Best Street Vendors in the Roma & Condesa Neighborhoods
Mexico is known around the world for its mouth-watering street food and beautiful artisanal products. Especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, Mexico’s street vendors have been greatly affected. They may not be able to show up as regularly as before, and many families are ordering more online. It’s why Heroes Locales was created—to connect with street vendors, hear their stories, and offer support. Heroes Locales is creating a directory of vendors and sharing their stories, locations and WhatsApp numbers on social media to help locals know when they’re nearby and open for business. We are trying to find concrete ways to help people be more conscious about where they live or visit and help them help their neighbors. Here are a few of our favorite street vendors selling some of the best wares in Mexico City.
Carpets & Rugs
Now 85 years old, Juan del Río has been a street vendor since he was 13. He grew up outside of Toluca, in the State of Mexico, in a poor farming family from the Otomí indigenous group. As soon as he was able, he was out on the streets of Toluca selling whatever he could get his hands on. Later, he began commuting into Mexico City to sell, something he still does today. “I don’t drink, I don’t smoke, I don’t do drugs. The only thing I’ve ever liked doing is working.” Nowadays, Juan sells beautifully-crafted carpets and rugs on a street corner in Mexico City’s Roma neighborhood where regular customers know they can find him.
Where & When
Roma: Corner of Avenida Álvaro Obregón and Córdoba
When to Go: Fridays, Saturdays & Sundays
Early in the morning, you can find Vicente setting up his stand. Always in the same spot and always in a good mood, he creates the freshest juices. “I did consider staying at home [during the pandemic] but I pay for everything: the rent, the electricity, the school fees for my kids, and more. It would be fatal if I didn’t work.” When visiting Vicente’s stand, pick a juice mixed with water for a lighter, more refreshing drink, or one with milk for a creamier version. Delicious fruits and vegetables you can choose from include oranges, grapefruit, carrots, mandarins, and more. You can also have him mix up a juice based on your needs: to detox, lower cholesterol, alleviate cold or flu symptoms, serve as an anti-inflammatory, or even help with acid reflux.
Where & How
Condesa: Corner of Avenida Tamaulipas and Mexicali
Order In: If you’re within 2km, you can get your juice delivered by sending a WhatsApp message to Vicente at 55 7785 6805.
Whether you’d like to buy a houseplant for a friend that lives locally or want to bring a beautiful pot home, Sergio is who you should visit. Sergio and his family have been selling plants at their stand Madre Tierra for over ten years. “Normally we have around 30 clients a day, but it went down to a maximum of five a day during the pandemic. We hope it will be over soon!”
Bags, Baskets, Hats & More!
All of Antonio’s products—including hats, handbags, baskets, tortilla warmers, and more—are handmade from palm tree leaves. “For over 30 years we have been traveling around Mexico selling our products. We started in Tijuana, then traveled down the coast of Baja California before we ended up here where we have been selling for the past 15 years. All our items are very typical from our home state of Guerrero, some of which we made there and others we make in the street while we sell.”
Where & When
Condesa: Corner of Nuevo Leon and Saltillo
When to Go: Weekends
Amanda and her partner have been selling delicious vegan food from their bright pink stand called Maria Bonita Veganos for over three years. You can try their vegan milanesa (beans, tomatoes, lettuce, avocado, vegan cheese, and fried goodness), KFC-style fried mushrooms, tamarind and ginger juice, and more!
Where & When
Roma: Between Merida y Durango
When to Go: Monday to Friday from 10:00am to 6:30pm or order delivery via WhatsApp at 55 334 439 22