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OAXACA, MEXICO

Where to eat in Oaxaca City
by Ron Mader

OAXACA FOOD WIKI

Barriga llena, corazón contento
(A full stomach, a happy heart)
- Dichos

Carmen y Lucia, Mercado Sanchez Pascuas @ Oaxaca 04.2012

FLICKR ALBUM: Where to eat in Oaxaca City


With good reason the cuisine is famous. Oaxaca treats food with a special reverence. Visit any market and you'll see an abundance of tasty specialties you won't find elsewhere in the world and often nowhere else in Mexico!

What to order? For those not familiar with the cuisine, order the Botana Oaxaqueña. This is a crowd-pleasing appetizer plate with a tasty mix of traditional delicacies, including thin strips of grilled beef (tasajo) and pork (cecina), sausage links (chorizo) and several kinds of cheese, including queso and quesillo. There may be tamales, chiles rellenos and memelas. Grasshoppers are often served on the side. Buen provecho!

FEATURES

new Chapulines = Grasshoppers
new Cooking Classes
new Ladies with a Comal: Empanadas, Memelas, Tlayudas and Quesadillas
new Tamale Hunter


ESSENTIALS

Caldo de Piedra
Kilometer 11.9 heading toward Santa Maria el Tule
Caldo de Piedra is run by the Gauchupin family from San Felipe Usila. The palapa-style restaurant is located on the north side of the highway, kilometer 11.9 heading to Tule from Oaxaca City. The restaurant serves Chinanteco cuisine, including the famous Caldo de Piedra, literally 'stone soup' made with fish, shrimp and a few fire-hot stones. The dish is individually prepared -- ideal for those who do not want shrimp, the ingredient is simply left out -- and visitors are invited to watch the process.

Comala
(Photo) (Wiki)
Allende #109
- Who can resist a restaurant named for a town in a Mexican novel? Attentive and friendly service and tasty lunch specials in a cozy locale one block west of Santo Domingo Church. Seafood specials for lunch on Tuesdays with fresh fish purchased that morning at the Central de Abasto(s). Bonus points for the fully functional bar and tasty comida corrida. Wireless internet. (Flickr)

Sanchez Pascuas Market
Located north of Quetzacoatl Street between Porfirio Díaz and Tincoco y Palacios
- There are a number of informal restaurants (comedores) which serve all of the traditional favorites, including several varieties of mole. The yummiest tamales are from Tamales Cande on the west side of the market. Market Profile


FAVORITE PLACE TO GET BREAD BEFORE 7AM

Bamby
Garcia Vigil #201
- The bakery is open Monday-Saturday from 6am-9pm.

FAVORITE PLACE TO EAT ISTMO CUISINE

Zandunga (Photo)
Jesus Carranza #105 and Garcia Vigil
- Istmo-styled food is served at this restaurant open 1pm-11pm Monday-Saturday. One block west of Santo Domingo. Excellent hot chocolate!

Yu Ne Nisa (Photo)
Amapolas #1425, Colonia Reforma
-
Istmo-styled food is the specialty. Featured dishes include Dry Shrimp Mole (Mole de Camaron Seco).

OLDEST RESTAURANT AT LABASTIDA PARK

El Topil
Plazuela Labastida #104-B
- Traditional Oaxacan cuisine has been served since 1977 at this popular restaurant on the south side of Labastida Park. Owner Petra Diaz serves some of the best food in the country.

FAVORITE PLACE FOR INNOVATIVE MENUS

La Biznaga
Garcia Vigil #512, 516-1800
- 'Cocina mestiza' and open daily 1pm-11pm.

FAVORITE PLACE FOR A PIEDRAZO

Refresqueria El Posito
Cuauhtemoc #101, across from the Trinidad de las Huertas Church
- Natural fruit juices and piedrazos

FAVORITE PLACE FOR TEA

Mandala
Xólotl #118
- Intimate locale in front of the Cruz de la Piedra and the Arquitos. Hours vary.

www.flickr.com

COFFEE

Café Los Cuiles
Antonio Labastida #115, Plaza Las Virgenes
- Los Cuiles boasts great coffee and wireless internet. Located on the north side of Labastida Park. Website

Xiguela
Hidalgo #105, 132-9121, Colonia Jalatlaco (photos)

Café Gecko
5 de Mayo #412, corner of Constitución
- Across from the southern side of Santo Domingo, pleasant patio and great coffee. Wheelchair and bike-friendly!

