Where the locals eat in Oaxaca City
I just arrived in Oaxaca and am 3 weeks into a year long backpacking trip around the world. During this time I'm blogging ( http://www.baconismagic.ca ) about my experiences and will be focusing on food and photography.
I posted this question about Cancun and got a fantastic response and I'm hoping Oaxaca will be the same in that the board can suggest some places to eat that are local favorites - any family haunts and stalls that go missed by travelers.
As I'm backpacking on a budget of $30 a day, high-end restaurants are out of the question. I'm just looking for good, authentic food. That said, I know Oaxaca is famous for its food so I'm willing to bend the budget a little.
Also if you know of any particular specialties (besides Mezcale) for this region, I've love to hear them.
Ayngelina, there are actually quite a few posts about Oaxaca on this board. I know the search function can be a bit challenging in returning truly relevant hits, but try it anyway. Look for the posts by RST from about 4, maybe 5 years ago, they are absolutely fantastic and will at least point you in the right direction. Also look for posts by rworange from last month. She was on a road trip through Mexico and posted about her Oaxaca experience.
Barring that... a good start in almost any Mexican city would be the local mercado. You've got several choices in Oaxaca. Start with the 20 de Noviembre market a couple blocks off the Zocalo. The fondas are in the 2nd building, many of them are pretty good. There is a nieves stand in the 1st building that is very good. There are also many nieve stands in the little plaza next to the Basilica de la Senora de la Soledad. They're good too, but I think the Chaguita in the market is better. But nieves are cheap enough that you could afford to try both and make your own decision as to which is better. All have the usual assortment of odd and unique flavors.
Good luck, sounds like a great way to spend a year :-)
Locals eat at home, primarily.
Other locations I've visited there that are mostly locals, and where it's the rare occassion I've seen foreigners or other tourists: Central de Abastos - the central market. There are scores of small restaurants in the market serving local and regional specialties.
Itanoni in Colonia Roma would be my suggestion for something special, cheap (ridiculously cheap imo) and off the beaten track. Also as noted the Mercado 20 de Noviembre is fun and cheap, we had good food there. Tamales Oaxaquenos are our favourite local specialty. So much flavor in one small banana leaf.