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Mezcalerias Oaxaca, or mezcal bars in Oaxaca specializing in artisanal mezcal, can be found all over the city.
This distilled agave smoky spirit represents the heart and soul of Oaxaca. This southern Mexican state, considered the “Capital of Mezcal” is home to about 70% mezcal production in the country.
Oaxaca has the greatest diversity of agave plants resulting in a wide variety of mezcal flavors to explore.
Mezcal, considered a magical drink, is unpredictable and totally unforgettable.
Mezcal aficionados visiting Oaxaca can sip and learn about the complexities of this beverage steeped in tradition.
While others can enjoy a multitude of delicious mezcal based cocktails.
Visiting Oaxaca City means sipping mezcal at Oaxaca’s best mezcalerias. Here is a selection of our favorite mezcalerias in Oaxaca, carefully curated during our 6-month stay in the city.
Our Top Picks
For the short answer to our favorite mezcalerias en Oaxaca, here are our top picks:
El Cortijo Best For Mezcal Artesanal in Oaxaca
Los Danzantes Best For Local Food and Mezcal Pairing
Casa Convite Best For Outdoor Bar and Restaurant
Keep reading for more tips and advice on how to best enjoy mezcal tasting in Oaxaca.
For Mezcal Tasting in Oaxaca
1. El Cortijo Mezcaleria
El Cortijo Mezcaleria, is one of the oldest mezcalerias in Oaxaca. Located in Oaxaca’s historic center, it is dedicated to the promotion and culture of mezcal.
This family-owned business has been making mezcal since 1795. They created the first mezcal brand in Oaxaca, El Cortijo in 1951.
We had the opportunity to meet Gustavo, co-owner and 6th-generation mezcal maker while in Oaxaca.
From Gustavo, we learned about their artisanal mezcal production methods and how to taste the spirit.
El Cortijo is known for making high-quality refined mezcal. Each mezcal bottle comes from small production batches, with unique flavors and aromas.
Convenient to get to in the center of Oaxaca, El Cortijo is a charming space to learn about mezcal.
Order a tasting and sample some of the finest El Cortijo mezcals. You can also try other mezcals from the state of Oaxaca and from other mezcal producing states.
Best for Mezcal Artesanal in Oaxaca
Address: Cinco de Mayo 305, Col. Centro
Hours: Open Mondays to Saturdays from 5:00 pm to 10:30 pm
Price: Mezcal glass from 70 to 130 pesos (approx $3.5 to $6.5 USD). Mezcal tasting from 190 to 330 pesos (approx $7.90 to $13.80 USD), for three different mezcal from basic to premium varieties.
Pro Tip: El Cortijo offers private tours to their distillery to see the mezcal production process. Ask for more information during your visit.
2. La Casa del Mezcal
La Casa del Mezcal is a traditional mezcaleria founded in 1935. Since, it attracts a regular crowd of locals and a few curious tourists.
This place is not your typical trendy mezcaleria in Oaxaca’s central district. It is more of a cantina or local bar serving exquisite Mezcal.
The Mexican ambiance is as authentic as it can get. The service is both friendly and warm; even the locals give you a welcoming nod.
Besides mezcal, they do offer a selection of beers by the bottles as well as other brandies.
The decor with stained glass and large murals is very distinctive and unique. It is worth stopping by to check the room even if you pass on the drinks.
It is a great local bar to experience some of the best mezcal at reasonable prices.
Best Mezcaleria in Oaxaca for Local Experience
Address: Calle Flores Magon 209, Centro, Oaxaca de Juarez
Hours: Open every day from 10:00 am to 2:00 am
Price: Mezcal glass from 60 to 100 pesos (approx. $3 to $5 USD)
Pro Tip: Try some of the finest mezcal like the Coyote Gran Reserva or the reserva Jabali
AUTHENTIC FOOD QUEST TIP: To visit several mezcal distilleries with an in-depth understanding of mezcal, we recommend Mezcal Educational Tours. In partnership with Alvin, a certified Master Mezcalier, this tour takes you to artesanal and ancestral producers with many mezcal tasting along the way.
3. Mezcaleria in Situ
The mecca of Mezcal, Mezcaleria In Situ is a must-visit for anyone who wants more than a simple sip of this flavorful and historic beverage.
