Saturday, November 10, 2018

San Miguel de Allende: A Quick Guide to the Number One City in the World

In 2008, UNESCO designated San Miguel de Allende, Mexico as a World Heritage Site and so began the rise from a small, artist colony in the mountains of central Mexico to the number one city in the world; a cultural capital that’s known for its inherent beauty, Baroque to neo-Gothic, 16th century Spanish colonial architecture and its remarkable food.
I came here back in 2013, when SMA was first named the number one City in the World by Conde Nast Traveler.

In 2015, Gloss Media, a PR firm owned by Rose Ruiz and Alberto Cinta Laborde, started working with Consejo Turistico to share the city’s charm and cultural significance with the world. It came in print and by way of the internet in 2016, when Travel + Leisure named San Miguel de Allende the third best destination in the world and the best destination of Mexico, Central and South America. It was also the year that many new restaurants opened here and San Miguel de Allende took seventh in the 10 Best International Cities for Food from Travel + Leisure. Suddenly, SMA was the place to be. Then, in 2017 and 2018, both Travel + Leisure and Conde Nast Traveler named San Miguel de Allende as the number one city in the world. Jump ahead to next year as San Miguel de Allende has already been named the American Culture Capital for 2019 by the International Bureau of Cultural Capitals. This means the International Bureau of Cultural Capitals will provide San Miguel de Allende with worldwide marketing through the broadcast of eight thousand television commercial spots in 45 countries around the world; an advertising expense of $2 million dollars. Great news for the city’s chefs, who have worked to made the culinary scene here an essential element in SMA’s standing as the Best City in the World.    

No matter what your reason for being here, we’re glad you came. San Miguel de Allende indeed is a magical city that has something for every traveler.

So why do we embrace SMA? Here’s our not so short list…

Outstanding Chefs and Restaurants: Have things changed since I came to SMA back in June, 2013 and started writing about food. Time flies when you’re busy eating and what seems like a long time ago has done a 180 in the blink of an eye. The food scene back in 2013 was owned by a few chefs and a handful of restaurants. 2016 changed all that with new restaurants opening almost every week. SMA is now one of the top destinations in Mexico for food; we love the variety of cuisine that is available here. Every day, someone is discovering what we already know: San Miguel is one remarkable place to eat!

The Weather: with near perfect weather, it’s spring-like all year round with extremely low humidity. Bluer-than-blue skies and brilliant sunshine surface almost daily; puffy cumulus cloud formations overpower the panorama.
The Light: there are only a handful of places in the world that have exquisite light; San Miguel de Allende is one of them. Just ask the photographers and artists that come here. Many, like me, have stayed in SMA because of the light.
The Colors: San Miguel de Allende is vibrantly colorful, especially during fiesta. Colorful hot air balloons make an appearance at sunrise almost every day, even when it's cloudy.

The Fiestas: there are pilgrimages, all-night vigils and parades, ringing church bells, processions and fireworks nearly every day. And best of all, we have food festivals, like the Annual Lamb and Mezcal Festival, MAG and fall's Oktoberfest.
The Architecture: The architectural magnificence of the city is breathtaking, starting with the pink Paroquia; the iconic symbol of SMA.
The Rooftops: there are magnificent rooftops to take in the stunning views: Antonia Bistro, Atrio, Fatima, Hotel Nena, La Azotea, La Unica, Luna Rooftop, Quince, Trazo 1810 and Zumo. The sunrise and sunsets are equally spectacular; don’t miss one of them while you’re here.
Walkability: San Miguel de Allende is one of the best walking cities in the world. Historical walking tours are available on Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 9:45 AM – 12:30 PM. One the third Thursday of every month, there is a wonderful Architectural Tour of the city. More information is available at: Self guided walking tours are also available:

The Cobblestones: with long-term, historical significance, cobblestone streets are part of the enchantment. Now Europe reminds me of SMA instead of the other way around.

The Doorways: get out and explore the picturesque doorways of SMA; they’re remarkable, especially when you get a peek at what’s behind them.

The Soundtrack: SMA brims over with world-class music; from the Teatro Angela Peralta to our much-loved Mariachis. There are seasoned musicians here: Doug Robinson, Gil Guiterrez, Johnny Favorite, and Lady Zen along with DJ’s Chef Donnie Masterton and Martha Alvarado and this past week, Mozart’s Requiem with Mauro Ledesma in the Parroquia; a new SMA tradition.

SMA has world class hotels: The Rosewood, Hotel Matilda and Hotel Nena; just to name a few. These three hotels took the number # 3, 4 and 5 spot on the Conde Nast’s list of the ten top hotels in Mexico; they also ranked worldwide. The Belmond Casa Sierra Nevada, a newly remodeled historical gem on Calle Hospicio, is a stunner. You’ll also find charming, small hotels devoted to the traditions of SMA. Live Aqua Urban Resort San Miguel de Allende opened this month and it’s sensational; equal or better than many first-class resorts around the world. With 153 rooms, the resort will be the largest guest room property in least for now.

The Backstreets: spend your weekend exploring the backstreets and narrow alleyways of SMA and while you’re at it, look for that kissing door; it’s your first and only clue. 
The Blooms: There are hundreds of species that thrive here, like Jacarandas and Bouganvillea’s, with varieties that flower year round and over 60 species of Mexican agaves at the Charco Del Ingenio Botanical Gardens. Buying flowers in Mexico is not a luxury; they’re amazingly inexpensive.
Day Trips: Guanajuato, Dolores Hidalgo, Mineral de Pozos, Santa Rosa de Lima, Atotonilco, Tequisquiapan, Bernal and Queretaro… just for starters. We’ve even done Mexico City in 24 hours.

