Widely accepted as the food capital of Mexico, Oaxaca City is a charming colonial city famous for its seven flavors of mole. Like many other Mexican cities, Oaxaca is home to several incredible vegan restaurants and vegan-friendly eateries.
While living in Oaxaca, I’ve had the privilege of dining at dozens of spots across the city. I’ve eaten at every Oaxaca vegan restaurant and tons of other places with mouthwatering plant-based meals. Whether you’re looking for the best vegan mole in Oaxaca, craving Indian food or vegan pizza, or on the hunt for the best vegan tacos, I’ve got you covered. This vegan Oaxaca guide covers all that and everything in between.
If you’re here to figure out whether or not to travel to Oaxaca as a vegan, here’s your sign: book your flight! After months of living and traveling in Mexico, I can tell you that Oaxaca is one of the best places to visit in Mexico (vegan or not). Oaxaca City is an indescribably charming colonial city that is culturally rich, welcoming, and bright. The state of Oaxaca is home to some of the most stunning natural wonders I’ve ever seen—like the natural infinity pools at Hierve el Agua, the turquoise blue swimming pools and waterfalls of Santiago Apoala, and Playa Carrizalillo, one of Mexico’s most beautiful beaches.
If you have any doubts or questions about traveling to Oaxaca as a vegan, leave them in the comments of this article and I’d be happy to share my insights as a vegan foodie and Mexico travel fanatic. Either way, keep reading for my guide to the best Oaxaca vegan restaurants.
Beautiful Baja tacos at Glück, one of the best Oaxaca vegan restaurants
Note: This article may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases through these links, at no cost to you. But don’t worry, I only share products I’d truly recommend to a friend.
Introduction to Oaxaca for Vegan Travelers
Oaxaca de Juárez (also called Oaxaca City or simply Oaxaca) is the capital city of the state of Oaxaca in Mexico. This guide covers vegan food in Oaxaca City, but I have tons of other Oaxaca travel guides if you want to explore the rest of this incredible state. I also have a collection of vegan travel guides for several cities across Mexico and the world.
After going through each Oaxaca vegan restaurant and my recommended vegan-friendly spots, I’ll share more tips about traveling as a vegan in Oaxaca—including tips on eating street food, vegan cooking classes, tours from Oaxaca City, and more.
Essential Mexico Travel Resources
Have a Mexico trip coming up soon? There are a lot of travel companies out there, but some are better than others. After traveling to dozens of countries and living abroad on several continents, here are some of my favorite websites and resources for planning unforgettable trips.
Overview of Vegan Options in Oaxaca City
I spent over a month in Oaxaca City and never ran out of vegan food to try. I also kept going back to the same restaurants (Etnofood, Herbívora, Hierba Dulce, and Santa Hierba) to get my favorite dishes over and over again. Whether you’re visiting Oaxaca City for a few days or moving to Oaxaca, I have no doubt that you’ll be satisfied with the city’s vegan options.
While most people visit Oaxaca to taste traditional Oaxacan cuisine, Oaxaca has a wide diversity of international flavors—from wholesome traditional food and innovative twists on Mexican classics to tasty Indian food and umami-packed ramen. As someone who has spent about six months living in Mexico in the past year, I appreciated being able to trade my tacos or mole for an Indian curry or vegan pizza every now and then.
Vegan mole tasting at Hierba Dulce (one of the best Oaxaca vegan restaurants)
Best Oaxaca Vegan Restaurants (Visited in 2023)
Fully Vegan Restaurants in Oaxaca | Vegan Restaurants Oaxaca Guide 2023
As of 2023, these are all of Oaxaca City’s fully vegan restaurants. Most are located in the historical center but a few spots are a bit out of the way. I fully recommend each place!
