Products and traditions in Chile’s markets

Buildings, streets and passages filled with products that reflect the culture and traditions of each one of these cities. Seafood, fruits, vegetables and a great variety of handcrafts, is what you will find in these markets.

Mercado central de Santiago
Márcio Cabral de Moura | Flickr

“Mercados” are typical in Latin American culture, big markets are the perfect places to get the best fresh and local products, to enjoy the traditional dishes of each country, and also to get original handicrafts that usually have a long tradition and are made with different techniques.

Mercado Centenario de Iquique – Iquique

Since 1930 that this market is right in the middle of the city of Iquique, it is absolutely a must-visit as it counts with around 100 stands, where you can find fruits, vegetables, meat and seafood. Small restaurants offer a great variety of food, from traditional Chilean cuisine to delicious preparations from Perú, Bolivia and Colombia. Inside this market it is also possible to find handicrafts, flowers and even handmade furniture.

La Recova – La Serena

La Recova has been part of the history of La Serena since 1795 as an organization of sellers; it was moved to different places until 1981 when it was definitely settled in this classic building. This market counts with two floors full of history and traditions, while also contributing to the identity of the city. In the first floor it is possible to find local crafts, such as things made of combarbalita or even preserved papayas. The second floor is where the restaurants are; serving traditional food, with an emphasis in products from the sea.

Mercado Cardonal – Valparaíso

This building has been in the heart of the Almendral neighbourhood since 1912. It is one of the most popular locations to get some fruits and vegetable in the city. One block filled with products that are also a reflection of the spirit of Valparaiso. Joy, diversity, team spirit and effort are the protagonists in the corridors of this traditional market.

Mercado Central – Santiago

One of the most popular and diverse gastronomy centers of the country, the Mercado Central has been recognized at an international level for its offer in traditional Chilean dishes, which are available the whole year, especially those based on seafood; such as the fried fish or the marine soup. A market that offers fruits, vegetables, seafood, meat, empanadas, handicrafts and even guided tours. Opened in 1872, and declared Historical Monument in 1984, it is part of the “Santiago Heritage circuit”, making of it an unmissable stop for tourists.

Mercado Fluvial de Valdivia – Valdivia

Declared a traditional zone in 2009, it is impossible to visit this city and not to walk around this big market by the side of the Valdivia river. A place where different aromas, flavors and colors collide. It is the perfect spot to get fresh fish and seafood at a good price, besides handmade cheese and typical fruits of the south of Chile. It is visited every year by hundred of people of the city, tourists and sea wolves, that are waiting for a fish to catch.

Mercado de Angelmó – Puerto Montt

This market in the south of Chile has stood out because of this two big offers; seafood cuisine and traditional handicrafts. The dishes that you can find in this market are prepared with products directly taken out of the Tenglo channel. Besides the main building of the market it is possible to find hundred of small handicraft shops by Paseo de los Pintores, that during weekends gathers many painters and artists that sell their works inspired in the landscapes of the region.

This post is also available in Spanish