Oaxaca Trip - Recommendations?

Headed to Oaxaca City for a long weekend in the new year, wondering if anyone has been recently or in recent-ish times and has some recs. It seems like there are a whole lot of finer-dining places to choose from (Criollo, Origen, Casa Oaxaca, Pitiona, etc) and I’m curious about opinions on those, if anyone has them. Also recs for mezcal would be amazing (palenques out of town and bars in town), and of course anything else - street food or otherwise - that people love.

If nobody on the board has been lately (or even if they have), I’ll make sure to report back!



I wish I’d seen this earlier. I’ve spent a LOT of time in Oaxaca over the last 15 years. Below are my recs and comments

Criollo…I haven’t been, but several friends have and their reports have been that it is inconsistent

Origen…delicious, pleasant space, nice service. I’ve never had a bad meal there. Not as wow me good as it used to be, but still worth a visit

Casa Oaxaca…consistently good.Love the octopus

Pitiona…had rude, awful, dismissive service on my first visit, I haven’t felt the need to go back altho’ the majority of my friends love it and report that the food is great.

La Catedral…probably my favorite of the upmarket restaurants. The garnachas and chichilo are outstanding.

Los Danzantes…great space, creative cocktails, excellent food, snooty gatekeepers at the hostess station. Sometimes they take reservations, sometimes they don’t, policy is not clear.

La Biznaga…when you need a salad and vegetables. Very good soups, and frankly everything is pretty darn good.

El Distallado…mezcal bar that serves an upscale tasting menu. American owned with Mexican partners.

La Olla…upstairs at the Bugambilla B&B, if the chef is in the kitchen the food can be outstanding. One of the better comida corrida (set menu lunch), not dirt cheap, but the quality of the products used and dishes is excellent

Restarante San Pablo…good choice for breakfast, excellent hot chocolate. Lebanese influenced

Boulenc…great bakery with breads, pizza, sandwiches and salads. Outstanding.

Quince Letras…chef owner is head of Slow Food Oaxaca. Very good to excellent traditional Oxaqueno food. Soups and moles are especially good

Sabina Sabe…not a mezcaleria but they have some really good mezcal cocktails. Casual, food is good to very good. Comfortable local spot.

La Teca…excellent food from the Isthmus of Tehuantepec in what was a private home at one time

Itanoni…casual restaurant devoted to highlighting and promoting the heirloom corn of Oaxaca. It can be a bit uneven, but the the antojito part of the menu is usually pretty good.

La Florcita…in the Merced market. Good spot for breakfast, good chilaquiles. While you’re there, check out the market. It’s small and manageable with lots of stuff to see

Lechon de Oro…street stand serving really good tacos de lechon. Murgia and Libres, open 8 pm to 5 am or when the lechon runs out. Inexpensive

La Contra wine store, on Gomez Farias across from Jardin Conzetti has lots of Mexican wines plus mezcal. They will let you taste the mezcal

Can’t help you much with mezcalerias, I prefer tequila.