This market seems just like a big place for people to buy souvenirs. You can buy just about anything you would put in that category (hand made bracelets to statuettes, mini bottles of tequila to rasta dreadlock hats). There's a handmade, natural soap stand downstairs like one or two rows from the center. They're really great and smell terrific (I recommend the chocolate or oatmeal). I found this to be the best place there, however I was there during the week and half of the stands were closed (as mentioned in other reviews).
If you want a real market experience, go the one a few blocks away. If you want souvenirs, you'll be able to find some cool ones that are more authentic. I suggest going for the food. Que-Ka's is a tiny little place on the west side of the mercado that sells quesadillas, gorditas, and other antojitos. Really inexpensive, but dangerously delicious. If you can go during Christmas time, do it. There are tons of stalls selling authentic Mexican decorations (as well as some less-than-authentic ones) which is definitely worth checking out. I say skip Mercado Artesenal and come here instead.
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