10 Foods you must taste when visiting Oaxaca to Learn Spanish!

10 Foods you must taste when visiting Oaxaca!

As you know Oaxaca is famous for its gastronomy, but what you must eat when coming to Oaxaca? Here are 10 Foods you must taste when visiting Oaxaca to Learn Spanish?

1.  Mole Negro

Mole Negro

2. Tlayudas


3. Chocolate



4. Tamales (De Mole, Chepil o Frijol)

Tamales de Mole

Tamales de Mole

5. Memelas

6. Chapulines (Grasshoppers)



7. Tejate

8. Salsa de Queso

9. Chiles Rellenos (De Agua o Pasilla)

10. Empanadas de Amarillo


For More information about the Instituto Cultural Oaxaca, Spanish Classes or Cooking Classes please visit http://www.icomexico.com




Since 2009 the gastronomic festival “El Saber del Sabor” hosted by Chef Alejadro Ruiz from Casa Oaxaca Restaurant and Casa Oaxaca Hotel has taken place in Oaxaca.


The gastronomic festival has celebrated three consecutively successful years, and this year is no different! We at the Instituto Cultural Oaxaca were thrilled to join in on this year’s festivities, and Alejandro’s efforts to promote and foster Oaxaca’s culinary traditions. Yesterday afternoon we hosting for the first time ever an indescribably delicious event, “Comida Oaxacalifornia.”



Comida Oaxacalifonia which took place at the Instituto Cultural Oaxaca‘s gardens, was a blend of two culinary worlds, which included traditional Oaxacan ingredients, and the participation of the greatest culinary artists from Baja California: Sabina Bandera from La Guerrense, Ensenada, Chef Solange Muñiz & Chef Benito Molina from Manzanilla, Ensenada, Chef Diego Hernandez from Corazón de Tierra, Ensenada and Chef Javier Plascencia from Mision 19, Tijuana 


The delicious meal was accompanied by Wahaka Mezcal and a Selection of wines from the most distinguished vineyards in Baja California, these wines included Monte Xanic, Convertible Rojo, Nera, Casa Madero, and Luna del Valle.


The “El Sabor de Saber” festival takes place every September in Oaxaca, and is hosted by various venues and restaurants across the city. It is an extraodinary opportunity to sample the culinary delights of Mexico with a touch of Oaxacan flair. If you are not able to make it to the events, you may still sample the delicious Oaxacan fare by visiting the participating chefs at their local Oaxacan restaurants which include Pitonia, Casa Oaxaca, Catedral, Origen, Asador Vasco, among many others!

If you want more information about the Instituto Cultural Oaxaca or our Spanish Language Courses please visit http://www.icomexico.com or email us at info@icomexico.com

Our Top 10 List of Restaurants to enjoy Oaxaca’s Gastronomy while Studying Spanish


La Biznaga: it is a nice place to get fresh fresh food, atmosphere is very pleasant, and Margaritas are powerful and tasty!

Zandunga: Tradional Istmeñan Food. It is worth trying the “Estofado de Boda Istmeña”

Los Danzantes: Great Atmosphere, Oaxacan Fusion, Mezcal

Casa Oaxaca: A great representation of the Oaxacan Nouvelle Cuisine – Try their house wine and mezcalinis – which can be a great introduction to Mezcal If it’s your first time trying it

La Florecita Mercado de la Merced: Located in the heart of the “Mercado
De la Merced” it is a great place to get a delicious Oaxacan Breakfast

Grupo Lulaa: a Hiden Gem of Mixe Food in Oaxaca. It is a small but tasty restaurant. The menu changes everyday! Oaxaca.wikispaces.com/lulaa

Catedral: A Delicious Oaxacan Restaurant, buffet on Sundays at an affordable price. Excellent Service

La Popular: Tacos, Tortas and Popular Oaxacan Food . https://www.facebook.com/lapopularoaxaca


Torta de Pavo

Torta de Pavo at La Popular

Itanoni: Itanoni’s concept is quite unique. It is a restaurant that it’s menu is based on corn products only representing the traditional Oaxacan Food

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For more information about Oaxaca and Spanish Classes please visit www.icomexico.com

Things to do in Oaxaca: market culture (part one)

You’re studying at the ICO, and you’ve taken one of our cooking classes.  You’re pumped to try out your new-found knowledge.  What’s next?  Go shopping and immerse yourself in Oaxaca’s market culture.

