The 5 Best Bars in Oaxaca to Experience the Local Culture and Mezcal


The Top 5 Bars in Oaxaca: A Mezcal Lover’s Guide to the City’s Best Spots

Oaxaca is a city full of life, especially when the sun goes down. Here, you’ll find bars for everyone—whether you want something chic and stylish or a place where you can relax and feel at home.

Some bars are perfect for a fun night out, while others are all about kicking back and enjoying good company. But one thing they all have in common is great mezcal, the local spirit that’s a must-try in Oaxaca.

And if you are looking for more things to do in this amazing city, don’t forget to check out My Ultimate Guide of Oaxaca, where I give you the 31 best things to do in Oaxaca!

Are you ready to discover the best bars in Oaxaca? Let’s get started!

1. Sabina Sabe

Sabina Sabe is the place to be for great drinks and a friendly vibe. The young crew here knows their mezcal inside out. They’re super friendly and love to chat about it, so don’t be shy to ask questions!

Their cocktails are something special, both with and without alcohol, and they’re known for mixing them just right.

If you’re looking for a recommendation, try the Jamaicon—it’s a mezcal drink with a spicy kick from hibiscus flowers. Or if you want something cool and fresh, go for the Refresque Limonede, with lemon, herbs, and a fizz of soda.

And the food is just as impressive as the drinks. I had their tacos de lechon recently, and wow, they were delicious! I’ve been eating my way around Mexico for five years, so trust me, these tacos are top-notch!

After my visits, it’s no surprise to me that Sabina Sabe has earned international awards. They’re doing something really special here.

sabina sabe oaxaca
sabina sabe oaxaca
tacos oaxaca sabina sabe
The delicious lechon tacos at Sabina Sabe, Oaxaca
oaxaca bar sabina sabe
oaxaca bar sabina sabe
sabina sabe cocktail oaxaca
Cocktail at Sabina Sabe, Oaxaca

2. Mezcalogia

Mezcalogia is the cozy corner of Oaxaca where the night comes alive with friends, fine mezcal, and sometimes, live music. It’s snug, it’s intimate, and it’s the kind of place that makes you want to stay a while.

Here, mezcal isn’t just served; it’s celebrated with a collection that’s seriously impressive.

And it’s not just mezcal, either—they’ve got all sorts of Mexican spirits like rum, vodka, and whiskey. The bartender? He’s not just pouring drinks; he’s sharing his passion for mezcal, ready to answer all your queries with a smile.

When I walked in, the first thing I spotted was a couple deep in a mezcal tasting session, which says a lot about this place. And if you’re up for a real adventure, they organize tours to a palenque too. Definitely get in touch with them if that’s your kind of thing.

Mezcalogia’s got that magic touch that’s earned them a loyal following. It’s easy to see why it’s a favorite for locals and travelers alike.

mezcalogia oaxaca
mezcalogia oaxaca

3. La Selva Oaxaca Cocktail Bar

Stepping into La Selva is like taking a step back in time, right into the heart of the early 20th century, which is probably why I was instantly charmed. Its ambiance whispers tales of the 1920s to 1940s, reminiscent of an Agatha Christie novel.

With its elegant mix of plants, velvet, and leather, La Selva oozes class and style. It’s easy to imagine a character like Hercule Poirot sipping on his black currant liqueur in the corner, mulling over a mystery.

However, unlike the classic detective’s traditional tastes, the cocktails at La Selva are far from ordinary.

As I sat at the bar, the enticing aroma of fresh passion fruit filled the air. The bar showcases a treasure trove of local ingredients sourced from various Oaxacan communities, along with house-made bitters. Their mole amargo is a standout, offering a unique taste of the region.

And don’t miss the balcony view – it’s a stunning backdrop for photos and a perfect way to remember a night spent at this enchanting spot.

bar oaxaca
bar oaxaca
Selva Oaxaca Cocktail Bar
Selva Oaxaca Cocktail Bar
oaxaca bar cocktail
Cocktail at Selva Oaxaca
view oaxaca bar selva
The view from the Selva Bar balcony

4. El Espacio Cocktail Bar

El Espacio Cocktail Bar is a spot where creativity shines, both in the atmosphere and in the glass. The decor is as unique as the drinks they serve, making every visit a great experience.

They really know how to add a playful touch to their cocktails. Take, for instance, the time my drink arrived adorned with an image that took me a moment to place—it was none other than Salma Hayek in her iconic role from ‘From Dusk Till Dawn‘. It’s these small, fun details that make El Espacio stand out.

This is the place to go when you’re in the mood for something different and exciting.

