When I returned from Oaxaca, I found a Chow.com thread titled “Oaxaca for dummies.” I’d eaten at most of the sit-down restaurants mentioned in the discussion, yet they weren’t meals I enjoyed most or remembered most. Street food was. I wrote this comment with food truck and tianguis/market meal suggestions. My comment is duplicated below.
I just returned from 4 months in Oaxaca. Here’s my very condensed best-of.
DESAYUNO – TACOS: 2 taco stands setup on the sidewalk at the far NW corner of the Templo del Carmen Alto starting at 8:30: Google Maps
Get a tinga taco from the southern-most one (in the corner), then walk on to the northern one on the sidewalk. If the northernmost one isn’t there that day, get 1 tinga and 1 chorizo :–) It’s actually on Foursquare.
DESAYUNO – MUFFIN: the Cafe Brujula on Garcia Vigil bakes berry muffins every morning. They come out at about 9: Cafe Brujula. Most pastries in Mexico are little more than sugar and flour. These muffins are amazing and the venue is nice for wifi. Skip the banana loaf thing if that’s all they have.
COMIDA – TOSTADAS: Tostadas at a stand about 3 meters into Parque El Llano (off of Avenida Juarez). There are a handful of stands throughout the park, so I’ve attached a map with an X where this one is. At least as of this writing, it has a green awning and is run by 1 woman and sometimes a man. They’re around every day. Recommend 1 or 2 tostadas with tinga, tasajo, or whatever she’s got.
COMIDA – TORTA: Every Friday, there’s a mercado at Parque El Llano. At the southernmost street bordering the park, there’s a taco stand called. Chitos Tacos or Chatos Tacos It’s across the street from 100% Natural, facing north into the market. Get a torta Hawaiana and a taco.
CENA – TLAYUDA: after 8:30 or 8:45 PM (which is not late for dinner in Oaxaca), get a tlayuda con tasajo from Cenaduría Doña Gloria: Google Maps.
If I picked one must-have meal in Oaxaca, this is it. The food is amazing, uniquely Oaxaqueñan, and you’re eating on her front porch.
It’s great with friends, and if you’re so inclined, bring a beer poured into a Coke bottle. Ask for cebollas on the side and she’ll hand you a Tupperware of awesome.
The map is dead-on accurate. You’ll see this sign on the sidewalk of Río Amazonas: Cenaduría Doña Gloria
Many of the streets in Xochimilco/La Cascada are dead-ends, but if you’re lost, ask someone and they’re likely to know where she is.
The walk from El Centro is really nice, too, and leads past where Mercado El Pochote happens every Friday and Saturday: El Pochote.