After nearly a week in Mexico City, we made our way to Oaxaca. We’d heard nothing but great things from those we spoke with in CDMX, especially about the food! We definitely made the most of our four days there.
We checked into Hotel Trebol, which is about as central as you can get. Already we could hear food vendors calling our to us for empanadas and our mouths were watering! We walked across the street to Mercado 20 de Noviembre and decided on one of the restaurants that looked busy. We shared Oaxaca’s version of a pizza – the Tlayuda.
The city was buzzing and we soon realized there was a festival going on. It turns out, there was a different festival every day we were there which makes me wonder if they city ever experiences any downtime. After some more exploring and stumbling on a parade, we called it a night.
The next day we decided to see some of the city’s sights and found ourselves checking out several artist markets. We didn’t buy anything (other than a cup of excellent coffee in the area) and continued on our way to Museo de las Culturas, which adjoins the Templo Santo Domingo.
That evening, we had a Mescal Tasting at La Mezcaloteca. This was not my favourite thing! It was kind of like a Whisky tasting; we each had the opportunity to try 4 different types based on what we flavours we said we liked. But honestly, I just can’t get past the smokiness! I’m sure some of the ones we tasted are among the best and each had its own story behind it. If you’re a Mescal fan, you should definitely check this place out.
On our third day, we took an organized tour to Hierve el Agua; a calcified waterfall outside of Oaxaca. There are several tour operators that all do the same tour: a visit of Arbol del Tule tree, a wool factory (where you can buy rugs), a mescal factory & tasting, Mitla, a very mediocre lunch and finally Hierve el Agua. If you’re only interested in seeing the waterfall, you may be able to arrange this without the other stops but we found it to be the easiest way given that we hadn’t planned anything in advance.
The Hierve el Agua was actually pretty cool, and a great place to get in a few drone shots. Some of the people on our tour also cooled off in the pools during our 45 minute stay.
James had read online that there was a really great drink you could purchase there called a Pino Loco. It consisted of a full pineapple, more pineapple juice, mescal and a crap load of chilli pepper. James enjoys mescal and spicy things, and I don’t think he finished 1/4 of it so I would be curious to see what others think! 😉
We had come to our last full day in Oaxaca, and what better to do than a cooking class?! When we arrived I spent a bit of time researching and found one that sounded both educational and fun. It was $85 AUD per person which included all the supplies, more food than we could eat, and an open bar. (Link here and TA reviews here)
We met Esperanza in the main square, along with the other participants (a couple from Denmark and a guy from San Francisco) at 11am and headed to the markets. Esperanza explained all the ingredients we were picking up, and gave us the opportunity to try things along the way.
After we finished shopping, we hopped in 2 taxis and made our way to Augustin’s house and kitchen. From there, we spent about 6 hours making salsas, guacamole, different types of tortillas, tacos, quesadillas, tlayudas and more before making our final dish – black mole. I regret to say that by the time it came to making mole we were all feeling sleepy from all the food (and beer) and we more or less watched Esperanza make it for us. We were able to help out with the eating part, however!
Oaxaca was colourful, energetic and full of life. We loved our time there, the people we met and the food. I know, I know AGAIN with the food – but I love Mexican food something fierce and it was great to try some real, authentic Mexican cuisine! I don’t think Oaxaca has seen the last of us!