If you watched my Oaxaca stories, or even my Oaxaca vlog you know how much I loved it. It was such a magical city, that gave me so much knowledge and appreciation for Mexican Culture. I learned an immense amount of information about indigenous people, their traditions, different foods, Mezcal, artisans and so much more that make up the epitome of Mexico. It has been one of my favorite places that I have visited thus far, and the feeling this city gave me, will forever be in my heart. I highly encourage everyone to visit and add to your bucket list.
Lets start off on where I stayed. I highly recommend NanaVida Hotel.
It was super close to everything, and had the most exceptional customer service. As soon as you check in they give you different artisanal bar soaps to choose from for you to have during your stay. I chose coffee, of course and I actually still have the soap in my bathroom! There are only 13 rooms which makes it a boutique hotel with so much character.
They serve complimentary coffee and pan de dulce in the mornings but you can also have breakfast there for about $5. My favorite thing was their complimentary Mezcal tasting that I enjoyed in their patio!
They also are super adamant about taking covid precautions. They sanitize the rooms every single day of your stay when they clean which is super nice.
Here are my top food recs for anyone visiting!
Boulenc: This place is pretty popular so make sure to get there early or you WILL have to wait in line. The aesthetics of this place were so cool, almost ruin like which I thought was fun. This bakery and restaurant had the best coffee I had in Oaxaca, plus really amazing pastries which they are known for. They are also vegan friendly which is very important. Definitely a MUST spot to checkout for breakfast or grab a quick pastry and coffee.
Pan:am: This place was recommended to me by my hotel. It was about a 5 min walk from me so I decided to go check it out. I ordered the Croque Monseiur which was one of their specialties and it was super filling! They have more of a simple menu but also provide some traditional dishes and yummy pastries.
La Quince Letras: This was an award winning restaurant for several years and I absolutely loved it for many reasons. One, the portions are really big and for a great price. The cafe de olla was literally the size of a bowl. Also they had super traditional Oaxacan dishes like Tamales, and even chorizo and egg enchiladas that were to die for. Honestly, everything about this place is great including the decor and aesthetics.
Colectivo Xa’aga: From event planners to restaurateurs, the women that opened this place up have community as the forefront of their business. This little patio located inside the Choperia is a must. If not for breakfast, definitely for the most amazing clarified margarita I’ve had. They have the coolest cocktails, even one with a bone marrow reduction. Wild but crazy cool.
We really didnt have lunch, more like snacks throughout the day with drinks.
If you do need a spot to take a break but is more casual checkout this food hall! My favorite stall was La Rambla, the smoked marlin tacos were to die for! Really cool spot to take a break, enjoy some drinks and relax.
La Cosecha: This organic market is next to Cardenal Venue and its a great smaller Mercado thats out in the open. I loved the outside seating, and that we could still get all the Oaxacan classics with a more curated feel.
These tours are a MUST. You will not have as much fun in Oaxaca without taking both of these tours, I can guarantee you that.
Coyote Aventuras: They have many different tours to choose from but what I loved about them, is that they mix some adventure, history, culture, and food. We took a bike tour throughout the agave and corn fields and just being surrounded by nature like that was absolutely breathtaking.
We did a lot on this tour. We started with breakfast at Expendio Tradition and then headed to Teotitlan Del Valle and as you can see in my Oaxaca Vlog.
In this little town we visited Casa Don Taurino where we learned about Textiles, the Agave Fields where we had a Mezcal Tasting and lunch, and then visited a Mezcal Production house where we had even more Mezcal.
We made a few stops to also visit some churches and learn more about Teotitlan and how the people there lived. This day tour is 100% worth it and it really made my trip in Oaxaca. These crops are actually harvested and served at Expendio Tradicion.
Thread Caravan: In this tour we visit Mujeres Del Barro Rojo for a pottery class.
This was also another amazing experience that I will never forget. We didnt actually make any pottery, we just learned about it and watched how things are made.
We learned so much from Macrina Mateo Martinez and how she’s been doing pottery since she was a little despite her hate for it when she was young. She showed us her tools, all which are recycled like used leather, broken pottery, corn, a basketball, and a stone to make her pottery. It was remarkable to see they way she made her pottery without a spinning wheel.
