barra mezcales

Since I’ve been in Mexico, the place I’ve visited most outside the capital is Oaxaca, a city that is justifiably famous for its food. Every time I’m there, I try to find new eateries, but there’s also a comfort in having a regular spot, which, for me, is Zandunga, in the historical center. The food is from Mexico’s Isthmus, a region that occupies part of several states, including Oaxaca. Everything I’ve had at the restaurant has been delicious, and much of it has been interesting, too. (It’s the only place where I’ve come across pico de gallo with dried shrimp, for example, and there’s something appealing about ordering a stew that is normally served at Oaxacan weddings.) As a bonus (or focus, depending on your priorities), Zandunga also has a very substantial selection of mezcals, as well as friendly bartenders who are happy to tell you about them, should you be interested. The range goes from surprisingly cheap to definitely expensive (although the latter options still cost far less than they would in other cities), and working your way through it is a great way to get to know mezcal—though if you want to do serious research and remember your findings the following day, note-taking is advisable.

For more information, visit Zandunga’s Facebook page.

Photo: Courtesy of Hamish Anderson