Feria de Mataderos – Mataderos Market
Feria de Mataderos is an afternoon in Porteño heaven, where you get a different perspective from all the other markets around Buenos Aires. From some of the best artisanal crafts, a whole street with cheese and fiambres (cured meat), great dancing and music, and some of the best street food I´ve tasted in Argentina so far, it is hard not to come away with something new. I went with my girlfriend and a few other students from the school after hearing about it from almost every local.
Hot to get to Mataderos Market:
Getting to Feria de Mataderos can seem a bit daunting as there is no subte there and a taxi there will cost you a fair bit approx Pesos $150 leaving from Vamos Spanish Academy in Palermo . But tackling the colectivo is one part of really getting to know the Porteño way and is much more affordable. There is a bunch of buses that get to the feria Mataderos, best thing to do is Google Maps to get there and stick to that plan.
Feria de Mataderos is a fair distance out of the way for most tourists which is probably why it´s got a more local feel. Riding the bus in Buenos Aires is pretty simple, just say how much you want to pay at the time of boarding the bus ($6.50 pesos), they might ask you where you´re going, so it is best to know how to say what intersection you are getting off at or simply say Feria de Mataderos. Once at the Feria you will come across some stalls that will start with selling all the random stuff that most markets have but as you journey deeper in you´ll see more and more awesome crafts. Once in the middle of it all there is a stage with music, dancers, and enough parillas around to really make you aware that you are in Argentina.
Local made and artisanal goods at Feria de Mataderos
Feria de Mataderos has much of the same stuff other markets have around Buenos Aires; Mate gourds, hand crafted clothes, and incense. But the wide variety is much more apparent. There is a lot of mate gourds in the market to choose from, some very intricate designed and some stalls that will engrave your name or favourite animal on them. Clothes are everywhere from hand stitched scarves and ponchos, handmade shoes, and nice warm gloves and hats (perfect for the not too cold, but cold enough to warrant covering your ears, winters that Buenos Aires has). There is a very good selection of cooking equipment and as a professional cook myself this is what I keep an eye out for at any market. They have great artisanal knives that (judging by the blade quality) you could match to many of the Japanese steel knives that are so popular amongst cooks, but with there own local flare, some having handles made of bone or horns and I even saw one made of a lightbulb (why I am not sure but as a cook who loves all things sharp, I wanted it just for the novelty). Handmade jewelry and crafts jump out at you and has a distinct touch in most of the stalls, I saw everything from Argentine coins carved into pendants, hand crafted rings and earrings, instruments of all different shapes and sounds, and awesome sculptures. It´s not the biggest market in Buenos Aires but what it does have is pretty good quality and variety.
Food at Feria de Mataderos
It seems as though Feria de Mataderos is more focused on food than other markets in Buenos Aires. This might be because the barrio that the market is in (Mataderos) translates to slaughterhouse. So as one would expect there is a lot of meat to choose from (I am sure if you have even heard of Buenos Aires that this goes without saying). Along the sides of the markets there are parillas everywhere and smoke fills the air with nice smells for the carnivores in us.
But, if you care about the future and do not eat meat there is pizza and tamales as well as plenty of sweet treats to keep your belly full. There is a line of stalls with cured meats (fiambres), queso, preserved goods, sweets of all sorts, alcohols, and other stuff that you did not know you wanted. Most of the stalls with fiambres have samples for you to try (which i recommend because they are muy rico) as well as some of the places selling dulce de leche. At one end of the market there was a good selection of beers from local breweries, unfortunate for me my body/mind was preferring something warmer so i opted for a whiskey and coffee at one of the coffee carts.
What to See – Shows and Dancing at Feria de Mataderos
This was my favorite part at these markets, people walking around dressed to impressed and dancing with their partners very traditionally Argentinian with a very fun and passionate vibe.
With a choripan in one hand and a beer in the other i gathered on the side to watch the locals dance and experience a different side to argentina than i had seen at any other markets. There is also horse races and “carrera de sortija” events that take place, we missed this as the weather was a bit temperamental and they canceled it. Carrera de sortija is an event where guachos (cowboys of the south but a little more bad ass) ride horses towards a wooden structure and try to spear a ring no bigger than large handed wedding ring with a spear that might resemble a small twig. Nevertheless the local vibe at this market is well worth the trip alone and with the addition of great food and quality crafts, it is well worth a trip out of the tourist center of Buenos Aires.
If you are interested in learning about other Market Fairs in Buenos Aires read more about the Recoleta Fair and the San Telmo Market below
General Information on Feria De Mataderos
Feria de Mataderos has hit the 21st century and is on facebook/twitter/instagram/whateverelsethekidsareusingthesedays, so you can search and check out some of the cool stuff the market has to offer. I recommend checking out their website for the event as it has more information on what happens during the market and how to get there. (It even has an english option for you!!) http://feriademataderos.com.ar/?lang=en
If you want more information about La Feria de Mataderos or about our Spanish Courses in Buenos Aires visit us at Viamonte 1516, Ciudad Autónoma de Buenos Aires Argentina – https://vamospanish.com Vamos Spanish Academy