Mezcalería Los Amantes
With an interior described as “Mexican steampunk,” Los Amantes is a quirky little spot filled with dusty tomes, taxidermy, and a plethora of mezcal-related items. Don’t be put off by the rather peculiar image you’ve probably conjured up of this tiny and incredibly welcoming watering hole, which is often populated with locals partaking in the spirit for which their state is famous. A plus or downside, depending on how you look at it, is that they only serve products from their distillery, but even so this is a Oaxaca favorite and unmissable.
Allende 107, Oaxaca City, Mexico, +52 951 501 0687
Txalaparta Hookah Bar
If mezcal is not totally your thing, we recommend you head to Txalaparta Hookah Bar in the center of Oaxaca City, which has some great beers to choose from. Smoky and dominated by wooden décor, this rustic space often has live music sets from popular Mexican DJs and is, obviously, the perfect spot for the shisha lovers in Oaxaca. Head down there during the day and soak up the chilled atmosphere on the first floor patio, maybe with a cheap, cold tarro de cerveza.
Matamoros 206, Oaxaca, Mexico, +52 951 514 4305
For a good, basic introduction to the mezcal for which the state is so famed, La Mezcaloteca is a great option. It’s more a tasting room than a bar, encouraging clients to sample a variety of mezcals, including ones that come from different regions, different agaves, and use different distillation techniques. For those new to the drink, this is a great way to learn a little more about it but nothing replaces the experience of visiting the producers themselves. Beware of tourist level pricing though and remember that bookings are required for tastings.
Reforma 506, Oaxaca City, Mexico, +52 951 514 0082
La Farola is easily one of the most traditional cantinas in Oaxaca. This incredibly high ceilinged space is always populated with a slew of both locals and tourists, and sometimes has live music. Enjoy a simple cocktail, beer, or mezcal and soak up the atmosphere.
20 de Noviembre Letra M, Oaxaca City, Mexico, +52 951 516 5352
Generally regarded as one of the best mezcalerías in Oaxaca, In Situ offers over 180 different mezcals which means there’s no excuse for not finding your favorite in this two-floor bar. Enjoy your selection at one of the upstairs tables, if the lower level doesn’t take your fancy, but be aware that you won’t get your mezcal served with salt or orange slices in this traditional mezcalería. If you need some sweetness, instead order a mezcal cocktail.
Calle José María Morelos 511, Oaxaca City, Mexico, +52 951 116 3230
If you’re searching for something that isn’t a mezcalería in Oaxaca, try La Tentación, which opens ‘til the early hours of the morning. Obviously, you can still satisfy those mezcal cravings with a 10-peso shot, which probably tells you a lot about the quality and serving size you can expect. Instead, enjoy your night in the funkily decorated La Tentación by ordering a bottle of something a bit different, or a triton (5 liters) of beer. There is often live music, salsa, and cumbia, for dance fans.
Matamoros 101, Oaxaca City, Mexico, +52 951 514 9521
An informal, casual ambience dominates this downtown Oaxaca City mezcalería, making it a truly lovely bar experience. Spread over two floors, CUISH is pretty small but cozy and welcoming, and has some super comfortable sofas on the first floor that you can sink into with your mezcal. CUISH is also a mezcal brand, and their range of varied and smokey mezcals is impressive. Unfortunately, the bar is currently under renovation, but CUISH still has their store open and they can run tasting sessions every day. Those interested should contact CUISH directly.
Diaz Ordaz 712, Oaxaca City, Mexico, +52 951 516 8791
One of the newer mezcal bars to open in Oaxaca City, La Porfiria is an excellent addition to the city’s bar scene, and shouldn’t be disregarded. In comparison to some other spots, this chic, minimalist little bar has a more modern feel and a fairly wide selection of mezcals at reasonable prices. As an added touch, each shot of mezcal is served with sal de gusano, orange slices, and chapulines (crispy grasshoppers, a traditional Oaxaca delicacy). This is one to check out if you want an intense Oaxaca experience. They also have some great appetizers.
Calle Eucaliptos 208 B, Oaxaca City, Mexico, +52 951 221 2539
La Medida Mezcal
This is a great option if you don’t feel in the mood for mezcal, or if one of your party doesn’t enjoy the Oaxacan tipple, as La Medida Mezcal is also a wine and cocktail lounge. The laid-back and comfortable surroundings really complement the excellent range of drinks on offer here, including around 60 different mezcals. Furthermore, it also has a range of affordable options so people on any budget can enjoy an evening here. The bar also hosts regular live music events, with jazz artists making particularly frequent appearances.
Calle Macedonio Alcala 403, Oaxaca City, Mexico, +52 951 501 1251
Oaxaca is both an artsy city and state, so in honor of that we recommend you head down to Piedra Lumbre for one of their delicious cocktails, drunk while admiring the original artwork that surrounds you. This space doubles as both bar and art gallery, and the result is a relaxed and cool joint that is highly recommended. We especially suggest going for the Thursday Jazz nights which only enhance the already awesome atmosphere further. The bar also serve s some tasty light dishes and sometimes offers mixology evenings.
Tinoco y Palacios 602, Oaxaca City, Mexico, +52 951 156 0321