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l’a travels | oaxaca

l’a travels | oaxaca

travel guide and tip sheet for oaxaca city, mexico. The best restaurants, bars, shopping and design minded places in Oaxaca.
travel guide and tip sheet for oaxaca city, mexico. The best restaurants, bars, shopping and design minded places in Oaxaca.
our city ‘cheat sheets’ are versions of the notes i send to friends when they are going to a city i know and love. x laura aviva
ITANONÍ Casual breakfast + lunch just to the north of the center. They make the best heirloom corn tortillas there on their comal — and use that same heirloom corn to make tetelas and memelitas and tamales and quesadillas and more.
CASA OAXACA (HOTEL) Incredibly lovely very quiet spot to sit and eat… especially breakfast.
BOULENC Baked goods, pizzas… all quite great. With a pretty patio space.
SUCULENTA Beautiful jarred preserved food stuffs – adjacent to Boulenc.
PAN AM Also has really good baked goods, and an open courtyard space.
20 de NOVIEMBRE (MERCADO) Misc. stalls/booths. And there’s also a passageway where they grill meats to order and set down in front of you at communal tables along with radishes and tortillas and scallions and more, a simple grilled feast.
CABUCHE A great, easy lunch spot, straight-forward plays on traditional street food.
Alejandro Ruiz’s OAXACALIFORNIA is seafood-focused and delicious. It’s not in the most charming location (outside the center in a mini-mall), but the space itself is lovely and welcoming.
CASA OAXACA, El RESTORANTE Eat/reserve on the roof terrace. Especially great for a Sunday lunch.
casa oaxaca restaurant, best outdoor patio brunch spot in oaxaca, mexico.
CRIOLLO The space is incredibly gorgeous. An ex-Pujol chef. Lunch, dinner, long Sunday lunch…
LA TECA Food from the Isthmus (comida istmeña), in the owner’s home. Lovely outdoor patio space.
EL SON ISTEMEÑO Also food from the Isthmus.
CABUCHE restaurant in oaxaca city, mexico.
DOÑA NORMA sets up camp in front of the Trinidad de las Huertas Church and makes the best memelitas in town on her portable comal.
THE CART ACROSS THE STREET FROM LA POPULAR is a sure-bet spot for quesadillas and more from afternoon through late night.
EL LECHONCITO DE ORO, on the corner of Libres and Independencia, is the best late night spot for pork-fest tacos (tacos with lechón and chicharron).
PIERDE ALMAS Private tasting room. By appointment and very under the radar… speakeasy-vibe.

IN SITU MEZCALERÍA The best place to get schooled and sip mezcal… in flights, or in cocktails, or…

MEZCALOTECA Bar, tastings… they bottle their own mezcal (from a bunch of different individual producers that they work with, and then they private label it). There’s a huge range, and the tasting is super informative, perfect for mezcal nerding-out.

SABINA SABE Another great spot for mezcal sipping and cocktails (with some good bites, as well).

LA POPULAR Crowded little spot that’s good to sip a drink and for very basic eats. Musicians some- times walk through, and it’s most fun when a little dance party breaks out.
LA SANTÍSIMA FLOR DE LUPULO Newish spot for local beers.
20 de NOVIEMBRE and BENITO DE JUÁREZ (inside the city center), ABASTOS (huge and sprawling, outside of the center)

ZAACHILA on Thursdays

OCTOLÁN on Fridays

TLACOLULA on Sundays – this one’s a must.

