Grab a pair of your stretchiest elastic waist pants because we are about to swan dive into the awesomeness that is the best restaurants in Oaxaca.
Because, real talk? I am a total foodie at heart. I also love Oaxaca like WHOA, have been there more times than I can count, and want to share all my secret insider tips with you.
This way, you can quickly and easily eat your way through this amazing place. You can also use my insider advice to avoid any lame tourist traps and to quickly order all of the most epic, in-house specialities from the best Oaxaca restaurants around.
So, what are you waiting for? Stop eating like a tourist and start enjoying the Oaxaca food scene like a super savvy local.
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After all, this past year has been a wild ride and I don’t want you to lose money because government regulations have changed.
Truth be told though, I’ve never traveled without travel insurance and don’t think you should either – especialy since I think we’ve all had plans drastically change because of the pandemic.
Therefore, find an insurance agency that covers travel changes related to COVID-19, like my two all-time faves World Nomads and Safety Wing. You can also read more about which policy is right for you in my full review here.
Best Hotels in Oaxaca
Not sure where to stay while checking out all the best restaurants in Oaxaca? If so then have a look at my expertly curated list of amazing hotels in Oaxaca.
Because regardless of your budget this epic list makes it easier than ever to find the ideal hotel for you.
- Santa Cecilia Hotel (budget) – This charming little hotel offers cozy rooms, impeccable service, and a nice complimentary breakfast that will fuel you up for the day ahead. It’s also well-located and all rooms come outfitted with great WiFI.
- BKL (mid-range) – This enchanting boutique hotel features well-priced rooms that are conveniently situated in the heart of the city. Guests will also love the light and bright feel of this place. Plus, the beds are super comfy and the staff are wonderfully helpful/attentive.
- Quinta Real Oaxaca (Luxury) – If you’re looking to get fancy AF while in Oaxaca then this sleek, Colonial, 4-star hotel is perfect. Not only are all the rooms here housed inside a former16th-century Dominican convent, but rooms are stunning and provide access to an amazing on-site pool.
Best Restaurants in Oaxaca
1. Los Danzantes Oaxaca
Los Danzantes is one of the insanely legendary restaurants in Oaxaca. And the overall ambiance here is fantastic!
After all, this place features semi-open-air seating which is enhanced by some super sophisticated decor.
So, from flower and candle-lined ponds with gorgeous mini waterfalls to the giant skeleton on the ridges of walls, you will find that everything here is done with an eye for detail.
And then there’s the food, which is another reason why Los Danzantes is one of the best restaurants in Oaxaca.
The plating of every dish that you order is beautiful and the flavors of their entrees are all spot on. In fact, Los Danzantes is particularly famous for its house-crafted mezcals.
You also can’t visit without trying out the Mogo Mogo which is a plantain molote stuffed with wedding stew.
Other epic things to try on the menu include the tuna ceviche on tostadas, the fish of the day, roasted cauliflower, and the goat cheese flan.
Pro Tip: There are always lines out the door for a table at Los Danzantes Oaxaca. This is especially true on holidays and on weekends.
So, if you can plan in advance, make sure to reserve a table before you visit one of the best restaurants in Oaxaca.
Address: C. Macedonio Alcalá 403-interior 4, RUTA INDEPENDENCIA, Centro, 68000 Oaxaca de Juárez, Oax., Mexico
Hours: Open daily from 1:00 pm to 10:30 pm.
Price: Entrees start at $9.55 each (195 pesos).
2. Los Pacos Oaxaca
Los Pacos is known for its good food, great service, and lovely atmosphere.
Much loved by the locals, this is a spot that few tourists wander into because it is about a 20 minutes walk from the city center.
However, if you can handle a short trek to one of the best restaurants in Oaxaca you’ll be delighted to find gorgeous tiled walls, a high sloping roof, and live music that will put you at ease the moment you step inside.
Heck, this is one of the best Oaxaca restaurants of them all that even has a playground for kids which is awesome if you want some quiet time! I mean, it really does not get better than this!
Now, if you visit Los Pacos Oaxaca, make sure to try the mole platter. Most people come to Oaxaca to try mole which is the local specialty and they go mole hopping trying out the specialty in different locations.
But, Los Pacos really does serve some of the best mole in town and almost always gets featured on lists of the top restaurants Oaxaca has to offer when it comes to mole.
And the mole serving platter gives you a chance to sample all the different varieties available and then order precisely what you love.
Therefore, if you don’t mind experimenting a bit, try the mole tongue which is definitely something different from what you would get in other spots.
Address: Av Belisario Domínguez 108, Reforma, 68050 Oaxaca de Juárez, Oax., Mexico
Hours: Open daily from 9:00 am to 7:30 pm.
