Bakersfield’s Hidden Magic

17 Apr
The Mercado Latino is bustling with visitors.

The Mercado Latino is bustling with visitors.

The Latin band Las Cortez performing at the Mercado Latino.

The Latin band Las Cortez performing at the Mercado Latino.

Photos courtesy of:

By Athena Skapinakis

Bakersfield is no entertainment capital. The city is home to oil production and agriculture rather than a thrilling night life. Tucked at the southern end of the San Joaquin Valley, Bakersfield has a population of a little over 350,000 people.  Many residents have felt that the city’s lost its magic, if there was any to begin with. However, the sparks of magic are there, beneath the thick layers of dust. You just have to brush it off and believe.

One of my favorite aspects of Bakersfield is the Mercado Latino (Latin Market) and the Plaza del Pueblo located at 2105 Edison Hwy. The market often features live Latin music and resembles a compacted version of Mexico. There are over 100 shops, according to the Mercado’s website, with great deals on shoes, clothes and much more. (I go for the super cute sandals and beautiful dresses). Like in Mexico, you can often haggle with the vendors. The marketplace is also bristling with phenomenal Mexican food. Nestled in the corner of the plaza, El Puerto Mariscos is my beloved preferred choice and has some of the best seafood I’ve ever had. The Mercado is a nice break from a typical day out in Bakersfield.

Bakersfield may not seem about fun or entertainment, but there’s still magic in this city. If you venture out and take a chance, you’ll find it.


4 Responses to “Bakersfield’s Hidden Magic”

  1. MultimediaJen April 18, 2013 at 8:55 pm #

    It’s been a few years, but I used to go to the Mercado Latino as well. So much shopping!! Now you’ve inspired me to go back!

    • AthenaStayBeautiful April 19, 2013 at 12:23 am #

      I’m very glad to hear that! I love visiting the Mercado. I always have a wonderful time 🙂

  2. earechiga May 23, 2013 at 10:32 pm #

    Me too! I love going to Mercado Latino they have the best pupusas, cute shoes and dresses 🙂

  3. ryanbarr33 May 24, 2013 at 5:55 am #

    Enjoyed your article! I really need to get my butt to Mercado! Everyone I know talks about this place all the time.

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