Even though she was forced to do pottery from her mom, she changed the game and the way they would sell pottery later on. She was one of the first to leave her town and sell outside in bigger cities. She is now featured in a New York Times article, featured in countless books and stories and even was at the MOMA. Her story was incredible and you will just have to visit her to be inspired. At the end of her class, we had lunch at her home Macrina and her daughter-in-laws cooked for us and that was an honor in itself.
You can also take amazing pottery with you at the end. I spent over $100 worth because I wanted to take everything after knowing all the hard labor that went into it.
Really thankful for this experience and for the knowledge and appreciation I now have for pottery and indigenous people.
These two spots are pretty fancy and will be on every Oaxaca recommendation you will get. I decided to try them out to see if they were truly worth it. Here are my thoughts.
Casa Oaxaca: So this is the #1 recommended restaurant in Oaxaca. Although, it is award winning and the dishes are exquisitely made, I dont know that I would go again. Also the rooftop here is not as cute as the ones in front of the church.
It is very good, but definitely fine dining so make sure you know that before going. The octopus was not my favorite, but one of the things that is cool to order is the insect tostada! Very rare and different. Recommend to go earlier in the evening before it gets dark.
Pitiona: This is the new and hip rooftop restaurant to checkout but beware, you must make a reservation if you want to be able to enjoy it. I went here as a last minute decision and the food was amazing. I definitely preferred it over Casa Oaxaca. Although, I was unable to sit at the rooftop I could see it from across the Hotel Amantes rooftop and looked super cute and romantic. 100% recommend to go here.
Hotel Amantes: This is the new rooftop in town and you better not go to Praga! This rooftop is right by it and higher up so it has a way better view of the church! Perfect for pictures. Also, the aesthetics and food was so good! I went to dinner there one night and had a great time. I also went again during the day and had cocktails and a few apps! It was definitely my favorite rooftop and the best part is that they have a hot tub in the middle of the rooftop which is part of the hotel.
Places to go during the day:
Mayordomo: For a sweet pick me up chocolate drink definitely go here. There are several locations all around Oaxaca, so it is not hard to miss. I got a cold chocolate milk and it was so good! The chocolate here is 100% natural and you can even see the cocoa beans at the location near the Mercado de Artesanias. I even took some chocolate bars to make hot cocoa back at home. So good!
Mercado De Artesanias: If you want to buy some artisanal items and explore you can stop by this Mercado, however, it wasn’t my favorite and you can find cuter things on the streets and in the local towns. I did buy a bag and a little top here for my friend.
Mercado 20 De Nov: MUST MUST MUST. This is the cleanest Mercado I’ve ever been to and had so many food stalls to choose from! We ate here and I absolutely loved it. You get that authentic food from Oaxaca at a great price!
Mercado Benito Juarez: Outside this mercado there are tons of bags, and cute items to buy. I would highly suggest to wait till you’re here to get all your goodies! There are tons of Mezcal stalls, all sorts of non-perishable food items and basically everything you would want to take home.
Santo Domingo Church: Stop by the church, and then head to many of the restaurants around there including all the rooftops. There are also vendors that you can shop from.
Quinta Real: Although the staff was kinda rude because we couldnt take pictures unless we ate there this spot is a must visit. It is super photo worthy! I would suggest just getting a drink and keep it walking because the food was not good at all.
Cardenal Venue: If you are thinking about getting married in Oaxaca City, or are in need of a venue for a photoshoot this is the place.
Mezcal Tasting: After you go to your Coyote Aventuras Tour you must have a chef tasting one night at Expendio Tradicion. They have a little private room in the back that is perfect for an intimate walkthrough of Mezcales and a chef prepared dinner course.
La Chinita Tlayudas: MUST, they were featured on Netflix Latin Street Foods. I do recommend to take a taxi because, one, it’s far, and two, since they set up at 9pm the streets to get there are a little dangerous. However, you must have their food. They are a street vendor in a dark street but in the corner you will be able to see them and tons of people ready to eat their tlayudas. BRING CASH.
Let me know if you guys have any other questions or concerns! Also here is my vlog where you can see the tours and things we did.