Where food is authentic and the taqueria has a devoted following
Stepping across the threshold of La Michoacana Meat Market on Broadway in Galveston is akin to traveling across the border. The bustling grocery store, meat market, bakery and taqueria, filled with authentic Hispanic products and bright colors, is always bustling. The sheer volume of people coming and going throughout the day keeps La Michoacana Meat Market and the neighboring area humming.
A meat counter runs nearly the entire length of the grocery section and is stocked with cuts of fish, poultry, beef and pork. Famously pre-marinated fajita meat is available for customers short on time. The refrigerated cases also contain stacks of queso frescos, panela and Cotija cheeses. Flanking the end of the counter are heated glass serving stations filled with crispy, salty chicharrón — deep fried pork rinds — that are an addicting guilty pleasure on their own, but also a quick and easy garnish for salads, soups and vermicelli bowls.
Bins of bulk dried beans sit among the displays of fresh produce. Ripe avocados, jicama, plantains and mangoes are staples, as are shiny green limes, cilantro and firm chili peppers of nearly every variety. Dried chilies and bagged spices are a few steps away. Toasting, extracting the seeds, soaking them, blending and finally frying them really develops the chilies’ complex flavors, which is essential when preparing many classic dishes.
Trays of tempting sweet breads, cookies and cakes line a nearby wall. Endcaps filled with traditional confections are actual eye candy and one can’t help but wonder how many toddler meltdowns they have precipitated. The market might be compact, but it’s an overflowing oasis of cultural ingredients.
The other half of La Michoacana is a true taqueria with a devoted following. Orders are taken at the register and assembled at the nearby counter. Long spoons and tongs retrieve piles of braised meats from simmering trays and bins of barbacoa, fajita beef, chicken and shrimp. La Michoacana servers build the burritos and gorditos big.
La Michoacana Meat Market, founded in 1986, has grown to become the largest independent Hispanic grocery store chain in the United States. Galveston’s La Michoacana Meat Market is one of only two in Galveston County — the other is in Texas City.
La Michoacana Meat Market
3301 Broadway, Galveston
2525 25th St. Ave. N., Texas City