TLDR? Medellin’s farmers’ markets are where you can shop for the freshest products in the city!
When was the last time you woke up at 7 am for vegetables? For me, it was during my week exploring Medellin’s famous farmers’ markets. Colombia is renowned for its diverse agriculture, and a visit to one of the city’s marketplaces is the best way to get a taste.
From Monday through Sunday, you can scour these flavorful bazaars for the freshest products from local vendors. Discover rare regional fruits like lulo, guanábana, and uchuva, only grown in this part of the world.
From small tents to giant warehouses, Medellin boasts a variety of farmers’ markets to choose from. Below is my round-up of the best ones in the city.
Mercado La Presidenta
As someone born and raised in a small town, this quaint market reminds me of home. This idyllic market is the only completely outdoor market on the list. However, when you live in ‘the city of eternal spring,’ you can almost guarantee the weather will be perfect for some open-air shopping.
Shaded under a row of tents, vendors sell vegetables, tropical fruits, empanadas, honey, juice, and more. While around the perimeter, artisans peddle hand-crafted goods like woven baskets and jewelry.
The atmosphere feels like a traditional neighborhood farmers’ market, with shoppers strolling leisurely through the small rows of food stands.
During my last visit, I made sure to grab some fresh passionfruit juice from one of the vendors. Passionfruit is native to the American tropics and one of the most popular juices in Colombia, and a personal favorite of mine.
A visit to the farmers’ market is the perfect opportunity to try out some of the country’s exotic fruits, not to mention a refreshing way to stay hydrated while you browse.
Mercado la Presidenta is located in the Poblado neighborhood at Parque Lineal La Presidenta. A sprawling public space dedicated to gardens, trees, and pedestrian paths, and is the perfect location for this charming market.
Day(s) Open: Sunday – from about 7 a.m – 1 p.m (times are subject to change).
Placita de Florez
Placita de Flórez is a historic farmers’ market, that captivates you with its local flair. Established in 1891, it is the oldest marketplace in Medellin. The smallest of the indoor markets, it still manages to house a smattering of vendors. All in all, there are three floors.
The top floor is dedicated to florists, where you can find romantic dried flowers alongside lush potted plants. While the bottom floor is home to colorful fruit and vegetable stands.
The first-floor entrance opens up into little alleyways of butchers and fishmongers selling fresh cuts. However, as you walk in further, you will notice an eclectic mix of stalls selling everything from arepas to candles to flowers.
The stand that caught my eye was a little health foods shop. While farmers’ markets are, by nature, healthy, they sell mostly fresh, raw products. Here I was able to find some of my co-op favorites, such as granola, seasonings, matcha, ghee butter, and pure honey.
I even bought some Palo Santo, a tree species used in Latin countries as incense to attract good luck and ward off negativity. Placita de Flórez is my favorite of the covered marketplaces for its homey atmosphere. And the heritage of the site only adds to its allure.
The bustling Plaza Minorista embodies the spirit of the vendors it was created for. Merchants in the area formerly sold their products in an informal collection of stalls in the old market square, Plaza de Cisneros.
The government’s solution to the unregulated market was the construction of Plaza Minorista, where all the vendors could be housed under one roof. Today this vibrant marketplace sells more than just food products. You can clothes, shoes, toiletries, and household items.
This farmers’ market is not for the faint of heart. Central Mayorista de Antioquia is the city’s largest produce market and is a hub for thousands of vendors. Due to the scale of the market is where re-sellers and restaurateurs come to buy produce in bulk.
Unlike the more traditional covered marketplaces in the rest of the city, Central Mayorista is made up of rows of small warehouses. Shoppers are left to navigate through a maze of stalls, and it can be tricky to find what you are looking for.
Pulling up to the location, it almost felt like I was entering a small city. Trucks drive around the stalls to receive pallet loads of fruits and vegetables, alongside confident locals looking for deals.
The vastness of this operation does not take away from the quality of the products. All the produce is picked by farmers in the countryside of Antioquia the afternoon before the sale.
If you don’t like to rise before the sun, you can come later in the day. But if you want a shot at the best fruits and veggies, then I recommend you get there early morning. The market tends to slow down around midday.