Last updated: 11:00 PM ET, Thu June 23 2016

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  • A Cruising Couple | June 23, 2016 11:00 PM ET

    8 Things To Love About Oaxaca City

    8 Things To Love About Oaxaca City

    One visit to ever-enchanting Oaxaca City is all it takes to fall in love with its old-world charm, bright cobbled streets and decadent cuisine. The magic of Oaxaca has long drawn creative minds to her streets; today it remains a fascinating place to discover the region’s long history and innovative air. Whether it’s sipping coffee at a quaint cornerside cafe or mingling with locals in the Central Plaza, here are eight things we know you’ll love about Oaxaca City, Mexico:

    The Food

    Oaxaca Tortilla Soup

    We're convinced that Mexican food is some of the best on Earth, and in our minds, no place in the country does it better than Oaxaca. Think: seven different styles of decadent mole, tlayudas cooked to a crisp, chilaquiles topped with Mexican cream and artisanal chocolate infused with unique local flavors. 

    READ MORE: 3 Epic Day Trips From Oaxaca

    The Mezcal

    Mezcal Oaxaca

    Photo by Cantimplora Travel

    The artisanal alcohol and cousin to tequila is a must-try while in Oaxaca. Using a traditional method that goes back to the 1600s, mezcal is made by baking the agave plant in an underground oven, crushing it with a large stone wheel pulled by a donkey or mule, then fermenting it for ten days, all before it is double distilled. The result is a smooth liquor that can be either immediately bottled or aged in whiskey barrels. Visit a local mezcal maker, or simply enjoy savoring local variations in one of the many boutique mezcal bars throughout town.

    The Markets

    Sunday Market

    Photo via Flickr/Karen Corby

    From handicrafts to food, Oaxaca has a slew of great markets to explore. Contrary to what its name may suggest, the Oaxaca Saturday Market is actually open every day of the week (though the craft section only joins the crowd on Saturdays.) Benito Juarez Market is the city's oldest and a great place the find produce and flowers. For all things handicraft, textile, leather and ceramic, look no further than the Mercado de Artesanas. Finally, visit La Merced Market for the best deals on bottles of the previously mentioned mezcal.

    The Art

    The Oaxaca region is home to more than 500,000 artistic souls. The work of local artists are on display all over Oaxaca in galleries of all shapes and sizes with varying degrees of quality. The Galeria Arte de Oaxaca has exhibitions regularly or you can take a class and learn to become an artist yourself at Ishuakara Casa Estudio Oaxaca.

    The Churches

    Oaxaca Cathedral

    Oaxaca boasts several grand cathedrals. The most prominent is the Templo de Santo Domingo in the heart of the city, right alongside the pedestrian road. The Cathedral of Our Lady of the Assumption and the Basilica of Our Lady of Solitude are also worth a look for their unique architecture and historical significance.

    The Culture

    Oaxaca Traditional Wedding Parade

    READ MORE: The Cost of Travel in Mexico: What You Need to Know

    During our first night wandering down the cobblestoned pedestrian street of Oaxaca City, we heard loud music coming from just up the street. Suddenly, a wedding procession with giant-sized puppets, cheering and dancing appeared outside the Templo de Santo Domingo. The group began parading down the pedestrian road as onlookers cheered and sang along. We later learned that the procession is an old wedding tradition still deeply embedded in the city's culture and love of color, life and joy.


    Oaxacan Coffee

    If a cup of coffee is a necessary part of your day, you'll have plenty of opportunities to indulge in a caffeine boost with Oaxacan coffee. There are a plethora of coffee shops in Oaxaca boasting great brews and a fun atmosphere. Check out the Oaxacan Coffee Shop to get a few bags to bring home. Cafe Brujala, right across from the gorgeous Templo de Santo Domingo, is the perfect place to sit back, relax and enjoy a cup — or three.

More Oaxaca


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A Cruising Couple A Cruising Couple's Column

A Cruising Couple Dan and Casey are the two lovebirds, world travelers and adventurers extraordinaire behind the popular travel blog A Cruising Couple - adventure travel with a dash of class. Their stories and photographs feature that special place where experiential and stylish travel meet. Find out how you can spend less money, live more adventurously and travel more luxuriously on their blog,
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