Etnofood is the place I ate at most while living in Oaxaca—and I only ever ordered one dish (the Etno sandwich). My husband ordered several other dishes, so I did get to taste more of their menu. The Etno sandwich was just so good, I always found myself craving it. Etnofood is a short walk from the historic center of Oaxaca with a cute garden seating area (and some indoor seating for rainy days).
The restaurant has dozens of mezcals, so if you want to try Oaxaca’s famous spirit, this is a good place to go. They also host mezcal tastings, vegan cooking classes, and several other culinary experiences. Insider tip: one of the best things at Etnofood is their salsa matcha (chili oil). After traveling all around Mexico, it’s the best salsa matcha I’ve ever tried, and it’s not too spicy. Make sure to scoop some of the fried garlic and chili bits onto your food!
Etno sandwich at Etnofood Oaxaca
Outdoor seating at Etnofood Oaxaca
Three words: Simple, wholesome, and filling.
Menu examples: Ento sandwich with sourdough bread, hummus, sun-dried tomato, sauerkraut, and more goodies (my favorite!), Oaxacan black mole bowl, carrot potato pumpkin salad, avocado toast, and more.
2. Hierba Dulce
Hierba Dulce is probably the one place on this list that you can’t miss on this list. It’s a widely popular organic full-vegan restaurant that serves traditional Oaxacan food. It’s loved by vegans and non-vegans, tourists, and locals. One of my (non-vegan) local tour guides told me that it’s his favorite restaurant in Oaxaca because it’s the only place that makes traditional dishes like the food he grew up eating in an Oaxacan village. But there are a few things you should know before you go. In my experience, the quality and taste of the food was hit or miss. I ordered the same appetizer (sikil p’aak) three times and it tasted completely different each time.
Despite the inconsistency, it’s still worth visiting Hierba Dulce to get a taste of traditional Oaxacan cuisine in a fully-vegan environment. I highly recommend ordering their seven mole tasting to try Oaxaca’s famous moles. If you’re wondering—they do taste very different! My favorite are the red, black, and almond moles, but I’m curious to hear which ones you like. And one more warning for eating at Hierba Dulce—some of their dishes are very spicy. It’s difficult to know which dishes will be spicy (especially since there can be inconsistency in spice level for the same dish depending on when you visit).
Mushroom ceviche at Hierba Dulce
Charming seating area at Hierba Dulce Oaxaca
Three words: Traditional, wholesome, and flavorful,
Menu examples: Mole tasting, mushroom ceviche (highly recommended), enchiladas, inked mushrooms, sikil p’aak (Mayan traditional dish), nopales (cactus) salad, red bean soup, and more. Yummy cocktails, tepache (fermented pineapple drink), horchata, Oaxacan hot chocolate, and more.
Herbívora is a taco spot with some of the most mouthwateringly delicious vegan food in Oaxaca. After eating waaaay too many tacos in Tulum, Mexico City, Puerto Vallarta, and several other Mexican cities, I can say that Herbívora has some of the best vegan tacos in Mexico. My husband prefers street tacos in Mexico City but these ones are my favorite.
Herbívora’s menu includes six vegan tacos and homemade kombucha. Each taco is unique and delicious, but my favorites were the papa con chorizo (crispy potato with an oat/seed chorizo and vegan mayo) and the milanesa (crispy fried oyster mushroom, avocado, vegan mayo, and cilantro). The only downside of eating at Herbívora is the seating situation—they only have a few stools with thin tables. But you can watch the chef cook your tacos in the tiny room.
Mouthwateringly delicious vegan papas con chorizo tacos at Herbívora Oaxaca vegan restaurant
Three words: Flavor-packed, perfected, and crunchy.
Menu examples: Portobello and nopal barbacoa tacos, poblano oyster mushroom alambre tacos, papa con chorizo tacos, milanesa tacos, soy suadero campechano street tacos, oyster mushroom al pastor street tacos.
Gluck is another top-rated Oaxaca vegan restaurant. Located in a historical house, Gluck stands out with its attention to detail. Each plate (and even cup) comes with a little printed-out quote (all in Spanish).
