Cafés — Oaxaca City, Oaxaca
- * Zoom out to locate the two The Italian Coffee Company coffee shops in the Colonia Reforma neighborhood.
For generations small farmers in Oaxaca have been growing high quality altura coffee beans on the Pacific-facing slopes of the rugged Sierra Madre del Sur mountains, and, to a lesser extent, on the Gulf of México-facing slopes of the equally rugged Sierra Norte mountains. It is not surprising, then, that many of the city’s restaurants, cafés, and Cafés — and especially the ones catering to tourists and local hipsters — serve deep, rich coffee brewed from locally grown beans. But what distinguishes the cafés and Cafés listed here is that, in addition to serving excellent coffee, they are all convenient places to pop in for a quick cup of café para llevar, though some put together tasty meals as well.
As for the reviews of all the restaurants in the city listed in this guide, not just the cafés, read the article Restaurants — Oaxaca City, Oaxaca.
Café Brújula • Café, Tea • $-$$ • (D)
Bohemians and bourgeoisie, both foreign and domestic, mingle at this trendy café, known for its excellent fresh-roasted coffee and tempting eats, including such delectables as loose-leaf teas, smoothies, cookies, chocolate cake, muffins, waffles, granola, sandwiches, and, the star of the menu, authentic New York-style bagels con queso crema, served up in funky-rustic digs filled with American roots music and wifi. A second Brújula was recently opened nearby on Alcalá, the busy pedestrian promenade cutting through the heart of the Centro Historico.
- García Vigil 409, half-block north of Nicolás Bravo; North of Independencia, Centro Histórico; Mon - Sat 8:00 a.m. - 10 p.m., closed Sun; Mex$15 - 70; phone 951-516-7255; www.cafebrujula.com; firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Alcalá 104, half-block north of Independencia; North of Independencia, Centro Histórico; Mon - Sat 8:00 a.m. - 10 p.m., closed Sun; MX$15 - 70; phone 951-516-7255; www.cafebrujula.com; email@example.com.
Coffee Nuevo Mundo • Café • $-$$ • (C)
A favorite of coffee aficionados, this cozy coffeehouse, tucked away in an open-air hallway, just may brew the deepest and richest cup of java in the city, along with offering a modest assortment of tasty sandwiches and some truly exquisite sweet rolls. So far, so good. How, then, to explain the bagels, which, tragically, are buns masquerading as such? Bagel purists should steer clear. All is not lost, though, because right around the corner, Café Brújula, another of our favorites, offers authentic New York-style bagels con queso crema, and excellent coffee to boot. That said, the bagel failure aside, we still highly recommend Nuevo Mundo.
- Bravo 206, half-block west of García Vigil; North of Independencia, Centro Histórico; Mon - Sat 8 a.m. - 9 p.m., Sun 8 a.m. - 8 p.m.; Mex$10 - 60; phone 951-501-2122; www.cafenuevomundo.com; firstname.lastname@example.org.
Café Los Cuiles • Café • $-$$ • (H)
Exuding a bohemian vibe, this low-key café, popular with locals and foreigners alike, drawn by the fine organic coffee, the free wifi, and the tasty grub, is a fine spot for hanging out, studying the days' Spanish lessons, meeting up with fellow travelers, or maybe just sitting, listening to the burbling of the fountain in the shady interior courtyard out back. The kitchen dishes up mostly Oaxacan staples, along with some imported favorites, such as granola, waffles, salads, sandwiches, and soy burgers.
- Plazuela Labastida 115-1, Plaza de las Virgenes; North of Independencia, Centro Histórico; Daily 8 a.m. - 10 p.m.; Mex$15 - 100; phone 951-514-8259; www.cuiles.com; email@example.com.
Café Gecko • Café • $-$$ • (K)
With the location down pat — a half-block south of the Iglesia de Santo Domingo on the sometimes traffic-free cobblestone Cinco de Mayo — this place follows through with excellent coffee and tasty eats, delivered by agreeable waiters in a tranquil courtyard overflowing with vines, tropical plants, and flowers. The menu is geared to gringos, including a mix of salads, sandwiches and desserts, all reasonably priced.
