In the center of Oaxaca you will find many restaurants in a wide range of prices where you can grab a cup of coffee and a snack, where you might have your comida during our afternoon breaks, or where you might dine out in the evenings. Half the fun is discovering your own treasures, but here are some recommendations:
Santo Sabor (Murguía 510), near Juárez — a favorite of the Clandestine Oaxaca Appreciation Society (on FB). The SS Facebook page has a map: https://www.facebook.com/ssabor This will be convenient from San Pablo. They had a comida of multiple courses for $60 pesos in 2014.
Zicanda (García Vigil 409A) — rated 18 out of 248 Oaxacan restaurants by TripAdvisor and highly recommended by the group from 2014. The chef’s father is Mixtec.
Jaguar Yuu Cafe (Murguía 202) — is not far from our classroom spaces. Seems to have a range of espresso coffees and some good crepes and other light meals, with a very low price range. Here’s the site on TripAdvisor.
Café Bistrot Epicuro (Vicente Guerrero 319) — rated first among 189 restaurants in Oaxaca by TripAdvisor in 2013. They offer pizza and pasta, along with meat and seafood. Largely Italian food; fine dining. Here’s an image from TripAdvisor. Here’s the website. NEH Summer Scholar Natan (2014) recommends the eggplant. Says it was an outstanding Italian food experience.
Mezquite (García Vigil 601A) — becoming a favorite of 2014 NEH Summer Scholars. A good place to try Oaxacan dishes. Fish tacos and ceviche are often mentioned. Ranked #41 of 243 Oaxacan restaurants in TripAdvisor.
Mexita (Martires de Tacubaya 314) — another largely Italian food restaurant. Indoor and outdoor dining. Only reviewed by 36 people but ranked #2 among 189 restaurants in Oaxaca in 2013 in TripAdvisor. Said to have great pizza.
Los Danzantes (Alcalá 403-4) — amazing setting and decor; can be expensive, but try the “Tacos de Pato” (duck taco appetizer — enough for a meal); click here for TripAdvisor reviews. Ranked #3 of the 189 restaurants in Oaxaca in 2013.
La Catedral (Calle García Vigil 105) — also fairly close to the zócalo. Fine dining, but not outrageously expensive; pretty patio; ranked #5 among 189 restaurants in Oaxaca in 2013 in TripAdvisor
La Olla (Calle Reforma 402, Mon-Sat, 8 AM – 10 PM; live music on Friday and Saturday nights, 8 – 10 PM, in the room upstairs); rated #7 of 189 restaurants in Oaxaca (click here for TripAdvisor reviews). Fairly economical. Good guacamole and tlayudas. See this online image of a delicious appetizer (botana) plate. Very convenient location to our classroom at San Pablo.
Café Café (Calle M. Bravo #219) has great coffee and a quiet environment. Aside from coffee, this place gets praise for its Italian chocolate, chai lattes, and good breakfasts.
Lobo Azul (Calle Armenta y López #120) had a fun environment and good breakfasts. (CLOSED IN 2016) Pizza in the evenings. This street is called Cinco de Mayo for a number of blocks just south of the Santo Domingo Cultural Center, and then it changes to Armenta y López south of Independencia. Service can be mixed. Political environment with interesting art and posters on the walls, and dishes are named after famous revolutionary figures, such as Comandanta Ramona of Chiapas.
Café Brújula (Calle Macedonio Alcalá #104) offers great coffee and snacks, with free wifi. Rated #9 out of 189 restaurants in Oaxaca in 2013.
El Quinqué (corner of Alcalá and Olivera) — a great place for an economical, home-cooked, delicious, healthy comida. Try the fish, steak, chicken breast dishes, etc. The home fries are so great! Hamburgers like you might make at home in the US. A good value. Generous portions. Rated #11 of 189 restaurants in Oaxaca in 2013.
Café Los Cuiles (just off Alcalá, opposite the little square (“La Bastida”) with the fountain on Abasolo, in the middle of the block) — this little non-profit café has great prices, great food (aimed at the youthful, international crowd), colorful art, and wireless Internet. A light meal can typically cost the equivalent of about $6 USD. Rated #19 of 189 restaurants in Oaxaca in 2013. Here’s their website
Casa Panchita (corner of Alcalá and Humboldt, north of Santo Domingo a couple of blocks); this modest, economical comedor offers a very reasonable, safe, healthy meal in the afternoon; servings are modest in size. A meal for the equivalent of about $5 USD.
La Biznaga (García Vigil 512) — named for a wonderful, short round cactus. Fun, local dishes ordered from large blackboards; great for having a cocktail and relaxing with friends. Don’t go here if you are in a hurry, but if you order the “menú del día” you might be happily surprised how much more quickly the courses are delivered.
Hostería Alcalá (Alcalá 307, 8:30 AM – 11 PM daily) — pretty setting, off the street, sometimes serenaded by musicians; try the Pollo Almendrado (it’s a chicken with a delicious and unusual mole made from ground almonds).
Café Brújula, now across from Santo Domingo (although there are other locations), this is a bakery and coffee shop — click here for TripAdvisor reviews — this café is very popular with the young crowd and the international set.
Pan & Co., used to have a location about a block west from the Santo Domingo cultural center, but it is now on Belisario Domínguez in the Reforma neighborhood. This is a bakery with absolutely great chocolate filled croissants, among other delicious pastries, although not cheap. A favorite of the Summer Institute staff, such as our Master Teacher Ron Lancaster!
La Nueva Babel (Porfirio Díaz near Matamoros) — a low-key night club sometimes with live music and political events, kind of folkloric.
El Vasco Asador, on the zócalo, upstairs, in the southwest corner — has delicious Basque food and live music. Fun for a splurge. (CLOSED IN SUMMER 2016)
Hotel Casa Vertiz‘s restaurant, Las Nubes, Reforma #404, occupies a lovely little interior courtyard and is a popular place for middle class Mexicans to go to eat brunch on weekends. Easy to reach from our classroom spaces. Here’s their website.
Marco Polo (Pino Suárez 806; every day except Tuesday; on the far side of the Llano park) — great seafood, and try the baked banana dessert with the three sauces to pour over it (mmmmmm!); see these reviews. One sits in in a pretty garden (be sure to put on insect repellent in the rainy season). The entrance is on the east side of the Llano park/square.
Many more offerings can be found in TripAdvisor — Oaxaca, restaurants.