As the final post for my Oaxaca trip, I bring to you a selection of photos of the types of food that can be found and eaten there (in other words – stuff that I ate).
We learned that taking food to go isn’t very common in Oaxaca, and we didn’t have a microwave in our room (we did have a gas stove and refrigerator) so we learned a food ordering system that worked for us. Between the two of us we’d typically get one appetizer or soup, one entrée, a dessert, and two beverages. As far was we could tell, tax was already included in the menu price or it doesn’t exist since we didn’t see this added to our bill. We were told that tipping 10-15% for dinner was generous.
- La Biznaga – Featuring modern Oaxacan food, and has the reputation of having the best margaritas (for just 50 pesos) and pulque in town. Seating area is in a courtyard with a retractable ceiling, very nice ambience. Prices for the quality of food and service is great. Our bill for the time we went for a full dinner was about 400 pesos (included 3 margaritas!). Gral. Manuel García Vigil (García Vigil) 512, Centro, 68000 Oaxaca, Mexico
- Los Danzantes – Primarily a restaurant catered to tourists. Another restaurant with a retractable roof, with an “exotic” ambience. Sometimes known to have very interesting ingredients, such as ant eggs. Total bill was around 400 pesos. Macedonio Alcalá 403 interior 4, Col. Centro, Oaxaca. Oax.
- Maria Bonita – Cute restaurant further from the more well-traveled downtown area, but very close to our hotel. Nice for breakfast or lunch. Features many traditional Oaxacan foods. Not pictured is the first breakfast we had in Oaxaca; the traditional tamale with chicken and mole negro wrapped in banana leaves and a quesadilla with cheese and huitlacoche in a pumpkin blossom sauce. Total bill ~210 pesos. Macedonio Alcala 706 B, Centro, 68000 Oaxaca, Mexico
- Zandunga Sabor Istmeño – A restaurant featuring Istmeño cuisine, or cuisine from the Isthmus of Tehuantepec. Menu items very similar to what we learned at our cooking class with La Teca. Don’t remember how much this bill was. It’s right next door to La Biznaga. Gral. Manuel García Vigil (García Vigil) 512, Centro, 68000 Oaxaca, Mexico.
- La Olla – Pilar Cabrera’s restaurant. A tlayuda is a giant tortilla (supposedly the largest in Mexico) that’s filled with black beans, cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, and meat. Often times it’s doused in asiento, or fat that chicharrones were fried in. Reforma 402, Centro, 68000 Oaxaca, Mexico
- Mayordomo – this chocolate chain can easily be found on the corner of Mina and 20 de Noviembre (there’s a whole block of chocolate shops between 20 de Noviembre and Miguel – including 3 or 4 more shops of the Mayordomo chain). I specifically mean this location because it has a cafe where you can order their chocolate to drink and get a special breakfast deal for 30 pesos. While you eat, you can watch their workers grind up chocolate to order to whatever the customer wants. They’ll weigh out the amount of cacao, sugar, cinnamon and almonds that you ask for. Or you can buy one of their pre-packaged chocolate blends. I certainly did – 8 kilos of it, actually.
- Mercado 20 de Noviembre – Inside this market, there’s a section where you can order your grilled meats, vegetables, tortillas and toppings and have them sent to your table to devour immediately. Hence the ridiculous amounts of meaty smoke. Vendors here are quite aggressive – they’ll all vie for your patronage and call and wave for your attention. Luckily they aren’t allowed to leave their stall. Choose quickly! Expect to spend 100-150 pesos per person. Also, ordering and eating family style is recommended here. Also inside the market is a section of nieves shops with lots of delicious flavors.
- La Hormiga – My favorite tortas truck. Always located on the corner of Conzatti Park, except on Sundays. Serving a wide selection of tortas, hot, fresh and delicious. Just 20 pesos for a combination torta!
- Food Carts – there are quite a few food trucks roaming the city streets. From the popular fresh potato chip and fries stand near the zocalo, the elotes y esquites trucks on every corner, the aguas stands, the nieves stands – they are everywhere. The one that is more elusive is the little wood-fired cart with roasted plantains and sweet potatoes that are popped open and drizzled with condensed milk. It has a distinctive steam whistle which makes use of the heat from the mobile oven. If you can find one with camotes, or sweet potatoes, on hand you’re in for a treat!
- La Churreria – Of course I didn’t forget about having real, fresh churros. Especially not since there was a little shop right around the corner from our hotel.
- Eduardo Vasconcelos Stadium – Yes, Oaxaca does have a baseball team called the Guerreros, or the warriors. It’s a fun way to spend an evening. Tickets are just 50 pesos (25 for ladies, apparently), and you can get this empanada for just 30 pesos, and wash it down with ice cold cervezas at 25 pesos each.
- The Zocalo – If you somehow find yourself with nothing to do or just want to get out of the house/hotel, the zocalo is an interesting place to go. It’s where people go to sit, chat, eat, talk, people watch, or get their shoes shined. There are many restaurants to choose from, just take a seat. Beware that street vendors will try to sell you their wares. A simple “No, gracias” is enough to send most of them on to the next table.