The flourishing San Angel neighborhood in Mexico City, located southwest of downtown, is a charming colonial area with cobblestone streets, centuries-old churches and historic mansions hidden behind tall stone walls festooned with swathes of purple and pink bougainvillea. This quarter is a wonderful place to spend an afternoon wandering from art galleries to quaint artisanal shops to fascinating small museums. If you are in the area on a Saturday, head to the central Plaza San Jacinto for its lively upmarket art bazaar selling locally made textiles, woodwork and jewelry.
Specializing in Día de los Muertos-inspired wood carvings, Sortilegio is an artisan gallery offering one-of-a-kind pieces. It also has a fine collection of small clay pots with traditional motifs. Calle Madero 4C. Tel. (52) 55-5683-6828
This eclectic shop with a distinctive purple façade and a door framed by hand-painted angel wings is a great place to find traditional shawls, crafts and antique jewelry. Calle Benito Juárez 2. Tel. (52) 55-5550-2748
Visit this bright boutique for local soaps and creams, as well as regional chocolates, homemade jams and Borola, a specialty organic coffee sourced from the town of Puebla in the Sierra Madre mountains. The handicrafts on display include woven wool wall hangings, wooden alebrijes (varicolored Mexican folk art sculptures) and charming puppets for children. Mezcal tastings are offered once a month. Calle Madero 8B. Tel. (52) 55-7650-6669
Set in a monastery dating to 1615, this macabre museum houses 17th- and 18th-century religious artwork, an exquisite gilded altarpiece and a crypt with an impressive collection of mummies. Avenida Revolución S/N. Tel. (52) 55-5616-1177
This restored 19th-century house contains a garden square enclosed on all four sides by shopping arcades. There, Flora María is a charming jewelry shop offering delicate handcrafted silver necklaces, earrings and brooches. Also, Adoro México is a great shop for hand-drawn cards, locally made scarves and high-end bags and purses for women. Plaza San Jacinto 16. Tel. (52) 55-5616-2389
To recoup from walking around San Angel, visit this gourmet food court in a remodeled colonial-era house. Two floors contain approximately two dozen dining options and culinary shops. La Botica del Té offers a wide array of high-quality teas separated into three categories: Body, featuring herbal infusions inspired by traditional Mexican recipes; Mind, featuring fruit tisanes; and Spirit, for a more classic taste lightly complemented by Body and Mind essences. There are also stands specializing in regional wines, fresh fish, cold cuts and macarons. Stop by the well-stocked cookery shop Utilitario Mexicano on your way out. Calle de la Amargura 5. Tel. (52) 55-5256-4005