Ulises Torrentera, a native from Oaxaca and mezcal curator, co-founded Mezcaleria In Situ to promote mezcal culture.
This small mezcaleria has a welcoming vibe with its walls decorated with mezcal books and ancient bottles of the favored drink.
We recommend trying In Situ’s three-variety tastings served with educational cards showing the different types of agaves. You’ll learn more about the different tastes based on the agave type and distillation process.
While they serve a wide selection of craft mezcal, one can always opt for a glass of wine, bottles of beer, or sip on a mezcal cocktail.
Best Mezcal Tasting in Oaxaca
Address: Avenida José María Morelos 511, Centro, Oaxaca de Juarez
Hours: Open Monday to Saturday from 2:00 pm to 11:00 pm
Price: Mezcal glass from 70 to 190 pesos (approx. $5 to $9.5 USD), 3 mezcal tasting for 300 pesos (approx.$15 USD)
AUTHENTIC FOOD QUEST TIP: Dive into the mezcal culture with Emma Janzen. Nominated for a James Beard Award in Beverages, her book Mezcal: The History, Craft & Cocktails unravels the mystery of mezcal. A definitive guide to all things mezcal, this book also includes almost 50 mezcal cocktail recipes to help you savor the spirit at home.
For Mezcal and Rooftops
4. La Mezcalerita
This unpretentious, rustic yet trendy mezcaleria offers some of Oaxaca’s best Mezcals. While there is a comfortable mezcal bar on the first floor, you want to head to the simple rooftop terrace.
The vibe is casual and the mezcal selection is surprisingly extensive. Mezcalerita also has an artisanal mezcal under their own brand.
Beyond their great selection of mezcal, La Mezcalerita offers pulque, local craft beers and little plates.
The main draw is the large rooftop and interesting selection of mezcal and local drinks.
Popular amongst locals, this charming and quaint spot was one of our favorites in Oaxaca.
This is a highly recommended mezcal bar to appreciate the nuances of the smoky Oaxaca mezcal.
The views from the top and chilled music in the background make it a great place to relax and unwind.
Even though we don’t recommend eating there, you can always order small bites of Oaxaca specialties.
Best Mezcaleria in Oaxaca For Rooftop and Vibe
Address: Calle Macedonio Alcala 706, Col. Centro Historico
Hours: Open daily from 12:30 pm – 1:00 am
Price: Mezcal glass from 35 to 130 pesos (approx. $1.75 to $6.5 USD)
Pro Tip: Visit the rooftop early to get the best views of the city. The place can get packed especially on Friday and weekend evenings.
5. Boutique Hotel Los Amantes
What makes the attraction of this boutique hotel is its unique terrace, Terraza Los Amantes, open to the public.
Its strategic location offers commanding views on the city and stunning perspectives of the historic Santo Domingo Church.
Terraza Los Amantes attracts a large tourist and local crowd alike. They serve an extensive list of Oaxacan mezcals, cocktails as well as a food menu.
While the view is stunning and the ambiance relaxing, the mezcal cocktails we ordered were not our favorite. The mezcal was quite diluted and the cocktail lacked taste.
Nonetheless, this is a worthy stop for a relaxing moment to enjoy the unbeatable view in the late afternoon.
Get there early as the terrace gets crowded in the evening and the best seats are often taken.
Best Oaxaca Mezcaleria For Rooftop Views
Address: Calle de Ignacio Allende 108, Centro, Oaxaca de Juarez
Hours: Open Monday to Saturday 1:00 pm to 11:00 pm
Pro Tip: If you want authentic Mezcals in a quaint setting, head to the Mezcaleria Los Amantes across the boutique hotel. It is a one tiny room bar, serving only Mezcals with a guitar player singing Mexican ballads. No terrace. No views. Just drinks by the bar and enthralling live music.
For Mezcal and Restaurants
6. Los Danzantes
The secret to Los Danzantes success is their focus on and creative expression of Mexican gastronomy and drinks.
One of the highly rated restaurants in Oaxaca, Los Danzantes offers beautiful and creative twists on emblematic Mexican dishes.
Los Dazantes also has a mezcal distillery in Santiago Matatlán, Oaxaca where they produce mezcal using Espadin agave.
In addition to Los Danzantes mezcal brand, they also help and support small Oaxaca producers sell their mezcal overseas.
Mezcal made under the Alipús brand is aimed at selling high quality mezcal from small producers to the US market.
