The Guide: Zacatecas, Mexico

map: The M Factory

Where to Stay

Emporio Zacatecas Avenida Hidalgo 703, Zacatecas (866/936-7674; emporiohotels.com). Rates: $108 double. Bright and spacious rooms in this Baroque hotel put you in the heart of historic Zacatecas. Fresnillo and Valparaiso are easy day trips by car.

Where to Eat

Dulceria El Eden Avenida Hidalgo 305-B, Portal De Rosales, Zacatecas. This shop sells Zacatecan sweets like queso de tuna (cactus fruit taffy) and pumpkin seed mazapan (marzipan).

Gorditas Doña Julia Avenida Hidalgo 409, Zacatecas (52/492/923-7955). A local institution for Zacatecas-style gorditas. There are dozens of varieties for sale here, filled with everything from pinto beans and cheese to braised cactus and pork.

Mercado de Abastos Colonia el Parque, Fresnillo; Sundays. This is the city's biggest market, where you'll find fresh produce as well as ready-to-eat foods like elotes tatemados (roasted corn), tacos, quesadillas, sweets, and more.

Mercado Municipal El Laberinto, Avenida Aldama at Arroyo de la Plata, Zacatecas; daily. Vendors sell hearty fare like pork rib in black mole and birria de borrego y chivo (lamb and goat stew).

Valparaiso Mercado Town center, Valparaiso; Sundays. Try handmade camotes (sweet potatoes) stewed in piloncillo (brown sugar) and gorditas de sal de horno (salty baked corn cakes).