The city of Oaxaca, in the heart of Mexico, is known for its rich cultural heritage and creative community, as well as its legendary food scene. On Dannijo co-founder Danielle Snyder's recent visit, she turned to local tour guide Omar Alonso - and with the help of his insider knowledge, unearthed some of the city's finest treasures. Here's her essential guide.
Danni after a tasting session at a mezcal distillery.
Casa Antoineta is a charming boutique hotel housed inside one of the oldest buildings in Oaxaca, which dates back to 1529. Rooms are simple, yet undeniably luxurious, and each has its own unique style. The spectacular courtyard is the perfect spot for a cup of coffee.
The courtyard at the Casa Antoineta boutique hotel.
Quinta Real is a former convent, originally built in 1576. Its old-world charm and original frescoes, as well as stunning gardens are the big draw, but the elegant rooms and swimming pool make it a comfortable place to stay.
If you want to enjoy Los Danzantes' incredible lunch, you need to get there by 1pm, so you can put your name down. Sometimes you’ll get lucky and they'll seat you right away, otherwise it can be up to a two-hour wait - but it's so worth it.
Enrique Olvera's Criollo is another destination restaurant with fantastic food, perfect for a special dinner. Danni went on New Year's Eve, when there was live music and dancing. Also worth checking out is Casa Oaxaca, where the menu is a celebration of local ingredients - ask to sit on the roof terrace.
Lunch at Los Danzantes (left) and Betty, aka 'Frida', styled by Danni in Dannijo (right)
For a special breakfast, check out Alfonsina, an award-winning restaurant in a traditional Oaxacan home 20 minutes outside of the city - and don't leave Oaxaca without visiting Betty, the IRL Frida at her 'La Frida de Ocotlan' stand. Her speciality is the 'Naked Taco'.
Selva is the bar above Los Danzantes - it has an amazing vibe, and the decor features murals by local artist Raul Herrera (Danni tracked down Herrera and visited his studio the following day).
The interior of Selva, featuring murals by Raul Herrera.
Head to Sabina Sabe for a pre- or post-dinner cocktail. Sit at the bar and let the bartender pick your drink based on the kind of flavors you like. Danni also liked Sirilo for pre-dinner snacks - the eponymous owner is a DJ and makes brilliant playlists which you can track down on Spotify.
Make time for La Locura, 'Mezcal King' Eduardo Angeles' distillery in Minas which uses traditional clay pot techniques. Tours include a tasting session at the end.
Candles in Teotitlan (left) and some of Danni's favorite pieces at Omar Hernandez, a shop in Oaxaca City (right).
In terms of shopping, Danni loved meeting Oaxaca's weavers in Santo Tomas Jalieza - be sure to buy some of their bags and pouches. Make a stop at Alberto’s Hats too, where you can get custom-made hats, and Omar Hernandez for contemporary ceramics.
From left: Potter Jose Garcia Antonio at work; one of Garcia's creations; a sculpture by Garcia's son.
In Teotitlan, north-west of Oaxaca City, you'll find the home of Bibiana, who makes candles. There was also a great textile shop worth tracking down. Danni's most memorable experience though, was meeting blind potter Jose Garcia - she visited him two days in a row. His work has a loyal following; you can learn more about him here.
One of the weavers in Santo Tomas Jalieza (left); Danni and Omar after a busy day in Oaxaca (right)