Nowadays, upmarket hotels stand as evidence that money is, indeed, pouring into Oaxaca. But the buildings are not showy new constructions; they’re human-scale rehabs of existing structures that fit seamlessly into the streetscape. This is modernism, Mexico-style, where new motifs are juxtaposed against the exposed brick, smooth whitewashed walls, and graphical floor tiles of old. As fancy hotels have multiplied, so too have the number of mezcalerías and regional palenques. Today’s most coveted bottles are those made in the traditional way, without slick marketing or expensive equipment. In the downtown area alone, there are more than a dozen tasting rooms, boutiques, and bars.
For all its festive parades and bustling plazas, Oaxaca is a city of interiors, of private courtyards glimpsed through momentarily open doors. Behind one of them, a craft brewery is cooking up a batch of IPA, and the wafting aroma of warm cereal mingles with the wet-dust smell of the rain, another sign of 21st-century trends encroaching on 486 years of tradition. This captivating blend of old and new is replicated everywhere. Yet despite the innovation, authenticity and tradition are still lionized. Oaxaca transcends trendiness; its allure is eternal.
Below are some of our favorite spots to check out in the city.