The 10 Best Bars In Oaxaca City, Mexico

Photo of Lauren Cocking
9 February 2017

Oaxaca is the home of mezcal, a smoky drink made from a native Mexican agave. Understandably the spirit features big in Oaxaca City’s bar scene. As the local saying goes, “For every ill, mezcal, and for the good as well”. We pick the best bars to try this out in.

Mezcalería Los Amantes | Courtesy of Mezcalería Los Amantes

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

Bar, Pub Grub, $$$
Map View
Mezcaloteca
Mezcaloteca | © cjette/Flickr
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.

La Mezcaloteca

Bar, Pub Grub, $$$
Map View
For a good, basic introduction to the mezcalfor 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.

In Situ

Bar, Pub Grub, Mexican, $$$
Map View
Generally regarded as one of the best mezcaleríasin Oaxaca, In Situ offers over 180 different mezcalswhich 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 mezcalserved with salt or orange slices in this traditional mezcalería. If you need some sweetness, instead order a mezcalcocktail.

La Tentación

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

CUISH

Bar, Pub Grub
Map View
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.

La Porfiria

Bar, Pub Grub, $$$
Map View
Mezcalería
Mezcalería | © Angel Marcel Porras/Flickr
One of the newer mezcalbars 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 mezcalsat reasonable prices. As an added touch, each shot of mezcalis 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.

La Medida Mezcal

Music Venue
Map View
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.

Piedra Lumbre

Bar, Pub Grub, $$$
Map View
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.

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