Jalatlaco is an enchanting historical neighborhood worth wandering during your next visit to Oaxaca City. In photos, the neighborhood looks charming, but the pictures barely come close to the real thing. You have to take my word for it and experience the wonder of Jalatlaco Oaxaca for yourself.
While wandering the neighborhood’s cobblestone streets, you’ll discover some of Oaxaca’s best hidden gems—darling cafes, brilliant street murals, brightly painted alleyways, art galleries, and so much more.
Read on for my full guide to Jalatlaco Oaxaca, including the best things to do, restaurants, hotels, coffeeshops, and more.
The entryway to the stunning barrio Jalatlaco in Oaxaca, Mexico
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A Brief History of Barrio de Jalatlaco
Jalatlaco has roots as an ancient Zapotec village. But today, the barrio’s colorful colonial architecture and cobbled streets point back to a different time in Oaxaca’s history. Throughout the past few hundred years, Jalatlaco has been an artistic neighborhood. Artisans in Jalatlaco produced some of the city’s most beautiful pottery and textiles during the colonial period. In the 19th century, the area became a hub for mezcal production.
Today, Jalatlaco is an eclectic and vibrant neighborhood that attracts artists and creatives from around the world. In 2019, Time Out Magazine ranked Jalatlaco as one of the 20 coolest neighborhoods in the world. Yet many visitors miss this charming neighborhood. Make sure to add it to your to-do list when you visit Oaxaca.
Two of Jalatlaco’s many colorful cobblestoned streets
Where is Jalatlaco?
Jalatlaco is a neighborhood in the city of Oaxaca de Juarez, the capital of the state of Oaxaca in southern Mexico. The barrio (neighborhood) is situated to the east of Oaxaca’s city centro, about a 20-minute walk from the Oaxaca Zocalo (main square) and ten minute walk from the Templo de Santo Domingo.
What is the best time to visit Jalatlaco Oaxaca?
While living in Oaxaca as a digital nomad, I had the privilege of wandering through Jalatlaco’s streets during Semana Santa (Holy Week) leading up to Easter. The neighborhood is beautiful any time of year, but with bright purple jacarandas in full bloom and stunning Holy Week art filling the streets, Easter is one of the best times to visit Jalatlaco (and Oaxaca as a whole).
A stunning Jalatlaco Semana Santa mural made entirely of corn
Another incredible time to visit Jalatlaco is during the Dia de Los Muertos (Day of the Dead) in the fall. While the entire city of Oaxaca is active with parades and celebrations during Dia de Los Muertos, Jalatlaco is one of the best places to experience the holiday.
Although I highly recommend stopping by Jalatlaco if you’re in Oaxaca during one of these celebrations, be sure to pay a visit regardless of the time of year.
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The Best Things to do in Jalatlaco Barrio
Wander through the colorful cobblestone streets
The best thing to do in Jalatlaco is wander the neighborhood’s enchanting streets. Along the way, you’ll spot incredible street art, cozy cafes, local eateries, art galleries, and artisan shops.
Strolling down a road deep in the Jalatlaco neighborhood
Visit the Templo de San Matías Jalatlaco church
In the heart of Jalatlaco, you’ll find Templo de San Matías, a stunning church that was built in the 1600s and finished in 1700. If you visit on a Sunday morning, you can peek in through the open arched doorway and get a glimpse of the local mass service.
Templo de San Matias Jalatlaco during Semana Santa (Holy Week)
Grab Lunch in a cute cafe
There are cute cafes around every corner in Jalatlaco. My favorite is Santa Hierba, which has incredible food (with mouthwateringly good vegan options), a chic rooftop seating area, friendly servers, wholesome yet yummy desserts, and a diversity of drinks. Keep reading for my full guide to the best coffeeshops and restaurants in Jalatlaco.
Vegan grilled cheese at Santa Hierba Jalatlaco (some of the best vegan food I had in Oaxaca)
Shop for Locally-made gifts
Jalatlaco is a wonderful neighborhood for shopping. The neighborhood’s main streets each boast several cute shops and art galleries with unique locally-made gifts and art. As someone who cares about buying fair-trade, handmade goods, shopping in Jalatlaco is a breath of fresh air.
