Best Mezcalerias in Oaxaca

21 Best Mezcalerías In Oaxaca [2024]

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Are you looking for the best mezcalerías in Oaxaca?

Oaxaca is the home of mezcal and there are hundreds of different mezcal bars to choose from.

While there are some great options out there, you won’t have time to visit them all, so it’s important to choose a great mezcalería to ensure that your trip is everything that you want it to be.

The last thing that you want to do is miss a hidden gem just around the corner and have to return home disappointed.

To make sure that doesn’t happen, I’ve set out below a comprehensive list of the top 21 best mezcalerías in Oaxaca so that you can find out everything that you need to know before you arrive.

Let’s dive right in.

*All images of the mezcalerías in this article are credited to the relevant establishments*

Best Mezcalerías In Oaxaca

best mezcalerías in oaxaca

What is Mezcal?

Mezcal is a distilled spirit that is crafted through a traditional and artisanal process that involves fermenting and distilling agave plants.

The term “mezcal” is derived from the Nahuatl word “mexcalli,” meaning “oven-cooked agave,” highlighting the fundamental role of agave in its production.

Mezcal’s key characteristics lie in its signature smoky flavor profile, which is achieved through the agave’s cooking process.

The heart of the agave, known as the piña, is roasted in earthen pits, infusing the spirit with earthy and vegetal notes.

This cooking method contributes to mezcal’s complexity and sets it apart from other spirits.

best mezcalerías in oaxaca

Is Mezcal the Same as Tequila?

Mezcal is often confused with tequila, but there are notable differences between the two.

While both spirits are made from agave, tequila exclusively uses the blue agave plant (Agave tequilana) cultivated in designated regions of Mexico, primarily the state of Jalisco.

Mezcal, on the other hand, can be produced from various agave species, offering a broader range of flavor profiles.

The production and distillation methods of mezcal and tequila also diverge.

Mezcal’s artisanal approach involves pit-roasting the agave, while tequila uses a more industrialized method known as autoclave cooking.

The distillation process for mezcal typically occurs in clay pots or copper stills, whereas tequila is predominantly distilled in stainless steel or copper stills.

best mezcalerías in oaxaca

How Important is the Agave?

Very. The agave plant holds immense significance in mezcal production.

Over 30 agave species grow in Oaxaca, each contributing unique flavors and characteristics to the mezcal they yield.

The cultivation and harvesting of agave involve meticulous care, as it takes between seven and 30 years for the plant to mature before it can be harvested for mezcal production.

The geographical origin of the agave also significantly influences the mezcal’s taste, leading to distinct regional expressions known as “terroir.”

In short, the agave plant serves as the soul of mezcal, connecting the spirit to its ancient roots and cultural heritage.

best mezcalerías in oaxaca

What’s the Difference Between Joven, Reposado and Añejo?

Joven, reposado and añejo refer to the different periods during which the mezcal is aged.

Aging usually means storing for a period of time in oak barrels. As a result, the mezcal absorbs some of the characteristics of the oak barrels, including changes to colour and to flavour.

Joven (Spanish for “young”) is mezcal is that is aged for two months or less. It may be directly bottled after distillation without being aged at all.

Reposado (Spanish for “rested”) is mezcal that is aged for between two months and 12 months.

Añejo (Spanish for “aged”) is mezcal that is aged for at least 12 months.

The aging process plays a crucial role in shaping the color, aroma, and taste of the mezcal. The longer the mezcal is aged, the deeper the colour of the spirit, and the more complex the flavors of the mezcal.

Aged mezcal is also more expensive, as it needs to be carefully stored and tended to during the aging process.

best mezcalerías in oaxaca

Best Mezcalerías In Oaxaca

Okay, now that the basics are out of the way, we can dive into the best mezcalerías in Oaxaca.

If you are interested in knowing more about the different types of mezcal before you get started, take a look at our list of the best mezcal from Oaxaca in 2023.

best mezcalerías in oaxaca

1. Mezcaloteca

Without a doubt, Mezcaloteca is known as one of the best mezcalerías in Oaxaca. It was founded in 2010 and has become a prominent destination for mezcal enthusiasts.

