Shopping in Oaxaca City

Woolen rugs, woodcarvings, ceramics... So many treasures to take home!

105 Matamoros
This shop offers a wide variety of high-quality handicrafts from all over Oaxaca. You’ll find a room devoted to woolen rugs, one to woodcarvings, and several to ceramics. On my most recent visit, I couldn’t resist picking up a “Catrina,” one of the female skeletons associated with Day of the Dead festivities, as well as some decorative cut paper.
204 5 de Mayo
This handicraft shop in the center of Oaxaca is run by a group of women artisans. It’s one of the best places in town to purchase well-priced handicrafts, and it’s satisfying to know that the profits go to the women who produce the pieces. Walk through the various rooms—don’t forget to look on the second floor—and make your selections, then make your way to the front of the shop to pay. The little tin magnets near the entrance always catch my eye. There’s a huge variety of designs, and they’re so inexpensive. What better way to keep the memories of your trip alive than with a fridge magnet? But there’s so much more to choose from—lovely embroidered blouses, rebozos, leather huaraches, woven handbags, pottery, rugs, tin work, and jewelry... they’ve got it all.
Exconvento de San Pablo Hidalgo 917 esquina con Fiallo
Oaxaca’s textile museum opened its doors in 2008. The museum is set in a lovely restored colonial mansion in Oaxaca city’s historical center on the same grounds as the San Pablo cultural center. The museum celebrates Oaxaca’s rich and varied textile traditions, and also hosts occasional temporary exhibits showcasing textiles from other parts of the world. It is a small museum, but the collection is well-selected and there are frequently conferences and workshops given here as well. The gift shop at the front of the museum has beautiful high quality textile pieces and other items for sale.
RUTA INDEPENDENCIA, Centro, 68000 Oaxaca, Mexico
The Instituto de Artesanias Oaxaqueños, also known as “ARIPO” has a wide selection of crafts from all over the state of Oaxaca. It’s housed in a colonial building on Garcia Vigil near the old aqueduct, and has this pretty central courtyard. Rooms surrounding the courtyard each display a different type of craft. You’ll find textiles, wood, ceramic, metal, palm, jewelry, and more. Quality is good; the institute holds yearly contests and some of the prize-winning pieces are on sale here. Open Monday to Friday only, from 9 am to 7 pm.
5 de Mayo 114, RUTA INDEPENDENCIA, Centro, 68000 Oaxaca, Oax., Mexico
This handicraft shop on the corner of 5 de Mayo and Morelos is impossible to miss: you can spot the lovely handcrafted pieces from the street through the floor-to-ceiling windows. You’ll find an excellent selection of high quality items from around Oaxaca. La Casa del Rebozo is a cooperative formed by 84 artisans from various regions of Oaxaca. Their handicrafts are of high quality, and show innovation though they’re made with ancient techniques inherited through generations.
101 Mariano Matamoros
The women from the region of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec in Oaxaca are known as “Tehuanas,” and their traditional dresses are made of black velvet embroidered with large, bold bright colored flowers. This outfit is stunning on a Tehuana, but may be difficult for anyone else to pull off. However you can incorporate some of the Tehuantepec style and panache with a handbag decorated in the Isthmus style. The RealIstmo shop in Oaxaca city is located across the street from the Quinta Real hotel and has a variety of handbags and purses, as well as shirts, blouses, jewelry and accessories.
Macedonio Alcala 108, La Joya, 68070 Oaxaca, Oax., Mexico
Throughout the markets and shops of Oaxaca you’ll find traditional clothing, but if you would like to purchase regional garments with a more contemporary feel, head to Xquenda boutique. They carry clothing made of linen and silk as well as manta (unbleached cotton). Besides women’s clothing, you’ll also find shoes, jewelry and accessories and guayabera shirts for men. They offer a good selection of items from Mexican fashion house Pineda Covalin.
Calle Macedonio Alcalá 403, RUTA INDEPENDENCIA, Centro, 68000 Centro, Oax., Mexico
Los Baúles de Juana Cata is a must-stop for anyone interested in high quality textiles. The boutique is run by Remigio Mestas Revilla, who is devoted to reviving and preserving lost or disappearing textile techniques. He works directly with artisans in various communities who produce very fine pieces. The boutique offers blouses, dresses, embroidered huipiles, and rebozos (shawls) and other traditional garments. Many of the pieces are exquisite, and they are priced accordingly. The shop is located in the same building as Oro de Monte Alban jewelry store and Los Danzantes restaurant.
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