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Shopping: Critic's Pick

Best Place to Bargain

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Mission Open Air Market
707 Moursund, (210) 923-8131, missionopenairmarket.com

With tacky imports, new plastic toys and other landfill-destined unnecessaries now being the norm at most flea markets, veteran junkers are hard-pressed to find anything a flea would bother burrowing into—sad truths that make a dusty destination like Mission Open Air Market all the more appealing. Encompassing 50-acres, this “mall without walls” is advertised as the “king of bargains” and “a little taste of Mexico 10 minutes from Downtown”—both of which check out, save for the strip club-worthy $6 ATM fee (side note: you’ll need $1 per person to get in the gate). Here, bargaining seems most effective on Sunday afternoons, when dealers would often rather cut a deal than pack it up again. While it can’t compete with Selma-based Bussey’s in terms of collectibles, Mission delivers a distinctly San Antonio experience that comes complete with food trucks (stocked with mini tacos, roasted corn and aguas frescas), excellent people-watching and a misting station under a sign that reads, “Spot free rinse: no soap provided, come sit for a spell.”

Shopping: Critic's Pick
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