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Kallista Stephenson’s Oaxaca

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Miguel Hidalgo 1002, Zona Feb 10 2015, Centro, 68000 Oaxaca, Oax., Mexico
The artisans in this region still use the traditional form of black clay pottery of their ancestors. I met artisan Ermundo de Coyotepec while traveling in this area.
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Oaxaca, Mexico
A winding drive (not for the faint of heart) brings you back to a "stuck-in-time" era: an oasis surrounded by cacti and agave. A simple reminder that water is a precious resource, especially in the dusty desert region in the Mexican Sierras of ...
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Juárez Maza s/n, Central de Abasto, 68090 Oaxaca, AGS, Mexico
Oaxaca is a world culinary capital for good reason and there is no better place to indulge in all the recipes, ingredients, and traditions of the region than at Central de Abastos, Oaxaca City's main market. It's easy to accidentally spend an...
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Cjon. Boca del Monte 121, RUTA INDEPENDENCIA, Centro, 68000 Oaxaca, Oax., Mexico
Oaxaca is referred to as a World Food Capital for good reason; the nuanced palates of its citizens and their never-ending celebration of the region's ingredients, recipes, and traditions results in a feast that begins the moment you jumpstart your...
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Calle de Manuel García Vigil 512-E, RUTA INDEPENDENCIA, Centro, 68000 Oaxaca, Oax., Mexico
Mexican food is extremely varied, and even just considering the cuisine of the state of Oaxaca, there is great diversity. The Isthmus of Tehuantepec is where the land thins to the narrowest strip between the Gulf of Mexico and the Pacific Ocean....
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I recently visited Oaxaca, Mexico with the chef Alex Stupak and his wife Lauren Resler, co-owners of the Empellon restaurants in New York City. Markets are a passion for Oaxacans and Alex and Lauren would happily spend every waking minute of their...
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Calle Macedonio Alcalá 403, RUTA INDEPENDENCIA, Centro, 68000 Centro, Oax., Mexico
Ron Cooper, founder of Del Maguey mezcal, is the pioneering visionary who introduced the world to mezcal over 20 years ago. Before his tireless efforts to distribute mezcal around the globe, it was a relatively unknown drink in spite of being...
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Calle Macedonio Alcalá 403, RUTA INDEPENDENCIA, Centro, 68000 Centro, Oax., Mexico
Los Baúles de Juana Cata is a must-stop for anyone interested in high quality textiles. The boutique is run by Remigio Mestas Revilla, who is devoted to reviving and preserving lost or disappearing textile techniques. He works directly with...
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5 de Mayo 114, RUTA INDEPENDENCIA, Centro, 68000 Oaxaca, Oax., Mexico
This handicraft shop on the corner of 5 de Mayo and Morelos is impossible to miss: you can spot the lovely handcrafted pieces from the street through the floor-to-ceiling windows. You'll find an excellent selection of high quality items from...
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Calle de Manuel Bravo 219, Oaxaca Centro, Centro, 68000 Oaxaca, Oax., Mexico
Café Café got its beginnings as a coffee roaster and then went on to become a coffee shop offering different blends of organic coffee from a few regions of Oaxaca. They hope to encourage the consumption of locally produced quality coffee, and they...
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Reforma 401, Centro, 68000 Oaxaca, Oax., Mexico
Cafe La Antigua has a pleasant courtyard and a choice of two indoor sitting areas. They serve organic coffee that is grown in the shade in the Pluma Hidalgo region of Oaxaca, and they roast and grind the coffee on the premises using solar energy....
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Calle Macedonio Alcalá 104, RUTA INDEPENDENCIA, Centro, 68000 Oaxaca, Oax., Mexico
You might detect the aroma of fresh coffee on your stroll along the Macedonio Alcalá tourist corridor, and if you're hankering for a caffeine hit, just follow your nose. Cafe Brújula has three locations, but the more central of the three is on ...
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Calle de Manuel Bravo 206, RUTA INDEPENDENCIA, Centro, 68000 Oaxaca, Oax., Mexico
This small, independent coffee shop offers excellent coffee (many say the best in the city), and also has an extensive food menu, including a set meal which changes daily. They roast their own coffee and make pastries on site too. There's free...
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Labastida 115, RUTA INDEPENDENCIA, Centro, 68000 Oaxaca, Oax., Mexico
Cafe Los Cuiles is a casual coffeehouse located in Plaza los Virgenes right in the center of Oaxaca. It's a great spot for a coffee and breakfast, to take a break from sightseeing or to catch up on your email. Have some "enfrijoladas" or a waffle...
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Calle de Armenta y López 120, OAX_RE_BENITO JUAREZ, Centro, 68000 Oaxaca, Oax., Mexico
The coffee in Oaxaca is better than it is in Mexico City but still not Blue Bottle standard. We found this relatively new place near the 20 November market. The espresso is great. They roast their own beans and also serve food. Plus free Wi-Fi—...
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Calle de Armenta y López 215, OAX_RE_BENITO JUAREZ, Centro, 68000 Oaxaca, Oax., Mexico
Oaxaca's Macedonio Alcalá theater was built between 1903 and 1909. It is striking from the outside, but the interior is even more impressive, with a marble staircase and paintings on the domed ceiling and walls. The cafe on the theater premises is...
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Monte Albán, Oaxaca, Mexico
It's a good idea to get an early start for a visit to the Monte Alban archaeological site. It's best to get there before the crowds and before the sun is high in the sky. If you don't have time for a coffee before you get there, you can grab a cup...
