This little family-owned restaurant is tucked away in the residential neighborhood of San José La Noria, just south of the Centro Historico. This hidden gem serves up delicious meats of all kinds, but especially in the traditional Oaxacan style. Typical dishes include tasajo, a thin and typical cut of beef and cecina, a thin piece of pork, salted and rubbed with chile. The main attraction at El Molino, however, is steaks done perfectly, served in the typical Oaxacan style. After you're done eating, take a little time to wander around the charming and tranquil neighborhood.
The Mercado 20 de Noviembre is full of all kinds of food stands. Here you can find all different varieties of bread from simple rolls to colorfully decorated sweet breads. The main draw here, however, are the comedores or food stands, which cook and serve up all kinds of Mexican and Oaxacan specialties. Try tortas, tamales, tacos, sopas, ensaladas and any other kind of traditional foods you can think of. Take this opportunity to try chapulines, or fried grasshoppers with chile. Legend says trying them will ensure you return to Oaxaca one day.
La Biznaga, located just a very short walk from the Zocalo and Santo Domingo, is considered one of the best restaurants in the city by both locals and tourists alike. The bar features gourmet, specialty drinks, and are especially known for their mojitos. Rather than individual menus, the food offerings are posted on large chalkboards hanging on the walls. No matter what you order, your meal is sure to be a delightful mixture of traditional Oaxacan cuisine and ingredients, mixed with modern techniques and flavor combinations, a most delightful marriage in Oaxaca's culinary scene. Although most of the time the restaurante is al fresco, the roof is convertable, so you will be able to enjoy La Biznaga's offerings rain or shine.
A unique restaurant offering a selection of exquisite dishes made with native maize (corn) from regions of Oaxaca, Itanoni is the place the head for fantastic tortillas. Made by hand and roasted the traditional way, the tortillas are cooked to a crispy perfection on mud griddles. Choose from an exciting menu that features delicious quesadillas, chilaquiles, tamales, barbacoa, chicharron, tetelas and memelas. Inexpensive prices add the cherry on the cake.
La Casa de la Abuela, located upstairs in the northwest corner of the Zócalo, serves up traditional regional specialties in a bright, airy atmosphere. Try the tasajo (salted beef), cecina (chile marinated pork), squash blossom soup, or the quesadillas, which they call empanadas. Also at La Casa de la Abuela, diners can sample all seven moles of Oaxaca.
Travelers looking for the less-trodden path will love La Teca, which began as a cooking project in a single room of the chef and owner’s home and has expanded to her backyard. Located in an unpretentious residential neighborhood, the restaurant offers simple home-cooked specialties from the Oaxacan peninsula, such as tamales and garnachas, molotes de platano, and black mole. Old timers say that the restaurant used to seat visitors in the garage and welcome them with a cup of mescal. While the garage seating still exists, La Teca has become more of an established restaurant, with lovely outdoor seating and a small but dedicated wait staff.
Mariscos La Red has more than just this most central and popular location. This restaurant serves up fresh seafood using traditional method. Feast on shrimp tacos, fish ceviche or octopus cocktail, not to mention the many liquor cocktails they serve as well.
This late night eatery is a favorite among locals, serving up a traditional Oaxacan dish, Tlayudas. The tlayuda consists of a giant tortilla, placed over coals, with Oaxacan style beans, quesillo (Oaxacan string cheese), salsa and very few meat choices, the most popular being the salted beef tasajo. As one of the few places that stays open extra late, there is usually quite a crowd, so be prepared to get your food and take it elsewhere.
Marisqueria Restaurant serves seafood caught in the Pacific Ocean. The fresh seafood is quickly transported on ice from the coast to the restaurant, so you'll receive only the freshest seafood. You can buy their seafood and cook it at home or enjoy it at the restaurant.