What we love about Los Danzantes is their focus on sustainability and the use of local endemic Oaxaca ingredients.
Not to mention the partially open air dining patio space offers the perfect ambiance.
We highly recommend tasting their mole sampler paired with the mezcal from the house. You get to taste four different mezcal as you sample four distinct moles for only 185 pesos (approx. $9.25 USD)
Taking two traditional Oaxaca specialties and bringing them together with flair and creativity is an experience not to be missed.
For exceptional high-quality mezcals, a focus on fine Mexican gastronomy and wines, Los Danzantes offers a remarkable experience.
Best Mezcal Oaxaca Food & Pairing
Address: Calle Macedonio Alcala 403-Interior 4, Ruta Independencia, Centro, Oaxaca City
Hours: Open every day from 1:00 pm to 10:30 pm
Price: Mezcal glass from 115 to 280 pesos (approx. $5.75 to $14USD).
Pro Tip: Sample Los Danzantes Espadin Añejo, a 100% Espadín Agave aged in French oak barrels.
7. Expendió Tradición
Architecture, design, food and mezcal come together at Expendio Tradicion, a renovated old house in Oaxaca’s historic center.
Designed in collaboration with Francisco Toledo, one of Mexico’s most famous contemporary artists, the space celebrates Oaxaca and mezcal’s heritage.
Owned by Oaxaca’s Chayoga family, the small batch mezcal is made in the 140 years mezcal tradition of the Chayoga family.
The name, which means “exporting tradition” in English, promotes mezcal and Oaxaca’s gastronomic wealth.
The contemporary and inviting environment makes it a great choice to enjoy mezcal, Oaxaca’s spiritual drink.
The mezcal bar offers their premium mezcals which bear the signature of the Chayoga family. We particularly enjoyed their award winning mezcal cocktails infused with local Oaxaca ingredients.
Besides mezcal, Expendio Tradicion offers creative interpretations of Oaxaca dishes. Using endemic ingredients and products, you can enjoy memelitas, tlayudas, salads, tacos, seafood dishes and more.
An icon in Oaxaca’s historic center, Expendio Tradicion is a gastronomic concept celebrating Oaxaca’s tradition.
The experience is not to be missed for traditional mezcal tastings and Oaxaca food in a renovated historic building.
Best Mezcaleria Oaxaca For Mezcal Cocktails
Address: Corner of Calle Reforma and Murguía, Centro, Oaxaca City
Hours: Open every day from 8:00 am – 11:00 pm
Price: Mezcal glass 85 to 200 pesos (approx. $4.25 to $10 USD), cocktails between 110 to 185 pesos (approx. $5.5 to $9.25 USD)
8. El Tendajon Agaveria
Inside this unassuming orange building is a haven for agave-based liquor lovers. Away from the city center, El Tendajon atmosphere is friendly, welcoming and local.
The restaurant offers mezcal tastings, mezcal cocktails and other agave based drinks like pulque.
Their drinks selection is extensive and it also includes local craft beers. The mezcal from small Oaxaca producers is a treat to the senses.
In addition to mezcal, El Tendajon serves a creative menu inspired from Oaxaca local specialties. From bountiful salads to beautifully presented main dishes, the food is delicious and flavorful.
If you are looking for a bite while sipping on mezcal, El Tendajon is a great spot to consider. On the inside is a gorgeous outdoor courtyard which is the perfect space for tasting mezcal.
Best Mezcaleria In Oaxaca For Creative Cuisine & Agave Drinks
Address: Calle Pino Suarez 409, Esquina con Calle Constitucion
Hours: Tuesday – Sunday; 9:00 am – 8:00 pm; Closes at 11:00 pm on Thursday and Friday
Price: Mezcal glass from 80 to 130 pesos (approx. $4 to $7USD), pulque at 30 pesos (approx $1.75USD)
Pro Tip: El Tendajon gets particularly busy for lunch or brunch. Go in the afternoon and sip on mezcal in the outdoor courtyard. Don’t forget to try their amazing pulque.
AUTHENTIC FOOD QUEST TIP: If you are curious about Mezcal and would like to enjoy it in the comfort of your home, order some online. Del Maguey, one of the first mezcals to go mainstream, makes an excellent Chichicapa Mezcal. It is named after the village where it is made and is twice-distilled with a smooth and clear taste.
