Where to Eat in Oaxaca | 60+ Best Oaxaca Restaurants, Cafes, Markets, Bars, & More
The state of Oaxaca in Mexico is known for many things, the colorful and vibrant streets of Oaxaca de Juárez, its rugged coastline speckled with pristine and no-frills beaches, and interesting ruins. Oaxaca is surrounded by the mystical Sierra Sur mountains to the south and the Sierra Madre mountain ranges to the north that offer the gift of astral travel in the form of magic mushrooms.
However, Oaxaca may be most famous for its food and there is no shortage of Oaxaca restaurants that serve up typical plates of Oaxacan cuisine.
Oaxaca city is a foodie haven and playground. In Oaxaca, find the typical cuisine which includes seven types of Mole, memelas, tlayudas, and chapulines. Yes, you translated that right, those are grasshoppers and staple snack in Oaxaca.
There’s a chance to indulge in typical dishes from other regions of Oaxaca, like garnachas from Istmo and Mixteca cuisine which focuses on ancestral techniques of Indigenous Mesoamerica.
One of the best things to do in Oaxaca is to eat!
Start your morning with a coffee or chocolate from a Oaxaca cafe or coffeeshop. While exploring all the awesome things to do in Oaxaca, grab lunch in a market or enjoy the street food. At the the end of the day, sip on mezcal or watch a sunset from a rooftop terrace.
Here are my favorite Oaxaca restaurants, cafes, markets, and more.
Table of Contents
- Notes on This Oaxaca Food Guide
- Oaxaca Coffee Shops
- Oaxaca Cafes & Breakfast Spots
- Oaxaca Bakeries
- Noteworthy Oaxaca Markets
- Oaxaca Restaurants for Typical Oaxacan Cuisine
- Popular Oaxaca Restaurants
- Unique Oaxaca Restaurants for Culinary Experiences
- Oaxaca Restaurants for Alternative Food of the World
- Where to Eat in Oaxaca | Sweet Treats
- Oaxaca Restaurants to Eat at Outside the City
- Where to Drink in Oaxaca
- Oaxaca Restaurants Over 60+ Places to Eat in Oaxaca Mexico
Notes on This Oaxaca Food Guide
I spent 6 months in Mexico: 4 months in Oaxaca de Juárez, one month in San Cristobal de las Casas in Chiapas, and a month between the Oaxaca coast from the beach towns of Zipolite to Chacahua, and the mountains of Sierra Sur. This Oaxaca food guide barely begins to scratch the surface of the culinary richness of the state.
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I am by no means an expert on Oaxacan cuisine, or will I pretend to know the complexity, blood, sweat, and tears that go into the creation of the typical dishes. It is an art that you can only understand when the flavors dance across your taste buds. I simply love indulging, eating, and understanding the culture through the richness of the food.
With that being said, I sampled my way through a diverse list of well known and hidden gem Oaxaca restaurants, cafes, coffeeshops, and more. There is also these best rated Oaxaca food experiences for first time visitors. Again, this only scratches the surface of all the diversity and endless gastronomy options.
I ate as much as I could in those few months and only offer a starting point when visiting Oaxaca. Honestly, it’s hard to go wrong anywhere you eat, so don’t always opt for the most popular spots, or expensive. Price does not always reflect the quality.
The best way to find the most authentic and delightful Oaxaca restaurants is by walking the charming streets and seeing where the locals fill the seats. This is how to seek out the most genuine places to eat in Oaxaca.
Oaxaca Coffee Shops
Oaxaca has fabulous coffee, cacao (chocolate), and tejate, a unique non-alcoholic drink dating back to Mesoamerica times. Here are a few of my favorite coffee shops in Oaxaca city.
Cafe Nuevo Mundo
Maybe the best coffee roaster in Oaxaca, Cafe Nuevo Mundo is a must for self-proclaimed “coffee snobs.” What’s great is the cafe works with small batch local produces and prides itself on increasing knowledge about the Oaxaca coffee culture.
Onsite, buy beans or ground coffee to-go. Of course there’s a barista making fresh coffee drinks. Also, there’s a small bakery and cafe menu. There are two locations, but I prefer the one on M. Bravo.
Find them here: C. de Manuel Bravo 206, Ruta Independencia | Hours: Daily, 8:00 -22:00 | Facebook Page
It’s impossible to talk about coffee in Oaxaca and not at least mention Cafe Brujula. There are quite a few scattered around town and in primetime locations. Each location has it’s own charm and a wide range of seating options. There are lots of coffee beans, milk choices, and specialty coffee drinks to choose from. All locations offer a simple bakery and food menu.
