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OAXACA: An Artist’s Guide

Contributed with love and just for you by Sofia Fernandez Diaz – Mexican artist, lover of nature, processes and textures, currently based in the magical city of Oaxaca.


First meal of the day –

The best spot for breakfast in Oaxaca is El Mercado. There are so many mercados but the best one for having a traditional Oaxacan breakfast is La Merced. Once you’re there, go to Fonda Florecita.

Another place for any meal is Biznaga. Here you’ll also eat traditional oaxacan food in a beautiful patio. My favorite dish is Las Calendas which is melted  quesillo (string cheese) wraped in hoja santa (the best-smelling herb) with a heart-shaped leaf and a side of beans. It’s incredible!  They have a great variety of mezcales and beers.

Oaxaca is partially known for its food, there are so many delicious places to choose from so its very hard to make a bad food choice.

Getting lost –

Jalatlaco is the oldest neighborhood in Oaxaca. The streets are paved with cobblestones, there are all sorts of murals, and its just incredibly beautiful. The color combinations you see all over the city are incredible! The city itself is a work of art. It’s so pleasing to walk through the streets and observe the culture. It’s very harmonizing.

An oldie but goodie art ‘must’ –

Museo de Arte Pre-hispanico Rufino Tamayo (MAPRT) is basically TamayoTamayo‘s private collection of Pre-Hispanic works which he donated to the city. It’s divided into five rooms, and each one of them has a different color that represents an era to distinguish it from the rest of the rooms. The way the pieces are installed is unique – nothing like I’ve ever seen!

Lunch with a view –

Casa Oaxaca has delicious food and it has a great view of the Church of Santo Domingo. On the ground floor you can find Quetzalli, one of the best art galleries in Oaxaca.

For book worms and coffee lovers –

El IAGO is the most beautiful library in the city, in the center of Oaxaca. It has the most amazing collection of art book, the best coffee for a break in the late afternoon and a beautiful patio where you could spend the whole day reading, drinking coffee, and drawing.

Magical cutural ‘musts’ – 

Monte Alban – one of the most impressive archeological sites I’ve ever been to. It’s about 30 minutes aways from the center of the city.

Teotitlan del Valle is a small town where the people specialize in creating natural dyes and they weave beautiful wool rugs.

Arbol del Tule is the biggest and most magical tree I have ever seen.

San Bartolo Coyotepec  is another small town near the city where they work in Oaxaca’s traditional black clay, it is one of the most symbolic artisanal artifacts.

Treasure hunting –

Downtown Aaxaca is packed with amazing stores but my ultimate favorite ones are, MARO Mujeres Artesanas de Oaxaca and Arte Amuzgos both located onAvenida 5 de Mayo.

My favorite thing about Oaxaca is…

The diversity, this sense of Mexican heritage that you feel in each corner of the city and of course, the colors!

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