Here at Love Is Project HQ, traveling is a necessity. In order to kick off every new collection, we visit our artisans in person to get inspiration and collaborate on designs—which means that we get to discover magical new cities multiple times a year. Our latest obsessions? Oaxaca and Mexico City, Mexico. We’re head-over-heels in LOVE with their beautiful vistas, rich design histories, and soulful food.
Casa Las Bugambilias - This family-owned B&B combines local folk art with a modern, minimalist aesthetic, and is easy walking distance from galleries and the can’t miss Santo Domingo Cathedral and Cultural Museum. Don’t miss the temazcal massage and sweat lodge ritual.
Hotel Azul de Oaxaca - A charming boutique hotel with a terrace, Hotel Azul de Oaxaca is centrally located and offers free bikes to guests to boot.
Mercado Veinte de Noviembre - Eat your way through this abundant market overflowing with homemade meals, refreshing agua frescas, and traditional Oaxacan desserts. Once you’ve had your fill, browse the flowers, ceramics, and traditional huipiles.
Las Quince Letras - This is your best bet for tucking into a typical Oaxacan botana, which includes a generous selection of Oaxaca’s most traditional foods. Sample tamales, memelitas, chorizo Oaxaqueno, and chiles rellenos on an airy patio.
Cafe JaguarYuu - If you need a quick refuel or a place to get some work done, drop into this chill café for excellent light bites and even better coffee.
La Olla - Don’t just come here to eat the legendarily delicious local fare: Learn to cook it yourself during popular classes that are sold out up to a month in advance. Try the Enchiladas Mole!
Tierra Del Sol Restaurant - This spot is worth a visit for the molé alone, prepared using a recipe from the chef’s 87-year-old grandmother.
Caldos D’Leo - Locals pack this tourist-free haunt for unabashedly authentic flautas, sopas, and enchilada molé.
El Califa - I don’t say this lightly: I’ve traveled to 104+ countries, and these are the best pork tacos in the world. Not greasy, perfectly proportioned ingredients.
Masala Y Maiz - The innovative menu here fuses two of my favorite design and culinary traditions: Indian and Mexican. Esquites with coconut milk and masala? Yes, please!
Lardo - Excellent Mediterranean with a twist: it’s mostly cooked over a wood fire. Grab a seat by the open kitchen so you can watch the staff in action.
Hotel Los Amantes - Fittingly named “hotel of the lovers,” it’s the perfect spot for a romantic rooftop drink while you watch the sun set over the historic city.
MisMeszcales - Looking to get a proper education on mezcal? Stop by this adorable shop for a consult with their knowledgeable staff (and a tasting or two!)
Txalaparta - This local watering hole features multiple levels as well as live, local bands.
Archivo Maguey - This hidden gem makes its own mezcal, which pairs well with live music. Find your vibe on one of two levels: the first for socializing and the second for dancing.
Candela - When the sun goes down, the music goes up at this renowned salsa hot spot.
Xaman Bar - Head down a hidden alleyway to find this speakeasy with a roster of expert mixologists in Zona Rosa.
Entre Perros Y Lobos Bar - The drinks are affordable and the vibe is chill, making this the perfect spot to perch for a few hours at the end of a long day.
SEE + SHOP
Oaxaca (and surrounding area)
Ethnobotanical Gardens - Take a tour in Spanish or English of these stunning grounds featuring local flora (and fauna!)
Andares - Half showroom, half gallery. Cross two things off your list by visiting a museum(ish) and browsing the boutique.
Museo Textil de Oaxaca - You can’t leave the city without visiting the textile museum. The indigo exhibit is can’t-miss.
Hierve El Agua - Head to these natural mineral cold springs on the early side to beat the local crowds.
Mt. Alban Ruins - These ancient ruins contain plazas, pyramids, and hundreds of tombs located on a vista about 90 minutes from the center of the city.
Mitla - Another important Oaxacan archeological site, considered magical for both its ruins and the textile culture it preserves.
El Tule - This enormous tree is central to a charming historical town with many hidden figures that spectators enjoy spotting.
Teotitlan del Valle - An old town that preserves the making of rugs from naturally dyed wool.
San Martin Tilcajete - A small town about 45 minutes from where the Alebrije Artisans live—each colorful house is decorated with imaginative murals that celebrate their alebrije styles.
Casa Gilardi - The stunning former home of the famous architect Luis Barragán is open to the public, and worth a visit.
Frida Kahlo Museum - Also known as the Blue House, Kahlo was born and died here, and left a wealth of personal artifacts.