Wednesday, February 20, 2019

65 Eats a $100 Peso Note Will Buy in San Miguel de Allende

If you think San Miguel de Allende is getting too expensive to eat out, apparently you haven’t been back in the states lately, where patrons don’t think twice about spending $20.00 for a cocktail. Prices are on the rise from three years ago when SMA got an influx of new restaurants that vastly improved our food choices but there are still good buys out there for quality food at some of SMA top restaurants.

Take Trazo 1810, who is running a special this month for 20% off every Wednesday or Jacinto 1930, where double up (2) house Margaritas will cost you just $135 pesos and $215 pesos will get you the Flavors or Jacinto (enough appetizers to call it a meal) with a large glass of mescal or tequila. Restaurants often run specials so sign up on their Facebook page to get the current deals they’re offering.
When you’re looking to save money eating out, we always go in favor of splitting appetizers or sharing small plates – our favorite way to eat - or selecting a prix fixe menu like the one Chef J.J. Castaneda has for Kebab night at Café Casa Blanca.
For breakfast, lunch, dinner or a snack, there are many things that a $100 peso note will still get you. Here are some of them.
Buen Provecho!
#1-#3: Tempura Green Beans and Crisp Cauliflower Karaage headline the menu at one of our favorite places to eat, The Bar at the R.

We’re also crazy for the STIX – Binchotan grilled meats; many under $100 pesos. Even famous designer Betsy Johnson dropped by for a taste on the go. If you want authentic Asian appetizers, this is the place to eat. They also have a great selection of sushi.
The Bar at the R at The Restaurant
Sollano #16
Opens 6:00 PM. Closed Monday.
Chef: Donnie Masterton

#4-#5: My new morning craving: a Ricotta Egg with fried onion and Ricotta cheese, fresh tomatoes, two fried eggs with paprika and arugula for $90 pesos.

Add another $20 pesos and split an oversized stack of Matcha pancakes. It’s vegan so we don’t mind being 10 pesos over. Breakfast is served all day.

Salida a Celaya #34
Wednesday – Monday: 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Tuesday: Closed
Owners: Eduardo Perez Calvo and Selva Lampreabe Rosenfeld
#6 - #8: Chef Mariano Alvarez has some of the best starters on his menu. Try the Argentine Empanadas or split the Grilled Provoleta with chimichurri or the Grilled Baby Romaine Lettuce with the delicious, smoky flavor of the grill. With parmesan cheese and a Balsamic reduction, it’s one of the most flavorful salads in SMA.

Buenos Aires Bistro
Mesones #62
Sunday – Saturday: 1:00 PM – 10:00 PM
Chef: Mariano Alvarez
#9 - #10: Chef Marco Cruz’s Short Rib is not only the BEST split in SMA, it’s the best dish.
Splitting soup? The Pork Belly Ramen has a piece of meat that’s large enough for two… and I’m not one for ever sharing my pork belly.  
Nomada cocina de Interpretacion
Hernandez Macias #88
Phone: 415 121 9163
Hours: 9 AM – 10 PM Daily/Closed: Tuesday
Chef: Marco Cruz
#11 - #14: It’s a given - sometimes we eat ice cream for lunch!

At MiVida, an ice cream sandwich with homemade vanilla gelato is $45 pesos and the ice cream bar with made-in-house passion fruit gelato is just $69 pesos. The bar is made of Belgium Callebaut Chocolate, using high-grade cocoa beans from West Africa. Both are in the deli freezer case up front. You can also split the homemade gelatos off the dessert menu in the restaurant. A serving is with 3 not 1 scoops, which will still puts you under budget.
MiVida now serves breakfast on the weekends. Grab a Croissants; they’re covered – and we mean covered - in Belgium chocolate. If you’re a chocolate lover like I am, they’re a steal at $30 pesos.

MiVda and MiVida Deli
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
#15 - #18: Sipping a cold one on a hot day is pretty much of a given now that winter is unofficially over. Try one of Mama Mia’s hand crafted beers – IPA, Porter or Pale Ale – that are made at Mama Mia Campestre in Atotonilco. 
And you thought Mama Mia’s was only about those oversized Margaritas made by Adal Garcia, one of the best bartenders in town. They’re large enough and strong enough so put two straws in your glass and share it.  
Mama Mia
Umaran #8
Daily: 8:00 AM – 12:00 Midnight except Friday – Sunday closes at 3:00 AM
#19 - #20: When Chef Esmeralda Brinn brews a new batch of Sauerkraut, we're there! Her Sauerkraut Sandwich with bacon and cheese is an exceedingly delicious buy at $80 pesos. In fact, we can’t think of a better sandwich in town for the price.

The Eggs Benedict are also delightful - the best $90 pesos you’ll ever spend. They’re made with a toasted Hoja Santa leaf and a version of Hollandaise sauce that’s never too rich to clean your plate.

