We share a route through the historic center of the Oaxacan capital: six places where eating and drinking are an unforgettable experience.
Ancient architecture aware of its history, culture proud of its tradition, millenary artisans who inherit and transmit a legacy, aromas, and flavors that enrapture in every bite, in every little sip. That is Oaxaca.
One of the most precious treasures of Oaxaca is its gastronomy, as delicious as it is varied. This gastronomic tour through the historic center of the city is a mini-guide of six must-see places on your next trip, as they pay tribute to the cuisine of this land and to mezcal.
Let’s start with three restaurants, in which your sense of taste will be delighted without restriction, where ancestral dishes blend seamlessly with avant-garde cuisine.
Guendaró nanixe (to eat delicious, in Zapotec)
The powerful presence of the flavors of the Mixteca are combined with the variety of the Central Valleys and the freshness of the Oaxacan coast. These tastes have a meeting point in Pitiona, of signature cuisine, with the genius and guide of chef José Manuel Baños, who enjoys sharing the recipes of his ancestors.
Pitiona is one of the aromatic herbs of Oaxacan cuisine, which gives a spicy flavor to moles and broths. This small plant inspires the name of the restaurant that in 2014 occupied a place in the list of “The 50 Best Restaurants in the World”.
Pitiona is in Allende 114, Col. Centro and you can make reservations by calling 951 514 4707.
Sin Nombre Restaurant
Names are mere formalities when flavors are credentials. This is demonstrated by chef Israel Loyola, the face of the kitchen of the new Sin Nombre Restaurant, where vegetables and fruits rhyme in perfect compositions for the delight of the palate.
In this seventeenth-century mansion, vegan food acquires another dimension because it links Oaxacan tradition with gastronomic modernity, which results in a menu that is both appetizing and healthy, such as the black mole made from charcoal oil with roasted cauliflower and the tlayuda with roasted vegetables and guacamole seat, among others.
For a complete experience, ask for the seven-course tasting menu and its corresponding pairing with mezcals.
Sin Nombre Restaurant is on 20 de Noviembre 208 Street and you can make your reservation by calling 951 419 1019.
Mestizaje from its conception. Criollo rescues the best of the cuisine of the different regions of Oaxaca and chef Luis Arellano gives it a contemporary touch, in which he uses local seasonal products and the menu is constantly transformed. Herein lies its magic.
The sweet bread, made right there, is an invitation to an endless romance, one that you can take home and even share.
Stews such as mole chichilo with green beans, broad beans, nopales, and minilla shrimp, as well as chicken thigh with chileajo and vegetables from the market are part of its varied menu.
They recently opened Casa Criollo, two rooms with all the comforts to accommodate up to four people, who also have activities such as cooking classes and mezcal tastings at their disposal.
Criollo is in Calzada Madero 129 and you can call 951 320 0709.
AND NOW, THE MEZCAL.
“Mezcal, like love, is slowly and with kisses”, and is inherent to Oaxaca. Each bottle, each small portion of this drink contains a history of more than ten years. The essence of mezcal is not itself the liquor extracted from agave, but the soul of the people who produce it.
Now, we share three places where you can enjoy magnificent mezcals during your stay in Oaxaca City …
In Situ Mezcalería
Master Ulises Torrentera will be your host. The historian, journalist, and writer organize tastings in his own “cultural and dissemination center”, where you can enjoy the best mezcals from his private collection. He himself guides you through the tasting and explains the properties of each agave and the distillate.
In Situ Mezcalería is at 511 Morelos Street. You can visit it from Monday to Saturday, from 12:00 to 20:00.
Don’t judge a book by its cover. The same applies to this “agavería”. Just get a table and get your senses ready to perceive the culinary and mezcal charms that you will experience. The recommendation: Aguas del Corazón mezcal made from wild boar agave, distilled in clay, and fermented in a wooden vat with mineral water. A jewel of Sola de Vega, by the maestro Javier Cruz.
El Tendajón is at 409 Pino Suárez Street, with a schedule from 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. From early, because they offer breakfast.
It is at the forefront of cocktails, most based on mezcal. The one in the house is an ensemble -of Mexican agaves, cuishe, tepextate, and coyote-, produced in collaboration with Rey Campero. In addition, their cuisine has a gourmet touch with dishes such as creamy rice with huitlacoche and crunchy cheese or patacones with a jerky salad.
Sabina Sabe is on Calle 5 de Mayo 209. Make a reservation or home delivery by calling 951 514 3494.
Gùlì gaàg ’, gùlì gaàg’! (Bon appetit, in Zapotec).