The Countryside: the SMA landscape is beautiful, with ranches and haciendas, small lakes and ponds, endless fields of wild flowers, hills, valleys, rivers, farms, and wineries. We love to wander outside SMA every chance we get.
The Wineries: There has been a surge in the number of new wineries around SMA because the conditions here are almost ideal for growing grapes. La Santisima Trinidad is a great place to start. Also, tour the Queretaro wine-and-cheese route; it’s a favorite weekend activity for many locals and visitors. 
Hot Springs: for natural, hot spring lovers, there are four located just outside of SMA: Escondido Place, La Gruta, Hotel Hacienda Taboada and The Mayan Baths. Go and rejuvenate; it’s all part of the magic of being in SMA.

The Amenities: San Miguel de Allende is a small town culture with a cosmopolitan feel. It has a sizeable population of Americans and Canadians who live here or maintain winter homes here. Consequently, it has amenities that are unusual for a town of its size.

The people: It’s so easy to meet people in SMA. We predict you’ll make more new friends this week than you did all last year.

SMA is the best city in the world and you’re about to discover why. We hope this city guide will direct you to the top places while you’re here. If you still have a question, we’re always glad to help. Send us an email at

 Bienvenido and enjoy every minute of the magic!

Visiting for the first time?
For first time travelers, November is the perfect-weather month; mornings cool (in the high 40’s) and afternoons warm (the mid-70’s). We have very little rain in November but bring a small umbrella just in case.
Like Mexico City, SMA pays attention to style. It’s dressier than many Mexican cities; wear nice, casual clothing during the day. SMA is in the mountains so layer your clothing; bring sweaters and jackets for the cool mornings and evenings. Jeans pass the dress test but pair them with something chic if you wear them out at night. Wear flat, comfy shoes, mainly because of the cobblestones and bring a hat to shade yourself from the mid-day sun. Dress up at night; the fiesta is always on.
There are celebrations all month including two of Mexico’s principal holidays: Day of the Dead and Revolution Day, November 20th. Boards are located in the Jardin that list all of the events for the month. If you don’t love fireworks or church bells into the wee hours of morning, don’t forget to bring a pair of ear plugs. Fiesta time is noisy but the sweet sounds of Mexico are all part of the magic.

Travelers can walk anywhere in SMA; you don’t need a car. In San Miguel, there are zero traffic lights so just take caution when you cross a street. Look down when you’re walking; there are hazards on both the sidewalks and in the streets. Don’t forget to look up though; you’ll be amazed at what you see. Be careful of the cobblestones, they’re slippery when they’re wet. Because SMA is at 6,234 feet, it may take a few days to adjust to the altitude. If there are a lot of Margaritas on your agenda the first day, remember Chilaquiles and Micheladas will bring you back to life the next day.

You don’t have to worry about the water that’s served at any of the restaurants on this list but check where you’re staying to make sure it’s safe to drink from the tap. Bottled water is widely available and visitors are advised to use it, even to brush your teeth. Stay hydrated; the climate and altitude may be a factor for a few days but you’ll become quickly acclimated.

Leave your valuables at home and blend in with the locals; you’ll be glad you did. It’s also a good idea to learn a little survival Spanish before you come. English is widely spoken but locals appreciate the visitors who attempt to speak their language. You can use the Google Translate app on conversation to talk or use the voice feature to translate a word or phrase.

We also suggest you download the app “Spanish Dict” before you come. The great thing about this app is that you don’t need to be connected to the internet to use it; a formidable offline dictionary is available.

San Miguel de Allende Tourism Council
Plaza Principal – Centro
Hours: Monday to Friday 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM


Atencion Newspaper - Que Pasa
This English language newspaper is sold in the Jardin and at many stores around town; a new issue comes out every Friday. The newspaper has an event section, Que Pasa, which features many of the events going on for the week.  

San Miguel Events
This website details many of the events going on for the week.

San Miguel Walking and Shopping Guide
Many hotels, shops and restaurants in town carry a hard copy of this guide. Grab one; it also features numerous walks around downtown SMA.

Trip Advisor
We never used Trip Advisor back in the states but in Mexico, it’s widely referenced. Connect for a current list of things to do while you’re here, including outdoor activities, points of interest and landmarks.

Airport Shuttle
Jesus #11
152 1999
USA 202 609 9905

Tour Guide

Follow Me Tours
Cell: 415 119 4402
Emma Salazar

Taxi Cabs The cost of a ride in the city is $50 pesos during the day; more at night. Always ask the fare before you get in.

Private Drivers
Contact Ulysses Ramirez at 415 149 1928. He’s one of the top drivers in SMA and speaks perfect English.

Safe Trips SMA
Ask for Mara, who is one of the owners
What's app. +521 55 39011914
Another good driver is Cesar Nee, who’s also fluent in English. Email him at or call his cell number at (415) 125-0344.From the USA or Canada, dial 011(52)1(415)125-0344. Local calls made from a land line dial 044(415)125-0344.


Bread and Pastries: Panio
Doce 18 at Relox #18
Hours: 8:00 AM – 11:00 PM
The best selection of breads and pastries in Centro. The round loaf pictured is a Boule Cereales; perfect and delicious. Their state-of-the-art bakery is at Salida a Celaya 67-69.

Chocolates: Johfrej
Jesus #2A  
Hours: 10:00 AM – 8:00 PM
Delicious high-end, handmade chocolates, hot chocolates and ice creams.
Cigars: Havana Cigar Co
Recreo #6
Hours: Mon, Wed – Saturday 11:00 AM – 7:00 PM
Sunday 11:00 AM-3:00PM
An extensive assortment of popular Cuban and American cigars.

Desserts: El Petit Four Pastisserie  
Mesones #99
Hours: Tuesday – Saturday: 9:00 AM – 8:00 PM
Sunday 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
A wonderful variety of pastries from the best French bakery in town.

