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Traditional Shops in the Historic Center

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Shops reflect the ups and downs of cities and those who inhabit them. The traditional stores in the Historic Center speak of prosperous times and hard times, of re-inventing themselves or dying, of time-honored trades and vanishing customs. We invite you to explore the Historic Center in search of these echoes of another time.

What do you need? If you’re looking for fashion, head for the department stores. Just off the Zócalo on Venustiano Carranza, you’ll find El Palacio de Hierro, El Puerto de Liverpool and El Refugio mercer's shop, and El Nuevo Mundo on 5 de febrero. Under the archways, you can pick up a broad range of headwear at Sombreros Tardan. Elegant men shop at High Life on Madero Street. The famous El Borceguí shoe store is just a few yards away on 16 de Septiembre.

Booklovers will enjoy Librería Murguía on the same street. Boker House, the old-fashioned hardware store, is definitely worth a look, and if you’re interested in leather, Miglian's Blacksmith Depot and El Caballo Mexicano are two of the best leather goods stores on República de Uruguay.

There is a bookshop specializing in agriculture, El Semillero next to another leather goods stores, La Palestina on 5 de mayo. The Sanborn’s in The House of Tiles is, of course, a classic.

Feeling peckish? Head for 5 de Mayo to the famous restaurant and bar La Ópera and beyond that, to the Dulcería de Celaya, if you have a sweet tooth. Behind the archways stands El Rey del Pavo, specializing in turkey, as the name suggests, and on 16 de septiembre you’ll find El Globo bakery. Do not miss going to Tacuba to dine at the legendary Café de Tacuba, and try out another bakery, La Vasconia.

All these stores would be more than happy to tell you how they began. Which was your favorite?

This fascinating article describes the 10 oldest stores in the Historic Center. You can also discover the last crafts that are still being made in the traditional way and remember, keep your eyes glued to the shop windows!

The Historic Center Trust Guide published the Guía de Comercios Centenarios del Centro Histórico, available at  Ritos y Retos, República de Cuba #43 PB, Colonia Centro. Tel (55) 5709 72 78.

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Francisco I. Madero #4, Col. Centro. 06000

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