Where to Eat in Oaxaca City Guide & Map of the Best Restaurants

Oaxaca City Map

There’s amazing food to be found in Oaxaca – as long as you avoid the many tourist traps in town. (Hint: go to the charming rooftop restaurants for drinks, but this is not where you’ll find the best food!) It’s also worth noting that your evening options will be limited – the most authentic restaurants are closed at night since it’s not common for the locals to go out for dinner. There are a few more upscale tasting menu restaurants that stay open to cater to the tourists, but by far our favorite meals were the more traditional lunches we had on the street or in the markets.

In this city map, we have gathered all our favorite spots to create the best restaurant guide to Oaxaca. You’ll find tlayudas, elote & esquites, mole, hot chocolate and, of course, the best tacos in town. Navigate the guide easily either by scrolling through the list on the right or by clicking the points on the map. Places are listed in geographical order.

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Av Belisario Domínguez 513, Oaxaca, Mexico

One of our favorite bites in Oaxaca was a tetela, a triangular tortilla pocket from Itanoní. They start with house-made corn tortillas and fill them with various ingredients – we got one with beans, cheese, cream, and one with ground chicharron. So creamy and so good! We also tried the rolled hoja santa taco with beans and cheese “de ese.” The restaurant has a relaxed ambiance with colorful streamers and picnic benches. Itanoní is a great lunch option, and it’s really fun to watch them make every dish to order.

Chepiche Cafe

De, Genaro Vásquez 6 A, Oaxaca, Mexico

Who would’ve guessed we’d have one of the best brunches in our life in Oaxaca? Chepiche Cafe is a hidden gem up in the Reforma part of town. Meal highlights included the torta ahogada (a cheesy egg sandwich drowning in an incredible salsa), blue corn pancakes with plantains and blueberries, and homemade almond butter toast with bananas. We ate this feast in a charming, open-air courtyard. We're seriously obsessed with this place!

Ancestral Cocina Tradicional

José López Alavez 1347, Oaxaca, Mexico

We sampled many Oaxacan hot chocolates around town, and the best one we found was at Ancestral Cocina Tradicional. The chocolate was rich and creamy, not too dark and not too light, with just the right amount of cinnamon and spices. It was served in a wide ceramic mug perfect for cupping with both hands and sipping slowly. A bit outside of the center, this restaurant felt like a locals-only place – and it's one of the few spots that is open for dinner. We dined on the brick patio under string lights and enjoyed fresh guacamole and a delicious tlayuda with chorizo.

Fonda Florecita

Calle Morelos Mercado La Merced Int 37 Zona del Pan, Oaxaca, Mexico

The best meal we had in Oaxaca was at Fonda Florecita inside Mercado La Merced. One bite of those enmoladas and we were in heaven – these were the traditional flavors we were craving! Their mole negro has distinct notes of chocolate and nuts – it was quite sweet, but balanced, and was served over tortillas that were as soft as pancakes. (Easily the best mole dish of our trip!) We also loved their take on the tlayuda (they serve theirs open-faced instead of folded in half), the chilaquiles with salsa rojo, and the hot chocolate. Why can’t every restaurant be this good? PSA: Go early! Google says they close at 6pm but they often close at 4pm if they’re not busy. (We tried to go back a second time and they were closed.) We recommend going before 3pm.

Libres Tlayudas Doña Martha

Calle de Los Libres 212, Oaxaca, Mexico

You can’t visit Oaxaca without trying a tlayuda, and Libres Tlayudas Doña Martha (a local late night spot) is one of the most famous places to taste this specialty. Almost like a Mexican pizza, a crispy tortilla is topped with black beans, Oaxacan cheese, and cabbage, typically folded in half and cooked over a grill. Grilled meat (traditionally beef and chorizo) are cooked separately and placed on top. Enjoy it sitting outside on the street.

Muss Café

Miguel Hidalgo 911, Oaxaca, Mexico

Muss Café is our favorite coffee shop in Oaxaca! We enjoyed a pour-over here made with coffee from Chiapas. It was fun to try a local Mexican coffee – we were really impressed by the quality of the beans. Muss Café is attached to the gorgeous Casa Antonieta, so you can relax in the hotel’s beautiful atrium while sipping your drink.