Price: Entrees cost between $17.00 and $26.00 each.
3. Casa Taviche
If you are headed to Casa Taviche the get ready for a casual setting with food that is a gastronomical delight. I also quite loved the soft hues that were chosen for the decor.
Don’t get me wrong, there’s still a lot of color used to decorate Casa Tavice. But, it isn’t flashy or loud. In fact, the soft colors are pretty relaxing and calming especially when paired with all the indoor plants.
Additionally, Casa Taviche is known for its presentation when it comes to food.
So, every color, flavor, and texture is meticulously chosen to create perfect pairings every time.
And the plating here is executed to perfection. Now, intriguingly enough, the menu changes daily. But, it promises variety for loyal fans and is one of the reasons why it is one of the best restaurants in Oaxaca.
That’s why if you dine here you can’t miss the garnachas and the tlayuda con tasajo. Both are exquisite!
Plus, you can always order the menu del dia which includes a drink, soup, main course, and dessert for just $7.00!
Address: Miguel Hidalgo 1111, Centro, 68000 Oaxaca de Juárez, Oax., Mexico
Hours: Open daily from 8:00 am to 10:00 pm.
Price: The menu of the day is just $7.00.
4. Gozobi Restaurant
Gozobi may be a casual destination for food but it has been rated as one of the best restaurants in Oaxaca.
It also has a lovely rooftop sitting area with a gorgeous view of the city. Yeah, I think this is probably one of the best parts about the seating arrangement here.
Oh, and the live music certainly adds to the atmosphere and elevates your culinary experience to the next level.
Also, be prepared for uber-large portions when you are ordering at Gozobi. Even the guacamole (highly recommended!) comes in a huge bowl.
Therefore, bring your appetite or a whole lot of friends/family.
However, truth be told, the cocktails are what everyone talks about. In fact, I think that the arracheras here may well be the best you get in Mexico.
Don’t forget to try the flan de elote either. It is scrumptious!
Address: C. de Manuel García Vigil 504, RUTA INDEPENDENCIA, Centro, 68000 Oaxaca de Juárez, Oax., Mexico.
Hours: Open daily from 8:00 am to 11:00 pm.
5. La Matatena Pizzeria
La Matatena Pizzeria is the best restaurant in Oaxaca if you are craving something Italian. It’s also a lovely gallery with an in-built pizzeria.
You also gotta love the carved wooden frame doors and the high-arched roof since this place retains Mexican charm while delivering delicious Italian food!
And the thin-crust pizzas are amazing. In particuliar, try the chabela (aka black olives and mushrooms). I know it sounds pretty bland BUT La Matatena Pizzeria serves it with smoky chili sauce.
And the sauce adds a good deal of spice. Plus, you can control how much spice you want to add to your pizza which is totally awesome!
They also have vegan options on the menu. And their vegan pizza and lasagna taste absolutely delicious and are made using vegan cheese and soy chorizo options.
Address: C. de Manuel García Vigil 212, RUTA INDEPENDENCIA, Centro, 68000 Oaxaca de Juárez, Oax., Mexico
Hours: Open daily from 3:00 pm to 9:00 pm but closed on Mondays.
Price: Most entrees are under $8.00 each.
6. Tr3s 3istro Restaurant & Oyster Bar
The cool thing about Tre3s 3istro is that they offer two different kinds of vibes. See, the downstairs area is loud and vibrant and perfect if you want more of a party atmosphere.
Meanwhile, the upstairs seating area is quieter and more laid back. And this dyanmic certainly helps attract different crowds and is a really cool concept introduced by one of the top restaurants in Oaxaca.
However, Tr3s 3istro Restaurant & Oyster Bar is also known for good food. And options include a lot of well-loved dishes like chapulines, mole, and gusano de maguey.
Trust me, none of these disappoint in any way! And if you love soups then you definitely should try the cream corn and poblano soup.
It is flavorful and works as a great starter for your meal. The crab items on the menu are also super popular.
So, if you can try the crab meat salad or the crab tortillas since both are absolutely stellar.
Address: Portal Las Flores 3, OAX_RE_BENITO JUAREZ, Centro, 68000 Centro, Oax., Mexico
Hours: Open daily from 1:00 pm to 10:00 pm.
Price: Entrees start at $7.75 each.
Located right in the heart of the central district is Boulenc which also happens to be one of the best restaurants in Oaxaca.
They also have an airy, covered courtyard that features a number of wooden tables where people can chill and enjoy their meal.
Therefore, you’ll find the area constantly buzzing with talk and laughter. As a result, it is a great spot to bring a group of friends.
