Planning a trip to Oaxaca? This list of best restaurants in Oaxaca is the one to save for your trip. If there’s one thing Oaxaca’s known for, it’s the food. Oaxacan food is an integral part of the local culture and itself a reason to make the trip to Southern Mexico.
This quaint and colorful city is bursting at the seams with incredible restaurants that are eager to show off the flavors and culinary heritage of the region. It’s the complex black and red moles, or sauces, that are tended for hours and even days before they’re ready to be served; the crispy chapulines, or grasshoppers, that top fresh tortillas. Tejate, the traditional corn-and-cacao beverage dating back to pre-Hispanic times, and artisanal mezcals distilled from hand-harvested agave.
After recently visiting Oaxaca and getting the chance to check dine out several times, I can safely say that this city is a must for any foodie’s bucket list. Here is my list of the 20 best restaurants in Oaxaca; from incredible street food to mouth-watering bakeries, to hip small-plate restaurants to fine dining experiences, there’s a place on this list for everyone.
Planning a Trip to Oaxaca? Here Are My Top Picks for the Best Hotels in Oaxaca:
- Pug Seal, for the best design hotel
- Grana B&B, for the best design for dollar hotel
- Hotel Escondido, for the best luxury hotel
The 20 Best Restaurants in Oaxaca, Mexico
Chef Thalía Barrios Garcia, who hails from a community in Oaxaca’s Sierra Sur state, shows off her heritage and culinary traditions at Levadura De Olla, one of the top Oaxaca restaurants. Don’t miss the native tomato plate, a simple but exquisite platter of varieties with beet puree and vinaigrette.
Address: C. de Manuel García Vigil 304, RUTA INDEPENDENCIA, Centro, 68000 Oaxaca de Juárez, Oax., Mexico
The food is phenomenal at Casa Oaxaca, but the setting in the city center is just as magical. Rooftop seating allows diners to look out over an old convent that now houses Oaxaca’s Museum of Cultures of Oaxaca while enjoying modern takes on traditional Oaxacan dishes featuring ingredients sourced from local purveyors.
Address: Casa Oaxaca el Restaurante, Calle de la Constitución, RUTA INDEPENDENCIA, Centro, Oaxaca, Mexico
3. Sabina Sabe
One of North America’s 50 best bars and named after a Mazatec medicine woman, Sabina Sabe‘s focus is mezcal—the agave-based spirit Oaxaca is famous for, and the one locally known as the “elixir of the Gods.” Small plates and cocktails made with local produce shine in this comfortable and laid-back space.
Address: 5 de Mayo 209, RUTA INDEPENDENCIA, Centro, 68000 Oaxaca de Juárez, Oax., Mexico
For a memorable experience, head to Criollo, one of the city’s best fine dining restaurants, and another hit from chef Enrique Olvera of Mexico City’s Pujol fame. Diners here experience a prix-fixe, multi-course meal full of artful takes on traditional Oaxacan dishes, all served in a beautiful garden setting.
Address: Francisco I. Madero 129, Santa María del Marquesado, Centro, 68000 Oaxaca de Juárez, Oax., Mexico
Whether you choose to dine on a full Oaxacan breakfast of molletes—open-faced sandwiches smothered in beans and cheese—in Boulenc’s airy courtyard or grab a few pastries from its massive takeaway operation next store, you won’t be disappointed. Its breads, pastries, and cookies are top-notch and a must while in Oaxaca.
Address: C. Porfirio Díaz 207, RUTA INDEPENDENCIA, Centro, 68000 Oaxaca de Juárez, Oax., Mexico
6. Amá Terraza
This hip rooftop spot sits within the gorgeous design hotel Casa Antonieta and provides diners with a bird’s eye view of the city. With lounge chairs and string lights, Amá Terraza is a cozy spot for coffee drinks, small plates, or an after-dinner cocktail.
Address: Miguel Hidalgo 911, Centro, 68000 Oaxaca de Juárez, Oax., Mexico
An artisanal bakery, which opens into a beautiful, tucked-away courtyard, Pan Con Madre is the perfect place to linger with over a fresh-baked breakfast or grab a take-away iced coffee for exploring on a hot day. The pastries are astoundingly good; I recommend grabbing a few for the road.
Address: C. de Quetzalcóatl 205-D, RUTA INDEPENDENCIA, Centro, 68000 Oaxaca de Juárez, Oax., Mexico
Selva has everything you want from a cocktail bar: A complex menu of fun and interesting drinks that showcase local ingredients, a gorgeously decorated interior, spectacular rooftop views from the balcony tables, and a laid-back yet sophisticated vibe. These factors helped land it on the list of North America’s best cocktail bars.
