We have finally arrived at the big daddy of them all — Central Mayorista de Antioquia.
The Mayorista is so huge, it’s home to five major grocery stores, Big Tiendas (aptly named) and Supermercado Boom (sounds like it belongs) among them. And the places within the plaza that sell the meat and produce to those stores dot the 40-block area.
Prices are on par with the other large markets I have already written about: pound of ground beef: 5,000 pesos (about $2.60), tomatoes for 200 pesos (about 11 cents), and so on.
Having the source of the produce nearby helps keep costs down, even in the supermarkets.
If you’re already hungry when you arrive, there are seven restaurants to choose from. Los Asados has great thick-cut steaks.
But better yet, one of my favorite restaurants in the entire valley is nearby. It’s called Buena Mar (Carrera 48 #85-198), a seafood restaurant that has the best Colombian food in the valley, or at least I think so.
While meat and produce are the most prevalent goods, you can find almost anything else here too.
I’ve gone to the bank several times to make deposits. It seems every branch is here: Banco de Bogotá, Bancolombia, Colpatria, Davivienda, all of them. Makes managing your money easy.
As I left the last time I was there, I noticed a cell phone store, a shop that caters to people who like to grill and barbecue, and a Mimo’s for those who love ice cream, and that includes me so I had a cone.
I said in a story about Itagüí last month that it’s the most famous landmark in this suburban city, and the Plaza Mayorista’s sheer size should explain why.
So the question becomes: Which one of these grand markets do I like best?
Plaza de Mercado La América is out because its location is inconvenient. I never have to go near Carrera 80 and the San Juan anymore, now that I don’t live in the area.
That leaves the two big ones. The Mayorista is great for all the following reasons above, and the fact that it’s next to Estación Ayura along the Metro line.
But I’m going with the Minorista. I can get there easily on the Circular 303 bus, I like the layout better and the restaurant in the market, Aqui Paro Lucho, is fantastic.
Don’t worry, though, Mayorista. I’ll stop by the next time I go to Buena Mar.