The chill vibe will also make you want to spend a couple of hours here at the very least as you enjoy one of the best restaurants in Oaxaca.
But, the vibe isn’t the only reason why people visit Boulenc. The food is the main highlight and includes
artisanal bread, freshly baked pastries and a selection of brunch dishes.
Although, if you’re looking for the best of the best on the menu then try the Reuben sandwich and the herb pizzas.
Address: C. Porfirio Díaz 207, RUTA INDEPENDENCIA, Centro, 68000 Oaxaca de Juárez, Oax., Mexico
Hours: Open daily from 8:30 am to 11:00 pm.
Price: Entrees are between $8.00 and $20.00 each.
Humar is one of the best rooftop restaurants in Oaxaca. And while the view may not be stunning, you will find that the ambiance and the food make up for it.
And with gorgeous gray-white flooring, a mix of metal and wood decor, and loads of indoor plants, Humar is gorgeous!
Additionally, Humar is the place that you want to be if you love seafood. So, fish tacos, seafood pasta, and battered fish are scrumptious items that you can’t miss.
Heck, you can even get some tuna sashimi here if you want!
However, you’ll find that no matter what you order in Humar, the food is flavorful and features amazing plating.
Plus, the quick and friendly service is another thing that draws people in daily! Therefore, this is a highly recommended stop while you are in the city and planning your own Oaxaca itinerary.
Address: Mariano Matamoros 501, Centro, 68000 Oaxaca de Juárez, Oax., Mexico
Hours: Open daily from 12:00 pm to 8:45 pm except on Wednesdays when they are closed.
Price: Entrees start at around $8.00 each.
9. Hierba Dulce
Hierba Dulce is a gorgeous, laid back restaurant in Oaxaca. It’s perfect if you’re looking for something with a quiet, calm and homey atmosphere.
And while Hierba Dulce is very much a vegan restaurant, you’ll find that it’s also one of those restaurants that is popular with everyone since their food is that good!
Plus, Hierba Dulce actually makes their almond milk and cheese in house. And that’s probably why their food is always so fresh and tasty!
In fact, even the blue corn tortillas are made in house which is pretty cool if you ask me.
As far as food goes, the Oaxacan mole is a must try when you visit since it pairs well with the tortillas that are served at one of the best restuarants in Oaxaca.
The ceviche and the guacamole are also must-tries. But, if you can’t decide on what mole to order, try the mole sampler.
Just be forewarned that the portions here are enough for two which is probably the only complaint that any dish here gets!
Address: C. Porfirio Díaz 311, RUTA INDEPENDENCIA, Centro, 68000 Oaxaca de Juárez, Oax., Mexico
Hours: Open daily from 12:00 pm to 9:30 pm, except on Wednesdays when they are closed.
Price: Entrees start at $6.75 each.
Mexita is one of those restaurants in Oaxaca that constantly receives good reviews. And that’s mainly because the food here is, hands down, some of the best Italian food in the city.
And don’t expect to go broke here either. After all, most of the items here are reasonably priced and the offer excellent value for your money.
Also, highly recommended items on the menu include the mushroom pasta and the thin crust pizzas, just to name a few.
This family run pizzeria is also situated to the northern end of the city. So, it does take a bit of effort to get here.
It is definitely worth the effort though to enjoy the food at one of the best restaurants in Oaxaca.
Plus, the quaint decor in Mexita is something that you will make you fall even more in love wiht this place. Plus, it is a great family-centric restaurant since, well, kids always love pizza!
Address: Federico Ortiz Armegol 105, Reforma, 68050 Oaxaca de Juárez, Oax., Mexico
Hours: Open Tuesday through Saturday from 2:30 pm to 10:00 pm and on Sunday from 2:00 pm to 9:00 pm.
Price: Entrees are between $10.00 and $21.00 each.
Pitiona is one of the best restaurants in Oaxaca if you’re looking for a meal with a view.
Now, while most rooftop bars and restaurants in Oaxaca offer just a view, Pitiona is so much more.
And that’s because this amazing eatery is strategically situated and offers a fantastic view of Santo Domingo church.
Also, some must-try items on the menu include sopa de abuela, tostada de rib eye, and the zucchini wrapped mushrooms.
Plus, the beet salad with ground peanut sauce is absolutely delicious and my go to order.
Pro Tip: Reserve a spot for yourself in the late evening so you can get a bird’s eye view of the city while the sun sets. It is a truly magical experience.
And if you love photography, then this is probably one of the best spots to capture an epic pic of Santo Domingo church.
Address: C. de Ignacio Allende 114, RUTA INDEPENDENCIA, Centro, 68000 Oaxaca de Juárez, Oax., Mexico
Hours: Open daily from 1:00 pm to 11:00 pm, except on Sunday when they close at 8:30 pm.