There are flower vendors on the streets. You can also buy flowers from Ignacio Ramirez Market on Calle Colegio every day from 8:30 AM – 8:30 PM except on Sunday when the market closes at 6:00 PM.
Beautiful, seasonal flowers can be purchased from Las Rosas de Aurelia in Doce 18 Concept House at Relox 18, from 11:00 AM to 8:00 PM.
We also think the floral designs by Victor Hugo at Victor Hugo Events is a spectacular way to impress. Email him at or phone 415-127-1938.

Grocery Store: Bonanza
Mesones #43A
Hours: Monday – Saturday 8:00 AM – 8:00 PM
Sunday 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Bonanza carries almost everything you need in the way of groceries including many US products.

City Market
San Luis Potosí - Santiago de Querétaro 12401, Ejido Salitre, 76127 Querétaro
Daily 7:45 AM – 10:00 PM
If you’re a food lover, this high end food and liquor store is definitely worth the trip.

Gourmet Foods:Luna de Queso
Jesus #2      
Hours: Monday through Friday 9:00 AM. – 7:00 PM
Saturday 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM. Closed Sundays
Luna de Queso carries a large assortment of gourmet foods. Their main store is located at Salida a Celaya #79. Both locations have a high-quality restaurant.

Liquor: La Europea Liquor
Canal #13
Hours: Monday – Thursday 9:00 AM – 8:00 PM
Friday- Saturday 9:00 AM – 9:00 PM
Sunday 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM
La Europea has a good selection of spirits and wines, along with a small selection of gourmet foods and glassware. A mega-store is located at the Antea Lifestyle Center in Querétaro.
Meat: La Lonja Carniceria
Mesones #33
Open 7:00 AM to 6:00 PM
An across the board selection of quality meats; special orders available, usually delivered the next day.
Tequila: Casa Dragones 
Doce 18 at Relox 18
Hours: 10:00 AM – 10:00 PM
San Miguel de Allende is the spiritual home of Casa Dragones, who has both a house and tasting room in SMA. Casa Dragones offers exclusive personalized bottles. To book a tour, contact them in advance at

Emergency Number: 911

Ambulance – Red Cross
065, 152-4121, 152-1616

Dr. Martinez MD Cell: 4151538832 – Makes house calls
Dr. W. Ricardo Gordillo Morath
415-109-5961 emergency cell 

Hospital: H+
Libramiento Jose Manuel Zavala #12 - Centro


Dr. Jesús Hererra
122-2881 or 100.0403

Appointments: 415.122.2881
01-461-219-9810 – emergencies
Sterling Dickinson #27

Fire: 152-0911, 152-2888, 152-3238 and 152-3699

Legal Emergencies:
U.S. Consular Agent Gregory Moore (newly appointed)

Plaza La Luciernaga Jose Manuel Zavala No. 165, Locales 4 y 5, La Luciérnaga, 37745 located in Plaza La Luciernaga
Monday – Friday 9:30 AM – 5:30 PM excluding Mexican and US holidays
·         Phone: (+52) (0) 1-844-528-6611  
Police/Public Security
152-2890, 152-0911 

Mercado de Artesanías
Daily 9:00 AM – 7:00 PM
Ignacio Ramirez Market
Daily 8:30 AM – 8:30 PM except Sunday closes at 6:00 PM
SMA’s main markets sell handicrafts, handmade gifts, food, flowers and clothing. You can enter the markets from any of these streets: Colegio, Relox, Loreto or Calzada de Luz at Hidalgo.

La Pulga
Salon Los Pinos
Salida a Queretaro #145
One Sunday @ month
12:00 Noon – 4:00 PM
Monthly Flea Market 
Mercado Rural

Vía Orgánica, Margarito Ledesma# 2, Colonia Guadalupe

First Sunday of every month
9:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Producers from the communities and ranches around SMA sell just-picked produce and handmade products and gift items.
Mercado Sano
Ancha de San Antonio #123
9:00 AM – 7:00 PM except Sunday closes at 5:00 PM
Mercado Sano houses restaurants and the Pura Vida Cooking School and sells both organic products and produce.
TOSMA - Saturday Organic Market
Mercado Sano - Ancha de San Antonio #123
Every Saturday and Sunday from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM
Artisanal and organic produce and products.
Tianguis de los Martes (Tuesday Market)
Arcos de San Miguel - across the Queretaro road from La Luciernega  
Anything you need or want, you can get here. Be to the market at 8:30 AM to get the best selections. Large tables are piled high with clothing. If you have the patience, you can get brand name and designer items, some for as low as 10 pesos or 52 US cents.  

Via Organica 
Calle Margarito Ledesma 2, Colonia Guadalupe

Daily 8:00 AM – 10:00 PM
Organic products, produce and food.

Fitness Center at The Rosewood
Nemesio Diez 11
7:00 AM – 8:00 PM
Pools: Sunrise to Sunset
Power House
Portero 8
Classes: 7:00 AM Tuesday and Thursday; 8:15 AM Monday and Friday; 9:00 AM Saturday; 8:00 PM Monday, Tuesday and Thursday.
Spinning Studio/50 pesos per class 

Wolf Gym
Potrero #8 Colonia San Antonio
Monday – Friday 6:00 AM – 9:00 PM
Saturday 6:30 AM – 3:00 PM
70 peso walk in fee
Note: Wolf Gym was the first gym to open in San Miguel de Allende in 1977. Locally owned and operated, it’s a friendly place to work out. Trainers are available for an additional fee.