It is well-located in the heart of the historic centre, right around the corner from the Templo de Santo Domingo de Guzmán.

The building is a deep pink colour in the Oaxacan adobe style, with a discreet “Mezcaloteca” sign on the wall. When you enter, you’ll recognise it immediately because of its cute old-school green-shaded desk-lamps on the bar.

Mezcaloteca offers mezcal tastings of three, four or five mezcal varieties in a sitting. Current pricing is MX$500, MX$570 and MX$650 for a tasting of three, four and five mezcals respectively.

Reservations for tastings are required, so make sure you do so to avoid disappointment. You can book online here.

The staff are very knowledgeable and will share insights into different agave varieties, production methods, and flavor profiles.

If you love mezcal, a visit to Mezcaloteca is a must.

best mezcalerías in oaxaca

2. In Situ Mezcalería

In Situ Mezcalería is also a must-visit for mezcal aficionados looking for the best mezcalerías in Oaxaca.

Located in the historic centre a few blocks north of the Zócalo, In Situ is the mezcalería of Ulises Torrentera, a celebrity in the Oaxaca mezcal world. Ulises is known as a local maestro and author of the “Mezcabulario“.

Ulises and his team have stocked In Situ with some of the rarest drops you’ll find in Oaxaca. Mezcal varieties cover the entire wall behind the bar.

Tastings are offered, and many of the staff speak English as well as Spanish. They also have helpful cards with images and descriptions of the various agaves to help you follow along.

The bar area is cosy, but there is also an upstairs area and a great little window seat overlooking the street.

If you are at all keen on trying some mezcal in Oaxaca, this mezcalería should be on your list.

best mezcalerías in oaxaca

3. Mezcalogia

Rounding off the top three best mezcalerías in Oaxaca is definitely Mezcalogia.

Mezcalogia is an authentic, cosy mezcalería a block west of the Templo de Santo Domingo de Guzmán.

Like Mezcaloteca and In Situ, their prime focus is mezcal, and they have a great range, including their own mark, sourced from local mezcaleros in the Oaxaca region.

Tastings are available, and due to the small size of the mezcalería, you should book to ensure that you aren’t disappointed.

Staff are knowledgable and can teach you about the history and tradition underlying mezcal. They also provide learning aides with images and descriptions of the agave varieties.

Light food is available, as is craft beer and a range of cocktails. Mezcalogia also have live traditional Mexican music to underscore the intimate atmosphere.

A great little mezcalería where you can get an authentic personal experience and a must on any tour of the best mezcalerías in Oaxaca.

best mezcalerías in oaxaca

4. La Mezcalerita

La Mezcalerita is a arty mezcalería at the north end of the Andador de Macedonia Alcalá, a few blocks away from Mezcaloteca.

From the outside, the render and paint has exposed some brickwork near the door when you enter, giving it a hip run-down vibe. When you walk in, you see large murals decorating the walls, and there is an open interior with colonial style arches, all furnished simply but invitingly.

A staircase encircles the interior and leads up to a fantastic spacious open-air roof terrace. It’s very popular and has the best seats in the house, so get there early if you want to get a spot.

While not as extensive as offered by In Situ or Mezcaloteca, La Mezcalerita nonetheless has a great range of mezcal. Mezcal tastings are offered, and their diverse range has over 20 brands to choose from, each with several different agave options.

Their menu includes beer and wine specialities from different major regions of Mexico. Their beer range also includes their own line of craft beer.

La Mezcalerita also offers all the great Oaxacan staples such as tlayudas, memelas, and tortas oaxaqueñas. Great to help bed the liquor down.

If you’re keen to try mezcal but are also looking for a great place to spend an evening, La Mezcalerita is hard to pass up.

best mezcalerías in oaxaca

5. Mezcalería Cuish

Mezcalería Cuish is at the south-west end of the historic centre, a few blocks south of the Zócalo.

