Casa Crespo is one of Oaxaca’s best rooftop destinations, with fabulous views over the nearby Templo Santo Domingo and some decent cocktails on offer. The best time to stop by this rooftop is in the evening, when it really comes alive with friends and couples enjoying drinks al fresco in the balmy Oaxaca weather. Although this is also a restaurant, cooking school and chocolate shop, we recommend dropping by for the view before heading elsewhere for dinner.
Allende 107, Centro Histórico, Oaxaca City, Oaxaca, Mexico, +52 951 516 0918
One of Oaxaca’s top restaurants (and hotels) is the perfectly named Casa Oaxaca, headed up by Chef Alejandro Ruiz. While you can choose from various spots in which to dine and drink at Casa Oaxaca – the main room, classy bar area or pretty terrace – we obviously recommend the latter of those three. As with the previous entry, you really get a fantastic view over the historic centre of the city from the rooftop and while it’s not the cheapest spot, the food more than makes up for it.
A Gurrión 104 A, Ruta Independencia, Centro, Oaxaca City, Oaxaca, Mexico, +52 951 516 8889
For a romantic sunset vista, the rooftop of Gozobi in Oaxaca City is ideal. This restaurant-bar stocks some of their mezcals from quality producer El Jolgorio, and so you can rest assured that the cocktails are top notch. As with many other terrace-topped spots, the menu isn’t the star of the show – better to wait and head elsewhere once the sun has set, or stick to the light bites.
For a more private terrace experience, opt to stay at Casa de las Bugambilias. This bed and breakfast only has nine rooms, so the chances are you’ll have their pretty terrace all to yourself, and it makes for the perfect spot to retire with a book borrowed from their well-stocked library during the day. In the evening, the terraza is just as delightful though, dotted with fire pits and planters.
Reforma 402, Ruta Independencia, Centro, Oaxaca City, Oaxaca, Mexico, +52 951 516 1165
Stunning views over the church, generous portions of traditional Mexican food and great service are to be found at Mezquite. From two and a half storeys up, you can truly appreciate the scale of Oaxaca and, as with most places clustered around the historic centre, you’ll be overlooking the must-visit Templo Santo Domingo. Get there early to grab a great table and don’t forget to try the squash blossom empanadas.
There are two branches of the popular restaurant Asador Vasco in Oaxaca, and the one you’ll want to head to is located by Plaza Parque. That way, you get a prime view of the central square and can soak up not just the sights but the sounds of the roaming musicians and families socialising there of an evening. While it’s on the pricey end of dining in Oaxaca, the atmosphere and view are more than worth it.
If you’d rather enjoy a rooftop terrace that’s got more of a convivial party atmosphere than a formal dining one, then the mezcal bar Mezcalerita is the place to be. There you can enjoy some of the popular Oaxacan spirit, mezcal, but also some of the less-popular Mexican beverage pulque (ignore the snot-like consistency and give it a try). Either way, it’s ideal for meeting new people or socialising with friends.
Macedonio Alcalá 706, Centro Histórico, Oaxaca City, Oaxaca, México, +52 951 399 7301
The confusingly spelled Txalaparta (pronounced with a ‘sh’ sound at the start) is another great bar, complete with buzzy rooftop, that has a great mix of travellers and locals crossing its threshold on a regular basis. Although it’s pretty petite, the view from the rooftop is pleasant and you can even try a Mexican craft beer or a reliable Oaxacan mezcal while you’re there, as well as listen to some live music.
Mariano Matamoros 208, Oaxaca City, Oaxaca, Mexico, +52 951 514 4305