Just here for a short trip.
You’ve landed on Taos Plaza but the retail options seem to consist mostly of T-shirt emporiums and souvenir shops selling the same stuff those kind of places sell everywhere!
Although you’ll notice that a few shops do carry quality Native American artifacts and jewelry and Studio 107 B (a great gallery), is housed in the square, you’d be well advised to follow Fodor’s guidelines: The more distinctive galleries and boutiques begin barely a block north on Bent Street, including the John Dunn House Shops, and extend just east on Kit Carson Road.
Located in the heart of the Taos Historical District, Bent Street was once the very epicenter of Taos, with Governor Bent’s house (now a museum), a reminder of the town’s Wild West, Frontier days.
During winter when snow has blanketed the street, it glows like a fairyland with the twinkling lights and farolitos – and Bonfires on Bent Street, an annual event that draws locals and visitors alike to celebrate the Holiday Season. The street is a riot of colour in the summertime with sweet, secret courtyard gardens and patios with shady spots created by the canopies of ancient fruit trees – apricot and cherry – where you can sit awhile, among the blooming iris, wild roses and peonies.
A couple of our best restaurants are located here; The Bent Street Cafe serves breakfast, brunch and lunch daily, as well as the award-winning Lambert’s across the street, in the old and rambling adobe house next to the Bent Museum. Along with a shady courtyard, the restaurant also boasts the Treehouse Bar, an upstairs eerie providing a bird’s eye view of the street below.
After lunch at the cafe, you booked a table at Lambert’s for dinner, but you only brought casual clothes and hiking gear. Never fear, Sam’s Shop has the ladies covered, and the men should have no problem finding something at the Underground.
The wine list at Lambert’s is stellar, but you can also head up the street to La Chiripada, where the local winery retail outlet offers tastings daily.
All along Bent Street, these whimsical, quirky adobe houses are packed with unique shops, galleries and boutiques that include arts and crafts, Fine Art and furnishings, jewelry – gold and silver – kitchen and cookery, collectibles and clothes, and of course, there’s Chocolate & Cashmere housed in the old stables, across from Lambert’s.
MoMo’s is a must for Fine Jewelry and Fine Art, as is FX18, for small novelty items, fun accessories, charms, trinkets, cards, cool gifts, souvenirs and t-shirts that won’t make you cringe.
For the best place to pick up a gift or two for the very special people in your life, look no further than Taos Blue at the top of the street. Housed in the former home of Taos Society of Artists co-founder, Bert Phillips, Sue Westbrook curates an ongoing collection of the best of American made, Fine Arts and crafts.
Be sure to chat to the shop owners along Bent Street – they are as colourful as their wares – knowledgable about the history and provenance both of the buildings their businesses are housed in, as well as the merchandise they have for sale! You can learn a lot about Taos in a very short time!
For more on Taos Blue and the Bent Street Crew, please visit the sites linked below.
All images thanks to the Bent Street crew!