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March 3, 2010 9:42 PM   Subscribe

Oaxaca next week, where should I eat?

Anyone been to Oaxaca recently? Where should I eat?
posted by lockestockbarrel to Travel & Transportation around Oaxaca, Mexico (7 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
Las Danzantes is so excellent. Big tent-covered patio. The bar is made of giant cubes of pastel-colored crushed classic cars. I ate these potato chips that had pumpkin seeds inside (they took two chips and made a 'sandwich' and refried them. Holy cow.

La Biznaga is also amazing. Absolutely beautiful food.

La Olla, also spectacular! They do a really nice Oaxaqueño plate. And they serve chapulines!

Beneva, the mezcal factory just outside of town, also does a really delicious Oaxaqueño plate, served outside on their beautiful patio. Don't you just want to go there, like, right now? (Be sure to take the tour; it is lots of fun.)

Sorry to link to a bunch of my own pictures, but it seemed relevant here. Besides, they don't do it justice.
posted by iamkimiam at 10:20 PM on March 3, 2010

Oh pretty much anywhere in Oaxaca, you are going to have a great meal. Seriously, the best food I've had anywhere in my travels. Mole Negro has ruined me for life, I can't really be happy eating plain old taqueria food after that experience.

Besides La Biznaga & La Olla (make sure to get the Oaxacan cafe au lait that they make in the clay pot),

* First meal I had after arriving was at one of the tables in the Zocalo, tamales wrapped in banana leaves w/mole negro sauce. Before arriving there, I thought the idea of a savory chocolate sauce sounded grosss. But really, it's absolutely sublime and mind blowing.

* Around the corner from the Zocalo is the Benito Juarez Market, which has stands that sell food, including more tamales or if you want to really be a locavore chapulines (look it up). Also great selection of coffee and spices.

* There's a chain in the region called Mayordomo that sells the absolute best chocolate I've ever had. And at least when I was there (Dia de los Muertos), they had staff standing out in front of the store passing out samples of their chocolates and hot chocolate. You used to be able to buy their mole sauce and chocolates at Whole Foods, but they stopped importing it a couple years ago :(

*I don't know if La Naranja is still around. I went and got to meet the women who started it, who's been profiled in the NYT dining section and kind of that region's equivalent to Alice Waters. But I seem to remember reading somewhere that she'd sold the business to some gringo expats.

Also two of my favorite memories from being there was the Friday market in Ocotlan and also the Museo de Arte Popular del Estado de Oaxaca (Museum of Popular Art of the State of Oaxaca) in San Bartolo Coyotepec.
posted by gov_moonbeam at 10:29 PM on March 3, 2010

Rick Bayless is a Chicago chef specializing in Mexican cuisine (he just won Top Chef Masters) and here are his picks.
posted by IndigoRain at 11:54 PM on March 3, 2010

I don't know about real life food in Oaxaca, but this is a great short story about a couple who experiences the food and culture of there and it's always made me want to go there. It would be a good traveling book for your way there.
posted by amethysts at 5:39 AM on March 4, 2010

I was in Oaxaca about 10 years ago and I still remember the sopa de guias (soup with zucchini blossoms, stems, and corn). It was my favorite, and I've never been able to find it back home.
posted by insectosaurus at 7:20 AM on March 4, 2010

If you get out to Teotitlan de la Valle (the rug weaving village) there is a GREAT resturant on the main street, Tlamanalli de Abigail Mendoza Ruíz, that has a squash blossom soup that will, literally divide your perception of your life into pre and post squash blossom soup. insectosaurus is correct. It's all that.

It's a very attractive space, with the kitchen open to the eating area.

And the villages surrounding Oaxaca are pretty much a must-do, each for its own reason.
posted by Danf at 7:37 AM on March 4, 2010

Also, El Biche Pobre is an everyday place that is mostly frequented by locals. It is in Jalatlaco neighborhood, a half mile or so off the Zocalo and very near to Parque Benito Juarez. The service is brusque and English will not be spoken. But I grew to like it a lot due to the fact that I was usually the only nortamericano in there. Basic Oaxaqueno fare.
posted by Danf at 7:46 AM on March 4, 2010

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