Find them here: 4 locations around town, but the one across from Templo de Santo Domingo de Guzmán is popular | Hours: Monday – Saturday, 7:30-22:00 / Sun, 8:30 – 21:00 | Facebook Page
Oaxaca en una Taza
Oaxaca en una Taza, which translates to Oaxaca in a cup, has two small cafes in town. The coffee menu is great and the atmosphere is cozy, especially the location on Calle de la Constitución. They also offer a limited pastry menu, however, I find the best reason to stop here is for the organic coffee. It’s also possible to buy the roasted beans to-go.
Find them here: C. de Constitución 108 | Hours: Daily, 8:00 – 22:30 | Facebook Page
Oaxaca Breakfast Spots & Cafes
These Oaxaca cafes serve up delicious breakfasts, juices, and coffees, too! Here are a few of my favorite Oaxaca restaurants to enjoy breakfast and brunch.
Chepiche Cafe may be one of my favorite Oaxaca restaurants for breakfast. There’s a lovely open courtyard and the food is delicious. There’s a simple cocktail menu (think mimosas) and they serve delicious coffee and fresh squeezed juices. Find things from baked goodies, pancakes, egg dishes, huevos rancheros, to spins on Oaxacan cuisine classics on the menu.
The service here is great and the prices reasonable. Bonus, they allow dogs to enjoy the garden seating with their human companions.
Find them here: De,Genaro Vásquez 6 A, Barrio de Xochimilco | Hours: Daily, 8:30 -15:00, Sundays closes at 13:30 | Facebook Page
Marito & Moglie Cafe
Marito & Moglie Cafe boasts delicious coffee in a cozy atmosphere. This Oaxaca cafe also serves looseleaf tea. The menu here is unique and different and focuses on organic and seasonal items. The food is super fresh and savory and there are plenty of vegetarian options. I loved eating brunch here on the outdoor patio.
Find them here: Avenida Hidalgo 1204 | Hours: Mon – Fri, 8:00 – 16:00 / Sat, opens at 9:00 | Facebook Page
Mondo Cafe is so tiny and adorable. This Oaxaca cafe also serves yummy coffee drinks, breakfast items, and pastries. Try the chilaquiles here. Cash only.
Find them here: Reforma 904-B | Hours: Mon – Sat, 8:00 – 19:00 / Sat, 10:00 – 17:00 | Facebook Page
A popular Oaxaca cafe, Cafébre has a nice covered and well lit courtyard to enjoy fresh roasted coffee. They even have drip coffee and cold brew. They have a decent menu, including bagels, waffles, sandwiches, and fresh pastries. Honestly, my favorite things here was the Agua de la Casa, which I made several weekly visits to satisfy my craving.
Cafebre has become so popular, they have recently opened another location in the Reforma neighborhood.
Find the original Oaxaca cafe here: C. de Manuel Bravo 108 | Hours: Sunday – Tuesday, 8:30-18:00 / Wed – Sat, 8:30 – 20:00 | Facebook Page
Pan: am is a popular Oaxaca restaurant with a few locations in the city. The Reform Pan: am has a nice open patio and a separate building that houses the bakery. They serve two different menus, one for breakfast and brunch (until 15:00) and then a dinner menu that offers more sandwiches, salads, and typical Oaxaca food.
The bakery has decent pastries and a nice bakery menu.
Find a popular location here: Av Belisario Domínguez 809 | Hours: Tuesday – Sunday, 8:00 – 21:30 | Facebook Page
Café Café – La Caracola
Don’t head to Café Café – La Caracola for your morning cup of Joe, rather it’s a popular nighttime Oaxaca cafe. Nestled in an adorable plaza on a side street, enjoy a drink next to the fountain on fold out tables and chairs. If you’re lucky, catch live music under the stars. They offer a simple cafeteria menu.
Find them here: Calle de Tinoco y Palacios 611B | Hours: Mon – Sat, 17:30 – 23:30 | Facebook Page
While many of the Oaxaca coffeeshops offer pastries, there are two bakeries that stand out above the rest for fresh bread and sweet treats.
When searching for the best Oaxaca restaurants, I’m sure you will stumble across and hear the rave reviews for Boulenc. It’s one of those hip places that usually has a cue out front. However, next door to the main restaurant is a bakery that serves a wide range of sourdough breads, pastries, cookies, croissants, and sweet treats. Warning, there is usually a cue here, too. The bakery of Boulenc also sells canned items like sauces, pickled goodies, marmalades, and nut butters.
