When you think of the best food cities in Mexico, Oaxaca is at the top of nearly everyone’s list. If not at the very top, then it’s right up there with cities like Puebla, Mexico City, Merida, and Guadalajara. Even people who’ve never been to Oaxaca have heard that Oaxaca City (and state) is home to some of the best food in Mexico.
It’s hard to find bad food in Oaxaca but it’s even harder to find the best. Discovering the best and most authentic local food is what we enjoy most about trips, so we scoured the internet, combed the city’s streets, and broke bread with opinionated locals to come up with this list of 15 of the best restaurants in Oaxaca.
If you’re visiting Oaxaca and have a taste for traditional Mexican cuisine, then this list will be very useful to you.
OAXACA RESTAURANTS QUICK LINKS
To help you with your Oaxaca trip planning, we’ve compiled links to popular hotels, tours, and other travel-related services here.
Top-rated hotels in Centro, one of the best areas to stay for people on their first trip to Oaxaca.
- Luxury: Pug Seal Oaxaca
- Midrange: NaNa Vida Hotel Oaxaca
- Budget: Casa Luna & Sol
- Sightseeing Tour: Full-Day Tour of Oaxaca
- Food Tour: Night Street Food Tour with Transfers and Tastings
- Mezcal Tasting: Mezcal Tasting Session with Expert
- Cooking Classes: Oaxaca Cooking Classes
- Day Trip: Monte Alban Guided Archaeological Tour
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WHAT FOOD IS OAXACA FAMOUS FOR?
Oaxaca is often referred to as the “foodie capital of Mexico”. It’s home to one of the richest pre-Hispanic culinary traditions in the country. Oaxaca’s unique climate and mix of indigenous cultures help make Oaxacan cuisine one of the most varied and interesting in Mexico.
Regional food prepared in the most traditional way is what interests us most about any destination. In this article, we feature some of the best restaurants in Oaxaca City to try regional dishes like mole negro, mole coloradito, caldo de piedra, and more.
This article focuses on restaurants but if you’d like to find the best places to try Oaxacan street food dishes like tlayuda and memela, then don’t forget to go through our Oaxacan street food guide as well.
It’s important to familiarize yourself with what to eat in Oaxaca before learning where to eat, so be sure to check out our guide on 25 must-try traditional dishes and drinks in Oaxaca.
THE BEST RESTAURANTS IN OAXACA CITY
1. La Casa de La Chef
We always come prepared so we arrived in Oaxaca with a food itinerary of at least fifty restaurants, markets, and roadside stalls. La Casa de La Chef wasn’t on it but we couldn’t ignore this quaint breakfast place after seeing it packed with locals at almost any time of the day.
La Casa de La Chef is a small traditional restaurant that serves all-day Mexican breakfast fare like chilaquiles, entomatadas, enfrijoladas, and huevos al gusto. They also offer daily specials (menu del dia), which is where I saw this delicious enmoladas con tasajo.
This equally delicious plate of huevos motuleños is a permanent fixture on their menu. Huevos motuleños is a Yucatecan dish (from the town of Motul) consisting of fried eggs served on a bed of fried tortillas and beans. It’s smothered in salsa roja (red sauce) with plantains, ham, queso fresco (fresh cheese), peas, and cream.
On another day, I had this tasty omelette filled with Oaxaca cheese and huitlacoche (corn smut).
Huitlacoche refers to a type of fungus that grows on corn. Similar in taste and texture to mushrooms, it’s a delicacy in Mexican cuisine and often used as a filling in omelettes, tacos, molotes, and quesadillas.
La Casa de La Chef is located along Calzada de la Republica, just outside the city center and south of Barrio de Jalatlaco. It’s about a 3-minute walk from Mercado de La Merced.
A restaurant teeming with locals is never a bad sign so be sure to check out La Casa de La Chef if you’re in the mood for good Mexican breakfast food.
