Don’t Leave Oaxaca Without Eating These 5 Must Dishes
Wherever you travel it's critical to sample those foods that get to the heart of a destination's culture. When in Oaxaca these are those five most essential bites.
Oaxaca is known to be the spiritual home of mezcal. But it’s not just about the hooch. Before you depart this Colonial Mexican city, be sure you sample these five must bites.
At the markets, you’ll see toasted and seasoned grasshoppers for sale in bulk. To experience their concentrated, sun-dried tomato flavor in a dish, eat at hip and welcoming La Popular (García Vigil # 105).
2. Hierba Santa
An aromatic, heart-shaped leaf, it’s often left whole to encase cheese and meat. Head slightly out of the center of the city to Alice Water’s favorite restaurant, Itanoní Antojeria y Tortilleria (Belisario Dominguez 513, Reforma, closes at 5pm!!) to eat the local herb inside a tortilla made from heritage corn—the restaurant’s specialty and mission.
This large crisp tortilla is served open face like a personal-sized pizza at the markets or folded into a giant quesadilla and enjoyed on the street at night, such as at Tlayudas Libres on Calle de Los Libres between Murguia and Jose Maria Morelos.
Built for melting, this milky Oaxacan string cheese is sold in balls, which resemble white ribbons bundled together. Eat it anywhere you see a street vendor or person at a commedor shredding it by hand by hand for melting into a tlayuda or quesadilla.
5. Tasajo and Cecina
The meats of Oaxaca, beef and pork, respectively, are best enjoyed grilled to order in a designated (and smoke-filled) aisle of Mercado 11 de noviembre by the entrance on Miguel Cabrera.