My favorite dish at Gluck was their vegan burger which is made with fried oyster mushrooms and served with a delicious creamy sauce. Reviewers online rant and rave about the “shrimp” tacos which are made with fried cauliflower but I thought they were missing flavor. If you do visit Gluck, be sure to order a drink. My husband and I loved every drink we tried, from the cacao to the chocolate horchata.
Bright baja tacos at Glück vegan restaurant in Oaxaca City
Three words: Balanced, thoughtful, and beautiful.
Menu examples: Oyster mushroom burger, cauliflower “shrimp” tacos, avocado toast, berry-topped waffles, smoothie bowls, and more.
5. Los Muchitos Comida Vegana
Located a bit out of the city center, Los Muchitos is a family-owned Oaxaca vegan restaurant worth visiting for cheap vegan eats made with love. It’s a very casual restaurant, but my husband actually took me there on our wedding anniversary because it’s the only Oaxaca vegan restaurant with rooftop seating (though there is a metal above to protect from the rain and sun).
The food at Los Muchitos is more affordable compared to other spots on this list, and it attracts a local crowd. Their menu includes a mix of local Mexican food and American eats like vegan hot dogs, burgers, and cauliflower wings. The only thing to be aware of is that sometimes their food comes out a bit cold. For example, we order BBQ cauliflower wings and the cauliflower was perfectly cooked and hot, but they were covered in cold sauce, which was a bit odd.
Vegan mole bowl at Los Muchitos Comida Vegana Oaxaca
Three words: Balanced, thoughtful, and beautiful.
Menu examples: Enmoladas (enchiladas with mole sauce), sopa azteca, vegan lentil burgers, tlayudas, hot dogs, and more.
6. Viriditas Cocina Vegana
If you’re looking for ramen, sushi, or dumplings, Viriditas is the place! Located near the edge of Oaxaca’s charming Jalatlaco neighborhood, Viriditas is a vegan restaurant with delicious Asian-inspired dishes. I could only visit Viriditas once during my time in Oaxaca, but I wish I could have made it back for more. My husband and I enjoyed different ramens—the ramen cilantro and ramen picante (ramen cilantro is my recommendation). We also loved their pelmeni dumplings as an appetizer. I wish we could have gone back for their vegan sushi!
Vegan ramen at Viriditas Cocina Vegana (some of the best vegan food in Oaxaca)
Three words: Flavorful, memorable, and fresh.
Menu examples: Vegan sushi, vegan ramen, pelmeni dumplings.
7. La Selva de los Gatos
Oaxaca has a vegan cat cafe! And if the sweet kitties aren’t enough, the food is actually really delicious! My husband and I loved the vegan lox toast which was made with marinated carrots and served with a fresh salad. They also have a wide array of delicious drinks, from fresh juices to beer, coffee, and golden milk lattes. La Selva is the perfect place to hang out on a Sunday afternoon—or any other time you want to unwind in a relaxing environment.
Friendly cats in the garden at La Selva de los Gatos
Vegan carrot lox toast and salad
Three words: Peaceful, playful, and chill.
Menu examples: Vegan lox toast, salads, avocado toast, vegan baked goods, and more (menu varies daily).
8. Citronella Natural Bar
Citronella Natural Bar is a breakfast and brunch place that is somewhat new to the Oaxaca vegan restaurant scene. A few blocks away from Oaxaca’s famous Templo de Santo Domingo and pedestrian street, this cute vegan eatery serves fresh juices and brunch staples like avocado toast and waffles. Everything is bright, fresh, and clearly made with love.
Citronella Natural Bar fresh juice
Avocado toast at Citronella Natural Bar
Three words: Relaxed, wholesome, and flavorful.
Menu examples: Vegan waffles topped with fruit, cilantro avocado toast with chili oil, vegan club sandwich, vegan grilled cheese sandwich, vegan ceviche, and more.
