Wandering through Mercado de San Lucas

When you’re travelling, you’ll always find that the main tourist thoroughfare will be overpriced in comparison to the local haunts. Antigua is no different from any other tourist place – the only difference is that the overall price is still so low, that tourists from North America/Europe/Australia really don’t care. For those visiting Antigua, Guatemala – I do suggest that if you’re looking to get away for another truly authentic Guatemalan food experience, then you should head over to the San Lucas market. Any Guatemalan friend might take pity on your foodie brain and say “Vamos a San Lucas Sacatepéquez.”

It is about a 15-20 minute uphill drive from Antigua – your ears will pop going up and down at that altitude. Once you’re in San Lucas, I’ll have to warn that it’s really a small bus depot kinda town … but you’re not going for the architecture or the culture … you’re going to stuff your face with some great Guate’ food. The mercado is packed with restaurants and while the food is all great, I found the best chicken soup I’ve had in years … like revelatory!!!

The market layout is typical for any island person … in fact the market was similar to the Chaguanas market in Trinidad – so the Trinis will not be surprised by the overall layout or feel of a Guatemalan market.

san lucas

Your first find will be the women making Black/Blue Corn Tortillas. They’re quite different and quite the tasty part with meat or cheese. They cost 1Quetzale for 3 ( .16 USD), so 1.60$ you can 30, which would feed about 8-10 people.

As for the market itself … as usual, the food, colours and variety lends itself to awesome photography

If you’re taking a taxi to Panajachel, I’m sure your driver would be thrilled to stop at the market and would probably even show you a few of his favorite places. But you’re going for the food and if you’re hungry, then you can eat like a king for 35Q. My meal here was a side of chicken, a whole avocado, rice, half an acorn squash, carrots, some other veggie and the best chicken soup in your life.

Everything is cooked and prepped at the market … the only thing is that your clothes will smell like charcoaly goodness, because there is so much BBQ meat at the market. There is a lot of super fried goodness …

After visiting the market, I feel like gained 60lbs just watching the food … however, if you’re looking for an authentic Guatemalan street food experience and want to avoid any gastro-intestinal difficulties, then you should head over to San Lucas.

About Rishiray

Rishi Sankar is a Cloud HRMS Project Manager/ Solution Architect. Over the past 15+ years, he has managed to combine his overwhelming wanderlust with a desire to stay employed, resulting in continuing stints with 3 major consulting firms (IBM, Deloitte, Accenture). He documents his adventures around the world on "Ah Trini Travelogue" with pictures and stories from the road/tuk-tuk/camel/rickshaw. You can follow him on Twitter at @rishiray and on Facebook at "Ah Trini Travelogue . He doesn't like Chicken Curry but loves Curry Chicken and is always trying to find the perfect Trinidadian roti on the road. He also doesn't like cheese and kittens ... and definitely not together. E-mail from his blog is appreciated like a 35 yr old Balvenie at rishi@rishiray.com

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