Salta province's secretary of tourism does a great job controlling their handmade products -- from textiles to bamboo and wood ornaments. After certification, they're sold only at the Mercado Artesanal, San Martín 2555 (tel. 387/434-2808), open from 9am to 9pm daily. Here in a beautifully restored millhouse 23 blocks from the central plaza, you'll find authentic products -- from leather goods to candles -- made throughout Salta Province by local artisans. The price is controlled, too, so you don't have to worry about bargaining here. You'll also find beautiful jewelry and silver, and you can pause for some sustenance in the coffeehouse with Wi-Fi.
Strangely enough, across the road is a tacky market that draws a larger crowd, partly because the bus tour companies get a commission. Here, like many places in the city, you'll find factory-produced gaucho memorabilia and wall hangings.
Casa de Antigüedades, Caseros 332 (tel. 387/421-1911), is a rambling antiques store jammed with everything from period furniture and local art. It's open Monday to Saturday 9am to 1:30pm and 4 to 9:30pm; ring the bell and one of the owners from the Perez family will happily look after you. La Casa del Arte, Buenos Aires 25 (tel. 387/431-0050), is a small store crammed with some beautiful art and jewelry, as is Puestos del Marqués, Buenos Aires 68 (tel. 387/422-0899). Amankay, Pueblo Chico, Balcarce 999 (tel. 387/431-0335), and Inyás Artisanías, España 375 (tel. 387/436-0260; www.artesaniasinyas.com.ar), both specialize in original handicrafts and precious stones. For alpaca goods and silverware, try Ambay, Caseros 376 (tel. 387/431-7182), and Suyay, Caseros 525 (tel. 387/431-5961). For all things leather, go to Torcivia, Buenos Aires 28 (tel. 387/422-7097), or Decuero, Mitre 291 (tel. 387/422-4166).
Salta does a nice line in regional food products, usually of the sweet variety. Alfajores and Turron Salteños are famous biscuits from the region. You can find both at the family-owned confectionery La Tía Yola, Belgrano 461 (tel. 387/401-1007; www.tiayola.com.ar), as well as homemade fruit preserve. For some of Salta's famous wine, check out Vinos de Salta, Caseros 332 (tel. 387/154-146-063 [cell]), or Bella Hortencia, Balcarce 980 (tel. 387/422-7474). The former conducts tastings and has a selection of the regions best cigars. Note: Most stores close for siesta from 1 to 5pm.
Salta's main shopping mall is known as Alto Noa, Av. Virrey Toeldo 702 (tel. 387/431-1000), and is good for some air-conditioned siesta-time shopping. It is located 12 blocks from the central plaza.