The São Paulo City Market, better known as Mercadão (literally ‘big market’), is a mandatory stop for anyone visiting the city of São Paulo and even for those who live in this teeming metropolis. Here you can find whatever you are looking for: fish, breads, fruit, vegetables, sweet treats, meat, poultry, seafood, spices, herbs and a lot more.
In addition, if you are just making a quick visit, you can make your way to the gastronomy area and enjoy something to eat at one of the restaurants of this location.
History and Architecture
The São Paulo City Market was opened to the public on 25 January 1933. Its architectural project, with a total built area of 12,600 square metres, was designed by the team of the renowned architect Francisco Ramos de Azevedo, who was also responsible for the Municipal Theatre and the Pinacothèque. Its ceiling height of 10 metres, together with its columns and cupolas, are just some of the prominent points of the structure of this market.
Its famous array of 72 stained glass windows, that make up 32 panels, was carried out by Russian artist Conrado Sorgenicht Filho – the same person who immortalised the Sé Cathedral and another 300 Brazilian churches with his work. The stained glass elements of the Market depict different6 scenes related to the use of soil, agriculture and agribusiness, and were brought over from Germany.
Quantity and Variety
At present, some 1.5 thousand people make the 290 booths within the City Market work every day. The figures continue to impress when we look at the products that are offered there: some 350 tonnes of food is sold every day, just to give you an idea. This is all managed through a private non-profit institution.
Being spoilt for choice with so many options available, making a choice is very difficult. However, one of the most appreciated delicacies of the market is the famous mortadella sandwich, which promises to please even those people who do not like this kind of processed meat.
The City Market of São Paulo stands on the banks of the Tamanduateí River at 306 Cantareira Street, close to 25 de Março Street and Dom Pedro II Park.
The area is accessible by Underground (Luz or São Bento stations), the Expresso Tiradentes BRT system (Mercado Terminus) or by car (there are private parking areas and also the Government-operated paid parking system known as Zona Azul close by).
The Market remains open for retail purchases from Monday to Saturday, from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., and between 6 a.m. and 4 p.m. on Sundays and holidays. For the wholesale segment, the market is open during the wee hours, from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m.
The Market remains closed on some holidays, and animals are not allowed on the premises. The structure provides wheelchair access.