Sense Spa

The Rosewood Hotel
Nemesio Diez #11

Laja Spa
Belmond Casa Sierra Nevada
Hospicio 35 San Miguel de Allende Guanajuato Mexico 37700
Valeria Trujillo  Flores
(415) 124 2307

      Yoga Instructor, Fabienne Gauthier, is also a food lover

Fabienne’s Yoga San Miguel de Allende
Fabienne Gauthier
Atma Yoga
Alejandro Trejo

     Owner, Billy Mervin, at the front door of Hotel Nena

Concierge extraordinaire Gustavo Lopez Aguado Montes greets guests at Hotel Matilda

Here’s an alphabetical listing of some of the top places to stay in SMA; we like them all.
Casa 1810
Hidalgo #8
Casa de la Cuesta
Cuesta de San Jose #32
Casa No Name
Ignacio Hernandez Macias 52

Casa Sierra Nevada

Hospicio #35
Hotel Casa Blanca
Juarez #7

Hotel Live Aqua Urban Resort San Miguel de Allende
Calzada de la Presa #85

Hotel Matilda

Aldama #53

Hotel Nena

Nemesio Diez #10
Doce 18 Concept House at Relox 18 

Nena Boutique Hotel – Opening soon
Nemesio Diez #10

The Rosewood San Miguel de Allende

Calle Nemesio Diez #11
Villa Lemon
Quebrada #93

Planning a wedding?
With over 650 weddings here last year, SMA is the city of love. It’s the number one place for a destination wedding in Mexico according to

There’s even a kissing door in SMA. We discovered it last week; we’ll leave the adventure up to you to find it.

Penzi Weddings

Victor Hugo Events
Phone: 415-127-1938

Want to throw a parade like we’re doing this November?
Call Maeirza Gonzalez Celaya at the Mojiganga office at San Francisco #62 and they will plan everything for you: the city permit, the tequila donkey, waiters, mariachis, and you can even have a Mojiganga made to look exactly like someone you love. Call 415 152 4566/cell 415 117 1863 or email
Want to see a movie?
We love the cinema and SMA has two, small theaters that show interesting films, foreign movies and documentaries. Check out their online schedules for films and showtimes. The price of your ticket includes a drink and popcorn.

Mercado Sano's Movie Pocket Theater

Ancha de San Antonio #123

Cine Bacco Theater

Hernandez Macias #59 
Laundry Services: Clean Space Mario’s
Los Órganos #8
Monday – Saturday: 8:00 AM – 2:00 PM and 4:00 PM – 7:00 PM
Closed Sunday
Pick up and delivery. Same day service.

Spanish Classes:

The Warren Hardy School
San Rafael 6
San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato, Mexico 37700

Mailing Address
PMB 184 B
220 N. Zapata Hwy. # 11A
Laredo, TX. 78043

9 am-noon US Central Time: 011 – 52 (415) 154-4017
Afternoons US Central Time: 011 – 52 (415) 152-4728

Email Warren Hardy

Mexican meal times are: Desayuno 8:00 AM; Almuerzo 10:00 – 11:00 AM; Comida 2:00 – 3:00 PM; Merienda 5:00 – 6:00 PM and Cena 9:00 – 10:00 PM. No wonder I moved here; 5 meals a day!
I’m all about eating early, even in Mexico. 6:00 PM is a good time for dinner, especially if you have kids. Chances are, you’ll get good service if you avoid the rush. Most of the chefs like to get to know their customers. The chef community in SMA is small, tight and one of the friendliest in the world.

Splitting the bill is not common in Mexico but you can ask. Be prepared to cover the bill and settle up with your dinner partners later. The waiters here don’t deliver the check until you ask for it. Also, remember to tip generously for good service; we always tip 20% or more.

Here are four recent articles from that will give you a good overview of the places to get great food and drink in SMA:

Paolo Vizzotto, President of CANIRAC, stands in front of Bella Italia, a popular tourist restaurant located in the Jardin.

Andanza Restaurant at Belmond Casa Sierra Nevada Hotel
Calle Hospicio 35
Sunday - Saturday 7:30 AM - 11:00 PM
Chef: Mariel Beiza
Pastry Chef: Ruben Yanez Hernandez
International, Mexican and Caribbean Cuisines/The Blue Bar has great happy hour specials/Beautiful, newly renovated green space.
Antonia Bistro
San Francisco #57
Sunday – Thursday 8:00 AM – 10:30 PM
Friday – Saturday 8:00 AM – 11:00 PM
Chef: Chef Alejandro Cuatepotzo and Miguel Estrada
Breakfast, lunch and dinner/International and Mexican Cuisine/Rooftop restaurant with amazing views.
Quebrada #101
Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, Thursday 
Lunch: 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM
Dinner: 6:30 PM – 9:00 PM
Friday – Saturday 2:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Closed Tuesday
Chef Olivier Deboise
Lunch and dinner/ Mexican Fine Dining/Chefs Table /Excellent drink menu from Beverage Director and Mixologist, Adrian Garcia Evans.
Cuna de Allende #3
Daily 1:00 PM – 11:00 PM
Chef Arturo Sandoval
Lunch and Dinner/Fusion Mexican, Peruvian, and Spanish/Rooftop with in-your-face view of the Parroquia/Our pick for 2018 Best New Chef and Restaurant
Bacco Ristorante
Hernandez Macias #59
Tuesday – Saturday 1:00 PM – 10:30 PM
Sunday 1:00 PM – 6:00 PM
Closed Monday
Lunch and dinner/ Italian cuisine/Old World setting/ Attractive outdoor patio and terrace/Sunday night ritual.