La Casa de La Chef
Address: Calz. de la República 302, Centro, 68000 Oaxaca de Juárez, Oaxaca, Mexico
Operating Hours: 8:30AM-5:30PM, Sun-Fri (closed Saturdays)
What to Order: Chilaquiles, entomatadas, enfrijoladas, huevos
2. Amor de Cafe
Amor de Cafe is another good restaurant to visit in Oaxaca for coffee and traditional Mexican breakfast fare. They have a good selection of breakfast dishes, omelettes, sandwiches, and salads.
I was in the mood for an omelette today, but I didn’t want anything ordinary like ham, bacon, or mushroom. I wanted a filling that was more interesting and truly Oaxacan so I went with this omelette oaxaqueño. Keep scrolling to see what was in it.
The omelette oaxaqueño is filled with a generous amount of Oaxaca cheese and chapulines (grasshoppers). Seasoned with lime juice, garlic, chili, and salt, grasshoppers and other insects are a delicacy that’s been enjoyed in Oaxaca and in other parts of Mexico since pre-Hispanic times.
If you’d like an omelette that you probably can’t get where you’re from, then you may want to try this. Personally, we think chapulines are delicious and make for a great filling or topping.
Amor de Cafe is located in the tourist-friendly neighborhood of Barrio de Jalatlaco. Pay them a visit if you’re hankering for good Mexican breakfast food and other comforting dishes.
Amor de Cafe
Address: Blvrd del Panteón 113, Centro, 68000 Oaxaca de Juárez, Oaxaca, Mexico
Operating Hours: 8:30AM-5:30PM, Sun-Fri (closed Saturdays)
What to Order: Mexican breakfast, sandwiches
3. Pannela Panaderia del Barrio
If a western-style breakfast is more up your alley, then Pannela Panaderia de Barrio in Jalatlaco is one of the best places for you to go. This uber popular cafe and bakery opens at 7:15AM every morning and it doesn’t take long for customers to come streaming in as soon as they do.
With eye-catching breakfast dishes like this waffle with Nutella, bananas, and strawberries, how can they not? It’s just one of many beautiful breakfast dishes and sandwiches you’ll find at Pannela Panaderia de Barrio.
Judging by how busy this place is at all hours of the day, it has to be one of the best and most popular cafes in Oaxaca. This place serves amazing food, not to mention excellent pastries and desserts.
Pannela serves a few of these all-day croissant sandwiches. This one was the Pamplona – a croissant sandwich made with chorizo Pamplona, gouda cheese gratin, lettuce, tomato, avocado, and chintextle. Chintextle is a type of Oaxacan paste made with dried pasilla chili peppers as its main ingredient.
We had western-style dishes on every visit but Pannela offers many Mexican favorites as well like molletes, enfrijoladas, entomatadas, and chilaquiles. They also offer different types of sandwiches made with pan de yema, a Oaxacan version of brioche bread.
Aside from serving great Oaxacan coffee, Pannela also offers cups of chocolate Oaxaqueño. Chocolate has been an important ingredient and commodity in the Oaxacan region for thousands of years. It’s a daily staple and plays an important role in ceremonies and rituals like birth, weddings, and funerals.
You can enjoy chocolate Oaxaqueño in many traditional dishes and drinks but my hands down favorite is hot chocolate mixed with milk. The more traditional method is to drink it mixed with water but personally, I prefer it with milk.
On another day, I had the house specialty french toast topped with fresh berries. As you can see below, it was every bit as beautiful (and delicious) as the waffles.
Aside from western and Mexican breakfast dishes, Pannela offers a variety of sandwiches and pizza as well. We weren’t expecting much from this pepperoni pizza but it was surprisingly delicious. It tasted like good homemade pizza with a crisp but airy crust and stringy mozzarella cheese.
Pannela Panaderia de Barrio is a simple but pleasant cafe in Barrio de Jalatlaco with indoor seating and a couple of outdoor tables. It’s very popular with tourists so you’ll never see it empty no matter what time you go.
