Just a 45-minute flight from Mexico City, the quaint, historic metropolis of Oaxaca has long been a popular landing pad for expats and bohemians attracted to its colonial-era streets, Baroque churches, and charming plazas. Lately, though, Oaxaca has gotten lots of buzz, drawing all types of international travelers to its tantalizing mix of colors, textures, sounds, and traditions, and the mingling aromas of mezcal, chocolate, and spices. La Verde Antequera, or the “green antique,” as Oaxaca is called — a reference to the green cantera stone on which the city is built, and the city’s former Spanish name, Nueva Antequera — has also become Mexico’s undisputed culinary capital, and a visit here quickly reveals why. In Oaxaca, your senses are spoiled from your first morning sip of local coffee or chocolate de agua to your last bite of mole or nightcap of mezcal.
Today, ambitious modern restaurants exist side by side with traditional mom-and-pop eateries and humming street food vendors. Here, then, is Eater’s list of the most essential restaurants, dishes, and culinary experiences in Oaxaca City, from fine dining restaurants to sidewalk snacks and everything in between.
Editor’s Note: The inclusion of restaurants offering dine-in service should not be taken as an endorsement for dining inside. Studies indicate a lower exposure risk to COVID-19 outdoors, but the level of risk is contingent on social distancing and other safety guidelines. Check with each restaurant for up-to-date information on dining offerings. For updated information on coronavirus cases in the Oaxaca area, please visit the US Embassy’s COVID-19 information site.
Price per person, excluding alcohol:
$ = Less than 200 pesos (less than USD $10)
$$ = 200 - 380 pesos (USD $10 to $20)
$$$ = 380 - 570 pesos (USD $20 to $30)
$$$$ = More than 570 pesos (more than USD $30)
Eater is bringing this map to life with a trip to Mexico City and Oaxaca, brought to you by Black Tomato. See the full itinerary and book a food-filled trip now.
Omar Alonso is a culinary tour guide, television fixer, and food writer based in Oaxaca.Read More