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
A DAY OF PERFECT EATING
BREAKFAST
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.
LUNCH
MERCADO MERCED, especially FONDA FLORCITA.
20 de NOVIEMBRE Market 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.
LOS PACOS Food is good. Not amazing. But you can get a sampling of the 7 moles of Oaxaca, great to try/intro.
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.
DINNER
EL DESTILADO The tasting menu is special and heady. And new-ish taquiza menu served on the rooftop terrace is really great.
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.
STREET EATS
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).
MEZCAL TASTING / DRINKING
PIERDE ALMAS Private tasting room. By appointment and very under the radar… speakeasy-vibe.

IN SITU MEZALERÍA 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.

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.
MARKETS
20 de NOVIEMBRE and BENITO DE JUÁREZ (inside the city center), ABASTOS (huge and sprawling, outside of the center)
WEEKLY MARKETS OUTSIDE OF OAXACA CENTER

ZAACHILA on Thursdays

OCTOLÁN on Fridays

TLACOLULA on Sundays – this one’s a must.

DESIGN INSPIRATION
CENTRO CULTURAL SAN PABLO
THE BOTANICAL GARDENS Designed by Francisco Toledo, and visit SANTO DOMINGO CHURCH which is adjacent.
TEXTILE MUSEUM OF OAXACA
MACO (The Museum of Contemporary Art)
CENTRO FOTOGRÁFICO ÁLVAREZ BRAVO
THE GRAPHIC ARTS INSTITUTE
SANTO DOMINGO CHURCH and the Cultural Center of San Pablo.
HOT TIP
TEMEZCAL AND MASSAGE
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.
OUTSIDE THE CITY CENTER
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).
TEOTITLÁN DEL VALLE for rugs, and the Zaptoec restaurant TLAMANALLI.
SAN BARTOLO DE COYOTEPEC for barro negro.
SHOP
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).
LANIIl GIFTS Pretty bags, hats, small stuff
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.
SLEEP
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 del Monte is my homebase in Oaxaca.
hotels and bed and breakfasts in Oaxaca City.
CASA ANTONIETA Brand, brand new 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.
EL CALLEJON Overall boho-vibe with modern interiors in a great location.
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.
LOS AMANTES A newish spot from the Los Amantes mezcal people. It’s 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.
TBD FROM GRUPO HABITA I’m going to be super curious to see this newest from Grupo Habita, being 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.
EXPLORE
OUR MEXICAN COLLECTIONS
stone onyx and marble wall sonces in neutral colors , black, white, travertine. traditional lighting.

PIEDRA LIGHTING COLLECTION
onyx + marble sconces and semi-flush ceiling mounts

handmade black ceramic barro negro table lamps

BARRO NEGRO TABLE LAMPS
black clay lighting

glass pendant light cluster with metal brass finishings.

AGAVE PENDANT LIGHTING COLLECTION
handblown glass lights

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