Miguel Hidalgo 820, Oaxaca, Mexico

Origen just might have the most beautiful dining room in Oaxaca. Pink couches, hanging lamps with fringe, and big windows flung open to let the sunshine in. (Don’t get us wrong, we love a good hole-in-the-wall, but sometimes it’s nice to eat somewhere beautiful.) Chef Rodolfo Castellanos' stunning dishes are as pretty as the food, adorned with colorful flowers and herbs. But it’s not all about looks – this was also one of our favorite meals in Oaxaca. The menu is more modern, clearly crafted more for tourists than locals, but the dishes are creative interpretations of traditional flavors. We especially loved the plantain dumpling, the duck enmoladas, and the plantain casserole with oxtail stew – like a sweet and salty Mexican lasagna. To drink, we had a mezcal sour with hoja santa, and a cocktail with grapefruit, Campari, and mezcal. We went for lunch, but this is one of the few places open for dinner, so keep that in mind when planning your trip!

Nieves Oaxaqueñas Chagüita

Flores Magón Sn, Oaxaca, Mexico

The artisanal ice cream at Nieves Oaxaqueñas Chagüita has been made by hand for over 200 years. The friendly owner let us sample almost every flavor of this icy, granita-like refreshment – some of our favorites were mezcal, passion fruit, prickly pear, guanabana, arroz con leche, tres leches, and Oaxacan chocolate. The flavors are vibrant and the texture is like a slushie – so refreshing! Find them inside the Mercado Benito Juarez.


Calle Porfirio Díaz 207, Oaxaca, Mexico

Have you tried a concha? Boulenc in Oaxaca makes the best version of this traditional Mexican pastry that we’ve tried so far. Previously, we’ve found conchas to be dense and dry, but this one was quite light and fluffy. But our favorite pastry here was the cinnamon sugar swirl - it tasted like a churro!


Calle de Ignacio Allende 114, Oaxaca, Mexico

We went to Pitiona for one thing and one thing only – the lechon tacos! A terrine of pork topped with crispy skin, served with onion, radish, cilantro, and guacamole. These tacos are definitely worth trying, and there’s a beautiful view from the rooftop.

Terrazza Los Amantes

Calle de Ignacio Allende 108, Oaxaca, Mexico

Our favorite rooftop bar in Oaxaca sits atop Hotel Los Amantes (The Lovers), with a view overlooking the breathtaking Templo de Santo Domingo de Guzmán. We spent a lazy afternoon here sipping mezcal cocktails – our favorites were the Passion Poison with mezcal and passion fruit, and the Margarita Afrikana with mezcal and hibiscus.

Tacos Del Carmen

Jesús Carranza 110, Oaxaca, Mexico

Tacos Del Carmen makes their own tortillas using corn from neighboring villages. You write your order down with a pen and paper and hand it to the ladies rolling masa into tortillas. We tried one of everything they offered – the chorizo and chicken tinga tacos, the quesadilla with squash blossoms, the empanada with mole amarillo and chicken, and a memelita (an open-faced tortilla topped with black bean purée and cheese)! This is a must eat street food lunch in Oaxaca!


Francisco I. Madero 129, Oaxaca, Mexico

Lots of the best restaurants in Oaxaca only serve breakfast and lunch. Locals eat dinner at home, so that means most of the restaurants open in the evening are tourist traps. There are a few exceptions, our favorite being Enrique Olvera’s restaurant Criollo. The set menu changes daily (no à la carte available), and it's filled with explosive Oaxacan flavors. The passion fruit gazpacho was a standout (it was one of our favorite dishes we ate in 2019), and we also loved the twist on the traditional tamale. Criollo’s variation is a tomato tamale, topped with tomato sauce and ricotta which reminded us of lasagna. The architecture of the al fresco dining room is absolutely stunning, and we really enjoyed the creative flavors at play.


Calle García Vigil 183, Oaxaca, Mexico

Alfonsina is a simple restaurant where chef Jorge León (who previously worked at Pujol) and his mom, Doña Elvia, are cooking out of their home kitchen. Doña Elvia serves breakfast and lunch, and Jorge prepares a five-course tasting menu for dinner. It is a one-of-a-kind dining experience; you would never guess there was a restaurant hidden in this residential neighborhood – and your taxi may struggle to find it. The dishes change frequently but are always based on local ingredients. Chef León plays with traditional Oaxacan dishes and modernizes them in his humble home setting. Book in advance – reservations are required.

Anders Husa

Anders Husa and Kaitlin Orr are food & travel bloggers and creative content creators. From their base in Copenhagen, they operate the largest and most influential restaurant-focused travel blog in Scandinavia.