For Learning More About Mezcal
9. Casa Convite
Oaxaca offers many spots to enjoy mezcal. If you want to understand mezcal and learn the ancient process of transforming maguey into scintillating mezcals, we recommend Casa Convite.
Casa Convite is built around the promotion and culture of mezcal in Oaxaca. The space includes a showroom, tasting room, a shop for artisanal mezcal and Baltazar restaurant.
The showroom and exposition center takes you on an educational journey. Starting with the seed, to the different agave species and the production process, you get a well-rounded perspective on mezcal.
While you can enjoy mezcal tasting in the tasting room, we recommend sampling mezcal at the outdoor Baltazar restaurant instead.
Located on the same premises, you can pair Convite artisanal mezcals with traditional Oaxaca tapas or little bites. Chef Olga Cabrera of Baltazar is an ambassador for Oaxacan culinary culture and the menu of little bites is exceptional.
This was one of our favorite Mezcalerias in Oaxaca for the beautiful setting, tasty mezcal cocktails and creative menu.
From the impressive showroom, including the exposition of the different mezcal varieties, this is the place for mezcal aficionados.
A few hours with a mezcal expert you’ll learn about sustainable mezcal production and bring home some of Oaxaca’s finest mezcals.
Best Outdoor Mezcal Bar and Restaurant
Address: Jesús Carranza # 113, Centro
Hours: Open Mondays – Saturdays; 10:00 am – 8:00 pm, Sundays 10:00 am – 6:00 pm
Price: Mezcal glass from 70 to 190 pesos (approx. $3.5 to $9.5 USD), cocktails starting at 90 pesos ($4.5USD)
Pro Tip: Order tetelas from Baltazar restaurant to go with your mezcal tasting experience and don’t miss out on their signature cocktails.
10. La Mezcaloteca
La Mezcaloteca is well known for its tasting experience and knowledgeable staff. One can try the finest mezcales in the house, complete with a wealth of knowledge one can never get in any book.
It is not your typical bar where you come to sit and grab a drink. Rather this mezcaleria is dedicated to promoting local mezcal and its traditional production processes through tasting experiences.
You will need to make a reservation in advance to enjoy the tasting experience. The tasting is dedicated to mezcal and there are no other drinks served other than mezcal and agave distillates.
Three tasting experiences are available where you can try 3 to 5 different traditional mezcals. The mezcals come from the Oaxaca state as well as other mezcal producing states in Mexico.
Your host and server will teach you about each mezcal and how to taste them. You will also learn more about the magueys used to make them, the differences in flavors and aromas, as well as the different production processes and regions of origin.
Count at least one hour to fully enjoy the tasting.
Best Mezcaleria in Oaxaca for In Depth Knowledge About Mezcal
Address: Calle Reforma 506, Centro, Oaxaca de Juarez
Hours: Open Mondays to Saturdays from 3:00 pm to 8:00 pm
Prices: Tasting experience from 320 to 410 pesos per person (approx. $16 to $20.5 USD)
Pro Tip: To book check mezcaloteca.com website or call at +52 1 951 514 0082. Come armed with any possible questions you might have about Mezcal. The knowledgeable staff will be more than happy to delve into mezcal.
Mezcal is part of Oaxca’s rich culture and tradition. Mezcalerias in Oaxaca offer venues to teach visitors how to drink mezcal and appreciate the nuances.
Whether you choose to sip on Oaxaca mezcal at a restaurant or rooftop bar, you’ll enjoy the tasting experience.
We arrived in Oaxaca as mezcal novices and left with a much deeper appreciation for the history and tradition of the beverage.
Mezcalerias Oaxaca played a large role in shaping our experiences. Truly, there is no better place to enjoy the mezcal beverage than in Oaxaca.
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Claire, ex-engineer, is a digital nomad and content creator at Authentic Food Quest. Since 2015, with her partner, Rosemary, they travel the world in search of the best local food experiences. Their mission is to help you enjoy the best local specialties on your travels or via recipes in your home kitchen. Favorite country for food: Vietnam. Favorite local dish: Hainanese Chicken Rice. Favorite way to keep fit: Cycling. Claire is responsible for the website and the fun food & travel videos on Youtube. She is also co-author of Authentic Food Quest Argentina and Authentic Food Quest Peru, available on Amazon.