Plaza Independencia is the site of the Plaza de las Artes outdoor crafts fair, which takes place every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. The downtown Mercado Artesanal (Avenida San Martín 1143, tel. 0261/420-4239, 8 a.m.–1 p.m. Mon.–Thurs.) offers the opportunity to purchase handicrafts from around and beyond the province, including weavings, horse gear, and basketry.
More than its name would suggest, Las Viñas (Avenida Las Heras 399, tel. 0261/425-1520, www.lasvinas.com.ar) has plenty of wines but also a bundle of crafts ranging from ceramics and silverwork to leather, hides, ponchos, weavings, and even dried fruits. It has occupied the same site since 1950.
Mendoza also has specialty wine shops such as La Casa del Vino (Arístides Villanueva 160, tel. 0261/4235862), with a large selection and tastings as well, and Vines of Mendoza (Chile 1124, www.vinesofmendoza.com), which also has a stylish wine bar in the Park Hyatt.
García Santos Libros (San Martín 921, tel. 0261/429-2287) has a sophisticated choice of books on Argentina and Spanish-language literature. Librería SBS (Gutiérrez 54, tel. 0261/425-2917) has English-language books.
© Wayne Bernhardson from Moon Argentina, 3rd edition