C. Juan Aldama, Buenavista, Cuauhtémoc, 06350 Ciudad de México, CDMX
55 5546 8490
Simply known as “El Chopo” this “flea market” outside of Buenavista station has been an epicenter for the alternative cultural scene in Mexico City for the last few decades, especially when it comes to music. On Saturdays (from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.) it’s visited by around 8,000 visitors who come finding new trends in music, be it tapes, old vintage vinyls, posters, t-shirts or other music collectibles to add to their collections, there’s a big emphasis on rock, from classic rock to the so-called “rock en español”, to alternative rock from abroad. There are around 200 stalls of vendors many of which have been selling their wares at the Chopo for many years, cultivating in the process a loyal base of customers who make it a personal ritual of theirs of visiting the market on the weekends.
The Chopo is a good place to get a glimpse of Mexico City’s young counterculture; a real blend of fashion styles all converge at this market, including punks, rockers, emos, old rockers, metalheads, they’re all there. The Chopo was established in the 1980s at a time when the internet didn’t exist and young people needed a place to look for new and interesting music to fit their particular tastes; the Chopo became a place to exchange, barter, haggle, and eventually acquire new music. This was the place to seek rare cassettes, vinyls, bootleg tapes, and CDs. In today’s internet age there’s still music to be found, but it’s mainly hard to find vintage vinyls that are a popular sell; nevertheless, accessories such as handicrafts, clothing, and bootleg copies of films and cd’s are still available.
Many up and coming popular musical acts from the Mexican rock scene, and even some already established acts, used to play live at Chopo in the past, including bands like Zoé, El Tri, División Minúscula, and Julieta Venegas; yet the complaints by the neighbors of the market eventually removed these full-scale live performances from the area and now the only live music is provided by aspiring buskers looking for a little bit of cash to support their dreams. In these cases, $10 or $20 pesos would be considered a good amount to drop into their hats or open guitar cases.
The atmosphere is young and irreverent so there is some alcohol consumption and pot smoking done openly in the market’s premises (even though it’s illegal), but if you would want to partake in the drinking it’s best advised to visit some of the bars that are next to the Chopo.