Aside from made-to-order dishes, Pannela offers many different types of breads, pastries, and desserts as well. Their croissants are delicious.
Pannela Panaderia del Barrio
Address: Aldama 322, Centro, 68080 Oaxaca de Juárez, Oaxaca, Mexico
Operating Hours: 7:15AM-9PM, daily
What to Order: Western and Mexican breakfast dishes, sandwiches, pastries, dessert
4. Casa Taviche
Casa Taviche is another great place to have a traditional Mexican breakfast in Oaxaca City. Like Casa de la Chef, they have a focused menu offering a few breakfast dishes like entomatadas, enfrijoladas, tostadas, and chilaqules.
Pictured below is my beautiful plate of entomatadas con tasajo (dried beef).
On this plate is another popular breakfast dish in Mexico – chilaquiles. Chilaquiles are basically fried tortillas that are bathed in a sauce and served for breakfast with other ingredients like queso fresco (fresh cheese), onions, salsa, and meat. This one was served with a side of tasajo.
A Tripadvisor favorite, Casa Taviche is a family-run restaurant located a few blocks east of the zocalo. Just look for this building painted in a bright and cheery Tiffany blue.
Casa Taviche’s dining room is as bright and cheery as its facade. It just felt good to be here. The family who owns and operates the restaurant is lovely as well.
Address: Miguel Hidalgo 1111, Centro, 68000 Oaxaca de Juárez, Oaxaca, Mexico
Operating Hours: 8AM-10PM, Thurs-Tue (closed Wednesdays)
What to Order: Mexican breakfast
5. Las Chilmoleras
As you can probably tell by now, cute breakfast restaurants are a thing in Oaxaca.
Like the previous restaurants, Las Chilmoleras offers a good selection of traditional Mexican breakfast dishes, some of which are artfully presented in these stone molcajetes. A molcajete and tejolote is the Mexican version of a mortar and pestle.
Isn’t this molcajete breakfast bowl pretty? You can’t really see it but this was one of their omelettes served with avocado and a variety of fresh vegetables and herbs.
Here’s a better shot of the molcajete. What a great idea to serve breakfast in these traditional stone bowls.
This arrachera or Mexican skirt steak with a side of french fries and salad was one of their daily specials.
I believe this lovely panna cotta with fresh strawberries was a daily special as well.
If you like smoothies, then you need to try this one. It’s made with carrots, papayas, and strawberries. It’s absolutely delicious.
Las Chilmoleras is located on the corner of busy Calzada de la Republica and Alianza Street in Barrio de Jalatlaco.
Address: Alianza 104-D, Barrio de Jalatlaco, 68000 Oaxaca de Juárez, Oaxaca, Mexico
Operating Hours: 8AM-5PM, Mon-Sat (closed Sundays)
What to Order: Mexican breakfast
onnno loncheria is one of those places in Oaxaca that you can walk by a hundred times without realizing what’s inside. They’re known for their sandwiches but they do offer salads and a few breakfast dishes as well.
We went to onnno for lunch and my better half ordered this hefty ensalada de la casa (house salad) made with grilled chicken, fresh vegetables, goat cheese, caramelized seeds, and olive oil.
I didn’t feel like having meat today so I went with this tasty champiñones (mushroom) sandwich. It was served on ciabatta bread with gouda, goat cheese, arugula, and salsa macha mayo.
Like Pannela, onnno serves freshly baked cookies and pastries as well.
There’s no obvious sign outside the restaurant so it’s easy to walk by onnno without noticing it. We were sitting by the window and got a kick out of people walking back and forth, trying to find the restaurant while navigating on their phone.
Just look for this clipboard hanging from a string. The entrance to the restaurant is through that doorway.
onnno loncheria has a simple but stylish interior. Aside from sandwiches and salads, it’s also a cafe so it’s a great place to work, but just not in this main dining room.
