Oaxaca City is a Mexican paradise for all of us foodies. But where to eat as a vegetarian or vegan in Oaxaca? Good for us, there are so many amazing places! And I want to share our favorites with you. Check out these tips for vegetarian a vegan restaurants, offering both Mexican and international cuisine.
Vegetarian Restaurants in Oaxaca City
When it comes to Mexican cuisine, you might think about tacos al pastor, chorizo, and all kinds of chicken preparations. Not that these are not Mexican dishes, but do you realize how huge Mexico is? So every part, obviously, has some diversity when it comes to food.
And Oaxaca has the best to offer! Some of the typical dishes are easily made vegetarian just by skipping the meat, like tlayudas. But thanks to many amazing vegetarian and vegan restaurants in Oaxaca City, you’ll have a chance to taste treasures like a vegan mole as well!
All the restaurants mentioned below are within walking distance of anywhere in the center of Oaxaca City. We stayed in Selina Oaxaca and never had a reason to take a taxi. If you prefer watching videos, you can find all the restaurants mentioned in this article in our video from Oaxaca as well!
1. Hierba Dulce
Hierba Dulce in Oaxaca is more expensive than the rest, but it’s also a completely plant-based organic restaurant. You can be sure about the quality and origin of the food just as how well will they treat every single ingredient.
Get ready for all the amazing dishes such as enfrijoladas, enmoladas, tacos, tlayudas, and the local specialty, mole sauce, but plant-based. We visited Hierba Dulce for a mole tasting – seven (quite small) bowls of mole and some tortillas for 400 MX$ / $20 / €18. It was more expensive than other places we visited in the area, but it was worth every penny (or better, every peso).
Address: Murguía 407, RUTA INDEPENDENCIA, Centro, 68000 Oaxaca de Juárez, Oax., Mexiko
Etnofood is another plant-based restaurant in Oaxaca de Juaréz. They offer a mixture of Mexican and international cuisine and call themselves slow food, conscious and sustainable. Ooh, and I can’t forget, they also have a huge range of artisanal mezcals!
And you can go for a mezcal tasting! 300 MX$ / $15 / €14 for three exceptional shots with more than an hour-long explanation of the whole process of producing mezcal, with some details about the farms which produced the mezcals you drink!
3. La Jícara
Well, La Jícara is not completely vegetarian, since they also serve a couple of dishes with chicken or fish. But most of the menu is vegetarian/vegan. They call themselves “Vegetarian, vegan, and paleo cuisine”.
The menu is a mix of Mexican and international cuisine, so you will find tacos next to pasta and curry. But it’s a good mix and they have a huge selection of beer! Since we are from Czechia, that would be enough to make us happy. Hehe.
It’s also a cultural space with many concerts, author’s readings, etc. We were very lucky to enjoy a concert by Paradoxus Luporum. A guy we’ve never heard of before, but loved ever since.
The last two restaurants are not vegetarian, but they have enough options and we actually visited them the most while staying in Oaxaca. They are so good, I have to include them in the list!
Boulenc is a café/bakery for your morning croissant (almost as good as in Paris!) and dinner spot when you’re craving pizza. And you know what? The pizza is SO GOOD! They really know how to work with flour from the morning, till the evening.
You can choose from a number of vegetarian pizza options (many more than just the basic Margherita) and eat it with a tasty biodynamic or even natural wine. Do you feel more like beer or drink? No worries, they offer some craft beers and interesting cocktails as well!
The bakery is french style with some Mexican classics as well. They offer not only croissants but also Pain au Chocolat, tartalettes, and other French desserts. And the sourdough bread! It was so nice to find such good bread in Mexico!
Address: Murguía 309, RUTA INDEPENDENCIA, Centro, 68000 Oaxaca de Juárez
- Wine shop
Okay, to be honest, I want to recommend this place because of the wine, not the food. But they have pretty good vegetarian pasta and most of the tapas are vegetarian as well!
It’s a local wine shop with a great vibe and extremely low prices. You can have a glass of good wine for 35 MX$ / $1.75 / €1.50 and it comes with tapas! If that is not enough, you can still order a cheese plate or some salad or pasta, as I mentioned above. The more expensive wine is about 50 MX$ / $2.50 / €2.20 for really good Argentinian Malbec.
Food Markets in Oaxaca City: Vegetarian Options
If you want to eat like a local in Mexico (and every sensible country, where they didn’t manage to ruin the market’s culture), go to the market. But is there really any vegetarian food at the markets in Mexico you could try? Yes! And in Oaxaca, you will try some of the most typical dishes for soooo little money!
All of these Mexican dishes are easily get in vegetarian version:
- Tlayuda: Crispy tortilla with toppings such as cheese Oaxaca, avocado, and squash blossom
- Chiles Rellenos: Poblano peppers stuffed with cheese and other ingredients, bathed in salsa
- Chilaquiles: Toastadas (tortilla chips) covered with red or green salsa, crumbled cheese, cream, and eggs
At most places, you can also get the typical Mexican street food like a quesadilla, memela (another variation of tortilla), burrito, etc. without meat. Often they offer some seasoned veggies or mushrooms instead.
Mercado 20 de Noviembre
Mercado 20 de Noviembre in Oaxaca is the main food market. We loved the tlayudas with a squash blossom from there! And our favorite place to get it? A cute family restaurant Fonda Sofi, where they also have the best lemonade.
If you feel like it’s a good time for a dessert, go for a hot chocolate. It is served with a bun, that resembles a burger bun, but it’s sweeter. For us, it was a nice reminder of one kind of Czech bread roll we ate with cocoa as kids. I remember our friends from Canada weren’t so excited about it.
Extra tip: You can also buy mole paste in bulk on this market. The paste is plant-based and the only reason why you can’t enjoy it everywhere is they often mix it with a chicken or beef broth. But if you buy it just like this on the market, you can cook it with water or vegetable stock. I wish I knew!
Mercado Orgánico La Cosecha
Mercado Orgánico La Cosecha is an organic market about 15 minutes’ walking from the city center. You can find organic production, cosmetics, and lots of vegetarian and vegan options here. From the typical Mexican dishes to falafel with hummus, and amazing cakes.
Mercado Benito Juaréz
Mercado Benito Juaréz is the main city market in Oaxaca de Juaréz. You won’t find many food stalls and even fewer vegetarian options there (even though we had some cheese sandwiches). It’s a place to go if you need to stock up your kitchen with cheap and fresh fruits and veggies to cook your own food!
And that’s it! You’ll find some vegetarian options in many restaurants in Oaxaca City, but these were worth mentioning and get some space on this blog. Ooooh, how I miss Oaxaca and Mexican food! Colombia is amazing when it comes to nature and people, but the food…
Enjoy your travels and eat as much mole as you can in Oaxaca! It’s a staple for a reason! Which one do you like the most?