Inside a narrow corridor down at the Mercado Emiliano Zapata in Old Town Vallarta is one of our favorite Mom and Pop restaurants where we are always guaranteed a hot bowl of delicious birria de res (beef stew soup), huevos rancheros and a chile relleno plate that almost makes you blush!
As to the name of the restaurant, I have no idea, but of the 3 different stalls that are there, it is the one directly in the middle.
The prices are incredibly affordable, the serving sizes enough to fill you for the day, and the ambiance local, comfortable and casual.
My favorite is the birria, a traditional Jaliscan spice-filled soup that is served with rice, tortillas, cabbage, onions, radishes, lime and three different salsas on the side.
For two plates and 3 large glasses of fresh-squeezed OJ, our bill is usually around 220 pesos, less than 13 dollars.
After indulging to our heart’s and stomach’s content (there’s always room for one more bite!), a walk is in order so around the market streets and in and out of the various stalls we love to explore.
For a behind-the-scenes view of the tortillería at el mercado, click on this video below but do keep the volume low lest you enjoy a nail on chalkboard sound.
A trip to el mercado Emiliano Zapata is not complete without a stop at one of the many fruterías where one is immersed in a bouquet of fresh produce!
Looking around eye-level for the bananas, lo and behold, they were right there at my feet! No question as to their freshness!
If you are ever in the downtown Vallarta area and are wanting to have a unique, local experience, I highly recommend an outing to El Mercado Emiliano Zapata! It is sure to delight your senses and fill your belly!
If you have had the pleasure of going to this mercado or others in the Vallarta area and other regions of Mexico, I would love to hear about it in the comments section below!
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