The Food Markets and Fairs of Buenos Aires

Discover the city's market culture

By Google Arts & Culture

Allie Lazar

San Telmo by Allie Lazar

Mercado de San Telmo

The historic San Telmo market first opened in 1897 as the main market for immigrants arriving in Buenos Aires. The indoor market, which was declared a national historic monument, houses dozens of stalls selling meat, produce, chicken, spices and antiques. In recent years, the San Telmo market has seen a modernization, and food stalls have opened offering international cuisines. 

Puesto54 San Telmo by Allie Lazar

The Butcher Shop 54

Stall 54, one of the most emblematic spots in the entire market, belongs to the Arribas Brothers, two butchers who have worked in the market for decades. Every morning a half cow arrives at the butcher stand for the brothers to cut down and butcher in front of loyal clients. 

Mercado Central by Allie Lazar

Mercado Central

Produce arrives from the entire country and passes through Mercado Central, the city’s largest wholesale central market. Located on the outskirts of Buenos Aires, there are about 900 fruit and vegetable stands spread across 18 pavilions. 

Tortilla by Allie Lazar and Las Chicas del 3

Las Chicas de la 3

One of the highlights at Mercado Central is the cheesy tortilla, which is similar to a Spanish omelette, located in the third pavilion. People line up for a chance to taste Pato and Romi's (AKA "Las Chicas") cheese and potato masterpiece. 

Mercado Belgrano by Mercado de Belgrano

Mercado de Belgrano

The Mercado de Belgrano has changed quite a bit since it first opened its doors in 1891. The recently refurbished market now offers a wide range of products, catering mostly to the neighborhood regulars. In addition to the classic butcher, chicken, and cheese shops, wine and specialty coffee stores have also opened in the market. 

Mercado de Progreso

When Mercado del Progreso first inaugurated in 1889, it acted as the main market which supplied goods to immigrants who lived in the Almagro, Caballito, and Flores neighborhoods. There are nearly 200 stands that sell mostly meat, fruit, vegetables, and spices. The art deco lettering, added to the outside of the market in the 1930s, still remains intact. 

Lecheros by Allie Lazar

Patio de los Lecheros

This open-air food court in Caballito, Patio de los Lecheros, or “the milkmen patio”, is located in a former train station where milk would arrive from dairy farms outside of Buenos Aires. Now the patio is filled with restaurant stands, food trucks, a beer garden, and live music. It gets especially busy at night and on the weekend. 

Barrio Chino by Allie Lazar

Barrio Chino

Even though it’s technically not a market, Chinatown is home to some of the best ingredients in all of Buenos Aires. Professional and amateur cooks flock from the entire area to shop at Barrio Chino’s supermarkets, which is known for its fresh fish and produce, exotic ingredients, and imported foods difficult to find anywhere else in BA.

Feria de Mataderos by Allie Lazar

Feria de Mataderos

Hundreds of artisans set up shop in the Mataderos neighborhood every Sunday selling gaucho crafts like silver knives, mate cups, and leather goods. The food stands shouldn’t be missed, as it’s a perfect chance to try traditional regional Argentine foods like empanadas, tamales, humita, and locro, a meat and hominy stew. 

Cattle Pampa by Don Julio and Allie Lazar

Mercado de Liniers

In a country famed for beef, it’s not surprising that many say the Mercado de Liniers is the largest livestock market in the world. It dates back to the early 1900s and was built to cater to the city’s high demand for meat. It has capacity for about 20,000 cattle, which arrive mostly from Argentina’s Pampas flatlands.

San Nicolas by San Nicolas

Mercado San Nicolas

The San Nicolás first opened in 1905 with over 400 open-air stands. It began decreasing in popularity in the 1960s when it moved outdoors and didn't see much movement until 2019, 50 years later, when it was renovated. Now, stalls line the market selling fresh produce, cheeses, meats, and breads. There is even a coworking space and a stage for events and workshops. 

Mercat Villa Crespo by Laura Macías and Allie Lazar

Mercat Villa Crespo

Less supermarkets, more markets, that's the slogan at the newly minted Mercat in the Villa Crespo barrio. The Mercat has over 25 stands featuring mostly independent small businesses offering foods like empanadas, sourdough bread, vegan sushi, and grass-fed beef. 

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