Unlike most travel destinations in México, the city of Oaxaca has a nice selection of restaurants catering to vegetarians. For vegans, it’s a bit tougher, although most of the restaurants listed here will try to accommodate their needs. That said, because meat is such an important part of traditional Oaxacan cooking, attempts at creating vegetarian renditions of local dishes invariably fall short, failing to capture the original dish's essence, the meat's removal too large an obstacle for most cooks to overcome.
And so, for vegetarians — no matter how worthy their motivations, be it animal rights, environmental, health, or all of the above — this means that they have few opportunities for exposure to the full range of flavors in this unique cuisine, as well as the moments of authentic encounter that can happen when eating at restaurants and food stalls that cater to locals and cook their food in traditional ways. Nevertheless, one place in the city, Itanoní, seems to have pulled off this delicate balance, offering a handful of vegetarian renditions of authentic Oaxacan dishes.