Find them here: Boulenc, C. Porfirio Díaz 207 | Bakery Hours: Daily, 8:30 – 22:30 | Facebook Page | Boulenc also has a boutique bed and breakfast next door
Pan con Madre
Pan con Madre is an awesome bakery located close to the Mercado Sánchez Pascuas. This is a walk up bakery with a daily schedule when each “specialty” bread items comes fresh out of the oven. Each day of the week also showcases certain breads. Find everything from focaccia, bagels, to sourdough bread. They also make pastries, croissants, and cookies. They also sell kombucha here.
This was my favorite bakery in Oaxaca. Bonus, they seek-out local producers in the region for flours, herbs, and more for their products.
Find them here: C. de Quetzalcóatl 205-D | Hours: Mon – Friday, 9:00 – 20:00 / Sat, 9:00 – 18:00 | Facebook Page
Noteworthy Oaxaca Markets
Some of the best food in Oaxaca is not found in actual restaurants, but rather in the markets. The Oaxaca markets offer the most authentic, budget friendly, and focus on typical dishes of the region.
One of the most popular Oaxaca markets is Mercado 20 de Noviembre, with its bustling food stalls and the “alley way of meat.” Here, choose your type of meat where it’s grilled in a smoke filled hall where you can purchase condiment sides of sauces, grilled veggies, and tortillas galore. Of course, there are plenty of food stalls in this market to sample typical Oaxacan cuisine staples like tlayudas, memelas, and moles.
Next door, the Benito Juarez Market Oaxaca has lots of fresh produce and places to sample yummy street food and drinks.
While these are the two most popular Oaxaca Markets I personally loved Mercado de la Merced, Mercado Sánchez Pascuas, and Mercado Hidalgo. The most local and largest Oaxaca Market is Mercado de Abastos.
For organic markets with yummy food options, visit the lovely open Mercado Organico La Cosecha and El Rayón Pochote. Both offer fresh, organic food with juices and coffees to accompany the meals. Some of the best Oaxaca restaurants are found within the bustling stalls of the marketplaces.
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Oaxaca Restaurants for Typical Oaxacan Cuisine
The following rustic Oaxaca restaurants are some of the best places to sample typical Oaxaca dishes. Many of theses dishes are referred to as antojitos, or “little cravings.” In Oaxacan cuisine, these antojitos include tlayudas, memelas, tostadas, quesadillas, and everyone’s favorite… tacos.
Tlayudas El Negro
One of the best Oaxaca restaurants to sample a tlayuda, which is often compared to a “Mexican pizza” is from Tlayudas El Negro. Tlayudas are typically served with grilled meat, Oaxacan cheese, refried beans, and lets not forget all those yummy dipping sauces
This restaurant is so popular that there are now a few different locations scattered around town. The portions are filling and come at just the right price. At night it’s common to enjoy traditional music or a traditional dance performance with your tlayuda.
I’ve caught live music here: Vicente Guerrero 1029 | Hours: Daily, 12:00 – 00:00 | Facebook Page
Tucked away behind the church in the hip Jalatlaco barrio, El Atrio is a local gem. Inside, find simple seating, friendly servers, a daily menu written on a dry-erase board, and typical Oaxacan dishes cooked with love. This cozy Oaxaca restaurant is only open at night for a few hours, but when it is open it’s packed with local families enjoying pozole, tacos, and hot food fresh off the comal, which is a typical open grill used in Oaxaca for grilling tortillas, memelas, grilling vegetables, and more.They oftentimes serve Atole de arroz, a sweet warm rice milk drink flavored with cinnamon.
Find them here: Calle Ignacio Aldama 505 | Hours: Wed – Sat, 18:00 – 22:00
La Teca is one of the best Oaxaca restaurants serving up Istmeño cuisine, the region of Isthmus is found to the south of Oaxaca near the state of Chiapas. There is a nice garden patio in the back and a few tables in the main dinning room area. Try the garnachas, which is a fried mesa disc that is slathered in lard and topped with meat and accompanied with shredded cabbage and vinegar mixture, making it oh so tangy and memorable.
Find them here: C. Violetas 200, Reforma | Hours: Tues – Sun 13:30-20:00, Sun closes at 19:00
While taco’s can be found throughout Oaxaca, Roy’s is probably the most famous restaurant in Oaxaca for tacos. Let’s be real, you get a plate full of condiments, sauces, and pickled goodies to throw on top of delicious grilled meat. The restaurant is so popular they have opened a few up around town. Also, if you love the Oaxacan cheese (quesillo), try Queso Fundido, which is a pot full of melted cheese usually with grilled veggies and your choice of meat. Dip it or spread it across warm tortillas.
If there’s a line to enter, which there usually is, simply walk up to the “trompo,” which literally means top. This is the rotisserie where the meat, usually al pastor, which is seasoned pork is cooking and order the tacos to-go!