There are signs on the main dining room tables asking guests not to set up their laptops there. Instead, you’ll need to work in this garden seating area.
onnno looks to be popular with digital nomads as this seating area was full when we were there.
Address: Mártires de Tacubaya 308-Interior 1, RUTA INDEPENDENCIA, Centro, 68000 Oaxaca de Juárez, Oaxaca, Mexico
Operating Hours: 9AM-5PM, Mon-Sat/ 9AM-4PM, Sun
What to Order: Breakfast, sandwiches
Unlike the previous restaurants on this list, Itanoní won’t win any style points but it remains one of the best restaurants in Oaxaca to try traditional dishes and drinks like tetela, memela, pozole, and tascalate. They’re known for using different varieties of heirloom corn to produce most if not all the dishes on their menu.
The menu options at Itanoní are extensive and interesting. We went to a few restaurants in downtown Oaxaca that served what looked like fancified versions of traditional dishes, but at Itanoní, it felt like you were getting the real thing. It definitely felt like one of the most authentic traditional restaurants in Oaxaca.
We wanted to order more dishes at Itanoní but our server told us that this tetela, memela, and de ese were enough for two people.
Here’s an inside look at our tetela. A tetela is a pre-Hispanic dish made with a triangular pocket of fresh corn dough filled with a few simple ingredients like black beans, cheese, and cream. Ours was filled with chicharron, cream, and queso fresco (Antojadiza). The green sauce is a spicy salsa verde that they serve on the side.
Compared to memelas or tlayudas, tetelas aren’t as easy to find so I suggest trying it here at Itanoní. It’s probably one of the best versions of tetela you’ll find anywhere in Oaxaca.
This is an interesting dish that I can’t seem to find much information on. Listed on their menu as de ese, it’s basically a corn tortilla wrapped around a leaf of the hierba santa herb and simple fillings like beans, quesillo, and queso fresco. Hoja santa is a strong peppery herb that’s used in many Oaxacan dishes.
We got ours filled with beans and Oaxaca cheese. I’d love to learn more about this dish but nothing seems to come up when I search for “de ese oaxaca”. Does anyone know the history of this dish?
The third dish we ordered was this memela topped with asiento, refried beans, and fresh cheese. Unlike the other two dishes, it was served with a side of salsa rojo instead of salsa verde.
As good as all three dishes were, these servings of tascalate may have been the best thing we had at Itanoní.
Tascalate refers to a traditional drink made from chocolate, roasted maize, pine nuts, achiote, vanilla, and sugar. It can be enjoyed hot with milk or cold with water and ice. It’s a delicious drink that’s creamy, chocolate-y, and corn-like in flavor.
Itanoní is located in the residential Reforma area, about a 30-35 minute walk north of the zocalo. It’s a bit of a hike to get there but it’s absolutely worth it. It’s definitely one of the best restaurants in Oaxaca for simple and honest Oaxacan food.
Address: Av Belisario Domínguez 513, Reforma, 68050 Oaxaca de Juárez, Oaxaca, Mexico
Operating Hours: 7AM-4PM, Mon-Sat / 7AM-2PM, Sun
What to Order: Breakfast dishes, tetelas, memelas, quesadillas
Simply put, you can’t have a conversation about the best restaurants in Oaxaca without mentioning Restaurante Alfonsina. Many people know about Casa Oaxaca and Los Danzantes but only the most food-obsessed travelers will make the trip to Alfonsina, which is a shame because it’s one of the most interesting Mexican restaurants in the region.
Helmed by Chef Jorge León, Alfonsina is located in San Juan Bautista la Raya, a small town about half an hour south of downtown Oaxaca. The restaurant doesn’t have an ala carte menu. Instead, they offer tasting menus consisting of at least five dishes made with fresh ingredients sourced from the market that morning.
