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.
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.
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.
Mezquite is the one of those places where you walk in expecting to have a great time and seldom walk out disappointed. The captivating interiors, replete with dim lighting, warm colors and elegantly upholstered furniture create an ambiance that's ideal for a laid-back meal with your friends and family. Largely consisting of traditional Mexican dishes, the menu never fails to fascinate with its scrumptious tacos, flautas, tostadas, quesadillas and pozole. Be sure to dress smart and keep an eye out for the daily specials and discounts when you visit this remarkable restaurant.
El Milenario is a small restaurant located in Santa Maria del Tule, 12 kilometers from Oaxaca City. This restaurant sits very close to the famed ancient cypress tree, so you can stop in for a bite to eat after you're done visiting the tree. El Milenario is a nice and clean, friendly little place where you can dine on traditional Oaxacan dishes such as Oaxacan tamales, Estofado de Pollo, squash blossom empanadas and traditional Oaxacan ice cream flavors like tuna (prickly pear) and leche quemado (burnt milk). At El Milenario, guests can feast their eyes and their stomachs in the tranquility of this charming little town.
At first glance, one might seem skeptical at trying Japanese food in Mexico, but Sushi Itto is surprisingly delicious and authentic. Serving all the classic Japanese staples, like Miso soup, many different varieties of Sushi, Gyoza, Tempura and of course, Sake, among other things. The staff at this chain restaurant is very friendly and the restaurant also features a menu in English. Its location right on the Zócalo allows you to eat inside, or out front al fresco, so you can enjoy a gastronomic change of pace while also enjoying some world-class people watching.
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.
La Crepe is an upstairs restaurant overlooking the Andador Turistico and the Templo de Santo Domingo. They serve up all kinds of sweet and savory crepes, including crepes using common and traditional Oaxacan ingredients like Crepes with Sliced Chile and Cheese or Mole with Chicken. In addition to the crepes, they also serve baguette sandwiches, salads and excellent breakfasts. Stop by La Crepe when you're in the mood for something slightly different.
La Olla is a charming little cafe serving regional specialties like cactus tacos. La Olla is one of the most popular restaurants in the city, and also runs a very popular cooking school. Located in the historic center, just blocks from the Templo de Santo Domingo, La Olla displays quality cuisine from across the state as well as displaying art from local artists.