9. Zona Veggie, el Tule, Oaxaca
If you visit Oaxaca’s famous El Tule tree (one of the best things to do in Oaxaca) or take a road trip east of the city toward mezcal distilleries, Hierve el Agua, Mitla, and Teotitlan del Valle, you must stop in Tule for some of Oaxaca’s BEST vegan food! My husband and I were blown away by the delicious food at this small locally-owned vegan restaurant, and we would have visited more if it weren’t so far outside of the city center.
The chickpea veggie burger and vegan cauliflower wings were incredible and the two young girls who own the place are so sweet. As an added bonus, everything at Zona Veggie is super affordable. We also loved seeing so many (potentially non-vegan?) locals enjoying the food here.
Mouthwatering chickpea burger and BBQ cauliflower wings at Zona Veggie, one of the best vegan restaurants in Oaxaca
Three words: Balanced, texturally-perfect, and flavorful.
Menu examples: Crispy chickpea veggie burger (tastes like perfectly made falafel on a burger), spicy BBQ wings, veggie spring rolls, personal pizzas, falafel pita wrap, and more.
Oaxaca Vegan-Friendly Restaurants
10. Santa Hierba Jalatlaco
Though it’s not a fully vegan spot, Santa Hierba is an Oaxaca restaurant that vegan travelers can’t miss! Santa Hierba is an adorable cafe with some of the most delicious vegan food in Oaxaca. I highly recommend stopping by when exploring Oaxaca’s charming historical Jalatlaco neighborhood (a must-do activity in Oaxaca), where the cafe is located.
After trying several dishes at Santa Hierba, the hamburgesa doble queso (which is vegan) was my favorite. With melted vegan cheese, a creamy BBQ sauce, and a lentil-based burger, it’s one of the best vegan burgers I’ve had in Mexico. I also love the teriyaki cauliflower, which has a sauce that actually tastes like teriyaki (difficult to find in Mexico) and my husband loves the vegan grilled cheese. As a cafe, Santa Hierba also has a diversity of delicious drinks, from coffee and tea to kombucha and tepache.
Delicious vegan burger at Santa Hierba Jalatlaco
Three words: Flavor-packed, inviting, and indulgent.
Menu examples: BBQ cheesy vegan burger with potatoes (hamburgesa doble queso), cauliflower teriyaki bowl, vegan grilled cheese (tripple vegan&cheese), vegan chicken nuggets, and more.
11. Aguacate Veggie Bar
A few months before moving to Oaxaca, my husband and I lived in San Cristobal de las Casas. Augacate Veggie Bar was one of our favorite restaurants in San Cris, and we were pleased to discover their new location in Oaxaca. Aguacate Veggie Bar is a vegetarian restaurant, but most of the menu is vegan. Their food is incredibly unique, fresh, and delicious. Most dishes are served with pickled veggies, creamy sauces, and flavor-bursting sauces. If you’re looking for something fresh (but delicious), this is the place to go.
Aguacate Veggie Bar’s new location in Oaxaca City (one of the best Oaxaca vegetarian restaurants)
12. Red Indian Chili
If you’re craving Indian flavors, head to Red Indian Chili, which is near the Oaxaca Zocalo (main square). Red Indian Chili is a family-owned restaurant with a full vegan menu and endless Bollywood music videos running in the background as you visit. While it isn’t the best Indian food I’ve ever had, it definitely satisfies the craving.
Veggie pakoras (some of the best Oaxaca vegan food)
Veggie Manchurian at Red Indian Chili in Oaxaca
13. Le Campane
Le Campane is an Italian-Mexican restaurant with several vegan options. The charming open-air seating area with twinkle lights and fresh flowers make it a great place for a nice meal. Le Campane’s vegan options include local Mexican classics like tlayudas (Mexican pizza with vegan cheese) and tacos as well as pasta with freshly made tomato sauce. Plus, they have heavenly focaccia bread served with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
Vegan Mexican pizza (tlayuda) at Le Campane
Italian pasta at Le Campane, Oaxaca
14. Muss Cafe
Muss Cafe is one of my favorite Oaxaca cafes to work from. It’s also a great place to grab brunch or coffee on the go. They have several vegan options on the menu including a vegan shakshuka, a roasted veggie bowl, smoothie bowls, and more. The Muss Cafe employees are friendly and helpful too.