Because of its organic nature and dependence on fresh market produce, Chef Jorge likes to call his cooking style cocina de mercado or “market kitchen”. The menu can change on a daily basis so you can think of it as an elevated menu del dia (menu of the day).
You can read more about Chef Jorge and his cocina de mercado cooking style in my article about Restaurante Alfonsina. Fans of Phil Rosenthal may remember it from the Oaxaca episode of Somebody Feed Phil.
Aside from being located in a small residential town half an hour south of Oaxaca City, what makes Alfonsina unique is the setting. The restaurant is located in Chef Jorge’s family home. When you eat there, it feels like you’ve been invited as a guest in the chef’s home.
All things considered, I think that Restaurante Alfonsina is one of the best restaurants in Oaxaca. Don’t miss it if you’re drawn to interesting food experiences like we are.
Address: C. García Vigil 183, 71232 San Juan Bautista la Raya, Oaxaca, Mexico
Operating Hours: 1PM, 2PM, 6PM, 7PM, Wed-Mon (closed Tuesdays)
What to Order: Degustation menu
9. El Son Istmeño
El Son Istmeño is a hidden gem in the Barrio de Jalatlaco neighborhood. It’s perhaps one of the best restaurants in Oaxaca to try traditional food from the Isthmus of Tehuantepec.
Pictured below are garnachas istmeñas, one of the most well-known dishes from this part of Mexico. They’re small, bite-sized antojitos made with fried corn tortillas topped with shredded meat, pickled vegetables, salsa, and queso fresco.
It isn’t native to the Isthmus of Tehuantepec but El Son Istmeño is known for its gorditas as well. Meaning “chubby” in Spanish, gorditas consist of pockets of masa stuffed with a variety of fillings.
Gorditas are meant to be stuffed but the versions at El Son Istmeño were topped with the ingredients instead. We tried them topped with chapulines, quesillo, and cochinita pibil. Cochinita pibil is a Yucatecan dish made with pork marinated in strongly acidic citrus juices and annatto seeds.
For dessert, we had these molotes de platano, another dish that represents the Isthmus of Tehuantepec’s iconic regional Mexican flavors. They’re deep-fried, oval-shaped spheres of mashed plantain topped with cream and queso fresco.
El Son Istmeño is an al fresco restaurant set in a large, leafy green courtyard with succulents and gravel floors. We had an early dinner there and enjoyed a few beers while watching the waning light of sunset.
El Son Istmeño is an adorable restaurant tucked away in a corner of Barrio de Jalatlaco. We were staying at an Airbnb in the area but we never would have known about this place had we not read about it in an article on the best restaurants in Oaxaca. It’s hidden in a less-visited part of Jalatlaco.
El Son Istmeño
Address: Hidalgo 400, Barrio de Jalatlaco, 68080 De Jalatlaco, Oaxaca, Mexico
Operating Hours: 2-11PM, Mon-Sat (closed Sundays)
What to Order: Garnachas, gorditas, molotes de platano
10. Restaurant Coronita
Like tlayudas and memelas, you can’t leave Oaxaca without trying mole. It’s considered the pinnacle of traditional Oaxacan cuisine and Mexican gastronomy.
There are seven famous types of mole in Oaxaca – mole negro, mole coloradito, mole amarillo, mole rojo, mole verde, mole manchamanteles, and mole chichilo. The first three are easy to find but certain moles like manchamanteles and chichilo are less common.
You can try to find each mole separately but the easiest way to taste all seven is to go to a restaurant that serves mole degustation menus. Depending on the restaurant, you can expect to try four to seven of Oaxaca’s famous moles.
One of the best restaurants in Oaxaca to enjoy a mole tasting menu is Restaurante Coronita. At the time of our visit in March 2022, a 7-mole degustation cost just MXN 499 for two people.
Going clockwise from the bottom are mole chichilo, mole amarillo, mole verde, mole manchamanteles, mole coloradito, mole rojo, and mole negro. They’ll also give you a small bowl of rice, a basket of fresh tortillas, and a few garnishes.