Price: Most entrees are between $8.00 and $20.00 each but some steaks can cost $50.00+ each.
12. Chepiche Café
Chepiche Café is one of the most iconic restaurants in Oaxaca with a quaint garden courtyard that provides diners with a lovely casual vibe that people find alluring.
Also imagine dark gray walls with gorgeous paintings hung strategically. Large umbrellas then provide patrons wtih shade from the sun and simultaneously add to the ambiance.
Addtionally, you’ll find that Chepiche cafe is popular for its breakfast menu. In particular, the avocado toast and eggs benedict are both heavenly.
However, if you’re looking for Mexican specialties on the menu then try the rol de canela, chilaquiles and torta ahogada.
The only issue is that these popular items sell out quickly. So, if you stop by later in the day then you may be able to enjoy these items.
Pro Tip: Chepiche Cafe has long lines out the door. This is particularly true when it comes to breakfast on weekends and on holidays.
So, arrive early to ensure that you do not wait too long for a seat at one of the best Oaxaca restaurants of them all.
Address: De, Genaro Vásquez 6 A, Barrio de Xochimilco, 68040 Oaxaca de Juárez, Oax., Mexico
Hours: Open daily from 8:00 am to 9:00 pm, except on Sunday/Monday when they close at 1:30 pm.
Price: Breakfast entrees start at just $4.00 each.
13. Casa Oaxaca Restaurante
Casa Oaxaca restaurante is one of the best restaurants in Oaxaca to try out if you want to enjoy legendary local cuisine with a modern twist.
And with simple, white washed walls, high ceilings, and gorgeous wooden seating areas, Casa Oaxaca is a relaxing place with an excellent array of options when it comes to food.
Additionally, the rooftop seating area is the most coveted part of the restaurant since it offers a view of the town and the Santo Domingo church compound.
In fact, the demand for a table in this part of the restaurants is so high that you have to book your table a couple of days in advance.
Now, one of the many reasons why Casa Oaxaca is so popular is that unlike many restaurants that cater more towards the American Mexican palate, the food here has retained its traditional Oaxacan flavors.
And the freshly made salsa is one of the best experiences to try since they prepare it right at your table.
Other great items on the menu are the grilled octopus, saffron risotto and the mole.
However, if you are feeling super adventurous,try the Tostada de Escamol (aka ant larvae). It is served with guacamole, chili mayo, and squash blossoms.
Address: C/ de la Constitución #104-A, RUTA INDEPENDENCIA, Centro, 68000 Oaxaca de Juárez, Oax., Mexico
Hours: Open daily from 1:00 pm to 11:00 pm, except on Sundays when they close at 9:00 pm.
Price: Entrees start at around $30.00 per person.
14. Expendio Tradicion
Expendio Tradicion is a super trendy restaurant that offers a wide variety of traditional Mexican dishes to indulge in.
Therefore, from the moment you step insice you will immediately realize that the main focus is the bar , which serves up some of the best brews in town!
And the mezcal shots are the biggest hit. Also, odds are that you will be offered a Spanish menu since it is an uber popular spot with locals – not tourists.
But, they do have English menus. So, all you need to do is ask. The waiters are also extremely patient and will help you decide what to order.
Trust me, the effort is worth it because the food is delicious at one of the best restaurants in Oaxaca.
If you can, try the starter platter. It is enormous and has loads of options to choose from. Other great options include the shrimp tostada, dorado ceviche, and cheese flan.
Address: Reforma, Murguía &, Centro, 68000 Oaxaca de Juárez, Oax., Mexico
Hours: Open daily from 8:00 am to 1:00 am, except on Sunday when they close at 11:00 pm.
Price: Entrees start at $16.00 each.
15. El Escapulario
When it comes to the best Oaxaca restaurants of them all, El Escapulario is a real hidden gem. And you’ll rarely find anyone who complains about the food here because it is that good!
Now, the interior of El Escapulario is cozy and reminiscent of a family home that is well outfitted with gorgeous blue floors and simple white walls that make it the ideal place to enjoy a meal.
It’s also really hard to narrow it down to just one item on the list and say that that’s the best.
And this is maibly because every dish served is spectacular in its own right. Although, you must give the mole a try since this is the best restaurant in Oaxaca for mole.
Seriously, just order any kind of mole and you won’t walk away disappointed!
Address: C. de Manuel García Vigil 617, RUTA INDEPENDENCIA, Centro, 68000 Oaxaca de Juárez, Oax., Mexico
Hours: Open daily from 12:00 pm to 11:00 pm.
Price: Entrees here start at around $8.00 each.