Birdies Burgers and Taco Lab
Doce 18 Concept House at Relox 18
Daily: 10:00 AM – 10:00 PM 
Chef: Donnie Masterton
Breakfast, lunch and dinner/The best burgers in town/Canada de la Virgen grass fed beef/ Great weekly specials.
Berlin Bar and Bistro
Umaran #19
Daily: 5:00 PM – 1:00 AM except closed Sunday
Dinner/ German food/Cheers type atmosphere/Generous pours.
Bovine Brasserie
Tuesday: 7:00 PM - 11:00 PM
Wednesday - Sunday: 1:00 PM - 11:00 PM
Closed Monday

Executive Chef: Paul Bentley
Chef: Miguel Alejandro Nuñez Salas
Lunch and Dinner/International Fine Dining with nice gift boutique.
Buenos Aires Bistro
Mesones #62
Sunday – Saturday: 1:00 PM – 10:00 PM
Chef: Mariano Alvarez
Lunch and dinner/ Argentinean cuisine/Excellent steaks and pastas/Buenos Aires del Campo provides catering services for home and event BBQs.
B’ui Cocina de Campo
On the equestrian grounds at Otomi’s residential area outside of San Miguel de Allende. Km 2 Camino a San Miguel el Viejo, C.P. 37700
Hours: Friday, Saturday and Sunday: 1:30 PM – 10 PM
Chef: Stephanie Ceron 
Lunch and dinner/ International Farm-to-Table and Mexican cuisine/ Beautiful country setting.
Cafe Casa Blanca
Juarez #8
Breakfast: 8:00 AM – 11:00 AM 
Comida: 11:00 AM – 10:00 PM

Closed: Monday 
Chefs: Donnie Masterton and J.J. Castaneda
Breakfast, lunch and dinner/Mediterranean and Moroccan cuisine/ Shared plates great for exploring the cuisine/Lovely patio and indoor restaurant/Chef changes the menu up often.
Cafe La Ventana
Sollano 11
Sunday: 8:30 AM – 2:00 PM
Monday and Wednesday – Saturday: 8:30 AM – 4:00 PM
Closed Tuesday
This tiny window near the Jardin serves good coffee drinks to go.
Café Muro
San Gabriel 1 | Barrio del Obraje, 37725
Phone: 415 152 6341
Hours: Thursday – Tuesday 9 AM – 4 PM/ Wednesday: Closed
Breakfast, lunch and dinner/American and Mexican cuisine/Great breakfasts and super- friendly owners/Seven minute cab ride from downtown/Interesting downhill walk back to town.

El Cafe de la Mancha 
Recreo 21A
Monday – Saturday: 8:30 AM – 5:30 PM
Closed Sunday
Chef: Mariana Gonzalez Gutierrez
Mexican breakfast and lunch with one of the best female chefs in SMA/Excellent coffee drinks/Delicious Ramen in-season/More seating upstairs.
El Manantial
Barranca #78
Sunday – Monday 2:00 PM – 10:00 PM
Tuesday – Saturday 1:00 PM – 12:00 Midnight
Lunch and dinner/Since 1920, the oldest cantina in San Miguel/ Signature dish: Ceviches/ Lively atmosphere late night/Split the pork leg - delicious/Live music/Don’t miss the experience.
El Pegaso
Centro, Corregidora 6, Zona Centro
Thursday – Tuesday: 8:30 AM – 10:00 PM
Closed Wednesday 
Good Mexican breakfast, lunch and dinner/ Filled with Mexican folk art.
Fatima – Opening Soon
Juarez #8 
Chefs: Donnie Masterton and J.J. Castaneda

Mediterranean and Moroccan cuisine/Stunning rooftop views of the churches of SMA/Fresh seafood bar.
Hendricks Bar
Zacetros #45
7:00 – 11:00 PM Thursday – Saturday
Creative drinks from SMA Mixiologist, Sergio Alberto Vazquez /Cutest little European style bar in SMA/Don’t miss this bar.
Jacinto 1930
Doce 18 at Relox 18
Sunday 12:00 noon –9:00 PM
Monday - Thursday 1:00 PM–9:00 PM

Chef: Israel Loyola Espinosa
Lunch and dinner/ Mexican Fine Dining with Oaxaca born chef/ Excellent drink menu from Beverage Director and Mixologist, Adrian Garcia Evans.

La Azotea
Umaran #6 (upstairs)
Sunday - Saturday 1:00 PM - 12:00 AM
Lunch and dinner/ Home of the infamous Jicama Taco/ Happy Hour 2 for 1/ Great Margaritas/ One of the most popular rooftop bars in SMA.
Lavanda Cafe
Hernandez Macias #87  
Phone: 415 152 1610
Hours: Wednesday – Monday: 8:30 AM – 4 PM (except Sunday closes at 2 PM/ Tuesday: Closed
Chef Karla Becerra Martinez
Breakfast and lunch/ One of the best breakfasts in SMA/Excellent coffee drinks.
La Parada 
Recreo 94
Wed - Saturday 12:00 Noon - 10:00 PM
Sunday - Monday 12:00 Noon - 9:00 PM
Tuesday – Closed

Chef: Alexandra Gutt
Lunch and dinner/ Peruvian Cuisine/ Owners also have the Mezcal bar, San Mezcal, at Recreo # 88 opening at 5:00 PM with a small but delicious bar menu/Consistently one of SMA top restaurants.

La Unica
Sollano #14
Sunday - Wednesday: 1 PM - 11 PM
Thursday - Saturday: 1 PM - 2 AM

Lunch and dinner/ Mexican Cuisine/Excellent desserts/Fabulous rooftop views/Great Sunday night hide away.
Luna Rooftop Tapas Bar
Nemesio Diez 11, Centro, 37700 in the Rosewood Hotel
Phone: 415 152 9700
Hours: Friday, Saturday, Sunday: 1 PM – 11 PM/ Monday – Thursday: 2 PM – 11 PM
$$$$ but drinks definitely worth the views/Usually a wait in season
Marsala cocina con acentos
Calle del Dr Ignacio Hernandez Macias #48
Monday, Wednesday - Saturday: 1 PM - 10 PM
Sunday: 11 AM - 5 PM

Tuesday: Closed
Dog Friendly
Chef: Marcela Bolano
Lunch and dinner/ Fantastic Mediterranean cuisine from former Top Chef Mexico contestant/ Excellent Sunday Brunch.
Calle del Dr Ignacio Hernandez Macias #97
Sunday 3PM - 11 PM
Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday 1 PM - 11 PM
Closed Tuesday