My favorite location is on Calle de José María Pino Suárez.
Find them here: Calle de José María Pino Suárez 313 | Hours: Daily, 12:30 – 1:00 | Facebook Page
Psst… Love tacos? I recommend the street food stands across from the ADO Bus Station. If looking at them with your back to the ADO station, I frequented the stall that is 2nd from the left. They only open later in the afternoon, but are stay open late.
Don Juanito serves up lots of typical Oaxacan dishes, but maybe the most popular being their pozole. While pozole is found all throughout Mexico, Don Juanito makes a few different varietals of hominy based soup that is thicker that it feels kind of more like a stew. Here, find Pozole Blanco that is made with chicken.
Find them here: C. de Manuel Bravo 216 | Hours: Daily, 14:00-00:30 | Facebook Page
Tortas La Hormiga
An awesome place to grab a huge torta, or sandwich. They offer both breakfast and lunch options. Another place that has gotten popular (you can tell by the line) and has opened a few small shops around town.
I always visited the food stall on the corner of the urban park of Jardín Conzatti, so I could enjoy my sandwich on a park bench.
Find them here: Valentín Gómez Farias, near Jardin Conzatti | Hours: Mon – Sat, 9:00 -18:00, closes later on Fridays | Facebook Page
Disclaimer, La Red isn’t one of my favorite Oaxaca restaurants, but I do enjoy this place for the experience it provides. La Red is a seafood restaurant where it’s possible to sit in the bar section and try botanas. Botanas are like small “snacks” maybe comparable to a tapa in Spain. If you sit in the bar, every time you order a drink you receive a botana. The size of the appetizer is pretty large, so a few drinks is enough to fill you up.
La Red is a local chain and they serve really good Micheladas, which is a seasoned tomato juice that is mixed with beer and lime and served in a glass with a spicy salt mixture on the rim. There is oftentimes live music playing, or if not, the jukebox is blaring. La Red is all about the “experience.”
I like this location: Nicolás del Puerto 110 | Hours: Daily, 12:00 – 19:30, weekends closes at 20:00 | Facebook Page
Popular Oaxaca Restaurants
These are some popular Oaxaca Restaurants that focus on typical food of the region.
Levadura de Olla Restaurante
A lovely restaurant in Oaxaca that focuses on classic Oaxaca dishes and puts a modern spin on them. They have moved to a larger building with an inviting outdoor space. For a super fresh salad, try the heirloom tomato salad. Also, the salsa they bring with the fresh tortilla chips is spectacular.
Find them here: C. de Manuel García Vigil 304, Ruta Independencia | Hours: Mon – Sat, 13:00 – 21:00 | Facebook Page
Casa Taviche is an awesome restaurant that has a rotating menu with about 10 dishes each day from negro mole (black mole) to pulpo (octopus). The menu is handwritten and sourced from seasonal ingredients. They also offer a gourmet menu del dia for a reasonable price. The interior is cozy and a must-visit place to eat in Oaxaca.
Find them here: Miguel Hidalgo 1111 | Hours: Tues – Sun, 13:00 – 22:00 | Facebook Page
Cabuche restaurant is a rustic place to eat in Oaxaca with a small outdoor terrace that showcases typical Oaxacan cuisine. They have a nice menu del dia at lunchtime and usually a breakfast special that includes fresh coffee.
Find them here: Miguel Hidalgo 1017 | Hours: Mon – Sat, 9:00 – 22:00 | Facebook Page
La Olla is a popular restaurant that showcases female chef Pillar Cabrera. The menu boasts typical Oaxacan dishes with an emphasis on fresh market ingredients with a creative flair. If you’re lucky, maybe snag a table on the rooftop terrace. This restaurant is always topping the list of Mexico’s best restaurants.
Find them here: Reforma 402 | Hours: Tues – Sun 13:00 – 21:00 | Facebook Page
La Jicara Librespacio Cultural
This is one of the best Oaxaca restaurants to eat amazing vegetarian and vegan food. While they do offer some dishes with meat, the menu del dia is almost always vegetarian or at least has the option. The menu includes a drink, starter, main, and a cute dessert. On top of the yummy food, the open patio ambiance is lovely.
There is also a small bookstore, artisan shop, and a tienda in front of La Jicara Librespacio Cultural that sells local products. As a cultural center, they host many community events.
Find them here: C. Porfirio Díaz 1105 | Hours: Mon – Sat, 13:00 -22:00 | Facebook Page
This is the second time that Boulenc makes this list, but this time for being one of the most popular Oaxaca restaurants. Boulenc will always have a line and the menu is an interesting fusion of World Cuisines. Arguably, they serve one of the best breakfast/brunch menus in Oaxaca. Dinner includes wood-fired pizzas, which the eggplant pizza is fantastic.
