So you made it to the land of colorful and wonderful fruits and vegetables. Now, you wonder, where can you get the best of them? Where can you try foods you cannot even pronounce and learn more about the history and culture of Colombia? Well the answer is simple: you are looking for places called Plazas and Mercados Campesinos, and here is a guide to where to find them in Bogotá and why you should go.
20 de Julio
Let’s talk about some of the most fascinating yet unknown Plazas around Bogotá. Though you may have heard about Paloquemao or other iconic markets, you might have missed the mystery behind the 20 de Julio (20th of July) market plaza.
It is funny how most of the markets in Bogotá have a date as a name. In this case, the 20th of July is the day of Colombia’s independence.
Located in the southeast of Bogotá in San Cristóbal, this market is an iconic landmark, famous for its architectural design built 30 years ago. This plaza receives products from over 17 nearby municipalities and cities. You can try typical Colombian food like Bandeja Paisa and Ajiaco. Besides, the food court was renovated last year! The best things about food markets are the freshness, good quality, and low price of the products – for only 4,000 to 10,000 pesos ($1.50 to $3 USD) you can enjoy a full meal.
- Address: Carrera 6 N° 24A-30 Sur
- Hours: Monday-Wednesday: 6:30am- 5pm
- Thursday and Friday: 6:30am-2pm
- Saturday and Sunday: 6am-6pm
- Free entrance
Plaza de los Artesanos
If you are looking for something beyond fresh fruits and vegetables, this is the right place! The Plaza de los Artesanos is located in a much newer and more modern building, near main attractions like the Museo de los Niños.
Apart from beautiful artisan’s exhibitions, you can find organic products, fresh fruits and vegetables, and even lactose-free foods on Saturdays and Sundays. I personally recommend trying the local cheese stores, which are very authentic.
- Address: Carrera 60 # 63A-52
- Hours: Saturdays and Sundays from 7am-4pm
- Free entrance
The most famous plaza in Bogotá at the heart of the city center, is not only famous for its monuments and important buildings. Recently, the local government decided to host a local market with over 340 vendors from 7am until 4pm.
If you are a fan of organic products like blueberries, superfoods like moringa, and even flowers like orchids, this is your place. Although it’s one of the most complete markets, it is only hosted sporadically so this year you have to check for updates here.
- Address: Carrera 7 #11-10
- Hours: According to each event
- Free entrance
Finally, if you are looking for local products but don’t have the time to adventure through the fruit markets in Bogotá, some great options are supermarkets that specialize in fruits and vegetables.
Surtifruver is one of the most famous ones where you can find different varieties of fruits, vegetables, meats, poultry, and local products like achiras and patacones. They are very cheap and of excellent quality. If you go, try some of our most exotic fruits: mangosteen, gulupa and murrapos. Also try reading this article for more options.
I also recommend you look for this type of store in your own neighborhood (usually called a frutería or legumbreria), it’s very likely that you’ll find one close. Besides, they are cheaper and the products tend to be fresher and covered with less plastic.
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