best foods to try in Oaxaca woman

Searching for the best foods in Oaxaca? Want to eat your way through a city that offers the most varied cuisine in Mexico? If you’re serious about digging deeper into what Mexican food is all about, this is the place for you. There are up to 16 indigenous groups living in the state. Each group has its ancient traditions and language. Get your tastebuds ready as we share the best foods to try in Oaxaca. And, most importantly, where you can find it.

1) Mole

best foods to try in Oaxaca mole

Oaxaca is the birthplace of mole. A national dish that is eaten widely across the country and prepared especially during festivals and celebrations. To explain it, mole is a complex, rich sauce. The main ingredients in mole are herbs, onions, chiles, nuts, spices, seeds, garlic, chocolate and fruit. There are seven variations of mole in Oaxacan cuisine. These include red, green, yellow and black mole.

However, the most popular mole recipe in Oaxaca is a black mole (negro). And definitely, one of the best foods to try in Oaxaca. This mole is the most difficult to prepare because mole negro contains over 30 ingredients. And even unsweetened dark chocolate. Mole sauces are served with pork, turkey, beef or chicken.

My tip: Have warm tortillas on hand to mop up the yummy sauce at the end of your meal. Honestly, mole negro is one of the most delicious foods to try in Oaxaca.

Find the best Mole Negro here: Restaurant Los Pacos – Calle de Mariano Abasolo 121, RUTA INDEPENDENCIA, Oaxaca

2) Empanadas

Best foods to try in Oaxaca

In other Latin countries, empanadas are usually small deep-fried pastries. Most common fillings include different meats and vegetables. However, here in Oaxaca, an empanada is a large tortilla stuffed with meat and cheese. Afterwards, it’s folded in half, then toasted on a comal. Keep your eyes open to find one served with mole amarillo (yellow mole).

Also, don’t leave Oaxaca without trying the empanada con flor de calabaza. This has to be on your list of the best foods to try in Oaxaca when you visit. The empanada con flor de calabaza is essentially a fresh zucchini flower topped with quesillo. It’s served with your choice of salsa drizzled over. Absolute bliss!

Where to find the best foods to try in Oaxaca? Find the best empanada con flor de calabaza here: El Mercado de la Merced

3) Tlayudas – the most popular snack food to try in Oaxaca

tlayuda mexico food guide

Tlayudas are the classic street food of Oaxaca. Often described as a Mexican style pizza. First, a huge crispy tortilla is grilled on both sides over a fire. Then, bean paste and pork lard are spread over it. And to finish it off, they add toppings of quesillo (Oaxacan string cheese) tomato, soft avocado, lettuce or cabbage for crunch. Of course, you can choose to add meat.

This is my favourite street snack in Oaxaca. Definitely include tlayudas on your list of the best foods to try in Oaxaca. Nothing beats the smoky crispy tortilla piled with fresh ingredients and delicious spicy salsa. Aslo, don’t forget to squeeze lime on top. You will find tlayuda sold throughout the city, but ask locals where to find the best ones.

Tlayudas Libres serve the best tlayuda in the city. The best part is that they stay open late.

Find the best tlayudas here: Tlayudas Libres – Calle de Los Libres 212, RUTA INDEPENDENCIA, Oaxaca

4) Pozole

pozole is one of the best foods to try in oaxaca

This one is a must on your search for the best foods in Oaxaca. Pozole is a traditional Mexican soup. The secret ingredient? Hominy. Essentially dried corn which locals soak in a mineral bath. This process loosens the hulls from the kernels, softens the kernels and doubles them in size.

The soup is topped with lime juice, cabbage, radishes and chili and your choice of meat. The ultimate comfort food!

Find the best pozole here: Cabuche – Miguel Hidalgo 1017, Oaxaca OR Tacos RoyPino