Although it is a little out of the way in comparison to some of the more centrally located mezcalerías, it makes up for it with its generous tasting areas and passionate staff who are keen to share with you their love of mezcal culture.

It has two tasting areas, one on the lower floor, and one on the terrace. The lower floor has a large open seating area, and the terrace has a long bar that can seat eight.

Both spaces are perfect for larger groups looking to enjoy a tasting in a more private setting. Each has a bar stocked with a broad array of mezcal varieties to choose from, including their own Cuish line.

Mezcalería Cuish is a great choice and one of the best mezcalerías in Oaxaca if you are in a larger group looking for a professional, private tasting.

best mezcalerías in oaxaca

6. Sabina Sabe

Sabina Sabe (Spanish for “Sabina knows”) is located in the heart of the historic centre of Oaxaca midway between the Templo de Santo Domingo de Guzmán and the Catedral de Nuestra Señora de la Asunción.

The building’s exterior is an unmistakable aqua-blue with a stylish iron sign affixed to the wall.

The interior has several rooms, and includes a full cocktail bar with an impressive range of mezcal. The bartenders here are highly trained, and are known for producing some of the best and most creative cocktails in Oaxaca.

High quality food is also available, making Sabina Sabe a well-rounded establishment. The staff’s dedication has seen it voted one of North America’s 50 best bars in both 2022 and 2023.

Definitely not one to pass up if you get the opportunity to visit whilst in Oaxaca.

best mezcalerías in oaxaca

7. Mezcalería El Cortijo

Mezcalería El Cortijo is a beautiful little mezcalería perfectly placed about midway between the Templo de Santo Domingo de Guzmán and the Zócalo.

On walking in, the interior is tastefully decorated to give a zany but crisp and clean effect. The deco mixes the old and the new, with antique-looking shelving overlooking a modern emerald green bar.

The mezcalería consists of several rooms that offer enough seating to create a lively atmosphere. In the front room, there’s a lovely mural covering a whole wall, and more artwork adorns the walls of the inner rooms.

You can do a mezcal tasting, and you can even try some of the mezcalería’s own products. Depending the bottles you try, the cost will be somewhere around MX$300 – MX$400 per head.

Open 14:00 to 20:00 Monday to Saturday, and you can call ahead to make a booking.

best mezcalerías in oaxaca

8. Mezcalillera

Mezcalillera is worth visiting for many reasons, but their interior decoration is a draw in and of itself.

When you go in, your eye is drawn to an enormous custom shelf arrangement, that covers an entire corner and actually supports the stairs leading up to the upper level.

Behind the bar on the back wall is a huge mural illustrating the mezcal production process and setting out information on the different agaves. The design is a testament to the depth of knowledge of the house on the subject.

The whole interior is brilliantly classy and extremely well done, creating an inviting environment that just begs you to relax and try their mezcal.

Tastings are offered, and bartenders are knowledgeable and passionate about their craft. While some can speak a modest amount of English, you’re best served to bone up on your Spanish to get the best experience.

best mezcalerías in oaxaca

9. La Casa del Mezcal

La Casa del Mezcal in one of the most traditional cantinas in Oaxaca. It first opened its doors all the way back in 1935 and still retains many of its period furnishings.

The history in the establishment is evident before you even get inside the building. The name of the mezcalería above the entrance is written in an old-style script, and its imposing wooden pillars make you think of a colourful cowboy saloon.

When you enter, you are immediately confronted with magnificently adorned walls of the main bar area, which has high murals that run the full length of the room. Intricately carved wood finishes and wall coverings abound, many incorporating greco patterns and other traditional Zapotec design elements.

Despite its age, the mezcalería is extremely well-preserved in a rustic and cozy way. The wall-art gleams under fluorescent blue ceiling-lighting and the main area is kitted out with a modern jukebox.

The bar is fully stocked with a broad range of mezcal, as well lots of craft beer, and the bartenders are friendly. The jukebox is geared to eighties music, so if you love that era, you’ll love the atmosphere.

It’s also super centrally located, just a few blocks south of the Zócalo and right across the road from the Mercado Benito Juárez.

This rustic gem is a must-see on any tour of the best mezcalerías in Oaxaca.

best mezcalerías in oaxaca

10. Casa Convite

Casa Convite offers a range of services that is broader than most mezcalerías in Oaxaca.

They have a very professional tasting room where you can delve into the world of mezcal and try Casa Convite’s own brand of mezcal. There’s also little shop where you can browse and purchase to take some liquid memories home with you.

They have an exposition room where they can take you through the whole artisanal mezcal production process, using enormous images on the walls as teaching aides.

If you’re hungry, there is a great restaurant and bar serving delicious food and drinks with courtyard seating. Their specialty is tetelas, but they are open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and serve a variety of local Oaxacan food.

Casa Convite offers tours to their own palenque, where you can see first hand how they produce their masterful mezcal. You can reserve a tour via their website.

And finally, if you’re tired after a full day’s tasting or touring, Casa Convite also has four lovely rooms available on site. The mezcalería is brilliantly located just a block away from the Templo de Santo Domingo de Guzmán, so a great base if you’re keen to explore the city.

For a one-stop shop, Casa Convite definitely comes in high on the list of best mezcalerías in Oaxaca.

best mezcalerías in oaxaca

11. Expendio Tradición

As far as architecture and interior design goes, Expendio Tradición is high on the list of best mezcalerías in Oaxaca.

The establishment is part of the Tradición Chagoya family enterprise, and stocks Los Cuerudos, Huatulco, Donají, and Tehuana mezcal.

The mezcalería is located in a building that dates back to 1942, which has been extensively remodeled by architect Ezequiel Farca.

Among its many charms, one stand-out feature is the Expendio Tradición bar itself. The façade of the bar has a mural comprised of 15,000 pieces of Barro Negro, a form of black pottery for which Oaxaca is famous.

Interior design was done by famous Oaxacan artist Francisco Toledo, who was said to have been inspired by the spines of the Espadín agave. Extensive beautiful murals were designed and painted by local artist Marco Velasco.

The mezcalería is quite large and comprises a bar, a cafe and a salon. The salon is specially designed as a tasting area, where you can sample the artisanal mezcal produced by the Tradición Chagoya family enterprise.

This mezcalería will hook you with its fantastic architecture and you’ll stay for the mezcal and the great ambience.

best mezcalerías in oaxaca

12. Casa Embajador de Oaxaca

Casa Embajador de Oaxaca is fantastic boutique mezcalería that is certainly worth visiting when you’re in Oaxaca. The building is a deep blue sky colour that is impossible to miss.

The interior design of the mezcalería is very modern and clean, with a beautiful fully-loaded bar. There are stools at the bar where you can sit, as well as plenty of tables with comfortable seating.

Casa Embajador de Oaxaca has its own impressive line of mezcal, including over 46 products from a range of different agaves. Their most premium product is an amazing 32 year old añejo!

The mezcalería offers tasting evenings where you will be given a delicious lecture on the artisanal process carried out by each of the 12 producers forming the Casa Embajador de Oaxaca collective.

You can also try cocktails prepared by their talented mixologists, who can prepare you a drink based on your taste preferences

A great spot that should certainly be on your tour of the best mezcalerías in Oaxaca.

best mezcalerías in oaxaca

13. Mezcalería Mil Amores

Mezcalería Mil Amores is a mezcalería and fully fledged restaurant. It’s therefore a great place to go if you’re looking to try great mezcal, but also leave with a fully belly.

True to theme, the interior decoration of Mil Amores has a deep pink them and lends a little bit of romance to the atmosphere.

Mil Amores stocks over 17 brands of mezcal, including well known varieties such as El Jolgorio, Nuestra Soledad and Alipus.

The mezcalería has a full cocktail bar, with stools for seating and tables and comfortable chairs to either side of the bar.

The food is known to be fantastic and ranges from classics like tlayudas, tacos and garnachas as well as more exotic fare, including grilled shrimp and chistorras. They also serve chocolate mousse deserts that are sinful yet absolutely divine.

Mil Amores is a great fusion of a mezcalería and Oaxacan restaurant, and excels in both regards. It deserves a place on your list of best mezcalerías in Oaxaca for its ability to offer you the best of both worlds.

Open 14:00 to 23:00 Monday to Saturday.

best mezcalerías in oaxaca

14. Casa Mezontle

Casa Mezontle is a hip mezcalería that opened its doors in 2018.

The primary mezcal stocked by Casa Mezontle is Koch Mezcal, a cooperative brand under which 62 Oaxacan families operate and produce mezcal using artisanal methods.

Casa Mezontle is the official tasting room of Koch Mezcal and tastings are available at prices that are cheaper than some of the larger mezcalerías.

However, Mezontle have many other brands of mezcal for you to try if you’re looking for variety, and they also have a full cocktail bar in case you want to sweeten things up.

The staff at Casa Mezontle are passionate about their mezcal and will be more than happy to teach you all about the artisanal process of mezcal production. Tours to the Koch Mezcal palenques can be arranged on enquiry.

The mezcalería itself has a great relaxed atmosphere, it frequently hosts live music from local musicians.

A great place to spend an evening while you enjoy some of the best mezcal that you’ll find in Oaxaca.

best mezcalerías in oaxaca

15. El Destilado

El Destilado started life as a mezcalería and produces its own brand of locally produced mezcal, 5 Sentidos.

It has since also become a world-renowned restaurant, famous for offering 9-course degustations of exotic Oaxacan foods.

If you come for the exotic food, the staff can suggest a mezcal to accompany each course. Although the price is high, so is the quality of the food served, and compared to New York or London prices, it’s still a steal.

For those coming for the mezcal, El Destilado has a cute downstairs bar that is stocked with a great selection of the house mezcal, and you can order a limited range of food as well.

Another great option is to dine on their fantastic rooftop terrace called “El Techo” (the roof) where you can enjoy the house mezcal with a great view of the Templo de Santo Domingo de Guzmán.

Light Oaxcacan staples such as quesadillas and tlayudas are served upstairs as well, so you’ll have no excuse not to relax and enjoy a splendid evening under the stars.

best mezcalerías in oaxaca

16. Mezcalería La Casa Grande

Mezcalería La Casa Grande is part of the Real Minero family project and is situated just to the east of the historic centre of Oaxaca.

The mezcalería is relatively new, and while consisting of just the one room, the interior is tastefully decorated and large enough to comfortable seat around twenty.

The bartenders are extremely passionate about their mezcal, and are very keen to educate their visitors on the beauty and traditional of their family produce.

Live music is offered some evenings, and when the place fills up, it is just the right size to create a great energy but still be small enough to have a homely feel.

Definitely worth a visit on a trip to Oaxaca.

best mezcalerías in oaxaca

17. Mezcalería Los Amantes

Mezcalería Los Amantes is a quirky little hole-in-the-wall mezcalería across the road from the Hotel Los Amantes in the historic centre of Oaxaca.

The mezcalería consists of one room dominated by a long bar area with old-school bar stools.

Behind the bar, the walls are are adorned with gravestone-shaped backlit alcoves housing bottles and flasks of many varieties of mezcal.

The mezcalería does a great mezcal cocktail list, and unless it is busy, you’ll have the full attention of the bartender, which is great.

It’s a bit of a no-frills sort of place, and doesn’t serve food or any other kind of alcohol, but you can pop across the road to the Terraza Los Amantes if you’re looking for something solid to counterbalance the mezcal.

Worth popping in for a quick one.

best mezcalerías in oaxaca

18. Mezcalería Hora Magica

Mezcalería Hora Magica is a boutique mezcalería on the eastern edge of the historic centre of Oaxaca.

While relatively simply furnished, the mezcalería has a beautiful modern backlit bar area lined with comfortable barstools. The bar staff are passionate about mezcal, and are very attentive, given the small size of the establishment.

The mezcalería has its own house brand of mezcal, Hora Magica (magic hour), which is produced locally in several varieties.

