Taste Local Flavor at a Fruit and Vegetable Market
The towns in Puerto Rico are all centered around a Public Square. Around this little open space, you will find a church, some government buildings and a market area. This market area will probably have small food stores, clothing stores, and stores with assorted necessities. And usually there is a local fruit and vegetable market. That is our colorful and tasty topic for today.
It is in these markets that you can find all sorts of fresh, local fruits and veggies. We definitely make an effort to stop by these vendors to discover something new. The colors and fragrances alone make it worth the trip. I am not a veggie lover, but fruits are my thing. Tropical fruits are slowly disappearing from this island, so when I can find something exotic, I want to try it.
We made a quick visit to the Market in Santurce (Plaza del Mercado) . The market is located in a very pretty, old building. It has about 10-12 colorful booths, with vendors selling all sorts of fruits and veggies.
They had lots of local favorites, the usual fruit and veggies most of us see in the supermarkets, plus some unusual fruit such as caimito, starfruit, guanabana and mamey. And everything was much less expensive as compared to the the supermarket! This market also has a smoothie (batidas) place, where the vendor uses fresh tropical fruits (yummy)! There are also other booths with all sorts of spices and seasonings, meat, fresh fish, and medicinal (as well as other) plants and flowers. And to make this a really nice afternoon – all around the market are a number of bars and restaurants.
We also frequent the market in Rio Grande. This one is very small – only about 5 vendors. But you never know what you are going to find. Among other things, we got the best pineapple there – for only $1.25!
You will also see fruit and veggie stands set up along the sides of the roads. They also have lots of great things. These markets and stands are usually run by very friendly locals, who will help you find a ripe item, or tell you about some unknown item. They will even tell you how to best cook it. If they don’t speak English, never fear – try some of your Spanish skills, or if that doesn’t work, there is usually always someone around that can help you with translations or at worst, use hand signals!
The Santurce Market is open from 6:00am – 6:00pm most days, but only in the morning on Sundays (until 12 noon).
The market in Santurce is on Calle Dos Hermanos at Calle Capitol, near the Museum of Art. Getting around and parking in the market area is difficult – lots of one way and tiny streets. We parked on a side-street where we found a spot and walked a few blocks.
The Santurce Market is about 15 minutes from the airport.
The Rio Grande market is located on Road 187, just off of Route 3, in the Guagua (bus) station building.
The Rio Grande market is about 10 minutes from our Vacation Rental in Rio Grande.
Use this map to locate places mentioned in this article. You can click on a placemark to view the GPS coordinates for that place.