I won’t describe each mole in this article but you can refer to our Oaxaca food guide for more information. They’re all interesting but personally, my favorites are mole coloradito, mole manchamanteles, and mole negro. According to our server, manchamanteles and chichilo are the hardest to come by.
Speaking of our server, he did a terrific job explaining the moles to us. Even though they’re all sauces, they’re not all meant to be eaten the same way. Mole negro and mole coloradito for example, are best paired with rice while mole amarillo is meant to be eaten with pickled vegetables.
Behold the mole tasting room. Restaurante Coronita isn’t the trendiest or most modern restaurant but they do offer an extensive menu of traditional Oaxacan dishes at fair prices. We looked at several restaurants and they were one of the few that offered all seven moles in their tasting menu.
Restaurante Coronita is located inside Hotel Valle de Oaxaca, about three blocks west of the zocalo.
Address: 68000, Díaz Ordaz 208, Centro, 68000 Oaxaca de Juárez, Oaxaca, Mexico
Operating Hours: 8:30AM-6PM, daily
What to Order: Mole degustation
11. Caldo de Piedra
Caldo de Piedra was one of my favorite restaurants in Oaxaca. I enjoyed this place immensely because they’re one of the best restaurants if not the ONLY restaurant that serves caldo de piedra, one of the most interesting traditional dishes in Oaxacan cuisine.
Meaning “stone soup” in Spanish, caldo de piedra is a pre-Hispanic soup made with fish, onions, chili peppers, tomatoes, cilantro, and epazote (Mexican tea leaf) served in a jícara. What makes it interesting and unique is how it’s prepared. A river stone is heated for over an hour under a wood fire and then dropped directly into the bowl to cook the soup.
They heat the river stones in this furnace. The restaurant is open from 9AM till 6PM so I assume they get it started close to dawn and keep it going throughout the day.
You can watch them prepare your soup. One guy drops the molten hot river stones into the gourd bowls while the other describes the history of the dish (in Spanish). The stones are so hot that the broth erupts like a geyser upon contact, cooking the fish and other ingredients instantly.
Aside from how it’s prepared, what makes caldo de piedra truly special is the story behind the dish. It’s a soup that’s prepared only by men to honor the women of the community. It’s a dish that’s as beautiful as it is delicious so be sure to check out our Oaxaca food guide for more information.
Caldo de piedra is traditionally made with fish but in some parts of Oaxaca, it can be made with shrimp as well. At the Caldo de Piedra restaurant, you can have one or the other or a mixture of both.
No, that’s not a portobello mushroom. What you’re looking at is the river stone sitting at the bottom of my bowl.
There are many delicious dishes in Oaxacan cuisine but the rarity and cultural significance behind caldo de piedra makes it one of the most fascinating. Not only does it give you an authentic taste of Oaxaca’s local cuisine, but it offers a glimpse into the local culture as well.
Caldo de piedra was given Intangible Cultural Heritage status by the state of Oaxaca in 2021. It truly felt like a privilege to eat this.
The Caldo de Piedra restaurant is located along the Carretera Internacional highway, a little over 10 km (6.2 miles) east of downtown Oaxaca. It isn’t the easiest Oaxaca restaurant to get to but it’s well worth the effort. If you value traditional culinary experiences, then you need to go to Caldo de Piedra and try this dish.
Caldo de Piedra
Address: Carretera internacional Cristobal Colón km 11.9, 68270 Tlalixtac de Cabrera, Oaxaca, Mexico
Operating Hours: 9AM-6PM, Tue-Sat / 12NN-6PM, Sun (closed Mondays)
What to Order: Caldo de piedra
Like Alfonsina, Crudo was featured in the Oaxaca episode of Somebody Feed Phil. Not only is it one of the best restaurants in Oaxaca, but it’s also one of the most unique and interesting.