- Cinco de Mayo 412, half-block south of the Iglesia de Santo Domingo; North of Independencia, Centro Histórico; Mon - Sat 9 a.m. - 7:30 p.m., closed Sun; Mex$20-100; phone 951-516-2285.
Café la Antigua • Café • $$-$$$ • (E)
The owner, Diego Woolrich, roasts his beans, which he grows organically in the mountains north of Puerto Escondido, on the café's premises. Indeed, it’s not unusual to smell their aroma while sitting in the pleasant courtyard, sipping a cup of his deep, rich brew. The menu features standard Oaxacan fare, as well as a few juices and pastries.
- Reforma 401, north of Abasolo; North of Independencia, Centro Histórico; Mon - Sat 9 a.m. - 11 p.m., closed Sun; Mex$50 - 130; Most major credit cards; phone 951-516-5761; firstname.lastname@example.org.
Coffee Beans • Café • $-$$ • (G)
This hole-in-the-wall café brews a stiff cup of joe, the beans grown locally. Here, it's all about the coffee beans, so the menu is limited, just a handful of desserts, sandwiches, quiches, crêpes, and Oaxacan-style breakfasts.
- Cinco de Mayo 400, half-block south of the Iglesia de Santo Domingo; North of Independencia, Centro Histórico; Sun - Thu 8 a.m. - 12 midnight, Fri & Sat 8 a.m. - 2 a.m.; Mex$15 - 100.
Café Arabia • Café • $-$$ • (K)
Cooled in the afternoon by the spillover shade from Conzatti Park, this neighborhood café, with its starkly modern interior, is yet another place in the Centro churning out a fine cup of brew. In the kitchen they like to mix it up, serving standard Oaxacan breakfasts, as well as some travel favorites, such as waffles, croissants, muffins, baguette sandwiches, and salads.
- Corner of Reforma and Jacobo Dalevuelta; North of Iglesia de Santo Domingo, Centro Histórico; Mon - Sat 8:30 a.m. - 10 p.m., closed Sun; Mex$40 - 100; phone 951-515-9886.
- Corner Hidalgo and Aldama; Barrio de Jalatlaco, Centro Histórico; Daily noon to midnight.
Café Xiguela • Café, Vegetarian • (X)
This small café serves excellent coffee and espresso, as well as light, healthy snacks and sandwiches for vegetarians and carnivores. Across the street, the owner also runs Xiguela, a small corner store that has, hands down, the best selection of organic and natural food in town. Indeed, if you have been looking for some special organic or natural product in the city and have not been able to find it, this place is your best bet.
- Southeast corner Hidalgo and Cinco de Mayo; Barrio de Jalatlaco, Centro Histórico; Mon - Sat 8 a.m. - 6 p.m.; phone 951-132-9121.
- Corner Hidalgo and Cinco de Mayo; Barrio de Jalatlaco, Centro Histórico; Daily 9 a.m. - 10 p.m..
The Italian Coffee Company, Zócalo • Café • $ • (A)
The Italian Coffee Company is a national chain of Cafés trying way too hard to be México's version of Starbucks, mimicking everything from the friendly baristas and the many concoctions involving coffee to the mediocre gourmet coffee itself, which always tastes like it's trying to please as many palates as possible, and invariably comes up short. So, before passing on one of the many locally owned coffee shops in the city serving excellent gourmet coffee, a few of which roast their own beans on the premises, ask yourself, "Did I really travel a thousand miles or more to drink mediocre gourmet coffee at a Starbucks knockoff?" That said, with at least half a dozen Italian Coffee Company coffee shops scattered throughout the city, in a pinch, there is usually one close by, making it easy to pop in for a quick cup of café para llevar. And that is how it makes itself useful. There are three locations on or within half of a block of the Zócalo.
- Alcalá, across the street from Iglesia de Santo Domingo; North of Independencia, Centro Histórico; daily 9 a.m. - 10 p.m.; Mex$13 - 50; www.italiancoffee.com.
- Manuel Ruiz 409, two blocks north of Baseball Stadium; Colonia Reforma; daily 9 a.m. - 10 p.m.; Mex$13 - 50; www.italiancoffee.com.
- Naranjos 409, corner Amapolas; Colonia Reforma; daily 9 a.m. - 10 p.m.; Mex$13 - 50; www.italiancoffee.com.