Just last year, I visited both Mexico City and Guadalajara and was pleasantly surprised with how much I liked both Mexican cities, but not surprised at how much I loved the food. Over the last several years, the Mexican town of San Miguel de Allende started to slowly enter my sphere of travel consciousness. Perhaps it was because I know at least three people who’ve moved there. Perhaps it was because the charming colonial town was named the world’s #1 city in Travel + Leisure’s 2017 World’s Best Awards and in the same year, Conde Nast named it one of best cities in the world. Regardless of how it got on my travel radar, it quickly shot to the top spot of my list. I had to go there and see what all the fuss was about…and, of course, find out where to eat in San Miguel de Allende. Located in central Mexico in the state of Guanajuato, the quaint city is bursting with flowers, cobblestones, and friendly faces and is so close to the U.S…the only question is why did it take me so long to get here?
San Miguel de Allende Food
Since it is already a popular escape and expat home (10% of its population are expats), the San Miguel de Allende food scene has continued to grow exponentially while attracting foodies and renowned chefs from around the globe. There are a multitude of great places to eat in San Miguel de Allende with many more opening up all the time. As usual, I compiled a curated list of restaurants in San Miguel de Allende from friends, food articles, and other recommendations. So here are just a few of my picks of the best places to eat in San Miguel de Allende.
Where to Eat in San Miguel de Allende
Home to more than 350 restaurants and several big markets, you’ll never run out of mole, tacos, or tequila to sample. And at night, there’s nothing like sitting on one of the many gorgeous rooftops with a margarita under the stars.
Check out my video of San Miguel de Allende food here:
Just opened a few months ago by Jose Maria Calvo and Jesus Manuel Calvo, from Spain, romantic rooftop Atrio (meaning Atrium) sits directly across from the main church, the Parroquia, with terrific views and international dishes. There’s a big focus on Spanish, French and Mediterranean.
Nearby, Quince also has a stunning rooftop atmosphere and modern Mexican fare. Make sure to try one of their fantastic cocktails from the bar or their very own tableside gin and tonic cart.
For an urban-chic feel, try recently opened Bovine from rising star, chef Paul Bentley of Magno Brasserie in Guadalajara. The clubby, dark restaurant might as well be in New York City. While known for its meat dishes, the fish and vegetable dishes stand out just as much.
Donnie Masterton’s The Restaurant is very popular with the expat crowd. Try to snag a table near the fountain in the front patio and enjoy global comfort food like spaghetti and meatballs, mushroom risotto, and chops and steaks.
Cozy and delightful Moxi is tucked inside the contemporary and arty Hotel Matilda (where I happened to stay and will post a video review of soon!). Operated by award-winning chef Enrique Olvera (known for Pujol in Mexico City, one of Mexico’s top restaurants), here you can enjoy modern Mexican cuisine made with fresh, local ingredients. It has a dimly lit, romantic vibe with soft lighting, calming blues and whites, and an expansive outdoor patio.
For some fancy tequila, duck into the Casa Dragones tasting room inside the Concept House Doce-18 (formerly a huge mansion turned boutique hotel, upscale food hall and market). This boutique tequila brand was founded in 2008 by MTV creator and iHeartMedia (iHeartradio) CEO Robert W. Pittman and tequila industry expert Bertha González Nieves, the first woman to be certified as ‘Maestra Tequilera’ in Mexico. Made from 100% Blue Agave tequila, Casa Dragones is Oprah’s favorite…so there’s that!
And for a little taste of home there’s even a Chicago pizza place! But I opted for the sister restaurant rooftop, Sabroso Taqueria. The new modern, casual spot has a great selection of meat and unique veg tacos plus a really friendly staff. And the lovely rooftop views and breezes can’t be beat.
San Miguel Food Tour
For a great overview of the old town and the burgeoning San Miguel de Allende food scene, take the Downtown San Miguel Food Tour with San Miguel Food Tours. We were able to taste dishes (and not just bite-sized) from at least six different restaurants including popular ones like La Parada, a modern Peruvian spot known for great ceviche and ambiance and Jacinto 1930, a newer eatery known for its innovative Mexican fare, plus a few traditional Mexican spots like Casa Diesmo for flavorful dishes like cochinita pibil (slow roasted pork) and mole enchiladas.
Vinedos San Lucas (San Lucas Winery)
For a perfect afternoon escape, head just 15 minutes by taxi out of town to the new San Lucas winery (Vinedos San Lucas), a winery, plus hotel and restaurant. You can get a tour and tasting and even enjoy a lovely brunch in their main stone building. The boutique winery grows what they call the holy trinity: grapes, olives, and lavender and creates hand-harvested organic wines. The head winemaker is delightful Argentinian-born, Mailen Oben. She gave us an interesting and comprehensive tour of their facility and process, plus an easy-going tasting in a modern tasting room.
Another wonderful place to check out is Fabrica La Aurora a textile factory which has been turned into a unique grouping of fine art galleries, studios with art classes, shops, and cafes.
There were so many restaurants that I still didn’t get to. I’ll just have to go back again…and again to try these popular spots:
- Café San Agustín (for what is said to be the best hot chocolate in town)
- Ten Ten Pie
- Geek & Coffee
- Via Orgánica
- Baja Fish Taquito
- Nomada cocina de Interpretacion
- Marchanta Comedor Nemesio Diez #2
- Lavanda (for breakfast)
- Casa Buen Viaje (beautiful garden)
- Olivia Bar (at Casa No Name—great cocktails!)
- Nicasio Comedor Mexicano (Great traditional Mexican fare)
- Buenos Aires Bistro
- Trazo 1810
- El Vergel Bistro and Market
- Trattoria da Laura a Los Mezquites
- La Prada
- Antonia Bistro
- Bui Cocina de Campo
Looking for what else you can do? See my post on What to Do in San Miguel de Allende for more!
For some more lists of the best restaurants in San Miguel de Allende, check out these posts: