Neighborhood — Barrio de Jalatlaco, Centro Histórico, Oaxaca City, Oaxaca
Restaurants | Church | Spanish Language Schools | Sleeping | Listings
Straddling the northeast boundary of the Centro Historico, no more than a fifteen-minute walk from the Zócalo, the tranquil Barrio de Jalatlaco, with a handful of hotels and restaurants, is a convenient alternative to staying in the hurried and noisy downtown. That said, except for the San Matías Jalatlaco church, the centerpiece of the barrio for almost three hundred years, there really isn’t much to do here as a tourist. And yet, walking along the barrio’s narrow, chunky cobblestone streets, potholed and rutted, lined with low-slung colonial buildings, sets the mind to wandering, daydreaming, dreaming of an old, romanticized México, a México that’s never existed.
El Biche Pobre • Oaxacan Restaurant • $$-$$$ • (A)
In a nicely restored two-story colonial building, this moderately priced neighborhood restaurant serves up gut-busting portions of delicious Oaxacan classics, including several of the seven moles. Dine downstairs among the sounds and smells emanating from the kitchen or upstairs where it is a little more tranquilo. Nestled in the day-dreamy Barrio de Jalatlaco, this place is well worth the twenty-minute walk from the Zócalo. Not up for the walk? Then catch a cab from the taxi stand on the north side of the Alameda de León.
- Calzado de la Republica 600, corner Hidalgo; Barrio de Jalatlaco, Centro Histórico; Wed - Mon 8 a.m. - 8:30 p.m., closed Tue; phone 951-513-4636; www.oaxaca-mio.com/elbichepobre.htm.
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 Aldama; Barrio de Jalatlaco, Centro Histórico; Daily noon to midnight.
- Corner Hidalgo and Cinco de Mayo; Barrio de Jalatlaco, Centro Histórico; Daily 9 a.m. - 10 p.m..
- Cinco de Mayo 614, corner Alianza; Barrio de Jalatlaco, Centro Histórico; Daily 9 a.m. - 11 p.m.; MX$150 - 250; Most major credit cards; phone 951-513-8742; Reservations recommended.
Templo de San Matías Jalatlaco • Colonial Church • (J)
The Jesuits originally constructed a small chapel on this site to serve converts in this once exclusively indigenous barrio. In the early 1700s, the order replaced the chapel with a more permanent church, the present one, dedicating it to St. Matthew the Apostle. The church has been the cornerstone of the barrio ever since.
Located at the top of cobblestone Hidalgo Street, the church recently underwent a thorough renovation, inside and out. The south-facing main and east-facing side façades, both originals and both well preserved, have elaborate geometric patterns carved into their surfaces — their design unique in the city. Inside, little remains of the original furnishings and ornamentation, the interior long ago stripped of its colonial character. That said, in the choir loft, above the main portal, there’s a beautiful, old post-colonial pipe organ, which was built in 1866 and has now been completely restored.
- Hidalgo, corner Aldama; Barrio de Jalatlaco, Centro Histórico.
Spanish Language Schools
- Hidalgo 104, near Aldama; Barrio de Jalatlaco, Centro Histórico; 5/10/15 hrs wk, USD$80/85/100 wk, no registration fee; phone 951-515-9899; www.xcanda.com.mx; firstname.lastname@example.org.
Oaxaca Ventura • Spanish Language School • (N)
Oaxaca Ventura is a new school with experienced teachers that offers beginner, intermediate, and advanced conversation-based general Spanish language classes. Check their website for rates, times, as well as other specifics.
- Pajaritos 213, east of Aldama; Barrio de Jalatlaco, Centro Histórico; 10/20 hrs wk, USD$75/140 wk, includes instruction material cost, no registration fee; phone 951-515-3376; www.oaxacaventura.net; email@example.com.
Casa Arnel • Hotel, Apartment • $-$$$ • (X)
Small, family-run hotel offering basic rooms with shared baths, rooms and small suites with private baths, and apartments. Visit their website for full list of rates during low and high seasons.
- Aldama 404, cross street Hidalgo, entrance on Hidalgo; Barrio de Jalatlaco, Centro Histórico; rooms w/ private bath USD$50/50/55/60/70 (s/d/t/q/qt); Credit cards not accepted; phone 951-515-2856; www.casaarnel.com.mx; firstname.lastname@example.org; Reservations recommended.
- Restaurant (breakfast only), courtyard, basic travel agency and tours, public telephone, free wifi 24 hrs, computer/internet access during business hours, laundry wash stations, parking, filtered water sold, US dollars exchanged, small library.
ADO First-class Bus Station • Bus Station • (O)
The bus lines operating out of this station — ADO, ADO GL, Cuenca, OCC, and UNO — offer long-distance executive and first-class bus service. Some buses fill up quickly. To ensure seats, purchase tickets at least a day or two in advance of travel dates, especially on weekends and holidays.
- Calzada Niños Héroes de Chapultepec 1036, cross street 5 de Mayo; Barrio de Jalatlaco, Centro Histórico; phone 951-502-0560.
Xiguela • Grocery Store, Organic • (X)
This small corner store 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. Across the street, the owner also runs Café Xiguela, a small corner café serving excellent coffee and espresso, as well as light, healthy snacks and sandwiches for vegetarians and carnivores.
- Southwest corner Hidalgo and Cinco de Mayo; Barrio de Jalatlaco, Centro Histórico; Mon - Fri 9 a.m. - 6 p.m., Sat 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.; phone 951-132-9121.