Each meal at Los Danzantes Oaxaca begins with complimentary bread and tostadas served with homemade accompaniments.

Los Danzantes Oaxaca Review: Worth The Trip Or One To Skip?

Last Updated on April 17, 2024 by Ashlea J. Russell

Wondering if Los Danzantes Oaxaca is all it’s made out to be?

Food is a very big part of my travel experience and something I take very seriously. So when I was heading to Oaxaca City I had my heart set on finding somewhere truly amazing to try mole.

My research brought me to the doors of Los Danzantes in Oaxaca which has now become a lasting food memory, and something every Oaxaca itinerary should include.

About Los Danzantes, Oaxaca

Los Danzantes is located a short walk from the Templo de Santo Domingo de Guzmán in the heart of Oaxaca. In true Oaxacan style, this restaurant is hidden just off the main street, in the sort of place you have to know about to know about.

The brains behind Los Danzantes is Chef Alex Burgos, a Oaxaca native and major proponent of the food culture here. With a mindset like this, it’s no surprise he’s rubbing shoulders with similar chefs like the couple behind Almoraduz in Puerto Escondido.

The Los Danzantes is driven by the Slow Food Mexico movement of zero waste, local (like really, really, local) ingredients, and fair produce, so you can feel good about dining here.

Los Danzantes Oaxaca in unassuming from the outside but opens into a big, bright courtyard setting.

The menu is comprised of traditional Oaxacan food with a modern twist. Expect to see everything from endemic mushrooms to local insects on the menu and also expect big, big flavour.

The standard and quality at Los Danzantes is high and and they manage to keep prices fair at the same time.

Small plates which are shareable or good for individual appetizers range from $155MXN [$9USD/$12CAD] to $325MXN [$19USD/$325CAD] per plate.

Main courses average $370MXN [$22USD/$29CAD] with vegetarian options coming in lower.

Signature cocktails are $170MXN [$10USD/$13CAD] each.

  • Top Tip: Reservations are essential if you want to get a table. For lunch you can book a couple of days in advance but dinner will need more notice.

Los Danzantes Quick Guide

  • Dress Code: Casual
  • Price Point: $$$
  • Food: Local Modern Oaxacan
  • Drinks: Signature Cocktails, Wine, Beer
  • Hours: Weekdays 12:30pm – 11pm, Fri/Sat 9am – 12am, Sun 9am – 11pm
  • Reservations: Required, Book Your Table In Advance

The Vibe

Los Danzantes is such a typical Mexican restaurant in that the style is just so atypical. The restaurant itself strikes an amazing balance between industrial and elegant.

The tented roof of Los Danzantes in Oaxaca allows birds to fly in and clouds to float overhead.

When you enter through an unassuming door just off a yellow courtyard, the space suddenly opens into a tall space with a stone patio and tented roof. Large stone walls tower around the perimeter and don’t quite meet the roof, allowing the sky and clouds to peer in.

Birds fly freely over the walls and roam around the floor of the restaurant, looking for lost morsels of food.

The bar is made of crumpled scrap metal, just another example of they can take something so simple and make it beautiful.

Los Danzantes has a zero waste ethos which includes repurposing scrap materials to create their beautiful space.

The service at Los Danzantes is fantastic and they truly take tableside romance to the next level. English-speaking tables are assigned English-speaking servers because the emotion and story behind the food is just as important as the food itself.

Each dish is beautiful presented and explained with care and no request is ever too much for this team.

The Food

The food at Los Danzantes is some of the best I’ve ever tried. Each meal starts off with a selection of colourful tostadas and homemade bread, served alongside sauces and an eye poppingly pink hibiscus beet butter.

Each meal at Los Danzantes Oaxaca begins with complimentary bread and tostadas served with homemade accompaniments.

But my main reason for choosing Los Danzantes was because I was looking for a truly excellent mole experience and they didn’t disappoint.

The mole tasting can be shared or eaten as a main. In fact, my serve gave me warm tortillas to make delicious mole tacos.

Choose your protein, chicken breast stuffed with quesillo and pumpkin flower, Mayan octopus or a vegetarian alternative and then prepare for a mole journey.

The five Oaxacan moles included are mole amarillo [yellow mole], rojo [red mole], chichilo, negro [black or chocolate mole] and manchamanteles [tablecloth stainer mole – probably my favourite].

You’ll eat your way through the complex mole flavours and truly taste Oaxaca.

The mole tasting at Los Danzantes Oaxaca is a wonderful introduction to local Oaxacan food.

If mole isn’t your thing the menu is ripe with other options like ancho pepper stuffed with huitlacoche (Mexico’s answer to truffle) and shrimp tlayuda (a toasted tortilla dish).

The quelites soup (a blend of local Nahuatl herbs) which is poured at tableside is also not one to miss at only $155MXN [$9USD/$12CAD] per bowl.

The desserts at Los Danzantes deserve a special mention. A lot of restaurants put tonnes of effort into their savoury dishes and leave a lot to be desired in the dessert department. Not these guys.

There’s nothing quite like the bliss that comes along with a molten Oaxacan chocolate cake. Served with homemade vanilla ice cream and topped with stunning flower petals this dessert is a winner.

The desserts at Los Danzantes shouldn't be missed especially the melt in your mouth  molten Oaxacan chocolate cake.

For something a little more unusual I recommend the goat cheese flan with lavender, chocolate ganache, honey and a mango compote. Talk about breathing life into a dated dish like flan!

The Drinks

The drinks at Los Danzantes really hold up to the incredible food. While they have craft beer, a wine list, and classic cocktails I recommend you head straight to the signature cocktail list where drinks are $170MXN [$10USD/$13CAD] each.

Los Danzantes became so well known for their cocktails they actually opened Selva, a cocktail bar just next door.

The signature cocktails are handcrafted and made with only the best local ingredients including the house mezcal (yes, they even make their own mezcal).

The signature cocktail list at Los Danzantes in Oaxaca features cocktails made with local ingredients and their house mezcal.

Take a recommendation and trust the team while you taste the tang of worm salt or and the smoke of local mezcal all seasoned to perfection with homemade syrups, herbs and spices.

In addition to the static menu Los Danzantes also offers seasonal cocktails based on whatever produce is growing. I tried Señor Pepino, a delightfully fresh seasonal gin cocktail that worked as a fantastic palate cleanser between courses.

Summary: Los Danzantes Oaxaca

Los Danzantes Oaxaca is arguably the best restaurant in the city and it absolutely deserves five stars. Although they have a location in Mexico City, if you have an opportunity to wait and dine at the Oaxaca location I recommend that you do.

Go for the mole tasting, stay for the cocktails and dessert and then head next door for a nightcap.

Remember to book in advance. You will not regret dining at Los Danzantes Oaxaca.