Crudo is a tiny 6-seater bar restaurant that serves Japanese-Oaxacan tasting menus. Chef Ricardo Arellano combines the flavors of Oaxacan cuisine with Japanese culinary techniques, so what you get is an 8-course omakase-style menu featuring dishes like chilacayote ramen and nori tacos.
Pictured below is an aburi-style seared seabass taco wrapped in nori with avocados, nopales, and Oaxacan herbs.
I won’t talk about it in too much detail here but you can check out my article on Crudo for more pictures and information. Needless to say, if you like Japanese food and Oaxacan cuisine, then you need to book a table at Crudo.
On a side note, if you’ve tried looking for sushi in Mexico, then you know how frustrating it can be to find good Japanese food in this country. Mexican people in general don’t like raw food and every sushi restaurant I’ve been to puts cream cheese in their sushi rolls. Yes, cream cheese. In EVERY roll.
Thankfully, you won’t find any of that here. Pictured below is ikura gunkan sushi combined with chepiche, a Mexican coriander-like herb.
We ate here in October 2022 but based on the latest pictures in their Google reviews, the restaurant appears to have expanded a bit. Crudo used to be located in this tiny space that contained just six bar seats, but it looks like they’ve since doubled their capacity.
Address: Av Benito Juárez #309, Ruta Independencia, Centro, 68000 Oaxaca de Juárez, Oaxaca, Mexico
Operating Hours: 3PM, 5PM, 7PM, 9PM, Mon-Wed
What to Order: Tasting menu
Unless it’s something interesting like Crudo, I don’t usually feature restaurants serving non-local cuisine. But I couldn’t just leave off this hidden gem of an Italian restaurant that people were raving about. It’s fantastic and probably the best pizza restaurant in Oaxaca.
Fagioli is a Mexican-Italian restaurant that serves Mexican breakfast dishes like chilaquiles and enchiladas, but what they’re really known for are their pizzas and pasta dishes.
We started our three-course meal with this heaping plate of grilled chicken caesar salad.
Fagioli has a good selection of pasta dishes to choose from but we went with this Espaqueti Amalfitana. It’s a seafood pasta dish made with shrimp, mussels, and calamari served in a spicy tomato sauce.
The pasta dish was good, the caesar salad was better, but this pizza was easily the star of today’s meal. Capping off our three-course meal was this delicious San Daniele pizza topped with jamon serrano, arugula, and cheese.
We make our own Neapolitan-style pizzas from scratch and for me, this was the best pizza we’ve had anywhere in Mexico. Like authentic Indian food, well-made Neapolitan pizza is something I can never refuse.
Do you know what else I can’t refuse? A glass of clericot to wash all that pizza goodness down with.
I don’t know the neighborhood’s name but Fagioli is located in an area south of Barrio de Jalatlaco, just a short walk from Mercado de la Merced.
If you do decide to eat at Fagioli, then I suggest asking for a table in the garden area out back. It’s a leafy space with lots of trees and a trampoline that kids can use.
Address: Prolongación de la, Prolongacion Calzada de la Republica 216, 68103 Oaxaca de Juárez, Oaxaca, Mexico
Operating Hours: 9:30AM-11PM, Tue-Sat / 9:30AM-10PM, Sun / 2-11PM, Monday
What to Order: Pizza, pasta
14. La Terraza del Copal
Great rooftop bars are a dime a dozen in Oaxaca City. La Terraza del Copal is one such rooftop bar located in Barrio de Jalatlaco. The doorway that takes you up to the rooftop space is located right next to Amor de Cafe (#2).
We stayed at an Airbnb not too far from La Terraza del Copal so we’d often enjoy beers here at sunset. Aside from its proximity, what drew us to this rooftop restaurant and bar were the prices.
Rooftop bars near the zocalo can be a little expensive but we found the prices at La Terraza to be much more reasonable. Appetizers start at around MXN 55 while entrees are mostly in the MXN 115-155 range.
