Mexico is one of the most passionate and long-lasting love affairs of my life this far :) Since the moment I stepped my tippy toe on the soil of this country I was completely and utterly smitten. The people and their smiles, the colours, patterns, energy, craft, food, nature - the list is endless of reasons for why I am so in love with Mexico - and Oaxaca City is one of my preferred hang-outs! Find below a list of my favourite spots around town... I can highly recommend a visit to this dreamy old-school Mexican city - especially if you are into crafts and textiles, it is the mecca for all things handmade. It is a little difficult to put together a list of places because the wonderful thing about Oaxaca is that you can just get lost in all the tiny alleyways and find little gems all over... still I tried my best to put a good collection of recommendations together for you below.
Museo Textil de Oaxaca: Must visit for all textile lovers out there - a beautiful collection of old and new textiles. Their museum shop is also very good.
Jardin Botanico: Behind the cathedral of Santa Domingo. Beautiful garden that you can however only explore with a guided tour
Museo de Arte Contemporaneo Oaxaca: Very cool contemporary art museum with a link to Oaxaca. A really nice space.
Iglesia Santo Domingo: The church is beautiful inside, definitely worth checking out and the museum is really good too. From that building, you get a wonderful view into the botanical garden if you don't feel like taking a tour.
Casa Oaxaca Hotel and Restaurant (different locations): One of Oaxaca's all-time classics. The restaurant is great for lunch as well as dinner, I think it is my favourite restaurant in town. Everything I have tried has always been delicious and they cook with great care for quality and detail. Their style is traditional with a modern pure twist. I love getting a small table in the bar, it's intimate and cosy in there. The hotel is great for breakfast, you can sit outside on a beautiful patio and they serve the most delicious fruits and eggs. You can also take cooking classes there. I have never tried one but I am sure they are amazing.
Boulenc: Most delicious bakery, great for breakfast/brunch. Try their pancakes, they are a treat for your eyes and your taste buds!
Los Danzantes: Also an all-time classic in town. It's the restaurant of a very famous mezcal brewery in the area. The open space design is one of a kind and the food is very good. Right next door is one of the best textile stores in all of Mexico - quite expensive, but great quality.
El Origen: Very delicious and with a nice experimental twist. I like the area too, right next to all the big markets.
Las Tlayudas de los Libres (street stand): Go there after 10pm for nice Mexican street food!
Criollo: Same chef as Puyol and Cosme (Michelin star restaurants). To be honest I thought the food was a bit boring but the way everything is displayed and the location is done, is with a lot of taste and is therefore worth checking out.
Mercado de la Merced: Food market great for hangover breakfast.
Casilda: Beautiful little church plaza with lots of aguas frescas stands with typical Mexican flavours such as "horchata con tuna" (iced drink with cactus fruit). You can also try "piedrazos" there, another typical and interesting Mexican dish made with bread and pickled vegetables.
Baumes de Juan Cata: Traditional and high-quality Mexican dresses and textiles, next to Los Danzantes.
Arte Amuzgo: Handwoven Oaxacan dresses and shirts from the coastal region (5 da May #217B). Very beautiful high-quality stuff.
All the markets are great, you can find little gems of handcrafted stuff everywhere.
Los Caballo Mixteco: Leather shop with cool cowboy belts stuff like that. The shop is close to the main markets.
Ex Hacienda Guadalupe: Visit Raul and see his wonderful project Oaxifornia with artisans all around Oaxaca. He and his partner took over a beautiful hacienda outside of Oaxaca City and turned it into a very small boutique hotel of the unusual kind, full of creativity and love for detail - very very much up the HIITU alley!