Working remotely from Muss Cafe while enjoying their vegan roasted veggie bowl
15. Kiyo Cafe
Kiyo Cafe is another one of my favorite spots to work from my laptop for a few hours or grab brunch on a Sunday. Kiyo is a trendy cafe that any coffee (or coffee shop) lover can’t miss during a visit to Oaxaca. They have a limited menu, but it includes a delicious vegan mushroom toast with sauerkraut, oyster mushrooms, and a cashew cream, as well as vegan overnight oats.
Vegan mushroom toast at Kiyo Cafe in Oaxaca City
16. Trigo Verde Sucursal Trujano
Trigo Verde Sucursal Trujano is a small vegetarian restaurant in Oaxaca with a connected health food store. It’s one of the most affordable places on this list, with meals for $60-100 pesos or less. Although it’s a vegetarian restaurant, vegan options aren’t clearly marked on the menu, so be sure to ask before ordering.
Boulenc is quite possibly the most popular brunch restaurant in Oaxaca. Connected to an incredible local bakery, this restaurant serves veggie-forward meals with local ingredients and freshly baked bread. But as a vegan, be careful.
The menu has a vegetarian sandwich that can be made vegan, but my husband and I got adventurous and tried to make substitutions for other dishes—the mushroom bahn mi and a salad. My salad was served without the cheese (thank you!) but I could tell that the walnuts were caramelized in butter and sugar, and I received a slice of bread with a thin layer of butter. My husband’s bahn mi was delicious but we were a little nervous there might be something non-vegan in it since my dish clearly had some butter in it.
I hope Boulenc can adjust and become more vegan-friendly in the future because there are so many opportunities to veganize their menu items, they just weren’t fully there when I visited.
Vegan (?) mushroom bahn mi at Boulenc in Oaxaca
18. La Matatena Pizzeria
La Matatena Pizzeria is a vegan-friendly pizza place right on Oaxaca’s pedestrian road. They have vegan cheese and vegan chorizo that can be added to any pizza for an extra price. The pizza isn’t bad, but I don’t personally think it’s worth the price ($200+ pesos for a personal pizza plus extra for vegan cheese), especially since my husband and I were both still hungry after finishing our pizzas. Still, I appreciate how vegan-friendly this place is. And there are two wonderful gift shops right next to the restaurant that I recommend visiting if you’re looking for locally-made gifts.
Vegan pizza at La Matatena Pizzeria Oaxaca
19. Restaurante Arugula
Restaurante Arugula is a healthy Oaxacan restaurant with vegetarian and vegan options, such as mushroom ceviche tostadas, carrot guacamole tacos, chile relleno, and more. Located near the Oaxaca Zocalo and Mercado Benito Juárez, Arugula is an affordable spot that attracts a mix of tourists and locals.
20. Calabacitas Tiernas
I never made it to Calabacitas Tiernas during my time in Oaxaca, but I met a former employee of the restaurant who highly recommended it. The restaurant is labeled as a vegetarian restaurant on Google Maps, but they serve meat. In addition to vegetarian and vegan meals, Calabacitas Tiernas offers meat-based and paleo options.
Where to Find Vegan Groceries in Oaxaca
When I first arrived in Oaxaca, I had some difficulty finding vegan grocery staples like tofu, soy protein, nutritional yeast, and even fresh produce. Thankfully, I stumbled upon some great places to find (some of) these foods, and I’m sharing them for you here.