Nuevo Mundo
Bravo #206
- Coffee! Website

Café Brújula
Garcia Vigil #409-D
- Great coffee and wireless internet. Try the sugar and lemon cookies, mmmm! Look for the compass (brújula). Flickr

La Antigua
Trujano #500
- Tasty coffee from Pluma Hidalgo

Los Molinos
Reforma #401
- Great coffee and wireless internet.

MORE

La Olla
Reforma #402-1, 516-6668
- Fresh food and wonderful meals ... just two blocks northeast of Santo Domingo. Fine salads and tasty comida corrida.

El Quinque
Macedonio Alcalá #901
- Veggie lasagna and great salads! Very good vibe! wiki

El Escapulario (Photo)
García Vigil #617
Half-block north of Casa Juárez Museum

- Inexpensive meals from breakfast to dinner. Great view of the Sierra and excellent moles.

Los Danzantes (Photo)
Macedonio Alcalá #403, 501-1184
- Contemporary Mexican cuisine in a beautiful enclosed patio. Website

Casa Oaxaca
Constitución #104-A
Website

Casa María Lombardo
Abasolo #304
- Wood fire grill, great pizzas and salads. Best pizza - the one with pine nuts.

María Bonita
Alcalá 706-B, 2 blocks north of Santo Domingo
- Grasshopper-filled chile rellenos and other traditional Oaxacan cuisine.

Mezzaluna
Ignacio Allende #113, 1 block west of Santo Domingo
-
Yummy ravioli and tasty pizzas from a wood-fired oven. Tasty treat recommendation - La piedina.

Tacambaro
Universidad #106, Colonia Trinidad de las Huertas
- Carnitas Michoacánas.

Café Royal
Garcia Vigil #403
- French-inspired dishes include rabbit in mustard sauce and chicken in cordon bleu.

La Vascona
Independencia #907
- Family-owned bakery and coffeeshop

El Buen Gourmet
Independencia #1104
- Clean restaurant with a variety of Mexican dishes. Three blocks south of La Merced Church.

Guelaguetza
5 de Mayo #318, Colonia Jalatlaco
- Charming comedor in the heart of the Jalatlaco neighborhood

Marco Polo
Pino Suárez #806, east side of Llano Park
- Great sea food and excellent breakfasts, open 8am-1030pm. Closed Tuesdays

Casona la Llano
West side of Llano Park
- Elegant restaurant and small hotel

Restaurante El Asador Vasco
Portal De Flores #10, West side of the Zócalo Website

Terra Nova
East side of the Zócalo
- There are several sections to this restaurant, including a ground-floor café and an upstairs restaurant. The complex sports an indoor children's playground, Terralandia. Recommended - Puntas de Filete Albañil.

COLONIA REFORMA

Itanoni (Photo)
Belisario Dominquez #512, 513-9223

Naturel
Netzahualcoyotl #312

Tacos Baja Sur
Amapolas #1206
- Fish tacos, Baja California style!

Yu Ne Nisa (Photo)
Amapolas #1425

La Teca
Violeta #200, 515-0563

Restaurante Espadas Carioca
Privada De Gardenias #200


MARKETS

Sanchez Pascuas Market
Located north of Quetzacoatl Street between Porfirio Díaz and Tincoco y Palacios
- There are a number of informal restaurants (comedores) which serve all of the traditional favorites, including several varieties of mole. The best tamales are available from Tamales Cande on the west side of the market. Market Profile

Benito Juárez Market
Between 20 de Noviembre and Flores Magón
- This market is conveniently located south of the Zócalo and is one of the oldest markets in the country. If you care to try the fruit-flavored drinks (aguas), the most famous stand is Casilda's (#30 and 31), one of the original stalls when the market opened in 1800. Market Profile

La Merced Market
On Insurgentes between Morelos and Murguía
- Excellent food! Visit Antojitos Regionales La Güerita for tasty huitlachoche and cochinita pibil. Market Profile

Kiosko
Center of the Zócalo
- Under the bandstand (kiosko) are a number of market comedores with tasty tortas. Market Profile


COOKING CLASSES

Eager to learn the art of Oaxacan cooking? It's easy to arrange hands-on cooking classes! In Oaxaca City, check out Casa de los Sabores. Out of town check out Seasons of my Heart Cooking School in San Lorenzo Cacaotepec, Etla.

