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Mercado Bondojito is a giant neighborhood market just east of the Bondojito neighborhood and Metro station. The broader neighborhood is arguably more famous for a few streets selling bedding, sheets and blankets. But as few international visitors are in the market for such items, the market makes an even better side trip.
Frequently described as “the famous Mercado Bondojito,” it’s technically in the neighborhood Faja de Oro. The colonia name comes from a famous oil tanker. Sunk by an Axis powers U-Boat in 1943, the attack led Mexico to side with the Allied Powers for the remainder of World War II.
The neighborhood was carved out of the larger Bondojito area. Bondojito is one of few Otomi place names in Mexico City. Still, it gets its Spanish-language diminutive form, “-jito” meaning simply little, in an affectionate way. Bondo simply means nopal in the Otomi language. So the market, and the larger surrounding neighborhood, recall the nopal cactus widely eaten across the City.
Speaking of eating, the market is a wonderful place to do just that. While it’s a neighborhood commercial center, there are also a good handful of serious eateries inside. International visitors finally get homecooked (or nearly homecooked) food that’s healthier, cheaper, and fantastically good. This can be especially important if you’ve been traveling for a while. Those indulging in too much street food should take note too.
The markets just across the street from the wide open Bondojito sports fields. It’s a pleasant neighborhood center and among the most charming points to find oneself in southeastern Gustavo A. Madero.