Address: C. Macedonio Alcalá #403-int. 6, RUTA INDEPENDENCIA, Centro, 68000 Oaxaca de Juárez, Oax., Mexico
Street-food lovers will want to beeline for Tacos del Carmen, a street stall that’s been serving tacos, quesadillas, empanadas, and more for decades. Morning is the best time to come pick up some breakfast, cooked right in front of you on a coal-fired comal, or large, circular griddle. Tacos del Carmen serves plenty of vegetarian options in addition to dishes for carnivores.
Address: Jesús Carranza 110, RUTA INDEPENDENCIA, Centro, 68000 Oaxaca de Juárez, Oax., Mexico
10. Los Danzantes
Los Dazantes is guided by its commitment to social and environmental responsibility, and a zero-waste policy is a big part of that commitment. It also believes in “zero-kilometer food,” meaning fresh, organic ingredients come directly from the restaurant’s garden.
Address: C. Macedonio Alcalá 403-interior 4, RUTA INDEPENDENCIA, Centro, 68000 Oaxaca de Juárez, Oax., Mexico
11. Taco Sireno
Seafood dishes are beloved at Taco Sireno, including tacos, oysters, octopus, and shrimp specialty agua chile. Mexican wines, mezcals, and micheladas are all on hand to help you wash down some of the best eats in Oaxaca.
Address: Calle de José María Pino Suárez 900, RUTA INDEPENDENCIA, Centro, 68050 Oaxaca de Juárez, Oax., Mexico
Part of Oaxaca’s colorful Xochimilco neighborhood, Ancestral is a great pick to sample traditional Oaxacan specialties. The restaurant highlights Oaxacan culture and folklore in addition to its gastronomy, helping earn it a distinction as one of Mexico’s 250 best restaurants.
Address: C. José López Alavez 1347, Barrio de Xochimilco, 68040 Oaxaca de Juárez, Oax., Mexico
This corn-based Mexican beverage, served hot, is the perfect companion for cool mornings or evenings, and La Atolería Masea is the perfect place to try it. In addition to traditional preparations, you can also sample seasonal fruit flavors and other unique recipes you won’t find elsewhere.
Address: Reforma 411, RUTA INDEPENDENCIA, Centro, 68000 Oaxaca de Juárez, Oax., Mexico
Chocolate has a long history in Oaxaca, and you’ll find chocolaterías throughout the city. Rito produces its own chocolate bars—of which there are many varieties to choose from—and chocolate drinks, ice creams, and more.
Address: 68000, Calle Porfirio Díaz 708 -H, RUTA INDEPENDENCIA, Centro, 68000 Centro, Oax., Mexico
Chef Thalía Barrios Garcia is at it again with La Cocina de Humo, whose smoke kitchens feature wood stoves, comales, and adobe walls. The venue, also offers Oaxacan cooking classes and has an on-site store selling clay wares from rural communities.
Address: Murguía 304, RUTA INDEPENDENCIA, Centro, 68000 Oaxaca de Juárez, Oax., Mexico
At Origen, which opened its doors in 2011, Rodolfo Castellanos—known for his win on Top Chef México—infuses meats, risottos, and ceviches with endemic ingredients that ground them in a sense of place. The contemporary, seasonally changing menu prioritizes simplicity and harmony, and the open-air upstairs dining room is beautiful on a warm night.
Address: Miguel Hidalgo 820, Centro, 68000 Oaxaca de Juárez, Oax., Mexico
Centro Gastronómico brings together a number of chefs from around the city, each with their own stand, so that diners can sample dishes from all over the region. You’ll find everything from traditional dishes to ice cream, craft beers, specialty coffee, and mezcal, and you can enjoy it all at communal tables.
Address: C. de Manuel García Vigil 610, RUTA INDEPENDENCIA, Centro, 68000 Oaxaca de Juárez, Oax., Mexico
Memelas Doña Vale, which gained fame as part of a Netflix documentary series about street food in Latin America, is tucked away in a small stall inside the Mercado Central de Abastos, Oaxaca’s largest market. It’s the perfect play to try this traditional Oaxacan dish, which usually features toppings of sauce, cheese, or eggs.
Address: Cosijoeza, Central de Abasto, 68090 Oaxaca de Juárez, Oax., Mexico
“Trigo Y Maíz” translates to, “Wheat and Corn,” so it’s no surprise that these two ingredients are the stars at Masea, which is both a bakery and a corn tortilla shop. It also serves several varieties of atole, a pre-Hispanic drink that comes served in a clay pot.
Address: Reforma 411, RUTA INDEPENDENCIA, Centro, 68000 Oaxaca de Juárez, Oax., Mexico
Restaurante Coronita has been welcoming diners for three generations, and tradition is deeply embedded within the menu. This is a great place to be immersed in traditional Mexican cuisine, with an extensive menu featuring more than 150 dishes. Among the standout menu items are the moles, including mole negro, or black mole.
Address: #68000, Díaz Ordaz 208, Centro, 68000 Oaxaca de Juárez, Oax., Mexico
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