More Than 36 Hours: Oaxaca, Mexico — Shopping & Galleries

Where to Shop and Galleries

The list that I sent to Freda Moon, The New York Times travel writer who created the feature 36 Hours: Oaxaca, Mexico, included some of my favorite places to see art, shop and explore.  Of course, it would have been impossible for Freda to include them all.  Nevertheless, I’m sharing with you what I sent to her.

Galeria Fe y LolaNEW Av. 5 de Mayo #408, authentic, beautiful weavings (rugs, wall hangings, handbags, scarves) made only with natural dyes.  A family-owned, small production workshop is located in Teotitlan del Valle.  Most rugs available in city gallery. Weaving demonstrations can be scheduled.  Most days you can find La Dueña Dolores (Lola) Santiago Arrellanas there.  Call ahead to be sure they are open. (951) 524-4078 or  044 (951)130-2481. Not in any guidebook.

“Tirso Cuevas” HojalataNEW hand-hammered tin boxes, picture frames, sculpture, lamps, mirrors, hearts, and trinkets along with contemporary art gallery by some of Oaxaca’s best young artists, tucked into old 17th century historic building needing renovation at the corner of Reforma and Abasolo (enter on Abasolo).  Open Monday-Saturday, 9 a.m.-2 p.m., 4 p.m.-7 p.m.  Closed 2-4 p.m. for lunch.

Museo Textil de Oaxaca, NEW Hidalgo #917 at the corner of Fiallo, two blocks from the Zocalo, open 7 days.  This is the ONLY textile museum in Mexico. Includes a preservation/restoration unit. The best of the best!  Rotating exhibits, openings, great gallery shop. English-language tours offered.  (951) 501-1104.  Opened in 2009.

Los Baules –Remigio Mestas Collections, fabulous textiles from throughout Oaxaca state; in the courtyard of Los Danzantes restaurant on Macedonio Alcala.  Enter next to Oro de Monte Alban.  Like a museum collection.  Remigo is the “go-to” curator for the best of the best.

El Nahual Gallery, NEW Calle Reforma near Constitucion. Great collection of carved alebrijes, pottery, textiles, sterling silver jewelry personally selected by proprietors Alejandrina Rios and her husband award-winning Saltillo-style weaver Erasto “Tito” Mendoza. (951) 204-2381 or 516-4202

Oaxaca State Artisans Collective, Av. Garcia Virgil, up the hill almost to the ancient aquaduct, past the restaurant Casa del Tio Guero.  If you can make it this far, it’s worth it.  Great selection, great quality handcrafts, good prices, but out of the way.

Step down into the little shop Artesanias, owned by Senor Francisco Jesus Hernandez Perez,  on Constitucion between 5 de Mayo and Reforma. Ask to see the tissue paper collages. They are whimsical, colorful, special.

Fabricante de Joyerîa Oaxaqueña in the Mercado de Artesanias, corner J.P. Garcia and Zaragoza. Margarita Pérez Antonio and her daughter Luz Esmeralda Bautista Péres sell exquisite back-strap loom-woven and needle-point embroidered huipiles and other textiles, plus a great selection of antique-style silver filagree earrings. Norteño women in the know shop here.  Good price to quality ratio. email: or cellular 044 (951) 516-6375.

As of this writing, the exchange rate is 13.2 pesos to the dollar.  Everything is a fantastic buy.  In my humble opinion, there is no need to bargain in this environment that is favorable to the tourist.  Bargaining tends to be a more acceptable practice on the street that from a gallery owner or shopkeeper!  However, keep in mind, that prices are low to start with and we are doing our part to help support artists and artisans whose work is extraordinary.

14 responses to “More Than 36 Hours: Oaxaca, Mexico — Shopping & Galleries

  1. Norma, you may wish to remove the .com link in the “Tirso Cuevas” Hojalata section …. it appears to link to some pornography

  2. Hi Norma! I am in Oaxaca for a couple of days and very much want to buy Catrinas (which I just adore). I cannot find any shops that seem to sell them outside of Dia de low Muertos time. Any suggestions? Thanks! Carrie

  3. Hello Norma,
    Great to read your thoughts and suggestions on Oaxaca city, I will be spending this weekend in Oaxaca city and would love to visit a few art galleries that offer the best of Oaxacan painters , please let me know if you can suggest any…. to purchase , that is is!!!
    Love your advice….

    • Miren, there is a wonderful gallery of contemporary Mexican art on Murguia between Macedonio Alcala and Cinco de Mayo. Another is on the second floor of a building on Alcala between Abasolo and Murguia. Oaxaca has a rich graphics arts community making woodcuts, acid prints, serigraphs and silkscreens. Two of my favorites are the printmaking studio of Fernando Sandoval on Hidalgo between Xicotencatl and Libres (blue building with door covered in tissue and little cut out eyes, no sign). He works with the best Mexican artists including Toledo and Sergio Hernandez. La Chicharra is on Xicotencatl near Colon. You can Google it to find the exact address and I have written a blog post about it. Alan Altamirano is an upcoming artist who started this studio to showcase other young talented Oaxaca artists. Have fun.

  4. We were in Oaxaca right before Christmas this year. It was the BEST trip to Mexico ever–and I have been to Mexico at least 30 times! I love, love, love Oaxaca. On the day before we left we were in a jewelry store that had a silver necklace that looked like Mexican ‘papel picita’ or ‘bandaritas’. Sadly, when we went to buy one the next day they were not open! It was, by the way, the night of the Radishes so who would be open?! I don’t blame them. Anyway, our daughter is getting married in April and I dearly want to get one of these necklaces for her to wear at her wedding: but I don’t know the name of the jewelry store. It was a block or so off the pedestrian walk way and there was an (I think) Italian restaurant across the street with a roof-top eating area. Can anyone help with a name or email or phone number? Gracias, in advance, to anyone who can help me find this necklace!
    Diane Tribbett
    Denver Colroado 303-941-0811

  5. Hello
    Informative site. Might you kindly tell me where I might buy lampshades in Oaxaca? (Not necessarily artesan; I just need of a nice lampshade for a barro negro base.) Thank you for your help.

  6. I am not even sure if this is the right forum, butI fell madly in love with a man named Alexander Sierra Ochoa who’s family owns a print shop in Oaxaca Mexico. He has always held an incredibly special place in my heart and I have been searching for him. Even if his life has moved on I would love the opportunity to tell him what he meant to me and the love I have for him and to apologize to him for letting him down. I have no idea how to get in touch with him, only that I know he has family in Oaxaca and it would mean so much to me to be able to talk to him, tell him what he meant to me and how much I love him and that I wish him the best. If you have any idea of how I can get in touch with him I would appreciate an email or call.
    Anne McKersie

  7. Thank you Norma for all the information you have posted about the arts, crafts, and foods of Oaxaca. I enjoy following your blog. It’s a ray of sunshine that brightens the grey days here in Seattle.

    • Elliot, thanks for reading the blog! I really appreciate your comment and I’m glad you are enjoying the adventure, even if at a distance. I wrote today that it’s in the low 70’s with a slight breeze and all the locals have put on sweaters and quilted jackets! Ah, if they only knew what COLD really is. Lots of people here from Seattle and Vancouver. You will be in good company when you arrive. -Norma

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