Trigo Verde Health Food Store in Oaxaca City
21. Trigo Verde Health Food Store
Trigo Verde is a small health-food store attached to Trigo Verde Sucursal Trujano, an Oaxaca vegetarian restaurant listed above. Vitamins and supplements make up about half of the store’s inventory, and the rest is a small selection of health foods, including dehydrated soy protein (Trigo Verde is the only place in Oaxaca I found it), vegan cheese, vegan hot dogs, nuts and grains, kombucha and more. When I visited, Trigo Verde didn’t have any tofu, but I believe they usually sell it.
22. Sapori Miscelánea Gourmet
Sapori Miscelánea Gourmet is a wonderful international food store that was the only place I could find tofu in Oaxaca. In addition to tofu (the boxed kind), Sapori sells other difficult-to-find grocery items like Thai curry paste, rice noodles, international wine, and more. Sapori is located less than a block from two of my favorite Oaxaca vegan restaurants (Gluck and Etnofood), so it’s an easy place to stop on the way back from lunch or dinner.
23. Boulenc Bakery
The Boulenc bakery is a place you have to visit if you love fresh bread (like me). In addition to delicious bread (my favorite is the focaccia), Boulenc sells a variety of delicious locally-made canned goods including pasta sauces, sauerkraut, pickles, pre-made salad dressings, and more. They also make excellent coffee and cacao for an affordable price.
24. Origen Vida Vegana
Origen Vida Vegana is a vegan shop that is a bit far outside of Oaxaca’s historical center. Because of its location, I never made it to Origen Vida Vegana, but it looks like a great spot to get vegan groceries if you’re in the area.
25. Local markets
Oaxaca has several bustling local markets with fresh veggies and other groceries. Some of the city’s markets include Mercado 20 de Noviembre, Mercado Benito Juárez, Mercado IV Centenario, and Mercado Sánchez Pascuas. If you buy fresh produce (at a market, grocery store, or anywhere else), be sure to disinfect before eating. You can disinfect produce by soaking it in a disinfectant solution or a mix of water and vinegar.
Vegan quesadillas at Zona Veggie in Oaxaca
Vegan Oaxaca Travel: Frequently Asked Questions
Is Oaxaca City a vegan-friendly destination?
Yes! With nine vegan restaurants and dozens of vegan-friendly eateries, Oaxaca is one of the most vegan-friendly cities in Mexico. Vegan food in Oaxaca is not limited to plant-based interpretations of Mexican classics, you can also find delicious vegan junk food, Asian dishes, pizza, health food, and so much more.
Delicious salsa macha at Etnofood
Iced golden milk and cats at La Selva Los Gatos Oaxaca
Where should you stay in Oaxaca City to be near vegan food?
Most Oaxaca vegan restaurants are located in and around Oaxaca’s historical center. This area of the city is charming and walkable with street vendors, art studios, and mezcalerias around nearly every corner. Some of the best hotels in Oaxaca’s historical center include:
- Hotel Escondido Oaxaca: Premium accommodation with a rooftop pool. 2-minute walk from Herbívora and 5-minute walk from Hierba Dulce (Oaxaca vegan restaurants).
- Pug Seal Oaxaca: Artsy boutique hotel attached to Kiyo Cafe. 1-minute walk to Hierba Dulce and 3-minute walk from Herbívora (Oaxaca vegan restaurants).
- NaNa Vida Hotel Boutique: Charming yet simple hotel in Oaxaca city center. 1-minute walk to Etnofood and 1-minute walk to Gluck (Oaxaca vegan restaurants).
Another area I recommend staying in Oaxaca is Jalatlaco. A little bit outside of the center of town, Jalatlaco is a bright and colorful historic neighborhood. Jalatlaco is home to Oaxaca’s vegan cat cafe and one of my favorite vegan-friendly restaurants in Oaxaca, Santa Hierba. Explore the best places to stay and things to do in my Jalatlaco guide.
