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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