Market culture
Almost anything can be purchased at Oaxaca’s many markets, from furniture and handicrafts to fruits, vegetables and prepared food.  Food, both raw and prepared, has a fixed price, but buying any sort of artisan good requires careful bargaining.  (In shops, these goods also have fixed prices.)  In general, the more expensive or more unique the item, the more you can bargain.  For a pair of shoes, you might talk a price of 130 pesos down to 115, but you might get a 450-peso leather briefcase for less than 400. Always remember: the point of bargaining isn’t to win, or to get the best possible price.  The point instead, is twofold: you want to reach a price that both buyer and seller find acceptable.  Even more importantly, the point is to have a social interaction between buyer and seller, investing the transaction with human warmth (and giving you a chance to practice the Spanish that you are learning at the ICO).

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Things you must do in Oaxaca during Dia de los Muertos

Day of the Dead or Dia de los Muertos is the most time-honored and expressive holiday of Oaxaca. It is an example of the harmonious relationship between Christianity and the pre-hispanic traditions found in the state of Oaxaca.


Although Día de los Muertos is recognized all over Mexico, Oaxaca has become known for it’s ornately rich celebrations venerating the return of their deceased loved ones on November 1st and 2nd.

Visit a Cemetery

During this time the living join together to rejoice the return of their ancestors. Visiting cemeteries enables one to enjoy the richness of this celebration. The energy of the occasion is awesome.


Cemeteries to visit in Oaxaca during this time

  • October 31 visit the cemetery of Xoxocotlan
  • November 1st visit the Panteón General in Oaxaca
  • November 2nd visit the Cemetery of San Felipe del Agua

Visit Markets

All of Oaxaca’s Markets are operating full on in the days prior to the Muertos holiday. They provide the decorations for the altar including the candy skulls, skeletons and ceramic figures.


Markets to visit in Oaxaca during Dia de los Muertos

  • Saturday – Mercado de Abastos
  • Sunday – Tlacolula La Merced – City of Tlacolula
  • Monday – Miahuatlán – City of Miahuatlan de Porfirio Díaz
  • Tuesday – Atzompa
  • Wednesday – Zimatlan, Etla
  • Thursday – Zaachila
  • Friday – Ocotlán, Atzompa

For more information about markets visit http://oaxaca.wikispaces.com/markets

Participate in a Comparsa

In addition to visiting homes and cemeteries, one may experience the cultural richness of this time by getting involved in the Comparsas, theatrical performances representing the return of the dead, which take place in various outlying villages.

  • There are plenty of Comparsas in the city of Oaxaca one of them is held by the Instituto Cultural Oaxaca A Spanish Language School in which students who enroll for the day of the dead program after a mask making workshop participate in a comparsa organized by the school


  • Another way to participate in Comparsas is by going to one of the many villages of the Valley of Etla. During November 2nd the Valley of Etla is witness of multiple comparsa organized by the different neightborhoods of the villages in this valley. You can find the most creative designs in this villages. 

Enjoy the altars

The Oaxacan altars are most commonly built on October 30th and October 31st in the homes of the Oaxacan people. The altar is generally set on a table, and then it is wrapped with a tablecloth, white sheet or with perforated tissue paper. Sugarcane is bound to the foot of the table and run high over overhead into the shape of a triumphal arch. On the morning of October 31st the offerings are placed on the altars; these offerings consist of exquisite dishes that the relatives will come to savour the aromas of.


Eat Mole Negro

Oaxaca is considered one of the top gastronomic destinations in Mexico and its rich indigenous heritaged blended with a Spanish Influence of more than 300 years is displayed in its flavorful cuisine. In Oaxaca it is possible to find many the regions of Oaxaca and Puebla it is possible to find a vast array of Moles, but it is only in Oaxaca where you can eat the king of moles, the Mole Negro, and during Dia de los Muerts families and restaurants prepare this delicacy to welcome guest both alive and dead who are expected for visit this time of the year

During this time of the year there are many restaurants where you can taste the deliciousness of Mole Negro!


Visit the artisan Villages

One of the ways you can get more about this cultural experience is by visiting the outlying villages of Oaxaca where you can find crafts and folk art. During this time of the year artisans set up the altars of their families and it is possible to witness first hand how a Oaxacan Family welcomes their loved ones who are visiting in this special ocassion

Villages to visit

  • Arrazola & Tilcajete – Famous for its alebrijes (wooden animal carvigns)
  • San Bartolo Coyotepec – Famous for its black pottery
  • Teotitlan del Valle – known for its beatiful rugs (it is possible to get an cultural insight of the community with Fundación En Vía)
  • Atzompa – Green pottery
  • Jalietza – Cotton Textiles

There are many ways in which you can enjoy the Day of the Dead in Oaxaca either by Learning Spanish during this season, volunteering or just by Visiting if you want get the cultural richness of this season MOCadventures offers a unique experience carefully designed to offer you a blend of culture, gastronomy and art.