Vegan dumplings at Viriditas Cocina Vegana Oaxaca
What are the best vegan cooking classes in Oaxaca?
One of the best things to do in Oaxaca is take a cooking class. Thankfully, it’s fairly easy to find a vegan-friendly cooking class if you know where to look. Oaxacan cuisine relies heavily on plant-based food, and meat is usually only eaten on special occasions in traditional villages. That being said, not all Oaxaca cooking classes are vegan-friendly. Here are some of the best vegan-friendly cooking classes in Oaxaca:
Etnofood Vegetarian Cooking Class
★★★★★ 4.5/5 stars out of 50+ reviews
Etnofood is at the top of this list as one of the best Oaxaca vegan restaurants. In addition to serving incredible food, they offer cooking classes. Although this experience is labeled as a vegetarian cooking class, it is fully vegan-friendly. The experience starts with a visit to a local market, where you’ll select fresh vegetables beside the chef and learn about the significance of each ingredient in traditional cuisine. Then the chef will guide you through cooking several dishes and a dessert in a traditional stove. Most importantly, you’ll get to enjoy your creations at the end.
“This class was a highlight of our stay in Oaxaca. Learned about the local peoples, their food and traditions. The tour through the market and discovering new ingredients was an adventure. The kitchen was large with room for everyone to complete their tasks that were assigned by the leader, Martin (who was an amazing organizer!) The menu that Martin devised on the fly to accommodate everyone’s dietary requirements came together smoothly and the feast we all enjoyed at the end was one of the best meals we had on our trip. Will sign up again on our next trip. Highly recommend.”Review from Mark on Viator
Tortillas, Nixtamal and Salsas Workshop
★★★★★ 5/5 stars out of 40+ reviews
This Oaxacan culinary experience can accommodate vegans (let them know you’re vegan ahead of time). The highlight of this experience is learning about the traditional Nixtamal process, for making tortillas. With fresh tortillas, you’ll learn how to make some of Oaxaca’s most famous recipes: memelas, tetelas, and tlacoyos, each topped with homemade made salsas.
“Luis was wonderful! Learned a lot from him about food in Oaxaca and its beautiful history. I love the fact that he supports local entrepreneurs and is environmentally conscious 👍👍👍 The cooking was hands on and the best part is eating what has been made. Great experience for anyone looking for authentic recipes without a pretentious environment and a great teacher.”Review from Debra on Viator
Oaxacan Traditional Cooking Class
★★★★★ 5/5 stars out of 55+ reviews
Ready to make a traditional Oaxacan mole? This Oaxaca vegan cooking class can accommodate vegans (notify the teacher of your dietary restrictions beforehand). The chef, Minerva, is not only a skilled teacher but also an award-winning chef. She’ll take you through a local market to gather ingredients before welcoming you into her traditional kitchen. Then you’ll learn how to make a delicious mole sauce before enjoying your creation with some local mezcal.
“We had an amazing day with Minerva! Out of our 3 weeks in Mexico, this was the highlight. We made delicious mole negro, tasted some good homemade mezcal, went to the local mill and made our very own tortillas. We also made good friends with the others in the cooking class. Pricey, but worth it!”Review from Sondre on Viator
What are the best day trips from Oaxaca City?
Mitla is a charming small town with significant Zapotec ruins. Before visiting Mitla, I read online that the archeological ruins were small, so I was surprised to find several well-preserved structures. Unlike other archaeological sites in Mexico, Mitla’s ruins are uncrowded, making it easy to explore quietly and get photos without a ton of people in the background. Book a half day tour to Mitla.
Teotitlan del Valle
Teotitlan del Valle is a charming village just outside of Oaxaca City known for producing intricate woven textiles. One of the best things to do in Teotitlan del Valle is attend a traditional weaving workshop, but its also a great place to hike. Book a tour to Teotitlan del Valle with stops at Hierve el Auga, El Tule, and a Mezcal distillery.