Tastings are available, and you can choose from a tasting of 4 mezcals from MX$350 to MX$550 a head, or 6 mezcals from MX$550 to MX$750 a head.

If you’d prefer not to drink your mezcal neat, you’re in luck. In addition to the abundant varieties of mezcal, Mezcalería Hora Magica has a full cocktail bar with an impressive list of interesting mezcal-based cocktails.

Light food is available, as well as beer in case you need something to chase down the mezcal.

best mezcalerías in oaxaca

19. Mezcalería Espacio Mezcal

While not as flashy as Mezcaloteca or In Situ, Mezcalería Espacio Mezcal is a great little mezcalería that is worth stopping by.

Espacio Mezcal has an unassuming down-to-earth atmosphere. Colorful tablecloths cover the tables in the long restaurant area, which is serviced by a small bar at one end.

Despite being small, the bar is fully-loaded with Espacio Mezcal’s own mark of mezcal, Mezcal Dubía. The range is all joven and features Espadín, Cuishe, Tobalá, Jabalín, Mexicano, Madre Cuish, Tepextate and Coyote.

Full bottles are available to purchase if you find something you like and want to relive the experience later.

Mezcal cocktails are available if you prefer not to drink it straight, and they also do a range of beer and non-alcohol drinks.

They also do a great range of light Oaxacan staples including quesadillas, tlayudas, tacos and nachos.

In addition to the main bar area, Espacio Mezcal also has an outdoor area where you can relax under the stars. They also do live music frequently.

Espacio Mezcal is open 16:00 – 23:00 Monday to Thursday, and until 2:00 on Friday and Saturday.

best mezcalerías in oaxaca

20. El Hijuelo Mezcalería

El Hijuelo is another boutique mezcalería on the eastern edge of the historic centre of Oaxaca.

Their primary mezcal line is Tzitzimitl Mezcal, however, they also a stock a good variety of other brands of mezcal. Beer is also available.

The atmosphere is very personal and friendly, and snug enough that you’ll have an opportunity to get to know your neighbours at the next table.

The bar staff are very knowledgeable and can tell all about the mezcal they pour and the process for creating it.

A great place to pop by for a chat and to taste and learn about some great mezcal.

best mezcalerías in oaxaca

21. Puro Burro

Puro Burro was started by two American bartenders from the San Francisco area, Eric Giardina and Darren Crawford.

They began by offering monthly mezcal tours to Americans, and then ultimately opened a base of operations in Oaxaca in 2020 in the form of Puro Burro.

According to the creators, the name was coined from the taste of some terrible mezcal that they tried at a remote palenque.

Puro Burro is a combined mezcalería and restaurant like El Destilado and Mezcalería Mil Amores, and has a fantastic rooftop terrace with a view of Templo de Santo Domingo de Guzmán.

The mezcalería has a large variety of mezcal including staples such as Mezcal Vago, Real Minero and Nuestra Soledad. Cocktails and craft beer are also available.

Its restaurant also serves great Oaxacan food including tacos, tostadas, burritos and moles.

A great place to drop by to enjoy some top-notch mezcal on its brilliant roof terrace.

best mezcalerías in oaxaca

Final Thoughts

So, after getting through the list, do you have your mezcal itinerary planned?

If you’re concerned that you won’t have time visit all of the best mezcalerías in Oaxaca, you’ve got a few options.

If you’re a pure mezcal connoisseur, then you’ll probably be best served by visiting Mezcaloteca, In Situ and Mezcalogia.

For the mezcal purist, those three are probably the best mezcalerías in Oaxaca. It’s very hard to fault them, as they have so much knowledge and experience.

If you want a mezcalería where you can also eat, then El Destilado, La Mezcalerita and Mil Amores are all great choices. Many of the best restaurants in Oaxaca also have impressive mezcal selections, so that is also an option for you.

It really depends on what you’re looking for, so consider the type of place you want, and then head back up to the list of the best mezcalerías in Oaxaca to find it.

So, as the Mexicans say: de abajo hacia arriba!

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