Where to Buy Southwestern Souvenirs in Santa Fe
From cheesy kitsch to handmade silver jewelry to the finest paintings by artists of the American West to used cowboy boots, the shopping opportunities in Santa Fe seem almost endless. And shopping here is a lot like shopping in a foreign country—the treasures you find seem so original, hard to replicate, and simply delightful, that you’ll want to buy all of them immediately. And even if it is hard to imagine wearing that beautiful silver concha belt or enormous turquoise brooch back home in Connecticut, both are so unique and inspiring that you can’t risk not buying them. The secret to shopping here is to pace yourself. The odds are good that the $50,000 bronze sculpture on Canyon Road you can’t live without will still be there tomorrow. So take a few deep breaths, relax, check your bank balance, then unleash the consumer within and enjoy the immense variety of souvenirs you’ll find in the City Different.
John Rippel U.S.A.
For the man in your life who was left behind on this girlfriend getaway to Santa Fe, or for guys who like to shop, stop in at John Rippel U.S.A. For 45 years the silversmith has been crafting three-piece belt buckles inspired by late 19th-century Navajo jewelry, modern art, and, of course, the wild West. Some pieces are versatile enough to wear on a Wyoming ranch or in a Manhattan boardroom.
In this sprawling complex on Cerillos Road you’ll find textiles, furniture, pottery, handicrafts, music, and folk art from all over the world. Oddly, however, it all feels like it fits in New Mexico. For the most authentic souvenir of all, stop at Jarocho’s Taqueria, the food truck out front. The owners are from Veracruz, Mexico, but they make their tasty barbacoa beef tacos right here in Santa Fe.
Doodlets Gift Shop
This whimsical gift shop that’s been sitting a block off the Plaza for 50 years is heaven on earth for kitsch-loving adults and every little kid. With 100,000 gifts, toys, books, and cards on display store, it’s hard not to find a souvenir for everyone, from T-Shirts made by local artists to “My Other Car is in the Arroyo” bumper stickers to Breaking Bad memorabilia to jewelry by local bottle-cap genius Goldie Garcia, and much, much more.
Frank and Agnes Dressman have owned this Plaza store since 1952 and have a reputation for their rapport with local Native American and Hispanic artists, whose work they sell in the shop. Dressman’s is the go-to store for a Pueblo house incense burner or angel woodcarvings by local artist David Alvarez.