Food & Drink

The Region’s Best Mexican Food is in a Snohomish County Parking Lot 

Hidden Gems Weekend Market is again open for business

By Naomi Tomky April 10, 2024

Left: a plate of three steak tacos with onions and lime. Right: Hidden Gems Weekend market with various vendor tents.

Few places in the Northwest sell Sinaloa-style roasted chicken, pit-roasted lamb as served in the state of Mexico, or the Jalisciense drink tejuino, made from fermented corn. But on weekends from April to September, vendors sell all of them, plus dozens of other regional Mexican delicacies, in a parking lot behind the Tulalip Resort.

Hidden Gems Weekend Market began its spring season April 6, running from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. Most years, it runs through Memorial Day Weekend, then closes for six weeks before reopening for the summer season after July 4.

Among the 20 aisles of some 300 vendors selling everything from Native American beadwork to the classic flea market assortments of knickknacks and hardware, sits the Northwest’s biggest and best assortment of regional Mexican cuisine, street foods, and snacks. Many stands serve traditional dishes such as carnitas and masa antojitos patted out by hand, and feature the latest trends, like hot Cheeto-encrusted grilled corn and birria ramen.

In addition to the Mexican food, stands sell Peruvian meat skewers, Native frybread, sweet mini-pancakes, and all kinds of other fascinating foods. Among this year’s new vendors is an Indian chaat stand selling everything from mac-and-cheese pakora to the rich ice cream called kulfi.

Aerial view of a bustling flea market with colorful stalls and hidden gems, attracting numerous shoppers.

Some vendors are cash only, while others take credit cards or electronic payments through Venmo. The best way to know for sure what the weekend’s event will look like is to check  Facebook and Instagram

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