Oaxaca city Travel Guide
Oaxaca Travel Guide.
Oh Oaxaca! What else can we say that has not been said already? It’s truly one of the best places you can visit in Mexico and the world for that matter! It’s a foodie lover's paradise, a destination for cultural anthropologists, and mezcal enthusiasts. Below is a Oaxaca city guide
Oaxaca is very safe but as with any place please practice common sense and respect the culture. We recommend staying in the Downtown area of the city, here you will find most areas of interest anyway and it's a secure place to walk around day and night.
Our Colibri community promotes being a conscious traveler. This can mean different things but we like to foster ideas of travelers going to a place and being mindful and respectful of the culture. Going with an open heart and mind. To not haggle artisans or anyone for prices. To appreciate the culture and not appropriate. To support locals as much as possible by staying at hotels or airbnb’s that are run by the natives, to buy produce directly from the farmers, to eat at local restaurants, to limit plastic use. These are just some of the practices we use when we travel. Our guide already has these ideals in mind so we try to keep it very local.
When to go.
The weather is nice year round, but we like going in the spring and fall time ideally. Prices stay standard throughout the year but you will see a peak in price during “Guelaguetza” In July and the Day of the Dead Celebration which is at the end of October- First week of November; both celebrations will require you to book a hotel way in advance so plan accordingly.
If you fly into the Oaxaca city airport (25 min away from Downtown) We recommend you take a shared shuttle or a private taxi. The shared shuttle will cost approx $10-$11 dls to get you to the door of your hotel or airbnb downtown. Both the shuttle and taxi are safe and secure options which you request and pay for inside the airport.
Money- We recommend taking out money from the ATM as needed while you travel. We have a debit card that does not charge us international ATM fees so it’s extra convenient.
Health care- God forbid you fall ill while traveling but if you feel a bit out of it realize that a lot of pharmacies in Mexico have a doctor in house that you can just walk up to for immediate help. This service is usually free; they only require you to purchase prescribed medication in house. Ask around to see which pharmacy offers this near you.
Cafe Brujula- ($)
The coffee here is one of our favorites, it’s a Oaxaca city staple. Like the starbucks of the city but it’s good and they spell your name correctly.
Muss Cafe- ($)
This is a nice spot, it’s more relaxed and offers small bites, juice and coffee! It’s inside an antique looking house which gives it a nice backdrop. Perfect to read a book or get some work done.
El Volador- ($)
This cafecito is small but they serve a mighty espresso! I also recommend it because it’s in a beautiful location in the area of “Plaza Cruz de Piedra” . It's a little plaza lined with beautiful colored homes and businesses. No cars are allowed so you can get your mini photo session on.
Boulenc- ($) Good for: Breakfast/Lunch
This is one of my favorite places in Oaxaca, it’s a place I make sure I go every trip. I especially like it for breakfast but they are open for Breakfast, lunch and dinner. You can’t go wrong with Boulenc, it’s always consistent and ahhh so good. Factor in that there’s usually a wait time. Make sure you try the chocolate croissant, the avocado toast and the turkey and quesillo croissant.
Chepiche cafe ($$) - Good for: Breakfast/ Brunch
This is another one of my favorite breakfast places. It’s delicious and has a nice menu of salty and sweet breakfast items such as pancakes and french toast along with the Mexican breakfast staples like chilaquiles and huevos rancheros.
Lechoncito de Oro ($) Good for: late night/coming out of the club
This place is open from 9:00- 3:00 am. They offer lechon options (pork) . I love tacos personally! This is one of those places that locals and tourists go to alike. This is a food cart that sets up in the corner of Libres and Murguia.
Tortas la Hormiga ($) Good for Lunch
The torta is Mexico’s version of a sandwich and let me tell you they are delicious but there are so many versions! Tortas las hormiga is a good place to get your bread and grilled meats on. Popular with locals this is a quick and cheap option that is sure to get you full.
Tlayudas el negrito ($) Good for: Lunch/ Dinner
There are so many tlayuda options in town, and it seems like every local I have asked has a different answer as to who has the best tlayuda. For this reason I’ve decided to keep it simple and suggest Tlayudas el negrito. You won't get lost looking for it and they are good.
La Popular ($$) Good for: Dinner
I love how alive yet casual this place is! It’s been around for almost two decades and I can see why! They have a good variety of food options. From seafood to traditional Oaxacan dishes. It has a bohemian appeal to it and everytime I go I feel so comfortable I lose track of time!
Los Amantes ($$$) Good for Lunch/ Dinner - Sunset Dinner
This is my pick for a rooftop with a view of Santo Domingo. The food is absolutely delicious, cocktails are amazing as well. I recommend going around the sunset hour. This is one of those places that will make you want to keep coming to Oaxaca.
La Zandunga ($$) Good for: Dinner
This is a nice restaurant steps from Santo Domingo church, it’s traditional Oaxacan and offers a selection of food inspired by the Isthmo which is one of the 8 regions of Oaxaca.
Casa Oaxaca ($$$) Good for: Dinner
I really encourage everyone to visit this place at least once. It’s also a rooftop restaurant that offers amazing quality food. The chef Alex Ruiz is very talented and knows how to combine traditional Oaxacan ingredients with a modern twist
Origen ($$$) Good for: Fancy Dinner
This is a really good restaurant, the menu changes seasonally to offer freshness. It’s a mix of traditional regional Mexican cuisine and innovative recipes.
La Cosecha ($$) Good for: Lunch/ Casual Dinner
This is more like a mini food court that has a beautiful patio and amazing options especially for vegetarians and vegans. They pride themselves in offering fresh, organic foods.
Let’s face it, this category is important especially in the Mezcal capital of the world.Oaxaca is full of great bars. Use this as a guide but as you're walking by the streets go into bars that catch your attention. That’s how you find the best ones sometimes.
Tres Hermanas ($) Good for: Pre drinks/ Chill vibes
This place has been around for a short while but honestly one of the best cocktail bars. The place is quite small but the bartenders are so talented and knowledgeable. Most mezcal cocktails are $5 USD. They also offer comal snacks such as “quesadilla de flor de calabaza” Memelitas and handmade tortillas etc.
La Mezcalerita ($) Good for: Rooftop Mezcal drinks.
This place is very casual and has a good selection of mezcal and local beers. They also sell “Pulque” , a traditional beverage that you should try! (An acquired taste) This bar is steps away from Santo Domingo and has a rooftop as well.
Mezcaleria Insitu- ($$) Good for: People that are avid mezcal drinkers.
This place is an institution for mezcal lovers. They have a large selection of mezcal, in fact that's all they serve at this bar. You can try many mezcales, and the bartenders are very very savvy so they will recommend good options based on your preferred flavor profile.
Where to Stay:
Casa Oliva -($$)
Central location- Minimalist decor, comfortable beds, nice staff.
Contact info: +52 951 275 6110
Casa Escarabajo- ($)
Traditional Mexican bed and breakfast hosts are local and very knowledgeable of Oaxaca, not to mention so Nice!!!
Contact info: Instagram @casa.escarabajo
One of the best locations, the owners are not local because Selina is more like a network of hotels that caters to digital nomads/ people above in their 30s that previously stayed at hostels and has since graduated from the hostel life. They do a good job of incorporating local culture and support artisans.
Contact info: www.selina.com
Las Bugambilias ($$)
Good location, beautifully decorated, nice experience, home away from home.