If you want classes from locals en español, there are plenty of options, many of which are incorporated into Spanish education programs from the language schools. What's missing (so far) are classes taught in Spanish. They can be arranged on site, but it's hard to recommend particular cooks willing to teach personalized classes.

www.flickr.com

DELIVERY (SERVICIO A DOMICILIO)

Chachos
513-8775
- Local chain of restaurants featuring Mexican sandwiches and other favorites. Tortas y algo más

Pizza Rústica
- Local chain of Italian restaurants with some of the best pizza in the country. A local fave is called the poblano with Oaxacan sausage, green pepper and corn. A vegetarian option is called simply La Rústica and is highly recommended.


VEGETARIANS

La Casa del Tío Guero
García Vigil #715. Block south of Arquitos
- Daily specials and tasty vegetarian dishes

La Flor de Loto
Morelos #509. Across from the Casa de la Ciudad Museum
- A very veggie favorite. The lunchtime comida corrida is excellent.

Manantial Vegetariano
Tinoco y Palacios #303
- Tasty meals and often a buffet service

Pizza Rústica
- Local chain of Italian restaurants with some of the best pizza in the country. The vegetarian option is the house specialty, La Rústica.

Gaia
Antonio Labastida #115, Plaza Las Virgenes
- Great salads. Located on the north side of Labastida Park.

GRASSHOPPER HUNTING

For those who wish to try grasshoppers, there are plenty of options. Fresh batches of the bug are for sale at markets, including Benito Juárez and Abasto(s).

Dining options include the Sopa de Chapulines at Los Danzantes, chiles rellenos (stuffed with grasshoppers) at María Bonita and the traditional chapulines, guacamole and tortillas at Del Jardin on the Zócalo. Outside of town the restaurant at the Monte Albán museum boasts a special dish called 'Nido de Grillas.'

TAMALE HUNTING

Many of the best tamales are sold by the tamale-makers themselves a few hours a day. Among our favorite places to go tamale hunting:

Santo Domingo, southeast corner, Monday-Friday, 8am-1030am
Conzatti Park, northwest corner, Monday-Friday, 8am-1030am

There's a mobile cart often seen on Alcalá whose motto is 'Desayuno Ejuctivo.' Loosen your tie and eat a tamale!

LADIES WITH A COMAL

Fire-hot empanadas, memelas and quesadillas are also served on the street. Typically memelas and empanadas are morning foods. Tlayudas are served in the morning but are typically an afternoon and evening dish. Our favorites:

Empanadas Carmen, Calle Carranza on the north side of Carmen Alto Church, Monday-Friday, 6pm-1030pm.

AIRPORT

The restaurant at the Oaxaca airport is one of the best of its kind. Pitchers of fresh juices are displayed at the entrance and meat eaters are rewarded by the tasajo dish served in a salsa made from three chilis - arbol, pasilla and guajillo. Mmmmm!

NEARBY

INDIGENOUS FOOD ROUTE: CHINANTECO CUISINE - Caldo de Piedra is run by the Gauchupin family from San Felipe Usila. The palapa-style restaurant is located on the north side of the highway, kilometer 11.9 heading to Tule from Oaxaca City. The restaurant serves Chinanteco cuisine, including the famous Caldo de Piedra, literally 'stone soup' made with fish, shrimp and a few fire-hot stones. The dish is individually prepared -- ideal for those who cannot consume shrimp, the ingredient is simply left out -- and visitors are invited to watch the process. (Photos)

Other nearby restaurants include Hacienda San Agustin and La Escondida.

DINING TIMES

Breakfast hours are generally 8-10 in the morning, lunch 2-4 in the afternoon and dinners often don't begin until 8 in the evening.


AUTHOR

Ron Mader is the responsible travel correspondent for Transitions Abroad and host of the award-winning Planeta.com website.


FEATURES

g What to eat in Oaxaca
g A Few Words about Vegetarian Food
g Recipes

FLICKR

g Recetario de Doña Yaya
g Where to eat
ONLINE FLICKR

WIKI

g Oaxaca Food
g Menu Spanish
g Tamales
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VIDEOS

g 1st Aniversario - Tianguis Ecologico La Estacion
g Caldo de Piedra
g Zapoteco de la Costa
VIDEO


THINK SMART, TRAVEL SLOW

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