The restaurant is trendy with a funky and intimate bar and different seating options in a big open concept restaurant. Here you can find tables to “share.” Of course, don’t forget about the fresh pastries you can order at the end of the meal for dessert.
Find them here: Boulenc, C. Porfirio Díaz 207 | Hours: Daily, 8:30 – 22:30 | Facebook Page | Boulenc also has a boutique bed and breakfast next door
Mercadito Gastro Jean-Marc
This smallish marketplace has a wide variety of food stalls to choose from including a cocktail bar, sushi restaurant, burger place and more. Order and grab a table in the art filled dining hall. This is a perfect option to eat in Oaxaca if you can’t decide on where to eat in Oaxaca.
Find them here: Reforma 406 | Hours: Daily, 13:00 – 23:00 | Facebook Page
Unique Oaxaca Restaurants for Culinary Experiences
These Oaxaca restaurants are true culinary experiences. Many of these Oaxaca restaurants are higher-end and offer multi course tasting menus. These are some of the top restaurants in Oaxaca.
Tika’aya (Formerly Teocintle)
If there is one restaurant in Oaxaca that can’t be missed, it’s Tika’aya. Although it’s rather new to the Oaxaca food scene, this tiny restaurant is making waves in the gastronomy scene. The cuisine highlights the Mixteca region.
The chef, Toño García, is 26 years young and honoring the indigenous food of his ancestors in the form of a whimsical seven course tasting menu. Each plate is a work of art from the taste to the presentation. With only a few tables, reservations are a must. Every detail down to the herb infused water is thought out and special.
This is an absolute must visit restaurant in Oaxaca to have a top culinary experience.
Find them here: Primera Priv. de, Independencia 12 | Hours: Mon – Sat, 13:30 – 21:30 | Facebook Page
Another top Oaxaca restaurant that tops travelers best places to eat in Oaxaca is Origen. The gastronomy experience is led by Chef Rodolfo Castellanos, who also offers a private tasting of the “chef’s table.” The plates are inspired by a seasonal menu and look elegant and taste delectable.
Find them here: Miguel Hidalgo 820 | Hours: Daily, 13:00 – 23:00 | Facebook Page
Pitiona is the lovechild of Chef José Manuel Baños whose humble roots come from Oaxaca, but has cooked his way through Mexico. The rooftop terrace is incredible and the dining room has unique seating area, each section with their own personality.
The plates of food are smaller portions, but are big in flavor and heart with a sophisticated looking style. It’s possible to reserve a tasting menu in advance and there’s a breakfast menu on the weekends.
Find them here: C. de Ignacio Allende 114 | Hours: Mon – Thur, 13:00 -23:00 / Fri & Sat, 8:30 – 23:00 / Sun, 9:00 – 21:30 | Facebook Page
Another popular Oaxaca restaurant is Catedral, with it’s inviting patio, live music, typical dishes with an upscale twist, and impeccable service. This landmark restaurant has been serving patrons since 1977.
Find them here: C. de Manuel García Vigil 105 | Hours: Wed – Mon, 8:00 – 23:00 | Facebook Page
Ancestral Cocina Tradicional
Ancestral is located in the Xochimilco neighborhood and showcases typical Oaxacan cuisine in a lovely garden setting. They proudly serve Oaxacan breakfast (except on Mondays), a dinner menu, and offer a 6 course tasting menu in the evenings. They also have an extensive mezcal list.
Find them here: C. José López Alavez 1347 | Hours: Daily, 9:00 -12:00 & 14:00:30 – 22:30, Mondays only dinner service, Sundays closes at 18:00 | Facebook Page
El Destilado is a popular restaurant in Oaxaca with an awesome rooftop terrace close to the main cathedral. Expect a fun and creative cocktail menu that complements a bar menu of tacos and other popular antojitos. They also have a tasting menu. Choose from either a 9 or 6 course option, which require a reservation.
Find them here: 5 de Mayo 409 | Hours: Thurs – Mon, 17:00 – 23:00 | Facebook Page
Oaxaca Restaurants for Alternative Foods of the World
If looking to take a break from typical Oaxacan fare, try these popular Oaxaca restaurants serving up world cuisines.
Gourmand Delicatessens is an awesome deli found in a corner building downtown. They serve delicious sandwiches on fresh bread, soups, charcuterie boards, salads, and pastries. Try the lunch special of half a sandwich and soup for $100 pesos. Might I suggest the Reuben! Onsite they also sell specialty cheeses and deli meats. Bonus, they have a small attached microbrew where you can enjoy lunch and a beer.
