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Shopping in Logroño

Shopping in Logroño, a temptation hard to resist.

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Logroño’s shopping streets have everything one would expect in a provincial capital, with the added value of preserving a series of hundred-year-old shops, often family-run, that still operate, resisting the ravages of time and history. A good walk to find them is an authentic and different way to explore another of the many faces of the capital of La Rioja. 

Our business vocabulary has been filled over time with foreign words and “palabros”, the colloquial term we use to refer to a strange or misused word. For example, while some people celebrate All Saints’ Day, others only talk about Halloween.

And as for the world of commerce, which has suffered so much in recent times, we find that before Christmas comes Black Friday, a term imported from the United States and which in the 1960s described the traffic chaos that took place on the streets of Philadelphia during the post-Thanksgiving sales. . From there it spread to the online retail sector and now applies to practically everything that is an offer before Christmas…

Luckily, having overcome wars, economic crises and pandemics, in streets like those of Logroño we can still find authenticity in a handful of century-old shops that defy the passing of time and changing fashions.

For the locals, they are places that form part of our everyday landscape, our daily comings and goings, which perhaps we do not notice much because they have always been there.

To begin with, there is Dulín, the hat shop onCalle Portales, a place where time seems to stand still and where they still keep the personalised models of customers who had their measurements taken so that their hats would always fit them perfectly. There is also the patisserie La Mariposa de Oro, always ready to serve its excellent milhojas and canutillos, according to many, the best in the world.

Dulín hat shop.

Dulín hat shop.

And always in Portales, bookshops such as Cerezo or Castroviejo offer us a whole world to lose ourselves in, where they set books out for sale as they always have, with their attractive covers arranged on tables and stands, lined up in alphabetical order, by author or subject…

As true reading enthusiasts say, the smell of books makes you want to dive right in.

As true reading enthusiasts say, the smell of books makes you want to dive right in. We must add to the list of bookshops the Santos Ochoa on Calle Calvo Sotelo, with brancheson Gran Vía and in Parque Rioja, the large shopping centre in the south-west of the city, although this last also sells stationery and many other accessories.

The one in Calvo Sotelo, by the way, is part of the Paseo de las Cien Tiendas,an initiative which began a few years ago where several shops join forces to create a pleasant pedestrian area, with activities to coincide with special dates such as the grape harvest, Christmas, and San Bernabé, in a fun and healthy way to liven up the streets encourage shopping.

Because local businesses bring us closer to conscious consumption and give us an excuse to meet up with our neighbours.

We should also mention the locksmith, Mediavilla, ready as always to help us open or close any door, although in the beginning they also repaired agricultural machinery, always of prime necessity in the Rioja area; at that time, the founder offered his services in the area around Plaza de Abastos, where the people of the countryside came to look for him with their tools.

Today they can be found on Avenida Colón, and also on Calle Hermanos Moroy, another street in the old town notable for an abundance of shops selling women’s fashion and accessories.

In the area around San Juan and the Mercado de Abastos, not only Calle Hermanos Moroy, but also Capitán Gallarza, Marqués de Vallejo, El Peso and many others define an environment where you can satisfy any need or whim: baskets, flowers, prints, cakes… For example, if you are looking for household items with a creative touch, in Marta Berra Design Studio you will find them, as well as original pieces of ceramic jewellery.

Not far away and almost next to Plaza del Parlamento, Plazuela de Barriocepoalso offers the opportunity to buy ceramic handicrafts and even to take classes in this beautiful craft. Leather takes over from clay in Calle Sagasta, specifically in the Botas Rioja shop, where they continue to make wine skins lined with fish leather, as in the old days, recovering a craft remains essentially unchanged.

On the other hand, if your want to raise the level of your jewellery and go from humble ceramics to gems, in Álvaro Asunción Diseño you will find what you want, as you leave the old town to approach Plaza 1º de Mayo.

There are many temptations in the shops of Logroño, but in a land closely linked to agriculture and wine culture, we cannot forget San Blas Market, which will always offer the right product, fresh and of the highest quality. Fish, vegetables, nuts, dried fruits, spices and cured meats are displayed in the best possible way. At the end of the day, the most enjoyable purchases are those that are shared at the table and with friends.

Here Logroño has a lot to offer to an increasingly refined and demanding public, which is reflected in the increase in shops specialising in wine and gourmet products.

The list goes on forever, but we can mention among the oldest wine bars Vinos El Peso and Universal de Vinos, both very centrally located, and some of the more recent arrivals such as Vinoteca Larría, SoloRioja, Enoteca Murillo, and Viura Negra. You can also find wines and delicatessen foods at La Luci, back in Calle Portales.

The list is long, yes, but it should be even longer in a city that a few years ago was officially declared Spain’s first Shopping City. But, at the end of the day, the best recommendation is the one you make yourself after seeing and tasting, so we’d better go to Logroño and have a good walk around and discover its wide range of shops!

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