Best Oaxaca Restaurants

Where to eat in Oaxaca City

Oaxaca is known for its distinctive cuisine, that is characterized by flavorful moles, fresh herbs, quesillo and mezcal. Many people come to Oaxaca just for the food, though of course they also enjoy the fascinating archaeological sites, colorful fiestas and beautiful handicrafts. Here are some of the best places to try Oaxacan food, both traditional and innovative.

Read more about Oaxacan food.

01 of 09

Casa Oaxaca

Casa Oaxaca
© Suzanne Barbezat
Calle de Manuel García Vigil 407, RUTA INDEPENDENCIA, Centro, 68000 Oaxaca, Oax., Mexico
+52 951 514 4173

Chef Alejandro Ruiz Olmeda serves up superb modern Mexican cuisine. This is Oaxaca's priciest restaurant, but it's worth the expense. If you'll be celebrating a special occasion in Oaxaca, this is the place for it. Make reservations in advance, and if the weather's fine (as it usually is in Oaxaca), ask for a spot on the terrace.

02 of 09

La Olla

La Olla Oaxaca
Courtesy La Olla
Reforma 402, Centro, 68000 Oaxaca, Oax., Mexico
+52 951 516 6668

This casually elegant restaurant-gallery offers a varied menu based on locally sourced fresh ingredients and displays work by local artists. Chef Pilar Cabrera, who also offers cooking classes through Casa de los Sabores, is a mainstay of the Oaxacan food scene and you can sample her creations here.

03 of 09

Los Pacos

Avenida Belisario Domínguez 108, Reforma, 68050 Oaxaca, Oax., Mexico
+52 951 515 3573

Moles are the specialty at Los Pacos. Be sure to ask for the mole sampler so you can try all of Oaxaca's seven moles, then you can choose the one you like best for your main course. There are two locations, one in the Centro and the other in Colonia Reforma - both are good but some swear the Colonia Reforma location is better.

04 of 09


Zandunga restaurant in Oaxaca
Courtesy Zandunga
Calle de Manuel García Vigil 512-E, RUTA INDEPENDENCIA, Centro, 68000 Oaxaca, Oax., Mexico
+52 951 516 2265

Featuring food from the Isthmus of Tehuantepec region of Oaxaca state, this restaurant has a contemporary decor with the color and some Istmeño style. Don't miss the display on the different types of corn at the back, near the kitchen. Try the garnachas, Istmeño style snacks, cochito horneado (baked pork) and the molotes de plátano (plantain fritters served with cream and fresh cheese). The restaurant is located on Garcia Vigil just next door to La Biznaga.

Continue to 5 of 9 below.
05 of 09


Calle de Manuel García Vigil 105, RUTA INDEPENDENCIA, Centro, 68000 Oaxaca, Oax., Mexico
+52 951 516 3285

Enjoy impeccable service and excellent food in an elegant setting. Take your pick of dining rooms - my favorite is the courtyard with a fountain. The menu lists regional dishes as well as a variety of steaks and seafood, but I enjoyed the huitlacoche crepes in poblano sauce.

06 of 09

Los Danzantes

Calle Macedonio Alcalá 403, RUTA INDEPENDENCIA, Centro, 68000 Oaxaca, Oax., Mexico
+52 951 501 1187
Casual Restaurants

Set in the back courtyard of the same building as Oro de Monte Alban, the gold jewelery store, Los Danzantes' distinctive decor has high adobe walls and a reflecting pool along the length of one wall. Here you'll find traditional ingredients prepared in creative, and often delightful ways. Try the "cascada de chocolate" for dessert (if you're in a hurry, order it ahead of time to avoid a long wait). They also serve a house mezcal, which is worth a try, either striaght or in one of their signature cocktails.

07 of 09

El Refectorio

5 de Mayo 300, RUTA INDEPENDENCIA, Centro, 68000 Oaxaca, Oax., Mexico
+52 951 501 6100

The restaurant of the Quinta Real hotel, El Refectorio is a great place to try Oaxacan cuisine, but there are also international offerings on the menu. The rear wall of the main dining room is studded with earthenware pots that were uncovered during the 16th Century building's restoration. The buffet breakfast is unmatched in Oaxaca.

08 of 09

La Casa de la Abuela

Avenida Miguel Hidalgo 616, Centro, 68000 Oaxaca, Oax., Mexico
+52 951 516 3544

Overlooking Oaxaca's vibrant Zocalo, La Casa de la Abuela serves traditional Oaxacan cuisine at its best. Get a seat by the window to enjoy the view while you dine.

Continue to 9 of 9 below.
09 of 09

La Biznaga

Gral. Manuel García Vigil 512, Centro, 68000 Oaxaca, Oax., Mexico
+52 951 516 1800

This relaxed but trendy restaurant serves fusion cuisine, which they call "cocina mestiza." The menu is posted on a blackboard and features novel combinations, such as guava mole. For starters, try the pastry cones stuffed with jamaica (hibiscus flower). The extensive drinks menu includes imported and local artesanal beers and a variety of mezcals, and they often have pulque as well.

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Where to eat in Oaxaca city: 9 recommended restaurants