Chef: Greta Ortega Casanas
Sous Chef: Cecy Alverez
Lunch and dinner/ Italian Cuisine/Best Italian pizza on Sunday and Wednesday/Deli and take out/Private dining room for ten/Patio dining.
Moxi at Hotel Matilda
Aldama #53
Daily 7:00 AM – 11:00 PM 
Chef: Francisco Ibanez
Breakfast, lunch and dinner/ International cuisine with pool view.
Nena Sky Lounge
Nemesio Diez No.10, CentroSan Miguel de Allende 37700 in the Hotel Nena 
Hours: Monday – Thursday: 12 Noon – 10 PM/ Friday and Saturday: 12 Noon – 11 PM/Sunday: 12 Noon – 6 PM
From this beautiful rooftop bar, you see weekend fireworks from the Rosewood wedding venue across the street/ The beautiful people who frequent this rooftop make it one of the best places in town for people watching.
Nemesio Diez 10
Monday, Wednesday, Thursday 1:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Friday- Saturday 12:00 Noon -9:00 PM
Sunday 12:00 Noon – 6:00 PM
Tuesday Closed
Chef Alonso Domínguez
Sous chef Juan Manuel Galvan Lopez
Lunch and dinner/ International cuisine/Some Molecular offerings.

Nicasio comedor mexicano 
Hidalgo 28
Sunday 9AM–5PM
Monday - Saturday 9AM–7:30PM except Tuesday closed

Chefs: Pablo Nicacio and Hugo Tepichin
Breakfast, lunch and dinner/Mexican Cuisine/Small, in-your-own-dining room ambiance. 

Nomada cocina de Interpretacion
Nemesio Diez 2, Centro, 37700
Phone: 415 121 9163
Hours: 9 AM – 10 PM Daily/Closed: Tuesday
Chef: Marco Cruz
Breakfast, lunch and dinner/Mexican Fine Dining/Award winning chefs/Excellent Wednesday tasting menu.
Hidalgo #5
Daily 2:00 PM - 12:00 AM

Chef: Xavier Pinero Moreno
Sous Chef: Danny Duran
Lunch and dinner/ Mexican Cuisine with great selections and young chef team/Live piano music.
Panio Atelier du Pain
Salida a Celaya 69
Doce 18 at Relox 18
Daily: 8 AM - 10 PM
Breakfast, lunch and dinner/ American and Mexican cuisine/ State-of-the-art bakery/Multiple locations/Great selection of cakes and pastries.
Petit Four
Mesones #99-1
Tuesday – Saturday: 8:00 AM – 8:00 PM
Sunday: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Monday: Closed
Chefs: Paco Cardenas and Norma Guerrero
One of the best French bakeries in SMA/Chef Paco Cardenas teaches one of the best cooking classes in SMA with full Mexican menu and shopping tour.
Relox #3
2:00 PM - 10:00 PM
Closed Monday and Tuesday
Chef Patricio Fuentes Alvarez
Lunch and dinner/ A new addition to the SMA restaurant scene owned by three childhood friends/Small but good menu with delicious food and good pricing.
Julian Carrillo #4B

Hours: 9:00 AM - 3:00 PM Monday - Friday
Chef Esmeralda Brinn Bolanos
Healthy, delicious food/Breakfast all day/Small, cozy restaurant with local following.

Cuna de Allende #15
Monday – Saturday: 12:00 Noon – 2:00 AM
Sunday: 11:00 AM – 12:00 Midnight
Chefs: Gonzalo Martinez and Erick Rojo
Pastry Chef: Rodrigo Morales
Mixologist Mike Espinoza
Lunch and dinner/ International and Contemporary cuisine/Beautiful rooftop dining with great view/Request Ram Ramirez for superior service/ Imaginative drink menu by one of SMA’s best Mixologist, Mike Espinoza.
Rincon de Don Tomas
Portal de Guadalupe 2 - Jardin
Daily 8:30 AM - 10:00 PM
If you want to sit in the Jardin for breakfast, try Don Tomas, famous for it’s Huevos Otomi; a hearty bowl of scrambled eggs in a Mexican bean stew. Bring your camera; it’s one of SMA’s few sidewalk cafés and a great place to people watch.

Rosewood Hotel - 1826 Restaurant
Nemesio Diez 11
Daily 7:00 AM - 11:00 PM
Chef: Vincent Wallez
Breakfast, lunch and dinner/International cuisine/Sunday brunch.

Salida a Celaya #34
Wednesday – Monday: 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Tuesday: Closed
Note: Rustica will be open until 9:00 PM in about a month
Dog FriendlyBreakfast and lunch/ Mexican healthy cuisine/ Breakfast served all day/Young, friendly owners, Eduardo Perez Calvo and Selva Lampreabe Rosenfeld.

San Augustin Chocolates and Churros
San Francisco #21
Monday - Thursday
8:00 AM–11:00 PM
Friday - Saturday
8:00 AM–12:00 AM
9:00 AM–11:00 PM
Chocolate and churros restaurant owned by Mexican Telenovela star.
Canal #3
Monday – Friday 7:30 AM – 10:00 PM
Saturday – Sunday 8:00 AM – 11:00 PM
Not your typical Starbucks/ Staff friendly and helpful/ Our home office every morning when we’re in town.

The Restaurant and The Bar at The Restaurant
Sollano #16
Hours: Thursday, Friday, Saturday: 12 Noon – 11 PM/ Tuesday, Wednesday, Sunday: 12 Noon – 10 PM Closed Monday
Chef: Donnie Masterton
Lunch and dinner/ Celebrating 10 years in SMA/International dining/The Bar at The Restaurant recently opened serving all Asian appetizers/Thursday Burger night.

