We spent nearly a month in Oaxaca and it is one of our favorite cities! The architecture, the beautiful colors, the ancient cobble stone streets, the bustling markets. It’s chaotic and orderly all at the same time. Something that we weren’t necessarily expecting though was how incredible the vegan food would be. There were so many restaurants and delicious vegan options that we felt absolutely spoiled and did our best to try as much of it as we could.
So, if you are heading to Oaxaca and interested in their vegan food scene, then check out our top 5 restaurants below, in no particular order.
1. Santa Hierba (Address: Hidalgo 104b, Barrio de Jalatlaco, 68080 Oaxaca de Juárez, Oax., Mexico)
This place has to be on our list of top 5 restaurants and it’s the place that we came to the most since it was just a couple blocks from where we were living at the time. Santa Hierba sparked our healthy obsession for fresh made green juices every morning. But beyond a really delicious green juice, we also loved their energy balls, which reminded us of something that we would make at home. We loved them so much that on my birthday, we went to Santa Hierba for breakfast and the wonderful team brought me out an energy ball birthday cake which was just incredible and so nice of them. Their menu has even more to offer though, with a selection of open faced sandwiches like avocado toast with beet hummus and a make your own smoothie offering that is fully customizable and even includes a vegan protein powder. Anyways, this place has to be on your list if you’re visiting Oaxaca. You’ll simply love it!
2. La Jícara Librespacio Cultural (Address: Calle Porfirio Díaz 1105, RUTA INDEPENDENCIA, Luis Jimenez Figueroa, 68070 Oaxaca de Juárez, Oax., Mexico)
We didn’t find out about La Jícara until our last week in Oaxaca and we wish we had found this place sooner. It’s such a beautiful restaurant, located in a really romantic part of the old city. As you walk in to the restaurant there’s a really cool bookstore to your right and a fun little market on your left selling a variety of health foods like cacao, coffee, and homemade granola. The restaurant serves a variety of vegan options and the two that we tried – stuffed peppers and curry – were delicious!
3. Boulenc (Address: Calle Porfirio Díaz 207, RUTA INDEPENDENCIA, Centro, 68000 Oaxaca de Juárez, Oax., Mexico)
This place is a dream. From the moment you walk into Boulenc you’ll fall in love. The ambience is just so perfect and their attention to detail is world class. The restaurant isn’t fully vegan or even vegetarian but they do have quite a few vegan options. Our first meal there we tried the vegan banh mi sandwich made on a homemade baguette with pickled veggies and a spicy kick. It totally hooked us and from that point on we came to Boulenc many, many more times. They are mostly known for their baked goods and sourdough breads, which you can buy at their bakery next door and is always very busy with people coming in for their weekly or daily treat. But we highly recommend sitting down in their restaurant to enjoy one of their wood fired pizzas – we asked for our pizza without cheese and it was still amazing – the crust and toppings are incredible! Afterwards, you can take some treats or sourdough bread home from their bakery – their pastries aren’t vegan but we loved getting their granola, energy bars, and rye sourdough – or go to Suculenta, which is their little grocery store next door that sells their homemade pickled veggies, sauerkraut, mustard, locally grown produce, and delicious spreads like mushroom pate. We can’t say enough good things about Boulenc, you just have to go!
4. Hierba Dulce (Address: Calle Porfirio Díaz 311, RUTA INDEPENDENCIA, Centro, 68000 Oaxaca de Juárez, Oax., Mexico)
Hierba Dulce is the only ALL VEGAN restaurant and it’s incredible! This was the first restaurant that we ate at in Oaxaca and it was the last stop on our free walking tour, which we also highly recommend! What’s so special about Hierba Dulce is that they are VERY traditional. The food they serve is an homage to authentic Oaxacan cuisine, which was traditionally almost entirely vegan. We learned at the restaurant that Oaxaca wasn’t introduced to livestock animals (cows, sheep, goats, and chickens) until much later in their growth as a city, so many of their dishes included locally harvested vegetables like carrots, mushrooms, corn, and peppers, beautifully crafted and cooked into amazing and uniquely Oaxacan flavors. So, if you are looking for a truly authentic eating experience then Hierba Dulce is a must!
5. Adamá (Address: Aldama 101, RUTA INDEPENDENCIA, Barrio de Xochimilco, 68040 Oaxaca de Juárez, Oax., Mexico)
This was another late arrival on our restaurant tour in Oaxaca that we wish we had been able to experience more than once. We went there on my birthday (Spencer’s) for an early lunch. We had to make a reservation online last minute, but thankfully they had a place for us. We can definitely imagine a time in the not to distant future that last minute reservations won’t work at this place because it will become too popular. The moment you walk through the little door you are transported to another time and place. The sandstone walls, the open air kitchen where you can see the beautiful food cooked with so much love, the attention to detail, and the aesthetics make Adamá one of our favorite restaurants of all time! And that’s not an overstatement. This place serves an all Isreali cuisine and we splurged on our visit and ordered all of their vegan options on the menu – their menu isn’t entirely vegan but the majority of their menu is – and there wasn’t a single dish that didn’t meet and exceed our expectations. We spoke with the owner and head chef of the restaurant after our meal and she is an absolute rock star, but so humble and kind! We will definitely be coming back to Oaxaca and our first stop for food will be here.
Overall, we could have added so many more restaurants to this list because Oaxaca is very accommodating when it comes to vegan options. Nearly every restaurant has something to offer and most places will veganize one of their recipes for you if you ask.
Have you been to Oaxaca or any other places in Mexico? We’d love to hear about your experience in the comments and your favorite restaurant.