruits, vegetables, dried and canned goods, cooking supplies, and pretty much anything else you might need to make dinner. There are plenty of souvenirs for sale at much more reasonable prices than in the more touristy zones.

Attached to the outside of the building are even more businesses, where you can find freshly made corn and flour tortillas and Mexican candies. The market is open daily from 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.