From upmarket malls to department stores to local markets, Mexico City is bursting with unique places to shop. Almost every neighborhood has its own market or shopping center, as well as at least one weekly tianguis (open-air bazaar), but fashionistas and foodies know to head to the historic center, La Roma, Polanco, San Ángel, Santa Fe, or Coyoacán for a serious dose of retail therapy.
Whether you're looking for handmade souvenirs, luxury labels or Mexican designers, our list of where to go shopping in Mexico City has got you covered.
La Ciudadela Market
Not far from Mexico City's central attractions (including Bellas Artes, the Metropolitan Cathedral and Templo Mayor), La Ciudadela is the place to go for contemporary and traditional handicrafts from all over the country. Here, you'll find hand-embroidered blouses, distinctive homewares, and beaded jewelry, as well as more typical souvenirs, in a colorful and well-maintained covered market.
La Ciudadela was established over 50 years ago and maintains a tradition of supporting local artisans. Prices are generally cheaper than similar tourist shops, so there's no need to haggle. Like most markets in Mexico City, La Ciudadela is cash only. Find it on the corner of Balderas and Ayuntamiento streets.
Calle Colima, La Roma
The neighborhood of Roma Norte is fast becoming Mexico City's boutique shopping hub, with up-and-coming local designs and quirky imported goods popping up all over the place. Calle Colima is a good place to start, with quirky stores like 180º Shop, Prima Volta, and MAM Boutique.
Then, take a left into Córdoba for Naked Boutique and Goodbye Folk, stalwarts of Mexican design, or a right into Frontera for hipster favorite Hi-Bye. Sustainable fashion fans should check out Carla Fernández on Álvaro Obregón, also nearby. Most stores accept cards and are open from around midday until late evening.
Presidente Masaryk, Polanco
Presidente Masaryk, the main thoroughfare of the wealthy Polanco neighborhood, holds the title of Latin America's most expensive shopping street. Here, you'll find Louis Vuitton, Gucci, and Tiffany & Co., along with fashion and beauty staples like Zara and L'Occitane en Provence.
A couple of blocks north, Antara Fashion Hall is Polanco's premier mall. A glittering, open-air shopping center made up of three levels, Antara is home to global brands including Sephora, Abercrombie, Nike, and Calvin Klein, plus a food court with all your favorite fast food outlets. Most stores open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. and accept cards.
Just across the park from Bellas Artes you'll find Barrio Alameda, a diverse collection of on-trend stores housed inside a gorgeous, renovated Art Deco building. Casa Salt, on the ground floor, is a great place to pick up women's fashion and chic homewares designed by local artists, while Singular Vintage stocks retro clothes and shoes upstairs.
Xico offers Mexican-inspired kids clothes and toys, and El Hijo del Santo sells any and everything related to the famed Mexican wrestler. Finish off your shopping expedition with a cocktail at La Azotea, Barrio Alameda's rooftop bar with top-notch views. Most stores are open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., with the bars and restaurants open later; cards are accepted.
El Bazaar Sábado
The cobblestone streets of San Ángel, a quietly affluent suburb south of the city center, come alive every Saturday with artists and market stalls. Centered on Plaza San Jacinto, the outdoor market offers fine art and high-quality handicrafts with a price tag to match.
Inside a sprawling, colonial-style house on the northern side of the plaza you'll find a covered market full of contemporary Mexican fashion and jewelry, antiques, furniture and folk art. Don't forget to refuel with a freshly made quesadilla from the restaurant. The Bazaar Sábado operates from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturdays and is largely cash-only.
San Juan Market
Located just south of Bellas Artes in the historic center, Mercado San Juan is Mexico City's most exotic food market. Since the 1970s, the vendors of San Juan have procured rare meats, edible flowers, seafood, imported cheeses, and local delicacies for Mexico City's chefs and foodies.
With the amount of raw meat on display, this market is not for the faint-hearted. Those brave enough should try some chapulines (grasshoppers) or hormigas chicatanas (ants) from one of the many market stalls, then stop in at El Gran Cazador for a lion or crocodile hamburger. Mercado San Juan is mostly cash only and opens from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Reforma 222 is a sleek, three-tower complex made up of offices, apartments and a shopping mall. Taking its name from the main avenue that runs from Chapultepec park to the historic center of Mexico City, the mall has become one of the city's most popular for those who like to see and be seen.
This mall is conveniently located for most visitors and is a good place to stop in and stock up on the essentials. With all the stores you would expect from a mall in the States, including jewelry, sportswear, fashion, beauty, technology, and footwear, Reforma 222 also has a cinema, fast food chains, banks, and sit-down restaurants.
Sanborns de los Azulejos
On the corner of Avenida Madero in the historic center, you'll find Mexico's most Instagrammable department store. The Casa de los Azulejos (Tiled House) is an 18th-century palace covered with blue and white tiles and decorated inside with a mural by José Clemente Orozco. Since 1919, it has been occupied by a Sanborns, a branch of Mexico's most iconic restaurant and retail chain.
Here, you can shop for a small selection of gifts, books, sweets, fashion and accessories, then settle in for a coffee in the beautiful dining room. Sanborns de los Azulejos is open from 7 a.m. to 1 a.m. and accepts cards. Larger department stores in the downtown area include Sears, Liverpool, and the luxury-focused El Palacio de Hierro.
Centro Santa Fe
Santa Fe, Mexico City's financial district, is located on the south-western edge of the city. This booming neighborhood is also home to the country's largest mall, Centro Santa Fe, which opened in 1993. Although the mall is a little out of the way, it is your best bet for a whole day of shopping.
With 39 restaurants and over 500 stores, plus Liverpool, Sears, Saks FIfth Avenue, El Palacio de Hierro and Sanborns all inside, Centro Santa Fe has all the amenities of a small city. There are plenty of stores and activities for kids, like Build-A-Bear, Play Time video game arcade, KidZania play gym and ArtPark creative center. There's also a year-round ice skating rink and Mexico City's only Apple Store. Centro Santa Fe is open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and all stores accept cards.
If you've made the trip down South to visit Frida Kahlo's house in Coyoacán, don't miss the local markets a short walk away. As well as stocking traditional basics like fruit, vegetables, meat, and colorful decorations, the lively Mercado Coyoacán is one of the best places to eat in the neighborhood. Inside, Tostadas Coyoacán serves up a mind-blowing variety of delicious toppings, including seafood, cow's foot and mushroom.
If you're after souvenirs, swing by the Mercado de Artesanías just off Plaza Hidalgo. This laid-back handicrafts market is a little more bohemian than La Ciudadela, so you'll find lots of contemporary interpretations of traditional folk art. Both markets are cash only. Mercado Coyoacán is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., while the Mercado de Artesanías stays open until 10 or 11 p.m. on weekends.