When you crave bagels, fresh orange juice, veggie sandwiches and freshly brewed coffee – head to Cafe Brujula. This intimate cafe will satisfy all your New York brunch-style needs whilst also providing typically generous Mexican portions. Situated within a quiet patio area studded with colourful tiles and warm terracotta walls, Cafe Brujula is right in the middle of the centro historico, bringing a sense of authentic culture to proceedings. The moist banana cake is a particular speciality and to be best enjoyed with a glass of iced coffee against the sonorous background of relaxed live jazz.
One of the most striking aspects of Casa Oaxaca is the number of Mexican wines on the wine list. There are five choices in total including a Casa Madero Chenin Blanc and a Blanca Mexica Mission. As for main dishes, enjoy a combination of deer on fried sweet potato with grasshoppers and cheese or fresh, wild mussels. The food is exciting and consistently evolving to reflect seasonal flavors and ingredients, all prepared and served in a beautiful, boutique hotel located in the heart of Oaxaca’s cultural district.
Casa Oaxaca, Garcia Vigil, Centro, Oaxaca, Mexico, +52 951 514 4173
Catedral offers Oaxacan fine-dining. Dainty slivers of regional beef come atop a bed of local cabbages and juicy olives, served with tortillas and fresh guacamole with lashings of lime. The flavors are precise and strong but never overwhelming, offering something refreshingly lighter than the meat-orientated restaurants in the surrounding area. Finish your meal with the tart sorbets then kick back and relish the culinary fusion and convivial atmosphere.
Catedral, Calle de Manuel García Vigil 105, Centro, Oaxaca, Mexico, +52 951 516 3285
At La Biznaga, enjoy mojitos in an effortlessly trendy setting or choose another regional-focused cocktail from the menu. As for the main dishes, the black mole with chicken is one of the signature dishes at La Biznaga. The restaurant describes itself as an arte-cafe and sandwicherie but the real treats at La Biznaga are the fresh soups. As well as being a feast for the eyes, the Crema de Roquefort al Chipotle con Pistaches y Pepitas is full of rich, creamy, cheesy flavors and packs a real punch.
With a standout location in the center of the market, La Florecita is one of the best open-hatch restaurants serving tostadas, tortas and tostaditas. Whilst advertised as simple ‘workers’ meals, the cuisine is flavorsome and authentic, with locals leaning on the bar and enjoying snacks and full Mexican fare. With waiter service and long communal tables, La Florecita serves great memelitas. Sit and watch the busy market open up around you, tuck into plates of beans, grilled meats and mugs of hearty, spicy hot chocolate.
La Olla is both a local gallery and a cafe with many stunning works of art painted by local artists available for perusal. The restaurant is a rustic 30 seat eatery with a hand-painted tile hearth at the center. The cheese selection is locally considered to be one of the real perks of La Olla, accompanied by piles of fresh, tangy green salsa. Another great aspect of La Olla is its strong belief in administering free food to its much-loved customers. Almost before you’ve sat down, you’re presented with fresh bread, tortillas, vegetables and salsa. This attention to detail really contributes towards creating a relaxed, buoyant mood and allows the staff time to prepare dishes with the utmost care and attention.
La Olla, Calle de Reforma, Centro, Oaxaca, Mexico, +52 951 516 6668
The quirky name comes from the pitonia plant, a shrub used frequently in Oaxacan cuisine. Diners can expect versatile and delicious food at the eccentric Pitiona, with food crafted by Jose Manuel Banos Rodriguez – who briefly trained at the three Michelin starred El Bulli in Spain. The experimental menu includes dishes such as lamb accompanied with a rosemary ice cream and chicharron which is crunchy and fragrant. Try the six course tasting menu for a full whack of southern Mexican flavor.
Pitiona, Ignacio Allende, Centro, Oaxaca, Mexico, +52 951 514 4707