Best Specialty Cuisine to Try in Oaxaca, Mexico

Oaxaca, a beautiful city in southern Mexico, is known for its rich culinary traditions and diverse gastronomy. The region offers a wide array of specialty delicious dishes that you should try when visiting. Read the list here for restaurant recommendations, and below are some of the best cuisine in Oaxaca:

Tlayudas on the go in Mercado 1921
Mole Negro in Oaxaca

1. Tlayudas: Often referred to as “Oaxacan pizza,” tlayudas are large, thin, crispy tortillas topped with beans, Oaxacan cheese, various meats (such as tasajo, cecina, or chorizo), and a variety of other toppings like avocado and salsa. They are usually served folded in half and can be found in many local markets and street food stalls.

2. Mole: Oaxaca is famous for its complex and flavorful moles. There are several types of mole in the region, but some of the most well-known specialties are mole negro (black mole), mole coloradito (red mole), and mole almendrado (almond mole). These rich sauces are made from a combination of chilies, spices, nuts, seeds, and often chocolate, resulting in a unique and delicious flavor.

3. Tamales: Oaxacan tamales are known for their large size and unique fillings. You can find Oaxacan specialty tamales stuffed with ingredients such as chicken, mole, beans, or various local herbs and vegetables, all wrapped in banana leaves.

4. Chapulines: For the adventurous eaters, chapulines are a popular snack in Oaxaca. These are grasshoppers seasoned with salt, garlic, and chili, offering a crunchy and flavorful treat.

Best Specialties to Eat, Oaxaca
Tamale with Chapulines (Grasshopper) Salsa

5. Enmoladas: Similar to enchiladas, enmoladas are tortillas filled with meat, rolled, and covered in mole sauce. They are usually topped with cheese and onions and make for a mouthwatering dish and a must-try Oaxacan specialty dish!

6. Memelas: Memelas are thick, handmade tortillas topped with beans, cheese, salsa, and sometimes meat. They are simple yet delicious, and you can find them in local markets and street food stalls.

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Enmoladas in Oaxaca

7. Tlayudas de Asiento: These are tlayudas prepared with pork lard (asiento) spread on the tortilla before adding the other toppings. The asiento adds a rich and savory flavor to the dish.

8. Quesillo: Oaxacan cheese, known as quesillo, is famous for its stringy texture and mild taste. It is commonly used in tlayudas, quesadillas, and other traditional dishes.

9. Chiles Rellenos: Oaxaca is home to a wide variety of chilies, and chiles rellenos are a popular way to enjoy them. The chilies are stuffed with meat or cheese, dipped in egg batter, and fried until golden and delicious.

Light and refreshing tejate

10. Chocolate and Oaxacan Tejate: Oaxaca is also known for its rich and velvety chocolate. Be sure to try traditional Oaxacan hot chocolate, often made with water or milk and flavored with cinnamon and other spices. If you need a lighter refreshment, be sure to try Tejaté, an light horchata-like drink made of cacao and rice water. It’s best served iced!

Dinner with friends in Oaxaca City


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