One of the many local shops in Jalatlaco neighborhood
Once in Oaxaca is a local art studio/coffeeshop in Jalatlaco
Explore Jalatlaco Street art and Murals
As a historically artsy neighborhood, it’s no wonder that bright murals adorn nearly every wall in the heart of Jalatlaco. A walk through the barrio is not complete unless you spend some time gazing up at the street art and checking out local art galleries.
One of Jalatlaco’s charming roads with street art and murals
Pet Friendly cats at a vegan cat cafe
One of Jalatlaco’s hidden gems is a cat cafe on the edge of the neighborhood called La Selva De Los Gatos. Depending on when you visit, anywhere between 15 and 25 cats roam the cafe’s beautiful garden and seek out pets from the cafe’s visitors. And if you fall in love with any of the kitties, you can apply for adoption.
I learned about this spot because its one of the many incredible vegan restaurants in Oaxaca. I wasn’t expecting the food to be life-changing—I just visited for the cats. But my husband and I were both very impressed with their food. It’s wholesome and delicious (we love the vegan carrot lox toast).
Whether you’re vegan or not, I highly recommend stopping at this place for a drink or snack and, of course, to pet some sweet kitties! Just be careful or you might end up bringing one home!
Precious kitties at La Selva De Los Gatos, Jalatlaco’s vegan cat cafe
Do a mini Photoshoot
It’s easy for a stroll through Jalatlaco to turn into a photoshoot! With so many picturesque streets and colorful walls, it’s impossible to walk through this charming neighborhood without snapping a few shots. You shouldn’t have trouble finding photo spots, but here are my top recommendations.
Best photos spots in Jalatlaco
Both photos were taken on Aldama Street, a few blocks away from the center of Jalatlaco
Where to Stay in Jalatlaco Neighborhood
★ 8.5/10 stars from 500+ reviews on Booking.com
City Centro Oaxaca is one of the best Jalatlaco hotels, directly across the street from the neighborhood’s iconic Templo de San Matias church. Nearly every wall in the building is painted bright pink, and the hotel features a rooftop pool (which is difficult to find in Oaxaca!)
★ 9.3/10 stars from 100+ reviews on Booking.com
Hotel Tabáa Oaxaca is a darling boutique hotel on the edge of Jalatlaco. Each room is unique, featuring exposed brick walls and a beautiful design. Reservations include breakfast and access to the hotel’s quaint but charming common areas.
★ 8.3/10 stars from 100+ reviews on Booking.com
Hotel Cazomalli Oaxaca is an unpretentious Jalatlaco hotel with Mexican architecture and design. Rooms are decorated with bright pinks, yellows, blues, and greens to match the neighborhood’s bright colors. The hotel features a rooftop common area overlooking Jalatlaco’s captivating streets.
Best Restaurants in Jalatlaco
Oaxaca (like Mexico City) is all about food. And Jalatlaco is no different. Be sure to grab lunch or dinner during your visit to this stunning neighborhood. Some of the best restaurants in Jalatlaco Oaxaca include:
- Hierba Santa for a diverse menu with vegan options with rooftop seating (one of my favorite restaurants in Oaxaca)
- Black Armadillo House for local Oaxacan cuisine and mezcal
- Restaurante Barrio de Jalatlaco Italian food and rooftop dining
- Tortas Lalita for cheap Mexican street food
- La Selva De Los Gatos for vegan food (at a cat cafe)
Vegan lox toast and salad at La Selva De Los Gatos
Flavor-packed veggie burger at Hierba Santa
Best Coffeeshops in Jalatlaco
Jalatlaco is one of the best neighborhoods in Oaxaca City for coffee lovers and folks like me who don’t drink coffee but love to sip a chai or cacao at a cute cafe. Some Jalatlaco coffeeshops include Hierba Santa (can’t recommend this place enough, can I?), Café Blasón, Coffee Shop The Pleasure, Once in Oaxaca, and La Selva De Los Gatos.
Local vendor pushing a cart through the colorful Jalatlaco, one of favorite Oaxaca neighborhoods
Final Thoughts: Visiting Jalatlaco Oaxaca
Within walking distance of Oaxaca’s historic center, Jalatlaco is a picturesque neighborhood that you can’t miss while visiting Oaxaca City. Whether you book a hotel in the neighborhood or just visit for an afternoon, you’ll find yourself enchanted by this charming corner of Oaxaca City.
Exploring the Oaxacan Coast? Make sure to check out my Puerto Escondido guides: