AAA Editor Notes
Liberty Market (Mercado Libertad) is just e. of Calzada Independencia, between Avenida Javier Mina and Calle Dionisio Rodriguez (on the s. side of Plaza Tapatía; an elevated pedestrian walkway provides access from the plaza to the market). Locals call it Mercado San Juan de Dios, the name of the neighborhood and a nearby church (Templo San Juan de Dios), and also the Mercado Taiwan because of the abundance of cheap imported electronic gadgets for sale.
This huge, three-level building stands on the site occupied for centuries by Guadalajara's traditional tianguis (open-air markets). It is one of the largest enclosed markets in Latin America and attracts tourists from around the world. And it's no wonder, because everything under the sun is sold here: clothing (embroidered, traditional, utilitarian and otherwise), blankets, housewares, handicrafts, ceramics, silver, hardware, leather goods, shoes, office supplies, flowers, musical instruments, trinkets.
The number of stalls—more than 2,600—is staggering. Food stalls are on the first floor, food vendors on the second. Produce sellers display an encyclopedic array of fruits and vegetables, from familiar dried beans, yams and spices to exotica like the chewy zapote fruit from the sapodilla tree. Those with weak stomachs will want to avoid the section where butchers display every animal body part imaginable and the aroma of delicacies like tripe stew is quite strong.
Look for candy vendors selling sugar skulls and other traditional Mexican sweets. There's also an amazing variety of prepared food, from tacos and other antojitos (snacks) to delicately carved mango slices to sandwich stands where tortas are assembled on large, fresh rolls.
Note: There are restrooms in the market, but you'll need to pay an attendant to enter, and pay another small fee to use toilet paper or soap.