YOLO Journal & DELSEY PARIS: Guide to Oaxaca, Mexico
DELSEY PARIS has partnered with the premium travel magazine YOLO JOURNAL to bring you monthly travel inspirations to the most beautiful places in the world. Yolanda Edwards, founder of Yolo Journal, will share with you her favorite places and secret addresses.
Oaxaca, in southwestern Mexico, is one of my favorite cities in the world. Home to the largest population of artisans in the country, it’s the birthplace of mezcal, and the most lovely colonial buildings and cobblestone streets. Perhaps because it isn’t so easy to get to (most flights stop in Mexico City), and because it’s so much smaller, it feels calmer–less intense and intimidating. You can head there just for a long weekend of the most incredible food, markets, and visits to artisans (candlemakers, rug weavers, , or you can stretch it out with cooking classes, visits to nearby villages, or pair it with a trip to the Oaxacan Coast. Whatever you do, put this charming, beautiful town on your list, because it is truly magical.
Where to stay:
Casa Carmen (2 locations: Reforma and Morelos)
El Diablo y La Sandia (2 locations: Libres and Boca del Monte)
Where to eat:
Boulenc: Great for coffee and pastries to take out, but they also have a delicious café with table service in adjoining space. They produce their own jams, chiles and other products that make great gifts.
Casa Estambul: Fun café with great cocktails and small but tasty menu. They host many art exhibits.
Casa Oaxaca El Restaurante: Innovative Oaxacan cuisine and delicious cocktails served in an elegant, yet unstuffy ambience. Great bar and rooftop restaurant seating. Extensive mezcal selection and solid wine list. Origen: Rodolfo Castellano’s creative interpretation of regional Oaxacan cuisine. Great cocktails.
Criollo: Delicious restaurant opened by Enrique Olvera’s former chef from Pujol, Luis Arellano. Modern interpretation of Mexican food served in prix fixe format. Open, airy, beautiful space. Innovative cocktail list and exclusively domestic wine list largely from Baja.
Itanoni: Small, casual spot perfect for lunch. The entire menu is based on seasonal heirloom varieties of corn, mostly Oaxacan specialties: memelas, tetelas and tejate.
La Popular Café: Small and informal, good and inexpensive food; great location.
La Teca: Classic dishes from Isthmus region, the restaurant is in the owner’s home. Mostly locals frequent. Beer and mezcal.
Ancestral: Soulful, classic Oaxacan food served in an outdoor covered patio. Absolutely delicious, mostly locals.
Levadura de Olla: Tiny, authentic, esoteric Oaxacan cuisine from different parts of the state. The most amazing breakfast served in a small, private room featuring heirloom corn.
Adama: Small and lovely space serving simple but tasty Israeli food. “Underground” restaurant and perfect when you need a change of pace from Oaxacan cuisine. Only open Thursday-Sunday
Los Amantes Mezcaleria: Tiny mezcal bar, mostly frequented by locals. Great, hidden gem. Across the street is Hotel Los Amantes (same owners), which houses a rooftop bar with a glorious view of Santo Domingo Church. Perfect for a sunset cocktail.
La Mezcalerita: Fantastic mezcal bar featuring their proprietary brand as well as others, pulque and a large selection of local craft beer. Fun rooftop bar, mostly locals.
Sabina Sabe: Great cocktail bar, extensive mezcal list, good wines and delicious light snacks—perfect for early happy hour.
Mezcaleria In Situ: Small mezcal bar that houses the largest selection of mezcales in Mexico (per their website). Very local spot.
La Mezcaloteca: Great bar that serves their proprietary mezcal.
Where to shop
La Tiendita del Barro by Colectivo 1050: Collective of local, artisanal ceramics.
Los Baules de Juana Cata: Boutique run by Remigio Mestas Revilla who is devoted to rescuing and preserving lost or disappearing textile techniques. He works directly with artisans in communities throughout the state of Oaxaca who produce very fine, exquisite pieces—blouses, dresses, embroidered huipiles and rebozos. If you love textiles, do not miss this spot.
La Mano Magica: Amazing crafts, including papier mache, alebrijes, black pottery and textiles.
Aripo: A collective selling folk art from the eight regions of the state, including ceramics, textiles, weavings and more.
What to do
MUSEUMS AND GALLERIES
MACO/Museo de Arte Contemporaneo de Oaxaca: Contemporary museum in a 1700s house featuring permanent & rotating exhibits of contemporary Mexican art.
Museo Textil de Oaxaca: Museum featuring regional textiles from the entire state of Oaxaca.
Museo Rufino Tamayo: Housed in a restored 18th-century mansion, this museum contains the extensive, private collection of pre-Hispanic art of Oaxacan artist Rufino Tamayo.
Jardin Etnobotanico de Oaxaca: This botanical garden is one of the most beautiful in the world–they pride their work on saving many endangered species and highlight those of the country.
Church of Santo Domingo de Guzman: The Baroque ecclesiastical building, church, complex and former monastery of Santo Domingo de Guzman in the city center. It includes a sanctuary and extensive courtyards.
Alejandro Ruiz: Classes given by Chef Alejandro Ruiz of Casa Oaxaca. Class starts with market tour, shopping and breakfast followed by cooking in the beautiful kitchen of Casa Oaxaca. Sit in the courtyard after to enjoy splendid meal you have prepared.
Mercado de Abastos: This is the large market in downtown Oaxaca. The big market day is Saturday, when it is truly bustling with vendors descending from outlying villages. There are many things to buy and eat. Use caution with your wallet and do not visit alone.
Tlacolula: Sunday is the market day here, as well as the place for “Barbacoa” breakfast. More rustic than the mercados in the city center.
CONCIERGE TRIP PLANNER
Liliana Meixuerio: A native of Oaxaca, she can plan anything from curated excursions to special events, full-trip itineraries and more. She has the inside information on Oaxaca, its happenings and culture and is a wealth of information and connections
+52 951 156 5009 (WhatsApp)
Yolanda Edwards is the founder of Yolo Journal, a weekly newsletter and seasonal print magazine devoted to the love of travel. Yolo gathers insider addresses and favorite destinations from its trust network of travelers in creative fields and shares them with a growing community of discerning global explorers.