For a more authentic San Antonio shopping experience than what you’ll find at the River Walk, head about six blocks west to Market Square (514 W. Commerce St., 210/207-8600), referred to as the largest Mexican marketplace outside of Mexico. This bustling pedestrian area has a south-of-the-border appearance, with roaming mariachis and hordes of street vendors selling pottery, blankets, handmade crafts, and authentic Mexican food.
Speaking of food—a trip to Market Square, also referred to as El Mercado by locals, would be incomplete without stopping by Mi Tierra Bakery and Cafe (218 Produce Row, 210/225-1262, www.mitierracafe.com). Whether you’re in the mood for a sweet snack of their famous pan dulce (a sweet Mexican pastry) or a hearty meal—everything from huevos rancheros to charbroiled steak—this 24-hour establishment is a must.
Next door is the welcoming Mexican craft shop Los Pueblitos (202 Produce Row, 210/212-4898, www.lospueblitos.com). This stylish two-story building is packed with colorful clothing and Latin-American objects.
© Andy Rhodes from Moon Texas, 6th Edition