Mexico generally has more of a taco culture than a café culture. While I was living in Mexico City, I would experience sheer glee at the number of taco stands I would walk past on any street but felt sad that it didn’t have such an incredible café culture. In Oaxaca, where I am living now, the opposite is true. You’ll be hard pressed to find a taco stand but coffee shops are everywhere. These are my seven favourite cafes in Oaxaca in no particular order.

El Volador – Xolotl

El Volador is plain cute. There must be fewer than ten seats in the whole joint so I think they actually make money selling ground coffee beans as opposed to selling hot cups of coffee. The staff are friendly but not in-your-face about it, which I appreciate because I’m kinda into being left alone. I think that a piping hot of Americano at El Voladorwill set you back just 16 pesos – awesome. I love to go there to get some writing done, but I am often distracted by their wonderful magazines (English and Spanish selection) so you really don’t need to go there with anything more than a bit of change jangling in your pocket.

cafe el volador oaxaca

Café Brujula – Garcia Vigil 409-D

There are a couple of Brujula cafes around town – one on Alcala and one on Garcia Vigil – and many people say that this café has the best coffee in Oaxaca. Confession, I haven’t tried the coffee here because I always visit in the evening time (it’s open until 10pm – yay!) and I only allow myself to drink caffeine in the morning because it makes me jittery. But I can highly recommend the cucumber lemon cooler thing.

Boulenc – Porifirio Diaz #222-A

Boulenc is more of a bakery then a café, but boy are those breads and cakes good. Something that I really miss about my home of London is the access to amazing breads that we have – breads that you just can’t find in Mexico. A least, not unless you happen upon Boulenc. I mean, they sell sourdough! Heavenly heavenly sourdough. There isn’t a lot of space to sit, and the space isn’t that comfortable, so get your coffee and bread to go.

boulenc cafe

Nuevo Mundo – M. Bravo 206

Nuevo Mundo is so amazing that I remembered it right from my first ever visit to Oaxaca in 2010. The coffee here is seriously good and it’s delicious in all its forms, from a simple Americano to some kind of banana coffee frappe thing. They also serve a killer breakfast.

Café Los Cuiles – Labastida 115

This is another café that’s open until 10pm – something I really appreciate because I often want a place to get some writing work done other than in my house in the late hours. The nicest thing about this place is that it has an open courtyard where you can sit with a coffee or snack. Oh and they sell beer too – hooray!

Alma de Café – Margarita Maza de Juárez 211-A

This is a brand new café in Oaxaca – it only opened in August 2014. The staff here are so sweet. They are always smiley and try to speak to me in English because my Spanish is so bad. The coffee here is just delicious and I especially love the clay mugs that the drinks are served in. On my first visit, the owner gave me a chocolate and cinnamon pastry to sample. On the basis of its pure deliciousness and not because I was forced into buying one, I purchased TWO of these pastries and consumed them there and then. The paninis are also recommended.

alma de cafe oaxaca

AM Siempre – José López Alavez 1355

No tourist walking around Oaxaca would ever find this café. It’s in the Xochimilco/La Cascada area, and there is nothing really there to attract tourists BUT it happens to be where I live. Because it’s the closest café to my house, I tend to end up in AM Siempre a lot. I remember on my very first day moving into the neighbourhood, I popped my head in and said I was new in the area. The barista was so kind and she told me where I could find cheap things for my house – just what you want from a cute neighbourhood joint. The atmosphere inside the café is incredibly serene and a great place to relax into some reading or writing. Do not leave without trying the guava cake – got it?

am siempre oaxaca

Sr Carranza – Jesus Carranza 119

This place on Porifrio Diaz serves the best value coffee in all of Oaxaca. An Americano will set you back just 13 pesos! But in all honesty, I don’t go to Sr Carranza for the coffee, I come for the baguettes. They have a selection of around five baguettes and you can turn each baguette into a meal deal with fries and a drink from as a little as 60 pesos. And the baguettes are absolutely enormous so I can usually make one of the meal deals extend over two meals. They have different specials every day so it’s well worth popping your head in to see what’s on offer.

waffles sr carranzo oaxaca

Which is your favourite place for a cup of coffee in Oaxaca?

 

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