At the time of our visit in March 2022, domestic beers were just MXN 30 a bottle. Not bad at all.
This molcajete loaded with guacamole and tortilla chips was made with a special ingredient. Can you guess what?
We’re simple people. If we see the word “chapulines” on a Oaxaca restaurant’s menu, then chances are, we’ll order it. Eating grasshoppers may be odd to some but in Oaxacan cuisine, they’re an important ingredient. Don’t knock it till you’ve tried it!
Salty, crunchy, a little sour, and loaded with umami, chapulines are like little flavor bombs. It’s something curious eaters need to try when they visit Oaxaca. They make a great bar snack with mezcal as well.
La Terraza del Copal
Address: Callejon, Niños Heroes #312, Centro, 68080 Oaxaca de Juárez, Oaxaca, Mexico
Operating Hours: 9AM-10PM, Tue-Sun (closed Mondays)
What to Order: Antojitos
15. Terraza Istmo
Terraza Istmo is another great rooftop bar with reasonable prices in Oaxaca. After moving to the Centro area to be closer to the El Dia de los Muertos festivities, we spent every night enjoying drinks at this rooftop bar located just a couple of blocks east of Basilica de Nuestra Señora de la Soledad.
Like El Son Istmeño (#9), Terraza Istmo specializes in traditional Mexican dishes from the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, like these tasty garnachas.
I don’t know what this dish is called but the table next to us ordered it so I asked for it too. According to our server, it’s a type of Istmeño fish spread made with spices and other ingredients. Eaten with toasted tortillas, it’s absolutely delicious.
I don’t remember the exact prices but the beers and cocktails at Terraza Istmo are fairly priced as well.
What you’re looking at below is a michelada, a traditional Mexican drink made with beer, lime juice, chili peppers, and spices. One thing you’ll notice in Mexico is that they put lime juice on everything.
A michelada for me, a cocktail for the lady.
Terraza Istmo is located along Av. Jose Maria Morelos, not too far from Basílica de Nuestra Señora de la Soledad.
This is the view from Terraza Istmo. Many parades went through here during El Dia de los Muertos.
Address: Av. José María Morelos 400, RUTA INDEPENDENCIA, Centro, 68000 Oaxaca de Juárez, Oaxaca, Mexico
Operating Hours: 1:30-10PM, Tue-Sun (closed Mondays)
What to Order: Garnachas, Istmeño dishes, cocktails
To help you navigate to these restaurants in Oaxaca, I’ve pinned them all on the map below. Click on the link for a live version of the map.
FINAL THOUGHTS ON THE BEST RESTAURANTS IN OAXACA CITY
The traditional food in Oaxaca is some of the best in Mexico, but did you know that the state is celebrated for its coffee and mezcal as well? Oaxaca produces the counry’s best coffee beans and over 70% of its mezcal. You can order mezcal cocktails at any restaurant but I highly recommend doing mezcal tastings at a bar and/or joining a mezcal tour.
Restaurants like Casa Oaxaca, Alfonsina, and Tierra del Sol are great, but to reiterate and echo the sentiment of many Oaxaqueños and non-local foodies, you don’t need to go to fine dining restaurants to experience great food in Oaxaca.
In my opinion, the best restaurants in Oaxaca are run by Oaxacan women who’ve been making the same dish for decades. Making great food is in their genes.
One dining concept that looks super interesting but we haven’t done yet is La Cocina de Humo. Similar to Alfonsina, it’s basically a degustation experience with a menu that changes almost daily. Looking at the photos on the La Cocina de Humo website, the venue looks interesting as well so people looking for less traditional dining experiences may want to look into that.
Whatever your cup of tea may be – whether it be fondas, street food stalls, or gourmet restaurants – Oaxaca has you covered. With this list of the best restaurants in Oaxaca, I hope we do too.
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