Find them here: C. Porfirio Díaz 410A | Hours: Mon – Sat, 9:00 – 00:00 | Facebook Page
Hands down, Mexita is the best place to eat pizza in Oaxaca and is one of the best Oaxaca restaurants for Italian cuisine. Besides the pizza, their handmade pastas are worth the trip. Enjoy a beverage on their outdoor patio or take it to-go.
Find them here: Federico Ortiz Armegol 105, Reforma | Hours: Tues – Sat, 14:30 – 22:00 / Sun, 14:30 – 21:00 | Facebook Page
El Olivo Gastrobar
El Olivo Gastrobar is a Spanish Tapas bar found close to the Botanical Gardens. This place has a nice cocktail menu, wine and beer list, and mezcals to choose from. Order small tapas bites, pinchos, or share a charcuterie board. For main courses, find things like paella, Spanish tortillas, and a heavy beef and seafood inspired menu. There’s a nice rooftop terrace and two levels of seating options to choose from.
Find them here: C/ de la Constitución 207, Ruta Independencia | Hours: Tues – Sat, 14:00 – 00:00 / Sun, 13:00 – 23:00 | Facebook Page
Monica Restaurant Hindú
Located in the San Felipe neighborhood, Monica Restaurant Hindu is a tiny restaurant serving up yummy plates of authentic Indian cuisine. Everything is made fresh and from scratch. During the week days during lunchtime they offer a Menu Hindu del dia for $80 pesos.
Find them here: Calle Hidalgo 315, San Felipe del Agua | Hours: Daily, 11:00 – 20:30 | Facebook Page
For Moroccan cuisine, head to El Morocco which is located close to El Llano park. The ambiance is cute and there’s cushioned seats to enjoy typical plates of food from Morocco. They serve up authentic mint tea, organic Oaxacan coffee, and have a nice pastry menu.
Find them here: Valentín Gómez Farias 403 | Hours: Tues – Sun, 12:00 – 21:00 | Facebook Page
Adamá showcases authentic Middle Eastern food in a simple, crisp, and cozy restaurant. Some say this Oaxaca restaurant is home to the best falafel of their lives. Plates are smaller so sharing is encouraged! Cash only and no alcohol served onsite.
Find them here: Aldama 101 | Hours: Thur – Sat, 14:00 – 23:00 / Sun, 13:00 – 19:00 | Instagram
Where to Eat in Oaxaca | Sweet Treats
After eating your way through this extensive list of best Oaxaca restaurants, grab a dessert or ice cream from one of the spots.
CHO & Co
CHO & Co is a great cafe setting in Oaxaca to sample a variety of yummy cakes. Find large diverse cake flavors like carrot and red velvet in a display window. They cut these mammoth cakes into substantial individual servings. They also have homemade donuts and a coffee menu.
Find them here: Humboldt 104 | Hours: Mon – Fri, 12:00 – 19:00 / Sat, 12:00 – 16:00 | Facebook Page
Nois Pastisseria is home to some incredible dessert that are complex, layered, pieces of art, and are absolutely heavenly tasting. Each dessert is beyond creative, like the chocolate egg that actually looks like an egg on the interior. Although pricy, these sweet treats are a must when visiting Oaxaca. There is a new restaurant location serving upscale dinners and cocktails.
Find them here: C. Macedonio Alcalá 808 | Hours: Wed – Mon 13:00 – 21:00 / Sun, 12:00 – 18:00 | Facebook Page
Museo de las Nieves – Nieves Manolo
Museo de las Nieves was my favorite spot to grab ice cream in Oaxaca. They have a ton of unique flavors, including mezcal. They have both milk and water based flavors. There isn’t really seating inside, but grab a cone or bowl to go and enjoy in the nearby park or aqueduct street.
Find them here: C. Macedonio Alcalá 706 | Hours: Daily, 12:00 – 21:00 | Facebook Page
Plaza de la Danza
While this isn’t exactly a Oaxaca restaurant, the Plaza de la Danza is home to many ice cream stands. Find unique flavors like tuna, no not the fish, but the prickly pear fruit of cactus. If you don’t fancy an ice cream there are a few vendors selling sweet pastries and some street food. Enjoy the ice cream at a table, walk through the plaza, or sit on the big open staircase.
Find them here: C. del 2 de Abril, Calzada Madero | Hours: Daily, most stalls close around 20:00
Oaxaca Restaurants to Eat at Outside of the City
While the city of Oaxaca is filled with so many awesome places to eat, some of the best Oaxaca restaurants are found outside of the city itself.
