Oaxaca Gastronomy and Restaurant Guides

Oaxacan cuisine is among the most diverse and delicious in all of Mexico. The most emblematic dishes of the state of Oaxaca are mole (sauce), extra large crispy tortillas called tlayudas, a type of string cheese called quesillo, and spicy fried grasshoppers, known as chapulines. You may sample these dishes in any of Oaxaca’s numerous marketplaces, but the most convenient for tourists to visit are the two markets located in Oaxaca’s city center. If anything characterizes the people of Oaxaca, it is their deep religiousness, as well as their deeply rooted customs. This can be seen in the kitchens of Oaxaca, where recipes brought
from Spain, and indigenous dishes are prepared daily and passed down from generation to generation. These allow the people of Oaxaca to enjoy one of their greatest pleasures –food – while complying at the same time with abstaining from meat as required by the Catholic religion.

Beginning early in the mornings, long tables are placed in the courtyards of churches and temples, on which clay jars containing fresh juices, are placed. There are the usual flavors, such as horchata, jamaica, mango, tamarind, watermelon and lemon with chia. There are also exotic flavors such as rose petals, prickly pear and nut. Here they also sell tejate, a traditional drink prepared with cocoa and corn. In the markets you will find women selling browned grasshoppers with garlic, lime and salt. Don’t just take a picture of them: dare to try them! You will be surprised by their delicious flavor and crunchy texture. You should also try the tlayudas, giant tortillas with mashed beans, cheese and salsa. For dessert, there is nothing better than sherbets in flavors such as burnt milk, cheese and mescal.

In the restaurants in Oaxaca, you will find quite a varied menu: plantain molotitos filled with fresh cheese, small corn tamales with cream and the classic lent broth (containing potatoes, string beans, nopales (catus leaves), peas, epazote, tomato, egg and fish), among other delicacies. Don’t forget to accompany your meal with a small glass of mescal together with maguey worm salt. / visitmexico.com


Oaxaca Restaurants

Casa Oaxaca

Location: Constitucion 104 A, Centro Mexican Traditional
Reservations: Recommended Hours: Monday through Saturday 1:00pm-11:00pm; Sunday closes at 9:00pm
Phone: 951 516 8531 Credit Cards Accepted

Casa Oaxaca is located in the hotel with the same name, in the heart of the beautiful colonial city of Oaxaca. In this restaurant the subtleness underlines the evocative power of the aromas and flavors that emerge from Chef Alejandro Ruiz’s kitchen. Mediterranean herbs mingle amongst the flavors of Oaxaca. Basil and rosemary share their hues with hoja santa, pitiona and shorobobo. Meanwhile, the pomegranate, fish and seafood, venison and lamb alternate with the local chapulines, huitlacoche and quesillo. This is a gastronomic experience for all five senses.



Location: Garcil Vigil 105, Centro Mexican Traditional
Reservations: Recommended Hours: Wednesday through Monday 8:00am-11:00pm
Phone: 951 516 3285 Credit Cards Accepted

Located one block from the Zocalo, in a beautiful mansion that recalls the times of Porfirio Diaz, Catedral is an excellent option to get to know Oaxaca through its aromas and flavors. Since its foundation in 1976, Catedral has set the pace in quality, with a balance between innovation and authenticity to offer you the best of Oaxacan and International cuisine. The quality of the ingredients they use and the friendliness of the staff define this restaurant. Highly qualified chefs, and bakers daily combine with harmony and creativity the best ingredients from all over the state.




Location: Garcia Vigil 512, Centro Mexican Traditional
Reservations: Recommended Hours: Monday through Saturday 2:00pm-11:00pm
Phone: 951 516 2265 Credit Cards Accepted

Zandunga is a traditional space in the capital of the State of Oaxaca, where you will be taken to travel through one of the greatest pleasures known to man: food. Its decoration and cuisine allows the visitor to know of the Oaxaca regions, the Istmo, which is in the coast of the State. This restaurant offers craving dishes like garnachas, tamales cambray, banana molotes, and main dishes as stew, mole, baked cochito, and a wide variety of mescals. Its modern decoration and excellent service make this place one of the new favorites in the city.



Los Danzantes

Location: Macedonio Alcala 403, Centro Mexican Contemporary
Reservations: Recommended Hours: Daily 1:00pm-11:30pm
Phone: 951 501 1187 Credit Cards Accepted

Located a few meters from the Santo Domingo cultural center in the heart of the historical center of Oaxaca it is placed in a XVI century colonial building remodeled to offer the services the restaurant requires. It is an obligatory destination in Oaxaca to discover the Mexican gastronomical treasures within an exceptional space in which tradition and contemporary Mexico find each other. This restaurant uses traditional ingredients but with new combinations and forms. They keep their menu updated through research and experimentation always looking for keeping the balance with the tradition.




Location: Hidalgo 820, Centro Mexican Contemporary
Reservations: Recommended Hours: Daily 1:00pm-11:00pm
Phone: 951 501 1764 Credit Cards Accepted

The cuisine of Origen is fresh, varied and delicious. It has as a cupboard the enormous amount of ingredients, ordered by region and season that exist in the markets, farms, and seas of Oaxaca. Rodolfo, the Chef, grew up with the flavors of the Central Valleys but there are other regions that inspire him too. Mixteca, Costa, Istmo, Cañada, Papaloapan, Sierra Sur and Sierra Norte are a universe to explore and bring to the table. Their cuisine is also sustainable and ethical as they know that the human value behind each dish is essential.




Location: Allende 114, Centro Mexican Contemporary
Reservations: Recommended Hours: Daily 1:00pm-11:00pm
Phone: 951 514 0690 Credit Cards Accepted

Pitiona is the name of one of the emblematic herbs of Oaxacan cuisine that the cooks know very well and with which they prepare mole of iguana or seafood broth on the coast. Pitiona is also the name of one of the most important restaurants in the state capital, whose guide, Chef José Manuel Baños, seeks to convey through his dishes the love and devotion he feels for his land. The most used ingredients in Pitiona honor and celebrate Oaxacan land and coastal cultures, making 95% Oaxaqueños and 5% of the rest of the country, thus recognizing the variety of flavors, traditions and products that Mexico offers.



Las Quince Letras

Location: Abasolo 300, Centro Mexican Traditional
Reservations: Recommended Hours: Daily 9:00am-9:00pm; Sunday closes at 7:00pm
Phone: 951 514 3769 Credit Cards Accepted

Located in the heart of the city of Oaxaca, it stands as a benchmark of Oaxacan cuisine, full of tradition and flavor. Las Quince Letras opened in 1992, founded by Fidel Méndez Sosa and his wife Celia Florián. The specialty is the typical Oaxacan cuisine, a result of the combination of pre-Hispanic and colonial cuisine. The food is enriched by the diversity of products, regions and cultures that make up the state. They are a company with passion for the Oaxacan traditions, serving ingredients of the highest quality and respecting local products and producers, with the best seasoning and recipes that transcend generations.



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