Oaxaca food: Try these 5 foods in Oaxaca

It is very difficult to choose the best Oaxaca food among so many delicacies that you can enjoy… traditional Oaxaca food is very complex, combining flavors, aromas, drinks and even insects. Yes, insects such as the grasshopper are very common in Oaxaca food. But who does not crave a craft chocolate?

Oaxaca is highly recognized for making the best chocolate in Mexico. The mole is another dish that should be tried, because although the recipe is originally from Puebla, there are other ingredients that make it very unique in Oaxaca.

You can not miss trying these 5 Oaxacan foods:



If you want to try something that really fills your stomach on any trip to Oaxaca, you undoubtedly have to try the Tlayudas. The very definition of Oaxaca food.

For those who like to eat well and substantial, this Oaxacan dish, like a traditional pizza, is the right one.
The tlayudas are prepared on large handmade corn tortillas, 30 centimeters in diameter, found in any market in the city of Oaxaca or in the interior of the state.

These large tortillas are fried crispy and then topped with black beans, Oaxaca cheese, meats, vegetables, and of course some salsa. Just like the pizza, you can normally have it prepared any way you choose.

When you come to Oaxaca, forget the label and try the tlayudas in the street stalls. They add several things like chicken, cesina, or chorizo, depending on your taste. Tlayudas are also served in restaurants, but normally the street food just tastes better.

If you visit Oaxaca without eating a Tlayuda, it is as if you had not been here.

Caldo de piedra

Caldo de piedra

Caldo de piedra (stone soup) is a stew and gastronomic gem of the indigenous people of San Felipe Usila, in Oaxaca, prepared by fishermen as a sign of respect and gratitude to their wives. In fact, even today, the traditional preparation of this soup is only done by men, not as a sexist rule but as an offering of respect to women.

The soup is prepared using host stones to heat the broth, giving it the name of stone soup. The ingredients include tomato, onion, pepper and chunks of fresh fish. Like many foods in Mexico, the recipe varies from family to family, but is always a option to try authentic Oaxacan cuisine.

Chapulines dorados

Chapulines dorados

Imagine that you are in a meeting with your best friends. And for the food, traditional dishes such as quesadillas and tacos have been prepared. Suddenly everyone begins to try those snacks. You start with a mysterious quesadilla with intense aromas; you add a little guacamole, lettuce, lemon drops and you give the bite … The strong crunching is heard over the conversation, this makes you think that inside there is something different. What will that crunch be?

Its flavor is an exotic mixture of ingredients softened by the quesillo. Then you ask what is the name of the stuffing? When you hear the answer, you do not know whether to cry out of fear or keep eating that delicious but particular stuffed quesadilla.

You have just eaten grasshoppers (Chapulines)!

In the state of Oaxaca they are a popular food, some communities share native recipes and preparations; among the best known, which consists of placing the grasshoppers in a clay pot with garlic cloves, pieces of onion and a little lemon.

Later they are placed in a wood comal and sea salt is added and sautéed. This dish can be used later in tacos or quesadillas ; also in grinding they are used to prepare a spicy molcajete sauce. You can give these a try for free at the Benito Juárez Market in centro Oaxaca, just ask anyone selling them for a taste.

Black Mole Tamales

black mole tamales

Tamal is not a Oaxacan dish, but the Black Mole Tamales cooked in banana leaves is 100% Oaxacan. In general, the tamale is a Mesoamerican dish that dates back to 8000 years before Christ and was used as a portable source of food for the armies and hunters of pre-Hispanic cultures. Oaxacan tamales are traditionally made with corn dough, wrapped in the delicate banana leaf and prepared with the famous black mole that can be accompanied by chicken, pork or iguana. The tamales are very popular in Oaxaca and easily found, but we recommend the Oaxaca tamale of black mole to really get into the best food of Oaxaca.

I love getting these at Mercado 20 de Noviembre in Centro Oaxaca, the best, give them a try!

Salsa de gusano de maguey

Salsa de gusano de maguey

Salsa de gusano de maguey (worm salsa), is a thing! Insects were a major part of the Pre-Columbian diet. Mexicans were deficient in animal proteins because they had so few domesticated animals. Therefore, insects were an important food supplement.

In Mexico, entomophagy or the human consumption of insects is a practice that is still valid throughout the country. However, it is more established in Oaxaca, Guerrero, Chiapas, Tlaxcala, Puebla and Hidalgo.

But you don’t need to stick to the worm salsa, you can have the maguey tacos too!

Traditional Oaxaca Food

Appetizers: Mezcal is the appetizer par excellence in almost the entire Oaxacan region. In the Tlacolula region of Matamoros, the best ones are produced, such as the breast and the ollita. There are also aged, reposed, almond and flavored with nanche or orange, always accompanied by the typical salt of worm and lemon.

Snacks: There is a surprising variety that ranges from insects such as ants, grasshoppers and maguey worms, to tlayudas with a base (large and thin tortillas, fried with pork fat) to accompany the delicious quesillo and marinated or salted cecina , besides the chicharrón, the moronga and a great variety of memelas and pinched.

The King: Any Oaxacan meal would not be complete without the mole, the king of the dishes that is said to be made in seven different ways: negro, chichilo, colorado, coloradito, amarillito, amarillo and verde.

Soups: The broths of meat with vegetables and the soups of seafood or of giant shrimps from the Isthmus.

What is your favorite Oaxaca food?

Tell me your favorite Oaxaca food in the comments section below.

About the author

This article was written by Ian Hayden Parker, Oaxaca Life staff writer, the leading source for English news in Oaxaca, Mexico.

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