A Guide to Olneyville: Tortilleria Inc. and Sanchez Mexican Market

Did you know that Providence is one of the few places in the world where you can find rained fish? In 1900, right in Olneyville, perch and pout fell from the sky, accumulating up to a bucket of sky-fallen fish. Many Brown students volunteer in Olneyville, usually through the Swearer Center, but how many of us are not acquainted with the area. As one of the oldest neighborhoods in Providence, Olneyville  is full of surprises, from raining fish to delicious hidden restaurants to quaint parks. 

One particular wonderful gem in Olneyville is Tortilleria Inc. a.k.a Sanchez Mexican Market. To get to Sanchez Mexican Market (177 Putnam Street) you can take the RIPTA 92 West. Olneyville is past Federal Hill, officially bordered by Atwells Ave, Route 10 and the Amtrak line, I-95, and Glenbridge Avenue. (See map below, Olneyville is bordered in red). The Atwells and Valley stop is officially the closest stop to the market, although you can request a stop at the RIPTA signs between Atwells and Valley and Atwells and Mt. Pleasant. 

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Sanchez Mexican Market is right on Atwells and Putnam.

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Inside is a wonderful world of Mexican goodies.

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Sanchez has classic home goods like veladoras (candles), Fabuloso and Suavitel, and even piñatas.

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 They have a wide variety of chucherias (junk food) like Takis and Bimbo-brand pastries, and tons of spicy stuff. Sanchez has any kind of hot sauce you could want: tabasco, tapatia, and all-time favorites like Tajin and Valentina. They are fully stocked on tortillas and cooking supplies. The market stocks traditional Mexican perishables like maizena, menudo, mole, and Nescafe Dolca instant coffee. Plus, they have all the drinks you could want, including the iconic Jarritos sodas.

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The best part about Sanchez is that it’s a bakery and a restaurant.

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The bakery has many traditional pan dulce (pastries) such as bigotes, conchas, and ojos de buey. Plus, they are super cheap. I consumed hundreds of calories for only 75 cents!

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The restaurant has tacos, burritos, nachos menudo and pozole, and tamales. I had some Nescafe Dolca coffee with a chicken tamale and a pork tamale. They were delicious, and the whole meal was under $5.00.

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At the end of the day, Sanchez Mexican Market does not disappoint. If you are feeling like you need some Mexican products or cooking in your life, or if you want to get to know what feeds the Mexican population in Olneyville, then you should definitely check it out.

Images via, Google Maps, and Daniella Balarezo ’18.

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