THE BOTANICAL GARDENS Designed by Francisco Toledo (although this one with a caveat: you used to be able to meander through, which was ideal. They now require you to go with a tour, and it’s looooooong and kind of a drag, truly), and visit SANTO DOMINGO CHURCH which is adjacent.
MACO (The Museum of Contemporary Art)
Also great: LA SEÑORA, an arts space that is the public-facing component of Jess Chrastil’s Pocoapoco residency program, featuring a series of exhibitions/installations and workshops and public programs.
SANTO DOMINGO CHURCH and the Cultural Center of San Pablo.
LAS BUGAMBILIAS, Calling through to the hotel, you can set up an appointment to visit their space outside the center for a temezcal (Zapotec sweat lodge) and massage.
HIERVE EL AQUA otherworldly calcified waterfalls/hot springs with incredible views - a quick day trip outside of Oaxaca.
THE GRAPHIC ARTS INSTITUTE in oaxaca has a courtyard in the center with Francisco Toledo designed tiles.
SAN JERÓNIMO TLACOCHAHUAYA The super beautiful 16th century church in Tlacochahuaya with walls and ceilings covered in insanely gorgeous floral frescos.
HIERVE EL AGUA Otherworldly calcified waterfalls/hot springs with incredible views.
MONTE ALBAN, MITLA + YAGUL for Zapotec ruins. Monte Alban is the most elaborate, Mitla has great Zapotec carvings, and Yagul you might have all to yourself (and there’s a labyrinth!). If you are ambitious, you can conceivably squeeze in a visit to all three in a few hours.
CENTRO DE ARTES SAN AGUSTÍN (CASA) Dynamic exhibition space and residency program from Francisco Toledo – in San AgustÍn Etla. (There’s also handmade paper ‘factory’ accessible via a hidden stairway and winding path, with a store that’s open first part of the day).
HACIENDA SAN ANTONIO Charmed spot for a mini-escape, a boutique hotel (and spa and temezcal) about 40 minutes outside the center.
TEOTITLÁN DEL VALLE for rugs, and the Zaptoec restaurant TLAMANALLI.
ANDARES DE ARTE POPULAR Houses a really well-curated selection of goods, from textiles to furniture to ceramics. Best one-stop shopping destination.
LA CHICHARRA CERAMICA (outside of the center) Especially beautiful ceramics with great glazes and streamlined forms, they make for restaurants, etc.
LOS BAÚLES DE JUANA CATA The most beautiful clothing, caftans, etc. – highest quality (with prices to match).
MADDA STUDIO My dear friend Madda has a somewhat secret little spot adjacent to her studio, with a selection of her gorge natural-dyed kaftans and scarfs and pillows and small rugs on offer… And you can set up an appointment to visit by emailing
LANIIl GIFTS Pretty bags, hats, small stuff
TIENDA Q Locally-vibed (if not locally made) clothing and jewelry-focused boutique (think: lots of dresses from Dosa).
GUBANI ARTESENALI Really well done colorful plastic wire-coated furniture and accessories.
TEOTITLÁN DEL VALLE and Andares Arte Popular are great shops in Oaxaca for something more than a tourist gift.
ESCONDIDO OAXACA New from Grupo Habita, developed by Bosco Sodi (the Mexican artist and developer who is also behind the group’s Hotel Escondido in Puerto Escondido and the adjacent Tadao Ando-designed Casa Wabi). Architect is Alberto Kalach.
EL DIABLO Y LA SANDIA (two locations: BOCA DEL MONTE, and LIBRES) A pair of B&Bs owned by my friend Maria – lovingly restored spaces – homey, friendly. (Boca de Monte is my favorite).
hotels and bed and breakfasts in Oaxaca City.
CASA ANTONIETA New-ish 6-room boutique space on the ground floor of a family-owned building next to the textile museum. Beautifully designed spacious rooms and interior courtyard space.
LOS AMANTES From the Los Amantes mezcal people, good-looking in a Mexican Ace Hotel kind-of-way, with a really nice rooftop terrace. But with a BIG CAVEAT – it can be insanely noisy, and must absolutely only book on upper floors.
CASA OAXACA My longtime favorite, it’s an super beautiful space/setting. The rooms could use a bit of touch-up/refresh, but it’s still a really charmed spot.
EL CALLEJON Overall boho-vibe with modern interiors in a great location.
stone onyx and marble wall sonces in neutral colors , black, white, travertine. traditional lighting.

onyx + marble sconces and semi-flush ceiling mounts

handmade black ceramic barro negro table lamps

black clay lighting

glass pendant light cluster with metal brass finishings.

handblown glass lights

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