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Mariano Matamoros 105, RUTA INDEPENDENCIA, Centro, 68000 Oaxaca, Oax., Mexico
This shop offers a wide variety of high-quality handicrafts from all over Oaxaca. You'll find a room devoted to woolen rugs, one to woodcarvings, and several to ceramics. On my most recent visit, I couldn't resist picking up a "Catrina," one of...
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OAX_RE_BENITO JUAREZ, Centro, 68000 Oaxaca, Mexico
Walking through Oaxaca's markets, it's hard not to be a little overwhelmed by the abundance and diversity of items on display. Piles of fresh produce, quantities of beautiful handcrafted objects, baskets of spicy chapulines (grasshoppers), stacks...
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RUTA INDEPENDENCIA, Centro, 68000 Oaxaca, Mexico
The Instituto de Artesanias Oaxaqueños, also known as "ARIPO" has a wide selection of crafts from all over the state of Oaxaca. It's housed in a colonial building on Garcia Vigil near the old aqueduct, and has this pretty central courtyard. Rooms...
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Monte Albán, Oax., Mexico
The Zapotec ruled above the Valley of Oaxaca from their hilltop capital, named Monte Alban. Any visit to Oaxaca should include a tour of these impressive ruins. The native people living in Oaxaca today can trace their heritage directly back to the...
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Cerro de la campana, Santa María Atzompa, Oax., Mexico
On a hilltop adjacent to Monte Alban, just outside the city of Oaxaca, there is an archaeological site that has just recently been excavated. Atzompa was a satellite city of the great Zapotec capital of Monte Alban. The site provides breathtaking...
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Tlacolula de Matamoros, Oax., Mexico
Lambityeco rose to prominence around the time of the decline the great Zapotec capital Monte Alban, roughly 700 A.D. The site was originally excavated in the 1960s, although some restoration work has been done since that time. Among the buildings...
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Yagul, Universidad, Oaxaca, Oax., Mexico
Monte Alban and Mitla are the well-known Zapotec ruins near Oaxaca, but Yagul is worth a visit too. It was absolutely empty the day we were there, and it's overgrown, unkempt, and has an amazing view over the valley.
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Carretera a Tlacolula 190 Km 17, San Jerónimo Tlacochahuaya, Oax., Mexico
This small archaeological site is situated on a hillside about 12 miles east of Oaxaca city. The name "Dainzú" means "hill of the organ cactus" in Zapotec, although that most certainly was not the original name. The site was occupied in very early...
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Santiago Matatlan, Oaxaca, Mexico
This small village just east of Mitla has a large sign declaring it the world capital of mezcal. Here you'll be able to see the whole process of how mezcal is made from harvesting the agave plant to distillation. There's a wide variety of...
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Diaz Ordaz 712, Centro, 68000 Oaxaca, Oax., Mexico
You can find Cuish brand mezcal in a few establishments in Oaxaca city, but head to their own tasting bar located on the outskirts of the city center to learn what this brand stands for. They offer mezcal that is artisanally produced from several...
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Reforma No. 506, Col. Centro, RUTA INDEPENDENCIA, Centro, 68000 Oaxaca, Oax., Mexico
Just down the street from where we stayed in Oaxaca there was a mezcal bar called Mezcaloteca. It was staffed by one woman, very studiously sharing her love of mezcal. She poured us a tasting of three different mezcals into the little gourd cups:...
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Oaxaca, Mexico
Mezcal is Oaxaca's smokey spirit of choice and one of the best places to try it is at the mezcaleria Los Amantes in Oaxaca City. The walls of the funky space on Allende 107 in the historical district are lined with dozens of clay pots that were...
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Oaxaca, Mexico
The natural fresh-water springs at Hierve el Agua were incredible (and cold!). The water is very high in calcium carbonate, and the minerals have formed these natural pools and crazy waterfall-like rock formations. The dusty road was somewhat...
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Calle de Tinoco y Palacios 414, RUTA INDEPENDENCIA, Centro, 68000 Oaxaca, Oax., Mexico
This little cafe-bar caught my eye because the sign outside says "Chocolateria - Mezcaleria". Chocolate and mezcal is a winning combination in my book, but their menu goes well beyond that. We tried a few types of tapas, a pasta dish and a salad....
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Calle de Mariano Abasolo 121, RUTA INDEPENDENCIA, Centro, 68000 Oaxaca, Oax., Mexico
Oaxaca is known for its moles. The most famous is mole negro, the black mole—a thick, rich mixture of ground chiles, nuts, chocolate, and other ingredients. But that's not the only type of mole you'll find here. Los Pacos specializes in these rich...
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20 de Noviembre Loc. 39, Centro, 68000 Oaxaca, Oax., Mexico
Inside the Mercado 20 de Noviembre you'll find many food stalls to choose from. The Comedor Maria Teresa (Local #38) is a good bet. They have excellent mole, which you can enjoy with chicken and rice, or in enchiladas, as pictured above. A full...
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Reforma 402, Centro, 68000 Oaxaca, Oax., Mexico
Run by the talented Chef Pilar Cabrera, who also offers cooking classes through Casa de los Sabores, La Olla is an unpretentious restaurant offering Oaxacan specialties. Head to the upper-level dining room, which is more spacious than the ground...
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Avenida Miguel Hidalgo 616, Centro, 68000 Oaxaca, Oax., Mexico
La Casa de La Abuela is a Oaxaca mainstay, on the corner between the Zocalo and the Alameda, Oaxaca's two central squares. Find the entrance on Hidalgo street, and climb the steps up to the second floor. As soon as you enter you'll see a big clay...