The Mexico City Reader
To get a general overview of Mexico City, The Mexico City Reader is the best place to start. It’s composed of 30+ essays and journalistic pieces which all come together to paint a picture of the metropolis that Mexico calls its capital. It makes for essential reading for anyone even vaguely interested in the city’s history.
Price: $15.96 (MXN$325)
Colourful, painted wooden animals may seem tacky, but in Mexico they’re anything but. Alebrijes are delicate, detailed and one-of-a-kind carvings that originated in Oaxaca. While these are best bought in local markets in Mexico itself, there are some websites that sell them online, albeit for a higher price.
Price: Depending on the size, anywhere from around $5 (MXN$100) upwards.
Anyone who’s obsessed with Mexico knows that the most versatile swearword in Mexican Spanish is easily chingar. This handy Chingonario compiles all the possible uses of the verb, so by the time they actually make it to Mexico they’ll be well-versed in the intricacies of Mexican swearing. An essential gift for anyone who loves a good expletive.
Price: $8.58 (MXN$180)
Mexican Themed Pin Badges
This Clumsy Kate pin badge is the perfect tongue in cheek gift for anyone who loves Mexico. Playing on two of the most stereotypical Mexican icons – a cactus and a piñata – it will serve as the ideal reminder of why they’re so obsessed with this quirky, cultural country.
Price: Around $8, depending on seller and badge
Mexican Coffee Beans
Mexico is known for producing some excellent quality coffee beans that are often mild enough to serve as the base for a customised blend, yet flavoursome enough to hold their own in an espresso. For the Mexico fanatic, you can’t go wrong buying them a bag of Chiapan coffee beans.
Price: $19.90 for 2lb (MXN$405)
However, even if they’re less into coffee and more into sweets, you can definitely still source them the perfect Mexican themed gift. From De La Rosa mazapanes to sweet yet sour chamoy and tamarindo based snacks, the Mexican sweet world is your oyster. Either pick some of these up by the box in the country itself, or order online.
Price: $7.89 for 30 online or cheaper in the country (MXN$160)
A Mexico (or Mexico City) Map
You can’t go wrong with a map of Mexico if you’re looking for a great gift that’s both thoughtful and practical. We recommend picking up this cool country map that will have you memorising the states in no time, or even a more region specific Mexico City map. Both this art print and this map are great.
Price: Mexico map $9.50 (MXN$190); Mexico City art print $18 +$4.50 shipping (MXN$365 + $90 shipping); Mexico City map $9 + $8 shipping (MXN$180 + $160 shipping)
Eat Mexico: Recipes From Mexico City’s Streets, Markets & Fondas
This gift idea is perhaps better suited to the Mexico City obsessed, because the recipes featured are inspired from authentic destinations all across the Mexican capital. Craving some tacos al pastor? Lesley Téllez’ cookbook will help you replicate them at home!
Price: $16.72 (MXN$340)
Piñata Making Kit
Sure, you could buy your Mexico obsessed friend a simple piñata to smash to pieces at their next party, but why not go one step further and let them make the piñata in the first place? With these piñata making kits, they can craft their own papier mâché masterpiece.
Price: $20+ (MXN$400)
Mexican Loteria Poster
For something a little out of the ordinary, this colourful and cool Mexican lotería poster would make the ideal gift for someone who loves the Mexican aesthetic and culture, without necessarily being blown away by constant cactus iconography. This poster is recognisably Mexican yet simultaneously understated.
Price: $12 (MXN$230)
Tequila or Mezcal
Nothing says Mexico like some imported booze and while pulque is still only available in Mexico, tequila and mezcal can be easily bought in liquor stores around the world. For the real Mexico experience, get a tequila that’s 100% blue agave and a mezcal that doesn’t include a worm.
Price: Both start at roughly $20+ for a medium sized bottle (MXN$400)
Silver Jewellery from Taxco
The silver products from Mexican town Taxco, Guerrero are legendary and incredibly high quality. While you can definitely find cheap knock-offs marketed as the real deal, some hunting will point you in the direction of the good stuff. Therefore, anything made with authentic Taxco silver makes for the perfect present.
Price: Prices vary depending on size, weight and style
Tiled Mirror from San Miguel de Allende
This is one that’s trickier (but not impossible) to find online but is still an excellent gift idea. Talavera tiles are beautifully handcrafted tiles typically made in San Miguel de Allende. Combine a Talavera frame with a mirror and you’ve got an ideal momentum for any Mexico-obsessed person.
Price: $100+ online but much cheaper in Mexico (MXN$2000+ online)
Lucha Libre Mask
The tight fitting, brightly coloured and iconic lucha libre masks are a great alternative present for anyone interested in Mexico and its sporting culture. While they can be bought in Mexico at the lucha arenas, you can also find them online pretty easily too, albeit for much higher prices.
Price: $20+ online but around $5 in Mexico (MXN$400 online or MXN$100 in Mexico)
The Diary of Frida Kahlo: An Intimate Self Portrait
Nowadays, you can get anything from notebooks to t-shirts emblazoned with the iconic Mexican surrealist, Frida Kahlo. For the Mexico obsessed, anything with her trademark monobrow printed on it will be sure to go down a treat, but we particularly recommend an illustrated copy of her diary.
Price: $15.88 (MXN$322)
Hecho En México
If you want a gift for anyone obsessed with Mexican music, from the dulcet tones of indigenous Oaxacan singer Lila Downs to the upbeat, underrated music of Julieta Venegas, this excellent documentary Hecho en México – which features various Mexican musicians and genres – is the ideal gift. Alternatively, any of these films would work too!
Price: $5.99 (MXN$120)
These cute dolls with their folk-style outfits and hair ribbons are handmade by artisans in Mexico and are an ideal souvenir that will evoke memories of the country for years to come. You can find some examples online, but the best place to buy them is undoubtedly in Mexico itself.
Price: $15+ online but cheaper in Mexico (MXN$300)
Sugar Skull Kit
The sugar skull is one of the icons most commonly associated with Mexico and its Day of the Dead celebrations. While you can buy the real life, sugar versions of these skulls (as well as some more long-lasting painted ceramic versions), why not make your own instead?
Price: $18.99 (MXN$385)
Mexican Flag Iron-On Patch
Get the Mexico obsessed person in your life a cheap and cheerful reminder of the country that they can carry around with them at all times, because, while every good backpacker knows that a must buy in any country is an iron patch of said country’s flag, you don’t have to have visited to own one.
Price: $5.65 (MXN$115)
As one of Mexico’s most iconic pieces of indigenous womenswear, a simple but intricately detailed huipil would be the perfect gift for anyone interested in the country. They have a rich cultural backstory and can be found in markets and specialised stores all across Mexico.
Price: $5+ depending on the style and where you buy it (MXN$100+)