Where are the best places to dine in this popular Mexican city? Find out here.
There are dozens of restaurants around this popular town, and most are well-suited to tourists with bottled water, napkins and other fineries. Kids will find great empanadas (pastry stuffed with meat or cheese), tortillas with grilled cheese, black bean soup, possibly rice (not typically combined with beans in Oaxaca), grilled chicken and meats, and the occasional purveyor of fast food such as burgers and hearty sandwiches on rolls. Adults and foodies of any age will want to sample the fried grasshoppers (chapulines are a local speciality) and several of the fine moles (rich sauces to complement your enchiladas, typically made from ground herbs, cocoa and other spices).
The cuisine of the region is a fascinating blend of the old tastes introduced by many indigenous tribes, and the new tastes from the constant flow of foreigners. If your kids are into juice boxes and cheez snacks, bring your own. Meals should cost US$8-12 pp on average — cash only. Below are some special favorites.
Casa Oaxaca: Restaurant Alejandro
Calle Garcia Vigil 407
Located in Oaxaca’s “art hotel,” this fancy restaurant has dining indoors or outdoors on the covered patio. The chef cooks fresh seafood and other in-season dishes by request. All three meals of the day are represented here, with breads, pastries, and organic coffees at breakfast time.
Everything about this Oaxacan restaurant is contemporary, from the food, to the artwork on the walls, to the soft background music. Specialties include the seven Oaxacan moles and many kinds of chiles rellenos (stuffed peppers).
Calle 5 Cinco de Mayo 300
Located in the beautiful hotel Camino Real, El Refectorio is known for its big buffets (especially Sunday brunch) and weekend entertainment (including mariachi music on Saturday evenings).
Hacienda San Agustin/La Caballeriza
East of Oaxaca city, off the road to Milta
This friendly lunch place on the outskirts of town offers two sections Ã‚Ã‚Ã‚Ã‚Ã‚? Oaxacan buffet in the Hacienda and grilled meat and appetizers in La Caballeriza. Live music and a playground are kid-friendly factors.
La Casa de la Abuela
Av. Hidalgo 616, Oaxaca
A stylish and traditional Mexican place, this upstairs, balconied eatery overlooks the Zocalo and Alameda. Regional Oaxacan specialties include fried grasshoppers (take a toothpick), tlayuda tortillas, delicious soups and empanadas. It’s busy and touristy, very clean and presentable, worth the wait.
Calle Reforma 402
Located two blocks from Santo Domingo, this establishment works well for the health-conscious with its big salads, juice drinks, and vegetarian selections. A good deal at midday is the fixed-price lunch menu.
M. Alcala, 706
An FTF family traveling with 6-year-old twins found this neat little place to be the most family-friendly eatery in the center of town. Though they described it as ‘a hole in the wall,’ they found it clean, a bargain, and the source of many great meals.
Main Street of TeotitlÃ¡n del Valle.
A pleasant place to stop in this village of rug weavers. It’s known locally as a country inn where you dine in a very pretty courtyard decorated with pottery and rugs which are for sale. The limited menu of daily specials at our visit included fresh-squeezed orange juice, squash soup, quesadillas made with white Oaxacan cheese, grilled chicken and rice. The service, as everywhere, was slow but gracious.
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