Oaxacan Restaurant • $$-$$$$ • (J)
Located on the north side of the Zócalo, the restaurant of the stately Marqués del Valle hotel, El Portal del Marqués, serves from a menu of familiar regional classics. Aiming a little higher than some of its street-level competitors on the plaza, it offers better service and a more upscale ambiance, albeit with slightly higher prices. The higher aim, unfortunately, does not include the cooking, which is mediocre at best, making this place about as good as any of its street-level competitors on the plaza.
Nonetheless, some long-time visitors and expats gravitate here because the open-air dining room is slightly elevated above the street and fronted by a thin railing, buffering its customers somewhat from the goings-on on the Zócalo, which can, over time, become a bit much, the goings-on, especially the constant interruptions by street vendors hawking their wares.