Food Lover's Guide to Oaxaca

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Located in southern Mexico, the Oaxaca region boasts world-famous cuisine that’s based on staples such as corn, chile peppers, and chocolate. Influenced by its geography and indigenous cultures, its dishes and cooking styles offer a delicious way to learn about Mexican history and traditions. See below for some foods and experiences you’ll want to try.

Must-Try Dishes
Foodies and hungry visitors alike will appreciate the gastronomy of Oaxaca, along with its open-air markets and street food stalls. Popular local dishes include tlayudas, oversize crunchy tortillas topped with black beans, lettuce, meat (typically chicken, beef, or pork), and cheese; memelas, snack-size toasted cakes made of masa with black beans, salsa, shredded cabbage, guacamole, and cheese; and a variety of mole sauces, which are usually flavored with chiles. For those who like spice, Oaxaca is the hot spot—it produces a rare assortment of dried chiles found only in the region.

As for something sweet, chocolate holds a special significance for Oaxaca, having been used as a ceremonial beverage during pre-Hispanic times. Grab a mug of chocolate con leche (hot chocolate with milk) or try it in a savory dish with mole negro.

Must-Do Experiences
  • Learn how to make a variety of southern Mexican dishes during a hands-on cooking class, plus pick up tips for creating them at home.
  • Explore food stands serving chocolate, bread, and fresh meats just outside the city of Oaxaca in the town of Villa de Zaachila during a day trip that also includes visits to Cuilapam de Guerrero and San Antonio Arrazola.
  • Feast on a traditional Mexican dinner while enjoying the popular Guelaguetza folk singing and dancing show in Oaxaca.
  • Visit a corn field farmer and find out how tortillas are made from scratch during a tour through the indigenous villages in Tlacolula valley.
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Tours & Activities (7)
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Mexican Cooking Class

Prepare, cook and enjoy the results of a variety of southern Mexican dishes during this 3.5-hour cooking class in Huatulco. Receive instructions (in English!) on how to make some of the region's most flavorful dishes and learn tips and techniques for recreating them at home. Once you're through whipping up a delightful meal with others, sit down and savor the fruits of your culinary creations. You'll receive a souvenir recipe book to take with you as well.
  • Duration: 3 hours 30 minutes
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$85.00 USD
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  • Duration: 3 hours 30 minutes
From
$85.00 USD

Authentic Oaxacan Food Cooking Class

Try your hand at preparing celebrated Oaxacan dishes with this cooking class. Tour a local market to learn about and purchase fresh ingredients. A professional cook will lead your interactive class, sharing information about pre-Columbian cuisine and culinary methods. Learn to make tortillas from scratch and prepare a traditional dish like red or black mole. Take your knowledge with you and cook Oaxacan delicacies for your friends back at home.
  • Duration: 5 hours
From
$83.99 USD
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  • Duration: 5 hours
From
$83.99 USD

Oaxaca Cooking Class

Learn how to create Oaxacan cuisine at a world-class restaurant in Oaxaca raved about in the ‘New York Times’ and ‘Bon Appétit.’ During this 3.5-hour cooking class led by an expert chef-instructor, your small group, limited to just 10 cooking enthusiasts, decides which dishes are on the menu. After picking up the necessary ingredients, all fresh, from a local market, prepare your dishes back in the kitchen. Whether it’s tortillas, salsas, soup, mole, or dessert, take home exciting recipes knowing you’ll be able to easily recreate the flavors of Oaxaca.
  • Duration: 3 hours 30 minutes
From
$115.50 USD
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  • Duration: 3 hours 30 minutes
From
$115.50 USD

Full Day Tortilla Food of the Soul Tour

The tortilla is said to have been invented in Oaxaca 2,700 years ago. Learn how corn tortillas are made, from scratch, on this full-day guided tour that takes you to indigenous villages in Tlacolula valley. Meet a Zapotec corn farmer, women who craft comals and make tlayudas, and an artisan who specializes in corn stone grinders. Leave the typical tourist outings behind and enjoy this authentic look into traditions that are thousands of years old. Home-cooked lunch and transport by air-conditioned van included.
  • Duration: 8 hours
From
$85.00 USD
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  • Duration: 8 hours
From
$85.00 USD

Guelaguetza Dinner Show in Oaxaca

Purchase tickets ahead of time for the 3-hour Guelaguetza show in Oaxaca. Guarantee your admission to this popular show, featuring native dancing and singing, which allows guests to learn about Mixtec and Zapotec history, followed by a traditional Mexican dinner. Pickup from your Oaxaca hotel is available.
  • Duration: 3 hours
From
$90.00 USD
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  • Duration: 3 hours
From
$90.00 USD

8-Course Dinner Experience in Huatulco

Enjoy authentic Mexican cuisine in the village of Zimatan, about 25 minutes from Huatulco, during this family-friendly culinary experience. Savor an 8-course seasonal menu prepared with locally-sourced ingredients and learn about the traditional flavors used in each dish. During your tour, you'll also have time to shop for souvenirs. Plus, drinks and hotel pickup and drop-off are included.
  • Duration: 3 hours 30 minutes
From
$85.00 USD
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  • Duration: 3 hours 30 minutes
From
$85.00 USD

Gastronomic Experience in Oaxaca

Your day will start with a visit to the Organic Market, walk through the aisles while we provide fascinating overview of the region´s culinary heritage. We will also share information about many unique fruits, vegetables, and spices that you will use during your lesson. After your class you will be able to identify these unique foods by sight, smell, and taste and be able to shop for them on your own with confidence.
  • Duration: 5 hours
From
$134.00 USD
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  • Duration: 5 hours
From
$134.00 USD


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