Ensenada shopping is more international and upscale than what you’ll find in Tijuana, a reflection of the sorts of things that cruise ship passengers like to buy. The stores along Avenida López Mateos and Boulevard Costero have an assortment of souvenirs and beachwear. Some of the most popular purchases are silver jewelry, leather goods, pottery, fine art, and accessories for the beach. In general, prices drop the farther you get from the waterfront.
The Centro Artesanal (Costero 1094 at the end of Castillo, no tel.) has arts and crafts from all over Mexico. Ensenada also has several large shopping plazas, including Centro Comercial Misión (Calle 11 and Reforma), with a Gigante supermarket, Banamex ATM, Lavamática Express, Smart and Final, and Cinema Gemelos.
Open since 1988, Galería de Pérez Meillón (Centro Artesenal, Loc. 40, Costero 1094 and Castillo, tel. 646/175-7848, adalbertopm [at] hotmail [dot] com, 9 A.M.–5 P.M. daily) specializes in Mata Ortiz pottery made by Native Americans from a small village in the mainland state of Chihuahua. Owner Adalberto Pérez Meillón selects each piece directly from the artists. He also carries a variety of other Native American handicrafts as well as works by contemporary artists living in Baja California and mainland Mexico.
The wide variety of artesanías and friendly English-speaking staff create a pleasant shopping experience at Bazar Casa Ramírez (López Mateos 496-3, tel. 646/178-8209, bramirez717 [at] hotmail [dot] com). This large family-run shop contains high-quality crafts from all over Mexico, including Talavera pottery, wrought-iron sculptures, decorative mirrors, and works of carved wood and blown glass.
For silver jewelry from Taxco, try Arriaga de Taxco (two locations: López Matéos 821 and 865, tel. 646/174-0704, sterling [at] telnor [dot] net, 10 A.M.–7 P.M. Mon.–Fri., until 8 P.M. Sat., until 6 P.M. Sun.).
Los Globos (Calle 9, three blocks east of Reforma, 9 A.M.–6 P.M. daily) is a flea market with vendors selling housewares, furniture, apparel, and more. Weekends are best.
For leather goods, try Nuevo México Lindo (López Mateos 688, tel. 646/178-1381). It specializes in saddles and related gear but also has handbags.
A few fine-art galleries have sprung up around town, including Galería La Esquina de Bodegas (Miramar and Calle 6, tel. 646/178-3557, 8 A.M.–10 P.M. Sun.–Fri.), which is located across from Bodegas de Santo Tomás and shows the works of Mexican and international artists.
© Nikki Goth Itoi from Moon Baja, 9th Edition