Located about 20 minutes by car from the center of Guadalajara, Tlaquepaque offers some of Mexico’s best shopping (this used to be a suburb of the city, but with urban sprawl has been incorporated into the city limits). Most of the stores sell crafts made by local artists. A number specialize in antiques. During our visit we saw some large antiquities being sold for $100,000 or more USD.
This town features a number of excellent silver and gold jewelry stores. Tlaquepaque will put to rest the myths, perhaps formed at border towns such as Tijuana, that all Mexico has to offer is cheap goods. For example, some of the items I saw for sale in Tlaquepaque were the following: solid gold masks of various sizes, solid .999 silver large figurines, German pewter, ornately decorated pottery, rod iron works, oil paintings, early religious antiques, rugs, furniture, and much more.
Mariachi in their sequined suits and glitter are ever present on the streets. They are often seen performing in the gazebo in El Parian, a circular building in the center of town, or at restaurants. In fact, Mariachis originated in Tlaquepaque, their roots began by performing a weddings in the mid 1800s.
Tlaquepaque is also famous for its hand woven rugs, hand painted pottery and ornate silver and copper works. The center of town is along Calle Independencia. Carefully crafted for tourism, yet retaining its strong heritage, Calle Independencia houses many of Tlaquepague’s most prominent galleries. Shops are located on side street – but I found nothing comparable to the quality of items sold in the shops along Calle Independencia.
Fortunately Calle Independencia is open to pedestrians only so visitors can focus on shopping or window shopping and not have to worry about avoiding moving vehicles. A very historical street, many of the buildings located here date from the late 17th century to the early 20th century. A number used to house wealthy Guadalajarans back when Tlaquepaque was its own separate town from Guadalajara.
One gallery in particular, the highlight of my visit, is Sergio Bustamante. Along with their Tlaquepaque storefront, they have operated several other locations including in Mexico City and Puerto Vallarta. This gallery reminded me of a museum. Products for sale include jewelry featuring numerous gold items, paintings and several rooms of impressive looking pottery. The center of the store features a small waterfall and pond, with flamingos and other exotic birds walking around.
For more information about Sergio Bustamante please visit their web site: www.coleccionsergiobustamante.com.mx
For more information about shopping in Tlaquepaque contact the Tlaquepaque Tourist Office located at 160 Donato Guerra.
El Abajeno is an excellent restaurant/bar located near Calle Independencia. Besides the great food enjoyed in a relaxing courtyard/garden setting, experience authentic mariachi dancers. Located at Ave Juarez 231 a– phone number: 635-9015.