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“best gourmet restaurant in Oaxaca”
Review of Origen

Origen
Ranked #8 of 469 Restaurants in Oaxaca
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: Mexican, Latin
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Special occasions, Business meetings, Local cuisine, Families with children, Large groups, Romantic
Dining options: Late Night, Lunch, Dinner, Accepts American Express, Accepts Discover, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Free Wifi, Full Bar, Private Dining, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff, Wine and Beer
Vancouver
Level Contributor
23 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“best gourmet restaurant in Oaxaca”
Reviewed February 28, 2013

There are many fine restaurants serving good Oaxacan food. The simple ones cost about US$3 for a good meal, the more upscale ones about US$10. I wanted to try some top end gourmet ones that offer New style Mexican or fusion cooking and that is what I am reviewing. They all cost about US$20 unless noted. Service and ambiance is good at all the ones I tried.

5 stars: The best one by far is Origen. It has an extremely varied menu and I went several times and ate Duck breast and confit of Duck leg, rack of lamb, confit of suckling goat, sweetbreads, pigs feet terrine cassoulet, Quail and also Mexican standards served in New style . Each is served with vegetables and garnishes that are uncommon in other restaurants.

4 stars: I also went to Danzantes, Catedral and Casa Oaxaca. These were all good and similar price except Casa Oaxaca which is about $35 average. They each had one or two unusual dishes but menus were mainly Mexican standard but served more attractively often in new style.

2 stars: I also went to Café Bistrot Epicurio. Same price but pretty disappointing.

Several of these have one or 2 microbrewery beers but Origen has 8 to choose from.

I have written reviews of all these others.

  • Visited February 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank VancouverRainforest
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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369 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Canberra, Australia
Level Contributor
7 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Fantastic food and ambience”
Reviewed February 19, 2013

Chef Rodolfo Castellanos and his team have created the most marvellous dining experience right in the heart of Oaxaca - without doubt, the best food we have discovered in 2 weeks (so far) in Mexico. The dining courtyard is very atmospheric, with a tantalising view into the kitchen. The lamb, the duck and the chicken are exceptional, with an excellent wine list (from Spain or closer to home) and, as others have noted, fantastic desserts. We were inspired to arrange a cooking class with Rodolfo, which was great fun and gave us good insight into traditional oaxacena ingredients and cuisine.

  • Visited February 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Rob C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington DC
Level Contributor
120 reviews
58 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
“Wonderful place”
Reviewed February 18, 2013

We stayed a week in Oaxaca and were here a few years ago. Origen is one of our favorites in the city, with superb food, ambience and service and a beautiful and unique design. Our chicken and risotto were unique and delicious. Desserts were fabulous. The few negative reviews seem a puzzle to us. Go if you can.

  • Visited February 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank washingtondcfan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Santa Monica, California
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“If Thomas Keller, Wolfgang, Nobu, Emeril, Julia Child and James Beard had one night in Oaxaca, this is it”
Reviewed February 17, 2013

We live through stories; experiences shape our minds and live in our soul. This story starts with a brilliant artisan chef who weaves together fascinating herbs, discerning spices, nuanced essences and preparations to palpitate ones heart.

The story continues as we peer into the kitchen, whose largess is grander than a 2 star Michelin kitchen. There is an uncommon sense of calm, akin to an artist’s studio. Plenty of room to think breathe and create little pieces of wonderment for the special spaces within this jewel house. The front room soars in height, opening to the sky- maybe 10 tables, the private room for 20+ is fit for a king and the small cubby café brings its own rustic flair. On with the tale.

There is a gracious host who explains the crafts and offers an artisanal local beer. Next he drops off a mess of house maize crackers and a mysterious smoky orange Canario pepper emulsion, a simple symphony of bold Oaxaca flavors. The huge chalkboard of the daily treats is more like a canvas or scroll than a menu. As a finicky diner, whose diet is mostly vegan with a bit of fish and seafood; the workarounds were curious and well thought out. My companion sought the foie gras and suckling goat.

The chef /owner, Rodolfo Castellanos Reyes, who serves most of the meals, came back to his homeland after excelling in culinary hot spots in SF like Jardinière, La Mar and Chez Papa. Upon his recommendations, my journey continues with brazen chili massaged pulpo or octopus, slow cooked for hours and sided with purselane greens, local herbs and a lively pool of CHILE COSTEÑO ADOBO. On to the Arborio risotto, specked with Poblano peppers and grapes, al dente, complex and herbaceous.

The snapper was beaded with a smooth creamy romesco, romerias and quinoa. For texture, twas like a sous vide first punch then hot grill for the finish. Lovely. All paired with a unique mezcal and a story where each libation and ingredient was born and created.

We end the journey with sumptuous sorbets, a house made cacao chocolate round with hazelnuts and a heavenly merengue atop a chilled thin textured cake. There is clearly a missive a mission and a purpose. I will learn the rest of the story as he teaches me to cook in his space this week. Oh and what would I do with the rest of the $100 bill that wasn’t spent in this sumptuous place. A cocktail and cigar? I can’t wait to see what he dreams up when the budget doubles per table.

The Oaxacan cooking class? The next morning, Rodolfo shaped my mind into the meal we were about to prepare as we roamed through the central farmers market, trading coins for spices, fishes, stories, veggies and secret herbs. His laser focus and knowledge of his tools, spices and food were just what I needed to understand that recipes are nothing and soul is all. Its time for biking, so we will just have to share the lesson another day.

  • Visited December 2012
    • Value
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    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank thinktony
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kitchener, Canada
1 review
“Fabulous food!”
Reviewed February 13, 2013

Intimate and cozy atmosphere. The chef, Rodolfo Castellanos creates a feast for the eyes as well as the palate. The best restaurant in Oaxaca in my opinion.

The food, service and atmosphere were perfect. Wonderful wine and for after your meal they also have good cigars. If I return to Oaxaca I would make sure I went back to enjoy it again.

This restaurant is a little hard to find but well worth the effort.


Sally

  • Visited January 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Sally F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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