Teotitlan del Valle, Oaxaca, Mexico
Eating Pre-Hispanic Food in the Oaxacan CountrysideWhile most tourists take the hour-long bus ride out of Oaxaca to Teotitlán del Valle for the rugs, we went there for the food. Specifically, to try pre-hispanic food at a small restaurant run by three sisters, called Tlamanalli.
Eating here will challenge everything you ever thought you knew about Mexican food. Since the restaurant only serves dishes from before Spanish colonization, their menu is refreshingly different (yet similar) from the tortas and tlayudas that fill Oaxaca city's markets. Their menu features items like a light, brothy nopales (cactus) soup, blue corn tortillas and guacamole, chicken covered in a rich mole negro sauce, and bright purple hibiscus juice.
At the same time, Tlamanalli's atmosphere transports visitors back into pre-colonial Mexico. Everything from the colorfully tiled open kitchen to the Zapotec dress the sisters wore had the feel of another era.
If you want to experience pre-colonial Mexico -- not just view it in a museum -- go here.
To get here, take a bus to Teotitlán del Valle from Oaxaca's city center. Keep in mind that it's only open for lunch from 1 - 4pm (kind of odd hours, but it's worth it).