Our first day in Oaxaca City was all about relaxation...and food! We all slept in and spent a leisurely morning at Casa Palomita (named for the bird not the movie snack) before going for a stroll into town. A working vacation for Rob, he had hours of emails to attend to and I took that time to acquaint myself with a city map and pin down some restaurants to check out. Oaxaca is known for its cuisine and the city is home to many fine Chefs.

Our first stop was for lunch at Hosteria de Alcala, a charming courtyard restaurant located close to the Iglesia Santo Domingo in the historic centro. The same building also houses an excellent English language bookstore which kept the kids happy for quite awhile. It is a pretty restaurant, the service was very good but the food was just average. Good traditional Oaxacan fare but not particularly creative in conception or execution. It was a very reasonable place to stop for lunch but not a place I would put on a list of dining destinations.

Hosteria de Alcala Restaurant

Alcala Restaurant Oaxaca

Restaurant Alcala Oaxaca 

Hosteria de Alcala Restaurant

After lunch and a few yummy mescal cocktails, we wandered down the pedestrian-only stretch of Alcala to the zocalo.

Oaxaca City

The streets were packed with visitors. Vendors could be seen coming to and from the market with their wares.

Oaxaca City

While the kids wandered and explored  the zocalo, Rob and I settled in at a sidewalk cafe on the edge of the park and did what everyone else was doing....


The kids made a bee-line for the vendors and dusted off their haggling skills. (She looks pretty cute in that scarf) 

Oaxaca Vendors

A vendor and her child enjoy a moment of quiet away from the crowds.


The bandstand was a hub of activity with hundreds of people gathered to watch a beautiful folkloric dance demonstration.  

Oaxaca Folkloric Dancers

Oaxaca City Zocalo 

Folkloric Dancers Oaxaca 

A small procession came by in anticipation of the larger parades to follow during the week leading up to Easter. 

Oaxaca Semana Santa

Oaxaca Semana Santa

After a few....ok, more than a few....mescals, we went off in search of dinner. Casa Oaxaca was at the top of my list and we were fortunate to be able to get in without a reservation. We ended up dining at Casa Oaxaca 4 times during our stay in the city and for that reason, we will give it it's own post with our impressions a bit further into the trip report. Suffice it to say, we loved it and it deserves all the accolades you read on the interwebs.

Casa Oaxaca

Next up...Day 2 in Oaxaca - A Visit to San Bartolo de Coyotepec