Hierve el Agua
Hierve el Agua is undoubtedly the most popular day trip from Oaxaca City, and for good reason! Hierve el Agua means “boil the water in Spanish,” and the name refers to the natural phenomena that heats the local spring water, creating naturally heated pools and petrified waterfalls. Most Hierve el Agua tours include a short hike and about an hour to swim in the natural pools.
Mitla archaeological ruins
Santiago Apoala waterfall
Hierve el Agua
My favorite day trip from Oaxaca City is to Santiago Apoala. 2-3 hours from Oaxaca City, this small village is home to some of the most stunning waterfalls and turquoise blue swimming holes in all of Mexico. Although its not one of the most popular day trips, I would personally say its a place you can’t miss if you’re into nature. Read my full guide to Santiago Apoala.
Less than half an hour from Oaxaca’s historical center, Monte Alban is a World Heritage Site with well-preserved Zapotec ruins. It’s the most significant Zapotec site, and given its proximity to Oaxaca City, its a must-visit spot on any Oaxaca trip. Book half day Monte Alban tour.
Another one of the most popular Oaxaca day trips is a visit to a mezcal distillery. Mezcal, a smoky spirit native to Oaxaca, is produced throughout the valley east of Oaxaca City. The easiest way to visit a distillery is to take a tour, and most tours include a stop at a mezcal distillery, as well as in Mitla, Teotitlan del Valle, and Hierve el Auga.
Where can you find the best vegan mole in Oaxaca?
The best place to taste vegan mole in Oaxaca is Hierba Dulce. Hierba Dulce is a traditional plant-based restaurant that offers a fully-vegan mole tasting with all seven flavors of mole. Each mole is served with three delicious empanadas, making it enough food for two people (especially if you throw in an appetizer).
Vegan mole tasting at Hierba Dulce in Oaxaca
Where can you find the best vegan desserts in Oaxaca?
Most Oaxaca vegan restaurants have plant-based desserts, but my favorite places to grab something sweet include: Etnofood, Hierba Dulce, and Santa Hierba.
Vegan chocolate cake at Santa Hierba Oaxaca
Where can you find the best vegan brunch in Oaxaca?
The best spots for vegan brunch in Oaxaca include: Gluck, Etnofood, Santa Hierba, Citronella Natural Bar, and Augacate Veggie Bar.
Vegan waffles at Citronella Natural Bar in Oaxaca
Is Oaxaca street food safe to eat as a vegan?
This is a tricky question. I am generally VERY careful with eating anything from a street food stall because food poisoning is not fun! But after traveling in Mexico for over six months, I finally branched out and tried some street food at non-vegan street stalls. And I did not get sick. Here are my top tips for eating street food in Oaxaca as a vegan:
- Go to places with lots of customers: A spot with a line of locals and tourists tends to be a little more trustworthy than a spot with no customers.
- Look for purified water: If you see containers of purified water, that’s a good sign!
- Learn a little Spanish ahead of time: I share some key phrases in my Mexico vegan travel guide. You’ll want to be able to ask them to leave off cheese, butter, etc.
Delicious Elote in Oaxaca. Just ask for no queso and you’re good to go!
Where else should vegans visit in the state of Oaxaca?
Oaxaca’s capital city (Ciudad de Oaxaca) is certainly worth a visit, but there are so many other places throughout the state to visit. Some of my favorites include Santiago Apoala in the Mixteca region and Puerto Escondido on the Pacific Coast.
Guacamole at Le Campane, an Oaxaca vegan-friendly restaurant
Final Thoughts: Vegan Food Oaxaca
Oaxaca City is a bright and charming colonial city with substantial vegan options. After living and traveling in Mexico for over six months, I can say that Oaxaca is one of the country’s most vegan-friendly cities. If you visit this stunning city, be sure to follow this Oaxaca vegan guide so you don’t miss the best spots!