Minas Gerais is known for its crystals and semiprecious gemstones, as well as its arts and crafts (many of them kitchen or culinary focused). For a one-stop shop, try the Central de Artesenato do SESC, Rua Tupinambás 956, Centro (tel. 031/3279-1476; Mon-Fri 9am-6pm, Sat 9am-1pm). Though a bit heavy, the soapstone cooking bowls make fine gifts and souvenirs.
On Sundays, a large crafts fair takes place on the Avenida Alfonso Pena, corner of Avenida Alvares Cabral, which is closed to traffic for the day (9am-4pm). Hundreds of small kiosks offer bags, belts, sandals, and other leather work; jewelry, semiprecious gems, and crystals; soapstone cookware; woodcarvings and larger pieces of wood furniture; and antiques.
The Patio Savassi, Av. Contorno 6061, Savassi (tel. 031/4003-4171; www.patiosavassi.com; Mon-Sat 10am-10pm, Sun 2-8pm), where Avenida Crisovão Colombo intersects with the Avenida Contorno ring road, is an upscale shopping mall with a movie theater, bookstore, fine dining and food court, and dozens of upscale women's boutiques.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.