Julian Carrillo #4B
Hours: 9:00 AM - 3:00 PM Monday - Friday
Chef Esmeralda Brinn Bolanos

#21 - #22: Nicasio’s breakfast is the sweetest deal in town. Try the French toast with banana puree or get a gigantic pancake with bacon and berries. You’re $20 pesos over budget on the pancake but if you’re going to go over, you might as well do it at Nicasio for one of the best breakfasts in town. Besides, one you taste the bacon, you’ll know that it’s worth it. We also like the homemade fruit jams served with a small, soft bun.
Nicasio comedor mexicano 
Hidalgo 28
Sunday 9AM–5PM
Monday - Saturday 9AM–7:30PM except Tuesday closed

Chefs: Pablo Nicacio and Hugo Tepichin
#23: The decadent and downright sensational Almond Danish - eat two or add an eye-catching cappuccino and you’ll still be under $100 pesos but then, who’s ever counts pesos or calories at the best French bakery in town?  
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
#24 - #25: The gringo split: extra-thin onion rings and a mini blue-cheese burger.
El Grandpa and Son Burgers
Fabrica la Aurora #2-A
Monday – Saturday 12 Noon – 9 PM
Sunday 12 PM – 3 PM

#26: Rosewood: New Executive Chef, Vincent Wallez, is currently working to change all the menus at the Rosewood and we’re anxious to see what he comes up with when he’s finished in another month or two. In the mean time, grab a drink and savor the view; it’s as good as it gets in SMA, especially with out-of-town guests.
Luna Rooftop Tapas Bar
The Rosewood Hotel
Calle Nemesio Diez #11
Daily: 2:00 PM – 11:00 PM
#27: The house Mezcal: an Espadín made by the owners cousins from Oaxaca. Go ahead, drink your lunch. It’s Mezcal; it cures everything.
Mezcal Art
Calzada de la Estacion 59
Tuesday – Saturday 1:00 PM – 11:00 PM
#28: You don’t need to drive to Queretaro to get a Costco Hot Dog fix. The only difference is they’re grilled not steamed. Try it with John’s chili; you’ll still be under $100 pesos.
Big John's Munch Box
Refugio Sur #2, San Antonio
Monday - Friday: 12 Noon –8PM
Saturday: 12 Noon –4 PM
Sunday: Closed

Chef: John Robert Ledsome
#29-#30: And who said everything at Live Aqua is expensive? The Asian Beef appetizer AND the Softshell Crab Taco are both $100 pesos.

Zibu at Hotel Live Aqua Urban Resort San Miguel de Allende 
Calzada de la Presa No. 85, Central Zone 37700 
San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato, Mexico 
Phone: (415) 150 2300 - at Live Aqua San Miguel De Allende 

Chef: Eduardo Palazuelos 
#31 - #32: The Torta de Chilaquil is a popular dish in Mexico City and it’s one of our favorite dishes on the menu at Mi Bistro 300’s newest restaurant, Le Mexicain Bistro. Hold your breath for this one because the cost of this sandwich is just $49 pesos.
Panuchos Phibil: a plate of delicious Cochnita pibil with purple onions and a fried egg/$85 pesos.
Fresh produce from Mexico City comes in to the store in the back of the restaurant on Tuesday. If you need help with translation, Maria speaks perfect English.
Le Mexicain Bistro
Salida a Celaya #71
Breakfast Daily 9:00 AM – 1:00 PM
Comida Daily 1:00 PM – 6:00 PM except Thursday – Saturday open until 10:00 PM.
#33: Maula: No matter how you slice it, it's one of the best breads we've eaten. You’ll be $5 pesos over budget but we think really great bread is worth it, no matter how much you have to pay.
Panio Atelier du Pain
Salida a Celaya 69
Doce 18 at Relox 18
Daily: 8 AM - 10 PM

#34: You can now take home all of the remarkable desserts from Quince, like the moist and fabulous corn cake for just $90 pesos. It’s $130 pesos in the restaurant.
We like this offering because you can eat your dessert at midnight if you feel like it. Great service? Ask for Ram Ramirez.
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
#35:Try Chef Marcela Bolano’s Terrina de Cerdo on a split because the best things in life come with pickles and mustard.
Marsala cocina con acentos
Hernandez Macias #48
Monday, Wednesday - Saturday: 1 PM - 10 PM
Sunday: 11 AM - 5 PM
Tuesday: Closed
Dog Friendly
Chef: Marcela Bolano
#36: Made-fresh the first Sunday of every month: homemade Almond Cinnamon Rolls.
Mercado Rural
Margarito Ledesna #2 in front of Via Organica
Colonia Guadalupe
9 AM - 4 PM

#37 - #38: Chef J.J. Castaneda has a Kebab night every Wednesday starting at 5:00 PM. Priced at under $200 pesos, you get two generous kebabs to split – we like the chicken and lamb - along with sides of cous cous, yogurt and pita bread.
Cafe Casa Blanca
Juarez #7
Breakfast: 8:00 - 11:00 AM
Comida: 11:00 AM - 10:00 PM

