Quito’s place as the capital of the country comes with the artisans of Ecuador joining the court of Ecuador’s finest craftspeople who wave from doorways and open up shops each day to welcome the crowds. In the different neighborhoods and sectors of the city, artists take their work into the streets and art classes dot the plazas and archways of the cultural centers of town. Keep reading for 5 places to buy souvenirs in Quito that brighten up any trip home.
The Mercado Artesanal at the start of the new town’s Mariscal neighborhood is a haven for those looking for locally made crafts, elegant textiles, chocolate, jewelry, and leather goods. The vendors line the isles with stalls that pile high with clothing, hats, purses, jackets, shoes, and t-shirts that bring the different pieces of the culture to life.
Jorge Washington y Juan Leon Mera
Galeria Ecuador, close to Plaza Foch is a one-stop shop for gifts and keepsakes from Ecuador. Rows of Ecuadorian chocolate, rooms full of coffee, exotic soaps, silver jewelry, and local candies await and the attached café offers Ecuadorian classics with a gourmet twist.
Reina Victoria N24-26 and Lizardo García
La Ronda is one of Quito’s oldest pedestrian neighborhood-revitalized during the last few decades as a center for old world culture, cutting edge arts and theater, and home to swanky and playful artisan shops, bakeries, studios, and confectionaries.
Two lamp-lit street streets cross in the middle of the district, and local artists, chefs, painters, and silversmiths share their wares with a steady stream of visitors in search of genuine goods from Ecuador.
Bordering Plaza Santa Domingo in the Historic Center
Homero Ortega’s Panama Hat store close to San Francisco Plaza has been making and selling hats since 1899. The tradecraft is passed down to each new generation-showcasing many different types and weaves of the icon head-piece that have set the standard for other craftsmen around the country. Prices run from reasonable to an investment worth the cost.
San Francisco Plaza
Plaza Foch in the heart of the new town normally makes headlines as the place to go for clubs, international restaurants, coffee shops, and goto breakfast places that fill up during the course of the day.
Each weekend, the plaza changes into one of its many roles and plays host to a small, but growing artesian fair. Artists set up around banquet table selling handmade jewelry, locally made honey, and cheese, one of a kind shirts, purses, and Ecuadorian art, soaps, and spices.