All beach towns have a fish market, and we are very blessed here in La Cruz de Huanacaxtle to have the best fisherman’s market in Banderas Bay! When buying fish, there is nothing better than being able to go a fish market, like La Cruz Fish Market to buy the fresh catches of the day such as; shrimp, lobsters, oysters or other seafood favorites. It really doesn’t get fresher than that!
La Cruz Fish Market first opened in June of 2008 and before that fishermen were selling on the beach out of small palapas. They had no running water, no sewer service, no garbage collection, and no parking area. Things sure have improved since then!
La Cruz Fish Market (Mercado del Mar) is open every day from 8:00 am until 3:00 pm and you will find friendly fishermen tossing, chopping and selling fish, shrimp, octopus and more by the kilo. Some of the popular choices are tuna, shrimp and red snapper all at about a quarter of the price of the USA or Canada. You have the option to buy the whole fish or have them filet it. Purchasing a whole fish is cheaper than having them filet one for you. However, some people prefer them to filet the fish because they know how to expertly cut the fish, clean the tiny bones and cut out the blood line (the deep red strip inside). This can make your fish taste “fishy”. Also, leaving your fish directly on ice sucks the flavor out of your fish into the ice as the ice melts, so proper wrapping is important. They will even de-vein and peel your shrimp if you ask! Plus, you can also ask for the trimmings to make your own fish stock for savory soups. If you want to make ceviche they say sierra is best and they grind it for you. Dorado, frequently referred to as mahi mahi is plentiful and is often the fish of the day at the local restaurants.
Even though the summer time means there will be less tourists and part time residents, the La Cruz Fish Market always has customers and the fishermen are there every day of the week selling their delicious fresh catches. Roughly 200 people work at the marina daily including vendors, fisherman selling their catch and all the people helping to take care of the customers. There are twelve spaces/tiendas available, but some might be vacant depending on the time of year. A lot of the local restaurants come to purchase their fresh catch of the day.
Since many of the fishermen don’t speak English very well, it’s good to know a few Spanish words. You might bring Spanish dictionary with you or use a translation app if you need to. Perhaps you will get lucky and meet a fellow shopper that is bilingual. The people working in La Cruz Fish Market are very kind, and do not mind helping with translation when needed. If you want to ask what kind of fish it is, you can say “Que es esto?” (what is it?)
When you travel to La Cruz make sure not to miss to the Mercado del Mar! The fisherman at La Cruz Fish Market will gladly put your fish on ice so you can enjoy a drink at one of the local restaurants! Enjoy!
Tip: Every Sunday from November through April you can also enjoy the largest farmer’s market in Nayarit along the boardwalk of the same La Cruz Marina. Over 200 vendors offer everything from food to clothing, jewelry, art and more. Live entertainment.
La Cruz de Huanacaxle Fish Market
Calle del Mar #4, La Cruz de Huanacaxtle, Mexico