Luz de Luna Huayapam
In the nearby hamlet of Huayapam, find Luz de Luna. This popular restaurant boasts typical Oaxacan food in a beautiful and art filled building. Luz de Luna has an impressive cocktail menu with an intimate bar. They even have their own Mezcal label now.
There’s two levels of seating, including some tables out on the terrace where you can see them drying herbs, spices, and other ingredients for their hand-crafted food made with love. Luz de Luna is one of the best Oaxaca restaurants just outside of the city for a traditional brunch.
Find them here: C. La Paz 6, Centro, 68287 San Andrés Huayápam | Hours: Tues -Sun, 9:00-18:00 | Facebook Page
Illegales is one of the most innovative cocktail bars in Oaxaca. Throw in the delicious burgers, overall delightful pub-inspired menu, artisanal beer, and playful decor, it’s no wonder this place is packed with locals night after night that come from the city center to enjoy the nice ambiance. Check out their new 2nd level seating area.
Find them here: Tuxtepec 5, San Agustin Yatareni | Hours: Daily, 13:00 – 21:00 | Facebook Page
An incredible restaurant by Alejandro Ruiz, the executive chef of the famous Casa Oaxaca. This modern restaurant boasts incredible seafood dishes (a fusion of Oaxaca and Baja California origins) including fresh oysters. There’s a nice wine and cocktail list in an open concept dinning room. Although it’s near the airport, they offer a free shuttle from hotels in the city to the restaurant. Oaxacalifornia also serves traditional breakfast.
Find them here: De Av. Universidad 200, Universidad, Exhacienda Candiani | Hours: Mon – Sat, 8:00-19:00 / Sun, 10:00 – 18:00 | Facebook Page
Restaurante El Milenario
One of the best Oaxaca restaurants actually sits near the main square in Tule, which is known for its giant 1,400 year old Montezuma cypress tree. El Milenario serves authentic Oaxacan food that’s made fresh and comes in big portions. Near the dinning room, see women grilling tortillas on an open comal stove. El Milenario also has excellent seafood, breakfast options, and a locally sourced mezcal list. The service here is superb.
Find them here: Calle Vicente Guerrero S/N, Centro, Santa María del Tule | Hours: Daily, 9:00 – 20:00 | Facebook Page
Restaurante La Palapa de Raúl
On the way to Tule is La Palapa de Raul has been serving traditional Oaxacan cuisine for over 30 years. The most popular item on the menu are the moles, especially the negro mole, or black mole. Great service in a relaxed atmosphere filled with colorful flags on the ceiling.
Find them here: Analco Road #1, Tlalixtac de Cabrera | Hours: Wed – Mon, 9:00 – 19:00 | Facebook Page
One of the best places to visit and eat is the Tlacolula Market. This is one of the oldest markets in Oaxaca and is found in the East Oaxaca Valley. The Tlacolula market happens daily, however, the Sunday market is famous for being the longest-running continuous market in all of Mesoamerica. Throughout its history, this village was a busy trading hub for the Zapoteca dynasty.
The main specialty to eat at the authentic Tlacolula Market is the slow-cooked barbacoa (goat), which has its own delicious “corridor” with beautiful mommies passing out yummy samples. Snag an open seat in the alleyway and there’s a chance you’ll be serenaded by musicians.
The Tlacolula Market is easily connected to Oaxaca with frequent buses and collectivos. A visit to the Tlacolula Market is one of the best day trips from Oaxaca.
Find it here: 70400 Int Mercado Municipal, Tlacolula de Matamoros | Hours: Daily, 6:00 – 20:00, with Sundays being the best market day | Facebook Page
Where to Drink in Oaxaca
While there are so many noteworthy Oaxaca restaurants, there are also many cocktail bars, mezcalarias, and wine bars to visit in Oaxaca.
Mezcal & Cocktails | Mezcalerias
Mezcal has its roots in the state of Oaxaca and the entire process is incredible. From planting and harvesting the maguey (also known as agave plants), extracting and cooking, to the distilling process, there is so much that goes into producing this sacred spirit.
While the best way to understand the complex process and all the love that goes into production is by visiting a palenque (where they make Mezcal), there are plenty of sampling options within Oaxaca. There are even Mezcal producers that have started opening tasting rooms, or Mezcalerias, like one of my favorites, El Cortijo Mezcaleria.
Psst… Santiago Matatlán is officially the “land of mezcal” and is one fo the most authentic places to visit in Oaxaca for a mezcal tour.
La Popular is a mezcal bar that focuses on local producers and has a nice pub style menu of antojitos. Like its name, this place is so popular… they actually opened another restaurant just down the street, La Otra Popular. Personally, I love the art and open garden of La Otra Popular. It feels a little bit more intimate.