Tacos Don Felix Fray Juan de San Miguel 15, San Rafael
Friday – Saturday: 5:00 PM – 11:00 PM
Sunday 2:00 PM – 9:30 PM
Reasonably priced Mexican food/Owned by friendly,Mexican family/Fish-bowl Margaritas/Short taxi ride from Centro worth the trip.
Trazo 1810
Hidalgo 8, Centro, 37700 in Casa 1810
Phone: 415 121 3501
Hours: 8 AM – 10 PM Daily
Breakfast, lunch and dinner/ International cuisine/Fabulous rooftop views

Vino + Tapas
Insurgentes 63
2:00 PM – 10:00 PM Tuesday – Saturday
Great spot for shared plates with a wide variety of tapas on the menu/Owner knowledgeable about wine and stocks different varieties/ Young chef passionate about using good ingredients.

Hotel Live Aqua Urban Resort San Miguel de Allende
Calzada de la Presa #85
Mex-Thai cuisine in stunningly beautiful new resort/ Don't miss this experience.
Quebrada #93
8:00 AM – 12:00 Noon Breakfast
12:00 Noon – 4:30 PM Lunch (starts November 24)
6:00 PM – 11:00 PM Dinner Sunday – Thursday
6:00 PM – 12:00 Midnight Dinner Friday – Saturday
Breakfast, lunch and dinner/ New location/International and Mediterranean cuisine/Creative cocktails and the beautiful rooftop views.
Want a private chef? For one of the best in town, contact Chef Linnea Rufo at Linnea Rufo Events

Cooking classes? Take your pick. Any of the classes on this list are outstanding.
Note: The contact information for Chef Michael Coon is
Also, Chef David Jahnke left the University of Celaya and now teaches a long list of weekly classes for many different types of cuisines out of his home. His contact information has not changed. \
All of the listings in this article on street food are good, safe and inexpensive.
In particular, don’t miss the Tacos al Pastor from Andy’s Tacos on Hidalgo and Insurgentes. This taco stand was written up by the Wall Street Journal. Also, visit El Pato for the Mixiotes; some of the best we’ve had anywhere.
                          Angie Villasana of Diva
#24 Zacateros
Daily 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
San Miguel style clothing and home wares made from fine cotton textiles, celebrating the most iconic images of Mexican culture.
Hidalgo #28
Monday – Sunday 11:00 AM -8:00 PM
The latest trends in women’s clothing by young, SMA entrepreneur Nathalie Gordillo Precoma/ Well priced designs with new merchandise daily.
Agave Sky
Cuna de Allende #3 in Plaza Atrio
Daily: 11:00 AM – 7:00 PM
Custom designed handmade boots and handbags from SMA artist Deborah DuPont. Pictured above is Debra Duplak, store manager./New store at Pila Seca #13.


Monday – Saturday 10:30 AM – 9:00 PM
World home good designs.

Armour Jewelry

Doce 18 at Relox 18
Daily: 10:00 AM – 10:00 PM
Statement making gold jewelry.
Arte y Artesanias Paloma 
Ancha de San Antonio #28
From 11:00 AM
Festive tableware and home goods.
Artesanías Ono
Plaza Principal #20-A
From 11:00 AM
Carrying fine Mexican gifts and clothing, this shop is located in the Jardin.
ASTERIA - Jose Yanez Showroom

Nemesio Diez 20

Affordable original designs by SMA Fashion Designer Jose Yanez. Also clothing and gift items, photography and art from other designers including SMA fabric artist Billielee Mommer, Meghan Catherine, founder of Hart Jewelry and artist Vega Marion.

Bellas Artes Art School
75 Hernandez Macias
Historic Art, Music and Language school and gallery/Book store.

Camino Silvestre
Correo #43
Daily: 10:00 AM – 7:00 PM except Sunday closes at 5:00 PM
Quality gifts including hummingbird bird feeders.
Carrie Cameron Art Studio/Galeria Buena Vida
Aldama # 42
Wed - Sun 11:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Cock of the Walk original boot designs and other fashion items and paintings by SMA artist Carrie Cameron. Carrie Cameron also features other SMA designers including Jose Yanez, Billielee Mommer and Meghan Catherine.
Casa R
Mesones #83
Daily: 11:00 AM – 8:00 PM
High end gifts and clothing for men and women/ Beautiful, embroidered, leather jackets
Claudia Bo
Corner Mesones and Hidalgo
Wednesday – Sunday from 11:00 AM
Beautiful clothing and jewelry by Mexican fashion designer Claudia Bo/One of our favorite stores for original designs/Claudia Bo designs are also available at The Rosewood Hotel. 

Zacateros #48
Monday – Thursday 10:00 AM – 7:00 PM
Friday – Saturday 10:00 AM – 8:00 PM
Sunday 11:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Folk, Kitsch and Iconic Mexican gifts.
Pila Seca #8
Monday – Wednesday 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Thursday- Saturday 10:00 AM – 8:00 PM
Closed Sunday
Design Studio/ Stunning, exquisite furniture/Check out the beautiful floor-to-ceiling wall hangings.
Corner Correo and Recreo
Monday – Saturday 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Sunday 11:00 AM – 3:00 PM
Clothing and designs by one of SMA original fashion designers.

Hernandez Macias #72
Daily 11:00 AM – 8:00 PM
Designer clothing boutique and fine jewelry/Our favorite women’s shop in SMA/Ask for Angie Villasana, pictured at the top of this shopping section.
Doce 18 Concept House
Relox 18
Daily: 10:00 AM – 10:00 PM
Many attractive, high-end shops, a quality food court and the Casa Dragones tasting room.
Fabrica La Aurora
Calzada de la Aurora
Daily 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM except Sunday closes at 5:00 PM
Art galleries, gift stores and restaurants/ Many, major SMA artists have studios here/Our favorite place to go for art.
Galeria San Francisco
#1 San Francisco
Monday – Saturday 11:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Multiple artists including two of our favorites: Jane Dill and Isis Rodriguez/ Don’t miss the great views of the Jardin from this gallery.

Portal de Guadalupe #10
From 11:00 AM
Exceptional Mexican gifts and clothing/Habanera is located in the Jardin. 

