This Food Lover’s Guide to Breakfasts in Oaxaca is the first of my new series of posts on eating and drinking in… In these posts, I’ll try to include the “best of’s” but will also try to take you down a new path away from what everyone else is recommending. Hopefully these posts will help plan an exciting adventure to the places I love to visit.
In my regular life, I eat breakfast out of necessity. But in Oaxaca, the first meal of the day is something I now get excited for. I learned to force myself to sit down for the first meal of the day years ago out of practicality. Lunch in Oaxaca happens so late in the afternoon, I needed to make sure I had something to sustain me until then. But as the years have progressed, and my time and relationships in Oaxaca have blossomed, breakfast has become a great opportunity to meet up with friends, bask in the glory of the morning sun and have great conversation while delighting in delicious flavours.
At the most basic, especially if you’re staying in an AirBnb and can make a meal at home, buy a loaf of delicious bread or pastries from Boulenc, and head to the market to fill your bag with fruit, some natural yogurt (watch out because a lot of the pre-packaged stuff is laden with sugar, I buy my natural yogurt from Lety), fresh juice and of course a few avocados. You’ll have all the makings for the most delicious at-home breakfast!
Fonda Florecita: Speaking of markets, my “local” is Mercado de la Merced and Fonda Florecita is a great place for a chocolate (con agua or leche) and a real Oaxacan breakfast. I’ve never seen a menu but have always been successful looking at what others are eating and choosing from there.
Doña Vale: If you happen to be tackling the gigantic Abastos market, then it’s worth trying to search out Doña Vale. Her memelas are simple, but carry with them the true flavour of Oaxaca; masa, asiento (lard), salsa and cheese. It’s the hand (and heart) of Doña Vale that makes these one of the best tastes of Oaxaca.
Cafe Brújula: For a coffee and a quick bite, you can’t go wrong with a seat at Cafe Brújula for a well made beverage and one of their fresh baked goods from the pantry. It’s also great for a grab and go, if you happen to need a quick fix before you head off for the day. I love that they have various locations throughout Centro and I can change locations depending on my mood. While my favourite has been the one kiddie corner from the Santo Domingo, that’s quickly been taken over by their location inside the beautiful Centro Cultural San Pablo space.
Marito & Moglie: On the corner of Hidalgo and Pino Suarez is a cute coffee shop that’s serious about their coffee. Its cozy little space complements a carefully curated coffee selection from around the world that pairs wonderfully with their deliciously simple breakfast menu.
Cactus Lonchería: Another great place to have a simple breakfast of something on toast, coupled with a coffee and juice. The food is simple, fresh and delicious.
Chepiche Cafe: For an adventure into a new area with a local feel, Chepiche Cafe is located a 20 minute walk from Centro in the Xochimilco neighborhood. This is where you want to go if you can’t decide if you want a Oaxacan or American breakfast, enjoyed in a big outdoor courtyard.
Alfonsina: While this little restaurant that’s been shocking the world has been found, I’ve included it in this list because the food definitely lives up to the hype. Located outside Centro (close to the airport), a breakfast at Alfonsina gives you the special feeling of being invited to someone’s house for a meal. Truth be told, you actually are as Alfonsina presents breakfasts and lunch from their family home. While Jorge’s lunch menu delivers unique surprises and twists on Oaxacan flavors, at breakfast Jorge’s mother Elvia will serve you a love letter to generations of care to Oaxacan cooking.