  • Reforma 502a, RUTA INDEPENDENCIA, Centro, 68000 Oaxaca de Juárez, Oax.
  • Instagram
El Espacio bar oaxaca
El Espacio Cocktail Bar, Oaxaca
El Espacio Cocktail Bar oaxaca
El Espacio Cocktail Bar, Oaxaca

5. Amá Terraza

Amá Terraza sits atop one of Oaxaca’s oldest buildings, sharing its space with the charming Muss Café.

The atmosphere here is laid back yet chic, perfect for catching a beautiful sunset.

As the sun dips below the horizon, the terrace is the ideal setting to enjoy a signature cocktail. I sampled their Cocktail of the House with lemon juice, pennyroyal reduction, and a hint of morita chili oil.

Although the drink was nice, what really makes Amá Terraza shine is the atmosphere — it’s an unbeatable place to just be and take in the relaxed essence of Oaxaca.

  • Miguel Hidalgo 911, Centro, 68000 Oaxaca de Juárez, Oax.
  • Instagram
Amá Terraza oaxaca
Amá Terraza, Oaxaca. Photo Karla Acosta
Amá Terraza Casa Antonieta
Amá Terraza, Casa Antonieta, Oaxaca
cocktail Amá Terraza oaxaca
My cocktail at Amá Terraza, Oaxaca

Map: Best Bars in Oaxaca

Here are all the best bars of Oaxaca that I mentioned in the article:

Experiences for Mezcal Lovers

To deepen your knowledge of mezcal, you can also join this amazing mezcal tour (click here to book!) that takes you to an agave plantation and two mezcal distilleries, where you can learn about the mezcal making process and taste different high quality products.

Or join this mezcal tasting experience (click here to book!) that includes 3 wild mezcal varieties, each with a distinct flavor and aroma. You’ll also discover how agave is cultivated and turned into mezcal, and how this influences the outcome.

mezcal lalocura oaxaca
mezcal plantation oaxaca

Where to Stay in Oaxaca – The Best Hotels in Oaxaca

  • Andaina Youth Hostel: Located in the heart of Oaxaca, only 300 meters from Santo Domingo Church and 800 meters from the Zocalo. Cozy and colorful dormitory or private room with shared bathroom, from 16 $usd per night, breakfast included. Strong points: the friendly atmosphere, the rooftop terrace, the free activities and tours. This is my choice for a budget-friendly hotel in Oaxaca!
  • Casa Barroco Oaxaca: Elegant room with balcony, just a few steps from the main square in a listed colonial house, with two beautiful patios, from 89 $usd per night. Strong points: the beautiful colonial-style building, the charming garden, the helpful staff.
  • Casa de Sierra Azul: Located in the historic center of Oaxaca, 200 meters from Santo Domingo Church and 600 meters from the Zocalo. Classic and cozy room with private bathroom, from 140$ usd per night. Strong points: the central location, the bicycles available for guests, the free parking, the delicious breakfast.
  • Quinta Real Oaxaca: Located in a former convent from the 16th century, 500 meters from Santo Domingo Church and 700 meters from the Zocalo. Elegant room and romantic atmosphere, from 260 $usd per night. Strong points: the stunning architecture, the outdoor pool, the gourmet restaurant. This is my choice for a luxury stay in Oaxaca!

Rent a car in Mexico

Renting a car is for sure the best way to explore Oaxaca and make the most of your stay!

To rent a car, personally, I always use Cars, for a few reasons:

  • You can easily compare the rental cars prices between all the agencies: for sure the easiest way to find the best rate!
  • Cancellation is often offered free of charge: no need to worry if you change your mind
  • Booking Cars offers full insurance coverage at a lower price than the rental companies, so it’s an instant saving with no effort

Simply click on the green button to find your rental car at the best price:

How to find a cheap flight to Oaxaca

The airport in Oaxaca is also called Xoxocotlán International Airport. It offers domestic and international flights to places like Mexico City, Tijuana, Guadalajara, Dallas/Fort Worth, Los Angeles, Cancun, Merida, Guatemala City and more.

If you want to find a cheap flight to Oaxaca I suggest you use our flight comparison tool in partnership with Skyscanner. It will get you the best deal for sure!

My tip
Once you arrive in Oaxaca, you can rent a car, take a cab, or book an airport transfer to your hotel 
Book your trip now and save money!

You’re traveling in Mexico? These articles will help you!

Discover all my articles about Mexico: All my articles to help you plan your trip to Mexico are listed there.

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best bars in oaxaca mexico
best bars in oaxaca mexico

I have created this blog to give you all my best tips to plan your next trip to Mexico, regardless of your budget. I share detailed itineraries, advice about places to visit as well as recommendations for transportation, hotels and restaurants. I hope I will also help you to discover amazing off the beaten path destinations in Mexico!

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