Find La Otra Popular here: C. de Quetzalcóatl 615 | Hours: Daily, 9:00-2:00 | Facebook Page
Sabina Sabe is THE cocktail bar in downtown Oaxaca. They also have pub fare and a page full of mezcal options.
Find them here: 5 de Mayo 209 | Hours: Wed – Mon, 13:00 – 00:00 | Facebook Page
Another popular spot to sip on cocktails and a lengthy mezcal list, La Mezcalerita boasts a popular rooftop terrace. Here you can also try pulque, a fermented drink made from the sap of the agave plant and was said to first appear in Mesoamerica around 2,000 years ago! La Mezcalerita has a massive artisan craft beer list from Oaxaca and Mexico breweries. They also have an antojitos menu.
Find them here: C. Macedonio Alcalá 706 | Hours: Daily, 12:00 – 1:00 | Facebook Page
New Babel | La Nueva Babel
New Babel is an alternative cultural space in Oaxaca that highlights local musicians, poets, and artists. New Babel hosts lots of jazz musicians, but there is music nightly. Popular with the expat community, New Babel serves food and is open for breakfast and has a mezcal menu.
Find them here: C. Porfirio Díaz 311 | Hours: Daily, 9:00 – 2:00 | Facebook Page
There are a few small batch microbreweries in Oaxaca, here are two of my favorites.
Consejo Cervecero Tasting Room
With delicious beer, a nice open patio that feels like a beer garden, and yummy burgers, Consejo Cervecero Tasting Room was my favorite microbrewery in Oaxaca. It’s possible to purchase cans and large cans to-go.
Find them here: Av Belisario Domínguez 405 | Hours: Wed – Mon, 14:00 – 22:00 / Fri & Sat, closes at 23:30, Sundays at 19:00 | Facebook Page
La Santisima Flor de Lupulo
La Santisima Flor de Lupulo is the small microbrewery attached to Gourmand Delicatessen, so it’s nice you can order from the menu next door. They offer a few rotating taps and it’s possible to order a flight to sample their current selection. The “tasting room” is a few small tables, a bar, and a few window seats that make for ideal people watching.
Find them here: C. de Ignacio Allende 215 | Hours: Mon – Sat, 12:00 – 1:00 | Facebook Page
Oaxaca Wine Bars
While a majority of the wine in Mexico comes from the Valle de Guadalupe region in Baja California, there are some intimate wine bars in Oaxaca where you can enjoy a glass, or two. 😊
La Cueva Oaxaca
La Cueva Oaxaca is an adorable and snug bar that has an awesome cocktail, mezcal, and bar menu. They also have a great wine list and pour by the glass wines of the world, but showcase Mexican wine. The vibe here is intimate with candles and usually a musician playing. There are seats at the bar or next to the windows. This is one of my favorite places to grab a drink in Oaxaca.
Find them here: Miguel Hidalgo 1203 | Hours: Daily, 18:00 -00:00 | Facebook Page
Tastavins is a cute wine bar in Oaxaca serves a simple tapa with every drink you order. They have a few wines from Mexico on their list. They do offer a full menu that includes pastas and salads.
Find them here: Murguía 309 | Hours: Mon – Sat, 14:00 – 23:00 | Facebook Page
La Contra Oaxaca
Although not a wine bar, La Contra Oaxaca is an excellent wine shop that focuses on Mexican wine and has a huge selection. They do offer mezcal and spirits, but have a room solely dedicated to wine.
Find them here: Valentín Gómez Farias 212-B | Hours: Mon – Sat, 11:00 – 19:00 | Facebook Page
Oaxaca Restaurants Over 60+ Places to Eat in Oaxaca Mexico
Oaxaca is a foodie paradise and there are so many incredible places to eat and unique foods to sample. From the cacao, chocolate, coffee, tejate, mezcal, and pulque, there are also many treasures to drink. Ultimately, Oaxaca is a foodie destination.
There are so many incredible Oaxaca restaurants and this small list of 60 places to eat in Oaxaca only scratches the very surface of a rich culture of food traditions.
Simply put, one of the best things to do in Oaxaca is to eat and get a taste of the bountiful culture. There’s no doubt in my mind that you will fall in love. When you return home, your mind will drift to that incredible tlayuda you ate, or the smells of the market will waft in remembrance to your nose. It will transport you back to those colorful streets, filled with history and warm people, and you will want to go back.
You will be craving more. It’s all intertwined. The food, the culture, the beauty, they are all threads that weaves into the enchantment that is Oaxaca.
Have you been to Oaxaca and indulged in the cuisine? What Oaxaca restaurants did you love? What Oaxaca restaurants would you skip? Let me know in the comments below!
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