Whenever I get to a new city in Mexico, my first priority is to find the good bakery. There's always a best bakery in town, and they typically have the best espresso as well. These guys do everything well. I actually haven't even tried to find Boulenc's competition because what's the point? The croissants are perfect and the lattes are above average. There's only a 35% chance you'll get a seat (it's a small place with only 6 bar stools) but that's ok - the bench outside the front door is a great place to enjoy your breakfast and watch the action from the sidewalk.
Oaxaca is for (Food) Lovers
Deciding where and what to eat in Oaxaca is almost too large an undertaking. This region of Mexico is a major destination for food lovers, and it's really obvious why that's the case once you arrive. As one might expect from the birthplace of mole, people take a lot of pride in the cuisine here. There are vendors in the major plazas selling etole (grilled or boiled corn with cheese and hot sauce - it's so good!), fried plantains, tacos, and hamburgers with fries (it's a big thing here). There are tylauda carts everywhere and there are markets filled with food stalls serving chapulines (grasshoppers - also a major deal here), enchilladas verde or rojo, flan, the works. We eat primarily street food and comida economica (small inexpensive restaurants that serve a daily menu) here. We've found a few standout gems as well, but truly - the street food is better than most everything else!
We keep returning to El Escapulario, the food is so incredible and the ambience is serene. You'll walk through the door and up the stairs to find yourself in a small dining room with several windows overlooking the street. I haven't gotten past the veggie tylaudas (ask them to add mole, it's the best) to explore the rest of the menu, but next time I'm going to make myself order the chile rellenos in orange sauce. What a tough dilemma! When I told our waitress I would pass on the shot of mezcal she gave me a dirty look and brought some anyway. This place is a big win.
This place...needs no explanation or defense, it's just extremely good. The food is incredible, and they actually serve mezcaleritas (which is a huge selling point for me, as many of the restaurants and bars around here don't know what that is and although I love Oaxaca, I'm torn about living in a town that doesn't honor the mezcal-margarita). It can get a little bit loud, especially if there is a band playing, and although the dining room holds a lot of people it fills up quickly. There's this appetizer and I don't know what it's called but it's heavenly perfection - hibiscus leaves steamed and stuffed into fried cones and served with a side of guacamole. Yum!