Oaxaca, Mexico is a vibrant and captivating destination, steeped in culture, history, and natural beauty. From its colonial architecture and indigenous markets to its stunning natural landscapes and delicious cuisine, Oaxaca has something to offer every traveller. With its rich cultural heritage and thriving arts scene, this charming city is a must-visit for anyone looking to experience the true essence of Mexico.
I booked a week in Oaxaca on my Mexican adventure because I have yet to meet a person who has travelled here who didn’t like this place. When I arrived, I felt immediately welcomed by the colourful buildings, artistically diverse street art, and the smells of the Oaxacan food scene smacking me in the face.
There weren’t many touristy things I had on my Oaxaca checklist, except to try as many different foods and drinks as I could while I was here. What is the best way to try as many Oaxacan foods as possible, while also learning about the history and context of the food? A food tour!
When I googled Oaxacan Food Tour, Oaxaca Eats was a highly rated option so I wanted to give it a try. What drew me to Oaxaca Eats is that not only are they a locally owned and operated business, but they also take a portion of all the guest’s revenues and give it to local charities. As a single traveller, they do ask to call to book so with the help of my hotel, I called and made a reservation for the following evening for the Sunset Food and Cocktail tour.
Three establishments in one, Tierra Del Sol offers three facets of Oaxacan food culture in one centrally located space. The first area is Masea, a bakery creating bread and pastries using corn flour. The second is La Atoleria, the first place in Mexico dedicated to the atole beverage – a combination of maize mixed with sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla. The third is their restaurant where you can enjoy a diverse menu of Oaxacan flavours while sitting on the terrace overlooking Oaxaca.
Our tour gave us the opportunity to try tasting menu-sized plates of salsa made table side, a taco made of fresh greens and tomatoes, and two different types of moles. The tasting plates were paired with a pineapple mezcal cocktail, and an agua fresca, a refreshing non-alcoholic drink that you can also find at stands on all over the Oaxacan streets.
We were in for a treat up on another rooftop at our second stop. At El Burrito, we were going to try a selection of two dishes accompanied by a house mezcal cocktail and a sample of pure mezcal.
Our third location was a local family restaurant specializing in stuffed chiles and moles accompanied by a spicy mezcal margarita. I think the stuffed chile with pistachio creme and pomegranates won my heart out of all the dishes.
At our final stop, Ancestral Cocina Traditional, I immediately noticed the ambience the minute I walked in. Twinkly lights lined the trees around guests enjoying dinner in the garden. After our previous three stops, I was definitely full of food and cocktails but our guide told us that we would find space for the dishes we would try at our final stop. The most interesting dish of the night went to the beef ceviche, a first for me, served with a grasshopper and parmesan cracker. It was delicious and memorable. The margarita was also lined with grasshopper and flying ant salt, another first for me.
Oaxaca Eats put on a wonderful tour and you could tell they took care and energy to work with the best partners in Oaxaca. I’d definitely recommend this tour to foodies who are interested in exploring the variety of cuisines Oaxaca has to offer.