While it’s most famous for its swampy waterways taking you up the Delta to hundreds of tiny islands, the town is also home to a bustling artisan market and a thriving community of artisans, artists and designers who are injecting some creative flair into the area and offering up some unique shopping gems. Just an hour north of the crazy metropolis of Buenos Aires is the infinitely more tranquil town of Tigre. Sophie Lloyd shares her top picks.
Puerto de Frutos
This old fruit market built around Tigre’s port is now bustling with home furnishings stalls. Once you’ve got past the abundance of wicker tat and uninspiring pine furnishings, you can find some good deals on homewares, from sheepskin rugs to rustic wooden picada boards, plants and other home essentials. And the price tags are much more friendly than downtown Buenos Aires. You’ll also find some delectable artisan cheeses, cured meats, jams and other locally-made food products that will fit perfectly on your new picada board. See: Puerto de Frutos
Distrito de arte Boulevard Sáenz Peña
Venture a little away from the bustling market just across the train tracks and you’ll find the hip Distrito de Arte centered on and around the colourful tree-lined Boulevard Sáenz Peña. Tucked away amongst the quaint houses is a network of art studios, workshops and boutiques run by a community of artists and artisans, who also join forces to host regular art nights and other pop-up events throughout the year (check their Facebook page for updates). Note: most places in this district are only open Wednesday to Saturday. See: Distrito de arte Boulevard Sáenz Peña
This little boutique is a textiles heaven and every knitter’s dream stocking a range of hand-spun, -knitted or –crocheted homewares and garments, all produced by the hands of local designers. Find big, chunky blankets in 100% merino wool to lighter sheep’s wool throws and other unique pieces handcrafted from rich organic fabrics such as baby alpaca, angora wool, raw silk and Peruvian cotton. There’s also a line of felt stoles and other accessories including stylish combination silk and felt scarves as well as playful textile jewelry and babywear. Walk through to the backroom where you’ll find the workshop and the occasional textile-themed exhibition. The owner also likes to cook and hosts private asados in the adjoining garden during the summer.
Coronel Morales 1419. Fibras Naturales
Boulevard Sáenz Peña
Every design detail of the shabby chic Boulevard Sáenz Peña space that sits on the corner of the boulevard of the same name has been carefully curated to support the works of local artists, artisans and designers. The dynamic space functions as a restaurant (open for breakfast, lunch and dinner with a rotating menu focused on ingredients in season) and boutique, offering a desirable collection of new and restored antique furniture, a rotating collection of artworks, handmade ceramics, home textiles and other decorative items to sweeten your home.
Boulevard Sáenz Peña 1400. Boulevard Sáenz Peña
Alto Pirulo Vintage
This retro boutique offers an eclectic mix of vintage and used clothing and accessories from local Argentine labels and overseas brands and designers. The space is made more quirky with old-school Barbie and Ken dolls hanging from the ceilings and cupcake liners decorating the walls.
Boulevard Saenz Pena 1338. Alto Pirulo Vintage
Awka Tienda de Macetas
Local artists use terracotta pots as their canvas in this cute little workshop. You can browse an array of colourful ceramic pots and planters of all shapes and sizes, each one a work of art and individually painted by the hand of one of 40 artists.
Montes de Oca 278. Awka Tienda de Macetas
This edgy art studio, gallery and boutique was founded by four Argentine friends in November 2013, including well-known local street artist Tester and visual artist Consuelo Vidal, who moved from the city up to Tigre and are now at the forefront of the local art scene. The space hosts regular events and exhibitions.
Albarellos 280. Club Albarellos
Mercado Don Toto
One of the newest additions to the Tigre shopping district and only open on Fridays and Saturdays, this mini indoor flea market offers a jumble of unusual vintage and second-hand collectibles from all manner of branded glass bottles and jars to old cameras, kitchenware and vintage furniture.
Corner of Albarellos y Pizarro. Mercado Don Toto
Almacén de Flores
And when you’ve had enough of shopping, refuel before your journey back to the city at Almacén de Flores. The cute kitschy café serves up home cooked dishes, freshly-brewed coffee and healthy juices as the scents of freshly cut flowers waft through from their adjoining florist.
Boulevard Saenz Peña 1336
Photos by Meghan Stone. Visit her website
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