Centro Histórico everywhere: Vanilla, coffee and fans
Not about *a* shop. The whole Historic Centre is full of shops selling typical Veracruzan wear or handicrafts. Steps from the Zocalo, towards the sea, there is a whole block of outside vendors. Across the street from them, a huge inside market called Mercado de Alimentos y Artesanias. The name says "Food" (Alimentos) but don't be fooled. They mean sweets, like rich coconut bars, gooey peanuts in honey bars, and bottles of vanilla, bags of coffee, that sort of thing.
The handicrafts are typical Veracruzan clothes and sombreros, sea-shells, jewelry, statues of saints, etc. I really don't think Veracruz is a place to look for authentic and original pottery or art. It's really not touristy at all.
You'll see thousands of Spanish-type fans, some hand-painted and beautiful. I would suggest getting a nice one, they're not expensive and you'll use it. Veracruz is incredibly hot!
What to pay: nothing is very expensive
N/A: Trashy souvenirs
The markets in Veracruz are absolutely mediocre. Having come from Mexico City and then later exploring Merida, it's fairly clear that she shopping experience in Veracruz is entirely sub-optimal.
However, if you're not looking for any authentic handicrafts, you can pick up cheesy Veracruaz souvenirs for reasonable prices. There isn't a massive selection - Carnaval t-shirts and cheaply embroidered sailors hats were the pick of the bunch - but you might just uncover a hidden gem. Unlikely though.
Don't say I didn't warn you!
(By the way, catch a taxi or the bus down to Boca del Rio, about 10km along the road, if you're in dire need of a shopping mall experience. It's nothing out of the ordinary, but it sated our commercialist needs.)
What to buy: Nothing worth buying in Veracruz itself, unless you're a supporter of the local football (soccer) team, in which case there's plenty of Veracruz Red Sharks gear on offer.
At Boca del Rio, check out the CD shop. Buying international CD's sans import prices never goes astray. If you wouldn't know where to start, perhaps try Cafe Tacuba. Beautiful Mexican rock. Very bizarre, but very worthwhile.
n/a: Get your Bottled Water cheap
What to buy: You will be walking around Veracruz and dehydrate quickly from the heat. Before or when you arrive in Veracruz, go to a grocery store or whatever place that you find bottled water for cheap, and stock yourself up on a lot because many of the little convenience shops sell it for expensive prices. Save yourself the pesos and buy 'em cheap!! It's a pain to haul a wack more out for a water when you know you could've gotten it for less just one block back.
What to pay: Cheap:
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