An authentic Oaxacan shopping experience does not mean hitting high-end establishments and spending a fortune. Instead, you are better off looking for rare treasures at small shops and boutiques. This colonial capital boasts a rich history and diverse culture that dates back several thousands years. This is most evident in the city’s impressive hand-made arts and crafts sold on every corner. Here are some of the top Oaxaca shops that you should visit if you are itching to shop:
One of Oaxaca’s newest craft shops, Blackbox fuses crafts, art, and creative design. It is perhaps the hippest craft store in the city, featuring works by younger artists. This gallery-like boutique sells avant-garde objects made using ancient techniques. You will fall in love with earrings and bracelets woven from straw, light fixtures made from organic-cotton paper pulp, and handmade woven wool bags. The prices are reasonable, considering that 60% goes to the artisans. Address: 5 de Mayo 412, between Constitución and Abasolo.
Jarcieria El Arte Oaxaqueño
Since 1961, this shop has been selling an interesting mix of woven baskets, traditional toys, drums, tin frames, and lampshades. The store gives a small brochure that contains information about the history and customs of Oaxaca with each purchase. It is a small store full of treasures and surprises. We suggest you visit Jarcieria El Arte Oaxaqueño before going to the Mercado de Artesanias. The shop is open Monday to Saturday from 10am-8pm. Address: Mina 317 at the corner of J.P. Garcia
La Mano Magica
La Mano Magica is one of the most visited Oaxaca shops. You will see here excellent rugs and other woven products. It also sells stylish curios and interesting paintings. In the back rooms of this impressive gallery, you will see pieces of regional traditional art. Shipping is available. It is worth a visit before heading to Teotitlán to see how weavers work. Address: Alcalá 203, opposite the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo.
Mujeres Artesanas de las Regiones de Oaxaca
This shop is operated by a cooperative of women who are all involved in production, from purchasing raw materials to crafting stunning pieces, and selling their products. The quality and selection are exceptional and the prices are affordable. Mujeres Artesanas de las Regiones de Oaxaca is open daily from 9am to 8pm. Address: 5 de Mayo 204.
Plaza Comercial de las Etnias
This shopping complex is also a great place to buy regional crafts, chocolate, clothes, and souvenirs. Many of the vendors who were previously selling their stuff at the Plazuela de Carmen Alto now sell their merchandise here. Address: Garcia Vigil #304.
Haggling for prices is acceptable in street stands or outdoor markets, but it is not customary to negotiate prices in more established Oaxaca shops. Just so you know, most products in Mexico have a 15% tax. But this is not so bad, since handicrafts sold in the City cost about 20% to 60% less compared to products sold elsewhere.