A Bar for Every Boozer: The 10 Best Bars in Oaxaca

A Bar for Every Boozer: The 10 Best Bars in Oaxaca

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Funky Mexican drawings and lighting of Aloha Oaxaca

The Best Bars in Oaxaca

Whether you are backpacking, on holiday, or overlanding, my guess is that finding a place to try the local beer, spirit or wine is high on your priority list. We find we spend most of our time in cities, eating and drinking as we wander the streets taking in the sights. We like to discover the local beer, sample newly concocted cocktails, sip regional wine and dine on cuisine native to the area. In Oaxaca, it was no different. We spent the better part of three weeks scoping out the best bars in Oaxaca for every type of boozer. We hope to help you on your quest to discover the best bars in Oaxaca!

The Craft Beer Connoisseur: The Oaxaca Brewing Co.

Beers from Oaxaca Brewing Co, one of the best bars in Oaxaca

The Oaxaca Brewing Co. stands out among the other craft breweries in Oaxaca. Opened by two brothers from Baja who relocated to Oaxaca, they quickly realized the need for great beer in the area. While they have only a small selection, the beers rivals those found in Europe, the US, and Australia. When we were there they had two styles of lagers and two styles of IPAs, but the selection changes regularly.

This place is a must for the beer lover. The brewery is small, so show up early to grab a seat at the bar and score free peanuts.

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For the Locals: Cantina Salón de La Fama

As you pass the saloon doors and enter this bar, you quickly understand the vibe. Oaxaca’s local watering hole where people come to have a Victoria beer after a day’s work, catching up with friends and listening to Mexican music. With little to no tourists, you can truly appreciate the Mexican drinking culture. Don’t spoil this hidden gem by being overt tourists. Grab a beer, settle down in the back, and revel in the moment.

The Beach Bum: Aloha Oaxaca

Yummy cocktail from Aloha Oaxaca one of the best bars in Oaxaca
How good does this cocktail look?!?

Don’t have enough time to visit the beach while visiting Oaxaca or, are you missing the beach already? Get your beach fix at Aloha Oaxaca. Coastal vibes, kitsch decor, friendly staff, and delicious but deadly cocktails await you at this island paradise. Aloha is definitely one of the best bars in Oaxaca. Finding this treasure, however, is not assured as it is hidden past a courtyard terrace restaurant.  Here’s a hint, it is near the Church of Carmen Alto on Calle de Manuel Garcia Virgil.

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The Sophisticated Drinker: Expendio Tradicion

This bar/restaurant manages to do both things well. Sit at the bar enjoying fine mezcal, nice wine, local craft beers or cocktails while dining on an equally impressive bar menu. We can’t speak to the full menu, but the appetizers and for sharing were on point. While it is hard to fault the quality, the prices are a bit on the high side. It definitely gets high remarks from us as you can satisfy all your cravings in one go which is why it is included on our list of the best bars in Oaxaca!

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The Dive Bar Enthusiast: Bar Ilegal

A girl walking past Bar Ilegal in Oaxaca
Is it Ilegal to be one of the best bars in Oaxaca?

Bar Ilegal Antes Ribbon is a rock and roll bar serving up their own mezcal and dirt cheap beers. This dark and dingy bar has plenty of attitude and lots of character and deserves a seat at the table on a list of the best bars in Oaxaca. When they don’t have live local music, rock classics make the perfect soundtrack to a hard-drinking session. Motorcycles and leather encouraged but not required.

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The Partier: Colectivo la Tostadita

While there are other discotecas and nightclubs in the area, Colectivo la Toastadita is our pick of the liter. Catering to a more laid-back type of partier, the atmosphere starts off slow and low-key then escalates to club music as the night progresses. Another pro for Colectivo la Tostadita? The prices are reasonable with two beers and a mezcal only setting you back $100 pesos (as of November 2019). Colectivo la Tostadita stays open late closing after 3:30 on weekends and 2:30 on most weekdays.

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The Mezcal Maven: Mezcalogia

Mezcal selection at Mezcalogia in Oaxaca
With all this mezcal it is no wonder Mezcalogia is one of the best bars in Oaxaca

One reason to visit Oaxaca is for mezcal. Where is the best mezcal in Oaxaca? With a range of mezcalerias to choose from, our favorite is Mezcalogia. Its small and intimate space is inviting, the bartenders are helpful and friendly, and the mezcal delicious. Try one of their locally distilled mezcals or one of their quality cocktails. Our advice, go early as this little watering hole fills up.

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The Mezcal Novice: La Querencia Mezcaleria

The local mezcal, Mezcal Queridero, at La Querencia Mezcaleria.

This bar takes mezcal seriously, very seriously. That being said they are not pretentious and are keen to share their passion.  They offer tastings and in-depth explanations that go beyond their flavor profiles into history and culture that uncover why mezcal is so important here. Stop in for a drink and try as many as you like. How much you ask? It’s up to you. Mezcal tastings are based on what you think it is worth. Don’t be stingy and keep this place up and running.

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The Wine-o: Tastavins

We included Tastavins on the list of the best bars in Oaxaca as it is the only wine bar in the city. Being the only one, I expected more from Tastavins. The wine offerings leave something to be desired despite Mexico producing quality wines in a few parts of the country. So if you are simply craving wine and won’t budget, head over to Tastavins. One pro for Tastavins, they offer a free tapa with every glass of wine.

Make sure you book a reservation here as they fill up fast and are fully booked out most nights.

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The Outdoor Day Drinker: La Mezcalerita

Three different types of Mexican lagers available at La Mezcalerita
Their many craft beers and roof top deck make La Mezcalerita one of the best bars in Oaxaca

Head over to La Mezcalerita for local mezcals or try a few craft beers from their extensive Mexican craft beer selection all while soaking up the Oaxacan sun. Don’t be surprised, however, if they are out of your drink of choice. This place gets crowded as it boasts one of the larger outdoor patios in Oaxaca and they can’t stock their shelves fast enough.

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Hopefully, with this list of best bars in Oaxaca, you can find something you like.

If you’re looking to for somewhere to rest after a day of exploring the cities best bars, head over to our friends at Booking.com for the best deal.


For more on Oaxaca check out our other articles.

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