In state capitals throughout Mexico—from Mérida in the Yucatán to Morelia in Michoacán—you’ll find a state-sponsored “Casa de las Artesanías,” selling handmade goods from regional villages and communities. It’s a testament to the national commitment to cultural preservation through handicrafts; sales promote the country’s folk arts and directly benefit many off-the-grid artisans. San Luis Potosí's Casa de las Artesanías, housed in a former mansion, is organized like a museum—each gallery off the airy central patio is dedicated to one of San Luis’s four distinct regions—and showcases the work of some 9,000 artisans from around the state. (The name San Luis Potosí refers to both the state and its capital city.) The arid Altiplano specializes in leather goods and woven baskets; culture-rich Huasteca is known for its primitive pottery and hand-painted boxes. You’ll also find fur-lined boots, rustic instruments, and hand-embroidered baby clothes. Across Jardín Colón, a street designed with a square-block median park, a strip of utilitarian shops is also worth browsing for great-value gifts and souvenirs. Stop in at Plasticos y Tenés for its beautiful huaraches, braided leather sandals made in Mexico. A few stores down is the entrance to Mercado Tangamanga, a daily market where San Luis residents come to stock up on everything from fruits and vegetables and plucked chickens to piñatas and religious candles. It’s equal parts one-stop shopping and cultural immersion.
La Casa de las Artesanías is a 15-minute drive from Conrad San Luis Potosí. The Mercado Tangamanga and other shops are located just across the street.
PLASTICOS Y TENÉS: Calzada de Guadalupe, Mercado la Merced, El Centro