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8 Favorite Places to eat in Oaxaca City, Mexico

Oaxaca is known as the land of mole and truly has some of the best food I’ve ever eaten. From the finest dining experiences to brilliantly executed street food, plus a dearth of rooftops to enjoy your meals, it’s a must visit place for foodies. I spent 5 days in Oaxaca eating (and drinking!) and just scratched the surface of the culinary scene. Here are my eight favorite places to eat in Oaxaca City (so far). P.S. I happened to be in Oaxaca City during the culinary event Baja Flavors and highly recommend this chef collaboration!

1. Tierra del sol


Tierra del Sol is one of my favorite rooftop restaurants and breakfast spots in Oaxaca City with Chef Olga Cabrera at the helm. I spent almost every morning here drinking atole and eating pastries in their warm and inviting lower level and many nights on the rooftop enjoying mezcal and mole with a view. Their DIY salsa is super fun plus the yellow mole with pork is to die for.

2. La Casa Del Tio Guero

C. de Manuel García Vigil 715

You don’t want to miss the chile en nogada at this great rooftop spot. Chiles en nogada is a traditional Mexican dish made of stuffed poblano peppers with a sweet and savory meat filling and walnut-cream sauce.  It’s typically topped with pomegranate seeds, reflecting the colors of the Mexican flag. At La Casa del Tio Guero , the execution is perfection.

3. mercado 20 de noviembre

20 de Noviembre 512, OAX_RE_BENITO JUAREZ

A foodie’s paradise! This market is incredible with stall after stall of food options, from grilled meats, to soups and moles, baked goods, fresh juices and literally anything and everything. The market can feel overwhelming, but if you go with an open mind and an appetite, you’ll love it! This is also a great place to stock up on spices and moles to take home.

4. Centro gastronomico

C. de Manuel García Vigil 610, RUTA INDEPENDENCIA

Another top place to get a taste of the range of food indigenous to the state of Oaxaca. The Centro Gastronómico de Oaxaca occupies the former convent of Carmen el Alto in the city of Oaxaca. Kiosks in an outdoor “food hall” represent the diversity of cuisine found in many well-known restaurants in the city, representing the entire state. This is a wonderful spot to go with friends and try something new!

5. ancestral

C. José López Alavez 1347

This restaurant was on my top 3 list for the brief time I spent in Oaxaca City. Absolutely incredible! Ancestral offers innovative traditional food in a beautiful garden setting founded in 2017 by Chef Miguel Mijangos, the restaurant is located in Xochimilco in the city of Oaxaca. The traditionally inspired dishes are made from locally grown products and ingredients. Don’t miss the pork belly with manchamanteles mole for dinner, or yellow mole and chicken empanadas for breakfast!

soup with grasshopper crust

6. las quince letras

C. de Mariano Abasolo 300, RUTA INDEPENDENCIA

This top restaurant opened in 1992 under the talent of chefs Celia Florián and Fidel Méndez. They opened Las Quince Letras to share regional oaxaca cuisine and as a place where the aroma of roasted chili peppers, local flavors and ingredients of local variety seduce the palate.

7. Empanadas de Carmel Alto

Jesús Carranza 102, RUTA INDEPENDENCIA

A food stand that gets rave reviews? YES. This late night street stand makes the freshest empanadas with yellow mole–calzone-like corn tortillas filled with chicken and mole amarillo–and other dishes fresh off the griddle. You will see locals and visitors at their stand after 4 pm. Empanadas de Carmen Alta has been in business over 50 years! Highly recommend!

8. Los Danzantes

C. Macedonio Alcalá 403-interior 4, RUTA INDEPENDENCIA

A gorgeous dining experience in a historic courtyard makes this place great for both food and atmosphere. At Los Danzantes they combine traditional ingredients in new ways and id driven by the Slow Food movement. Located in the heart of Oaxaca City, but just off the main road, this is a place to come relax and enjoy every delicious bite. You can’t go wrong with anything on the menu, but I loved the Shrimp Aguachile with Chintextle and the Roasted Parsnip with Chile de Árbol and Citrus Glaze, Pink Mole, Veggie Camouflage.

Experience Oaxaca on my guided women-only group trip in Sept 2024!

Want to experience more of what Oaxaca has to offer? Join me on our Culinary Vacation to the Oaxaca Sept 25-30!

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