Oaxaca Shopping | Where to Shop and What to Buy
Trade runs in the blood of people from Oaxaca, where you'll find a wide variety of products exchanged among all its ethnic groups. The markets are a living example of this culture of bartering and are ideal for people looking to purchase beautiful handcrafted everyday objects, along with typical goods from the state's eight regions, such as textiles, fruits, vegetables, flowers, cacao, cheese, grasshoppers, meats, and utensils made from clay, wood, and metal.
Nevertheless, shopping in the city is not just limited to markets. Plaza del Valle is a pioneer as a modern shopping mall in the city and features famous department stores, boutiques, a food court, and movie theaters.
Benito Juarez Market
This market is housed in a 19th century art-nouveau building on the site where it has been held since the colonial era. All the regions of the state of Oaxaca are represented at the more than 700 stalls that fill the aisles. Iconic products that Oaxaca is known for deserve a special mention, including chocolate, mole, and mezcal. It's almost impossible to leave empty-handed!
Central de Abastos (Wholesale Market)
Located in the east of the city, the Central de Abastos features a wide variety of products. The main offering includes supplies for local homes, as well as handicrafts and other bits and pieces.
Mercado Itinerante (Itinerant Market)
Held at various locations in the region, this market is famous for its artisanal products. On Mondays in Miahuatlan there are lots of everyday objects made from clay, wood, and metal. Tuesdays in Zimatlan feature wood furnishings, while Wednesdays in Etla are ideal for buying Oaxaca cheese. On Thursdays vendors from the Central Valleys come to Zaachila to sell mainly agricultural goods. On Fridays, in Ocotlan, they offer cotton textiles, amaranth, and "barro verde" (green pottery) from Atzompa, among other products. On Saturday in the city of Oaxaca you'll find products from across the state, while Sundays in Tlacolula act as a showcase for the wool textile goods from Teotitlan and Santa Ana del Valle.
Barro negro (black clay) pottery is an artisanal product that has made Oaxaca world-famous. It is made is San Bartolo Coyotepec, 10 miles to the south of the city. It is made using ancestral techniques in which the processes of drying and polishing the clay give it a distinctive shiny black color. Nowadays the pieces tend to be decorative ornaments, with the exception of small pitchers that are used to store mezcal.
This alcoholic beverage is made from distilling the fermented juice of different kinds of agave; each species produces a different mezcal. The minimum alcoholic content is 45%, although often it is even higher. Many of the mezcals on sale in the market have a Mezcal worm inside them, which is added during the bottling process and gives the drink a slightly salty taste.
Mezcal is a product with a protected designation of origin status, limiting its production to seven states in Mexico, with Oaxaca traditionally seen as where the best mezcal is made. The drink varies to include clear, un-aged mezcals as well as mature and aged mezcals.
Casa Mezcal Oro de Oaxaca
This destillery in Tlacochahuaya, on the road to Mitla from Oaxaca, cultivates high quality agave and makes the famous Mezcal Oro. Here you can see the manufacturing process and savor its intense taste. You'll also see how they produce delicious cream liquors based on fruits, mint chocolate, and mocha, among other flavors. Pamper your taste buds with a visit to this place, try 100% Oaxacan products, and take home souvenirs of your visit to this beautiful region.
Wood carving is an ancestral tradition of the Zapotec people, something that is seen at its best in the creation of the "alebrijes", which represent magical creatures that come from the imagination of the local artisans and are made with the help of machetes and knives. The carved and painted figures take the forms of sorcerers, extraterrestrial beings, and angels, or animals like lions, jaguars, iguanas, dogs, snakes, birds, goats, armadillos, and porcupines.
Macedonio Alcala Pedestrian Street
This popular walkway is located between the main plaza and the Church of Santo Domingo and features numerous shops that sell different types of handicrafts, as well as jewelry stores, cafes, and bars.
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