A case study of the nopal-vegetable agroecosystem in metropolitan Mexico City was conducted to evaluate the crop's economic productivity and sustainability using economic, social, and environmental indicators. Economic indicators were based on a gross margin analysis, commercialization strategies, and provision of employment. Social indicators were education level, family size, origin of laborers, plot size providing a measure of equity, and social self-organization. Environmental indicators were soil nutrient content and fertilizer application, technological management, and crop and natural biodiversity. Information on relevant social, technological, and economic elements was obtained through structured interviews with 100 producers of the city's nopalproducing zone of Milpa Alta in the hills southeast of Mexico City. Analysis of soil samples from cropped fields at three different depths was conducted, along with a study of nopal-associated weed species used by the community. Net income per ha was equivalent to 4 minimum wages. Estimated scores of 89, 74, and 64 (on a scale of 0 to 100) were obtained for social, economic, and environmental sustainability indicators, respectfully, for this unique cropping system. Discussion focuses on trade-offs between indicators, the cost of achieving sustainability in the metropolitan zone of Mexico City, and appropriate policy responses.