Hale Bob
Relox #10
Daily 10:00 AM – 8:00 PM
Women’s designer clothing boutique.
Losa Barro Local #3 at Mercado Ignacio Ramírez
8:30 AM – 8:30 PM
A cazuela is as important as a cast-iron pan is to a Southern cook. These clay pots are great for cooking soups, beans or stews. It holds a steady heat, allowing foods to cook both slowly and evenly. It’s no wonder that Cazuelas are collected by Mexican families and handed down through the generations. Some people are so attached to them they even give them a name.
Josefina Clothing
Doce 18 Concept House at Relox 18
From 11:00 AM
Trendy women’s clothing.

Joyeria Paris
Umaran #6
From 11:00 AM
Fashionable Mexican jewelry.
Kiri Mi Casa Es Tu Casa
Sollano #27
From 11:00 AM
Beautiful fashions, gift items and textiles.
La Alfonsina
Hidalgo #36
From 11:00 AM
Children’s clothing/Original, handmade designs.

La Calaca
Mesones #93
11:00 AM - 2:00 PM and 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM. Closed Sunday.
A collectable Mexican Folk Art shop that's more of a museum/ Evita Avery is an icon in San Miguel de Allende/ Ask about taking a tour of her shop.
Laura Reyes
Recreo #50-A
Daily: 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Mexican fashion designer/ Gorgeous hand-died shawls at reasonable prices/ Tailoring services available.

Lena Bartula Studio
Carlos del Castillo 12A, Colonia GuadalupeSmall gallery with beautiful collection of art 

Magenta Gallery
Zacateros 26
Daily 11:00 AM – 5:00 PM 
Fine art gallery with many original works of art.

Maru Moro Boutique
Mesones #18
From 11:00 AM
Latest fashion designs for blouses, dresses, hats and shoes/Good prices.
Hernandez Macias #88
Monday, Wednesday – Saturday 10:00 AM – 7:00 PM
Sunday: 11:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Women’s clothing and jewelry boutique/Always a choice shopping experience with Margarita Go.
Malala Bazar and Botique
Hernandez Macias #80
From 11:00 AM
Fashionable women’s clothing boutique with original and embroidered Mexican pieces.
Mia Botique
Cuna de Allende #19 A
From 11:00 AM
Women’s clothing boutique with Mexican designers and good prices.
Pila Seca #3
Monday – Saturday 10:00 AM – 7:00 PM
Sunday 11:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Jewelry, clothing and accessories /One-of-a-kind designs.
Plaza Cuna de Allende
Cuna de Allende #15
Monday – Friday 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Saturday 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Sunday 11:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Original home designs/ Check because not all items are pricey.
Nacional el Arte del Color
Calzada de la Aurora #49
Daily 9:30 AM – 6:30 PM. Closed Sundays
This Mexican gift shop is located near Fabrica de Aurora.
Opal Mine  
Hernandez Macias #99
Monday, Wednesday – Sunday 10:00 AM – 8:00 PM
Closed Tuesday
Fine jewelry with precious and semi-precious stones.
Recreo San Miguel
Hospicio #26  
Daily 10:00 AM – 7:00 PM
Beautiful, luxury outerwear/ There is also a small shop in Doce 18 Concept House at Relox 18.
Remigio Mosias Revilla
Recreo #5A
From: 11:00 AM
Beautiful Mexican textiles, clothing and fabrics/ Special BLUE collection.

San Miguel Arcangel

Mesones #79
From 11:00 AM. Closed Tuesday.
Designer clothing for women/ Good prices. 

Cuna de Allende 7-12
Women’s clothing/Unique designs

Hernandez Macias #83
Daily 10:30 AM – 8:00 PM except closes at 6:00 PM on Sunday
Women’s hand painted clothing/Original Mexican designs.
In Plaza Cuna de Allende #15 Cuna de Allende and Correo #17
11:00 AM – 8:00 PM Closed Tuesday
Women’s designer clothing and jewelry/A SMA favorite with two Centro locations.
Sollano 16
Sollano #16
Tuesday – Friday 10:00 AM – 8:00 PM except closes 6:00 PM Wednesday
Saturday 11:00 AM – 8:00 PM
Sunday 12:00 Noon – 4:00 PM
Luxury gifts.
Talula de la Lune
Pila Seca #16
Monday – Saturday 11:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Sunday 11:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Stylish women’s clothing, boots and leather goods.
The Tree
Hidalgo #18
Monday - Thursday 10:00 AM – 8:30 PM
Friday – Saturday 10:00 AM – 9:00 PM
Sunday 11:00 AM – 7:00 PM
Women’s Boutique with trendy designs and new merchandise weekly/ Good sales.


Cuna de Allende#10
10:30 AM – 7:00 PM except Sunday closes at 4:00 PM
Home and Garden Store/Quality tableware.
Zapateria Vilar
Recreo #5
From 11:00 AM
High-quality boots, shoes, shawls, jewelry and belts.
Hernandez Macias #93
From 11:00 AM. Closed Tuesday
Mexican folk art designs, jewelry and gifts/ A favorite for one-of-a-kind pieces.
Relox #4
Daily 10:30 AM – 8:00 PM
Designer clothing/ Long necklace designs.
La Luciernega
Boulevard José Manuel Zavala Z. 165, La Luciérnaga, 37745
8:00 AM to 10:00 PM
Outdoor mall with shops, a movie theater (CINEMEX) and restaurants/ Anchor is a small, Liverpool department store/ Some of the movies shown at CINEMEX are in English.
Antea Lifestyle Center
Carretera San Luis Potosí Querétaro 12401, 76127 Qro.
Opens: 11:00 AM
The largest mall in Mexico and second largest in Latin America/ If you can’t find it here, you wouldn’t find it/ Many luxury brands from Mexico, Europe and the US/ High-end restaurants and good food court.
Panio is opening a new restaurant on the first floor this month.

All photographs ©Susan Knight York