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This is the city's biggest market and among the most fascinating in the country; the intense activity and energy level are akin to those at Oaxaca's Mercado Abastos Market. Officially, it's housed in several modern buildings, but shops line the tidy, crowded streets all the way to the zócalo.

The first building is mainly for fruit and vegetables; the others contain about what you'd find if a department store joined forces with a discount warehouse -- especially housewares, such as hand-held citrus juicers of all sizes, tinware, colorful spoons, and decorative oilcloth. The main market, east of the zócalo on Circunvalación between General Anaya and Adolfo Gurrión, is the place to stock up on Mexican spices. The easy 13-block walk from the zócalo zigzags past many shops. Or take the Metro; the stop is right outside the market.