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Traditional Delicacies at El Mercado Emiliano Zapata in Old Town, Puerto Vallarta!

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.

Another great meal at Mercado Emiliano Zapata!

Another great meal at Mercado Emiliano Zapata!

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.

Post-meal walk time!

Post-meal walk time!

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! 

One of my favorite things to do--shop local & fresh!

One of my favorite things to do–shop local & fresh!

Looking around eye-level for the bananas, lo and behold, they were right there at my feet! No question as to their freshness!

Right off the tree!

Right off the tree!

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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{ 2 comments… add one }
  • Soul Patch September 4, 2017, 9:08 pm

    This is really a perfect article….. on point, colorful in both words and images, and easy to digest.

    Makes me happy to have these mini-adventures in my life with my one and only partner in crime.

  • billy king September 5, 2017, 12:07 pm

    Nice, very nice. I know the market well, its not much but the food stalls are great. I’ve alternated between one or the other. I try not to eat at a stall with the young kids in the kitchen, I’m sure you know why. In that neighborhood are some fantastic taco stands. In particular straight down the market street right across from the restaurant Orange is my favorite. Open in the evening, not on Fridays. Next to Orangerie is Restaurant Celia which specializes in Pozole…closed Mon Tues if I remember correctly. Very popular with locals! Excellent pozole and also the chicken plate is very good. I also favor the Pancake House on Basillo Badillo 289…on the other side of Insurgentes headed south. Owner Memo originated breakfast meals in Vallarta! There’s good fresh juice on the corner of the Farmacia Guadalajara and there are a couple really good carnitas stands open within a block from the church. The grocery stores in the neighborhood tend to have a wide selection of produce, good papayas for example. Price dependent on your mastery of Spanish it seems! Across from the church are great Churros in the evening and on Sunday day. Theres some great swimming holes on the river although its probably to full and swift now. All in all its a great safe neighborhood to enjoy. In the past it was a family neighborhood although the elements from the beach keep moving upriver for the cheaper rents. Good bus service to the neighborhood. Several cheaper 1 star hotels, I ve slept in all of them and they all are good with some pluses and minuses. In general Ive learned to favor 1 star hotels with wood doors. Glass and metal can be shocking when slammed shut when the bars close. The front desk often has a safe for your valuables too. Love your viewpoint, Andale!

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