Oaxaca – Centro

On our second (and last) day in Oaxaca, we decided to visit the center of the town. This was nice and close to our accommodation.

We started the day by a quick trip to the ADO bus station to exchange a bus ticket we purchased the day before as I made a mistake while booking (first mistake in over 60+ bookings, quickly fixed by helpful ADO staff).

We started walking around the city and came across a really nice restaurant, Vieja Lira Reforma, where we decided to stop for a nice coffee and pain au chocolat. Lovely interior, and it seemed to be serving cured meat and cheeses too, would have also been a great dinner destination.

Caffeinated, we continued walking around the city, through the different colourful streets. They were full of cafes and restaurants, street markets, and local artists selling their products.

In many ways Oaxaca made us think of Cusco in Peru, that we visited nearly 4 years ago. It has small colourful streets, a main square with a beautiful cathedral (which interior is gorgeous), market stalls dotted around, and small cute grandma’s which I particularly enjoy looking at.

We continued walking making our way to mercado Benito Juarez (a food market), before heading to mercado 20 de Noviembre for lunch.

This market is big, with dozens of food stalls everywhere at a very reasonable price.

I opted for an omelette filled with Oaxaca cheese and beans, and Nick got the beef quesadillas. Food there was cheap and tasty (AUD $12 for the both of us).

We visited some of the craft shops and the different street markets, before heading back to our hotel to rest before dinner. Unfortunately, I was getting sick again with a cold.

We chose to go to a restaurant nearby our accommodation for dinner, El Tendajon, which had a good menu at a reasonable price.

The restaurant’s decor was very pretty, again with a lovely courtyard (it seems to be standard there to have beautifully decorated courtyards).

We chose to share a platter, including tortillas, guacamole, beans, chorizo, beef, Oaxaca cheese and fried crickets. We passed on the crickets, but the rest of the food was delicious.

We also asked for a side of Mole Nero, one of the local sauces made from 20 different ingredients (but always including chilli). The Nero version has got chocolate to counteract the bitterness of the chilli. It was quite good to add to the tortillas.

We also ordered a shot of Mezcal, the local spirit made of Agave. Man, is it strong! We took it in turn to sip it, but couldn’t make it further than half the shot glass. It’s just way too strong for us, but we were happy to try it nonetheless. Imagine tequila, but a bit stronger and without salt or lemon (it should be sipped too, not taken as a shot).

Tomorrow, a 4.50am alarm will ensure we’re at Tuxtla airport on time to catch our flight to San Cristobal de Las Casas and the temple region of Palenque.

TIPS

  • Mezcal is strong! Definitely worth trying when in Oaxaca but be warned, you feel it coming down.
  • Mercado 20 de Noviembre was the perfect lunch spot with plenty of inexpensive food choices. You can also try the different street food stalls that also looked pretty good.

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