Chef: J.J. Castaneda
#39 - #41: The Four Course Lunch for $89.99 Pesos at Chikatana…
This Korean restaurant has only been open for a short time but they already know what makes SMA tick - a good bargain. We started out with the Spicy Kamikaze Fries (which was a huge hit at MAG last summer), the Sweet and Sour Chicken, Lemonade and a Rice filled Wonton with Coconut for dessert.
We liked the food; a welcomed addition to the growing list of casual, ethnic restaurants in SMA.
Hernandez Macias #68 – Inside the Noel Cayetano Art Gallery
Sunday – Monday: 12 Noon – 7:00 PM
Wednesday, Friday, Saturday: 12:00 Noon – 9:00 PM
Tuesday: Closed
#42: The Chicken Sandwich: a ridiculously good split no matter how hungry you are. Make way for batter fried chicken with bacon, avocado, tomato, lettuce and a special dressing.
Who said one isn’t big enough for two? We don’t eat a thing all day after devouring this sandwich for lunch.

Birdies Burgers 
Doce 18 at Relox 18
Daily: 10:00 AM – 10:00 PM 
Chef: Donnie Masterton


#43: Lechon Panini at Tostevere…
This restaurant, owned by La Chopria San Miguel, is still getting it together but they’re off to a great start by hiring Julieta Maequez, formerly of Nomada cocina de interpretacion, to do the cooking. With all five star ratings on Trip Advisor and a recommendation from one of SMA’s best chefs, we split the Lechon sandwich for $80 pesos each. The flavor of the Lechon got high marks, especially when we added a special Habanero sauce. We wouldn’t be surprised to see them put this one on a torta like the Lechon sandwich at Lalos in Mexico City; it makes the sandwich so much easier to eat.
There are many things on the menu under $100 pesos, including most of their tacos and a great looking Thai coconut soup. We also enjoyed the young, friendly, international staff that included Esequiel Velazquez from Argentina and Yeisin Esriven Ortiz of Columbia.
Keep a close watch on this one as they are just starting to come into their own. The limited menu has a lot of gems.
Codo #4
Monday, Wednesday, Thursday: 1:00 PM -9:00 PM
Friday – Saturday:  2:00 PM – 10:00 PM
Sunday:  12:00 Noon – 6:00 PM
Tuesday: Closed
Chef: Julieta Marquez
#44: Pizza Margherita: Chef Marco Bruzzone makes a perfect pizza pie at $130 pesos, a tasty split for two. Soak up the sun in Fiamma’s large, outdoor beer garden and waste away the afternoon; you so deserve the afternoon off.
Salida a Celaya #6
Open 12 Noon – 10:00 PM daily except Thursday closed
Chef/Owner: Marco Bruzzone
#45 - #47: Look, we can actually peel off the layers of this Croissant they’re so buttery. It’s one of the many pastries created by Café Muro’s baker at Marulier; served warm every Sunday morning.
Split the EL DE DOS HUEVOS; it’s big enough for two with eggs, bacon or sausage and a beautiful display of seasonal fruit. If you’re not that hungry, have a fruit plate with a pile of fresh, creamy cottage cheese for $95 pesos. All of Café Muro portions are overly generous so most everything can be shared.
Check out their new website at
Café Muro
San Gabriel 1 | Barrio del Obraje, 37725
Phone: 415 152 6341
Hours: Thursday – Tuesday 9 AM – 4 PM/ Closed on Wednesday.
#48: El Pollo Empanadas: Pastry made of Phyllo dough? We’re in! Fernanda and Andres have been selling empanadas and doughnuts for their father/baker Oswaldo on the streets of SMA for over seven years. San Miguel knows something; now, so do we.
El Pollo Empanadas
Salida a Celaya #59 – on the street in front of Arthur Murray Dance Centers
Monday – Saturday 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM
And now for the GOLD STANDARDS… what we eat a lot of and simply can’t live without…
#49: After all these years, the King of the Street is still the King, even if he does look a bit like Elvis. Andy’s Tacos al Pastor are $15 pesos each. Order a plateful and you’ll still go home with a pile of change.
Andy’s Tacos
Corner of Hidalgo and Insurgentes
After dark; around 7:00 ish
#50- #51: Half a Birdie’s burger + a half a Marina Girl salad.
This salad is so good for you, we order it once a week. The burgers – well, they’re never optional, even if we only get a half today. Made of Canada de la Virgen grass-fed beef, hands down - they’re the best in SMA.
Birdies Burgers and Taco Lab
Doce 18 Concept House at Relox 18
Daily: 10:00 AM – 10:00 PM 
Chef: Donnie Masterton
#52: Even in the heat of the summer, we love La Alborada’s remarkable Pozole, here with all the toppings. A medium bowl is just $60 pesos. Add an Indio for $40 pesos and you’ve just hit your $100 peso limit.
La Alborada
#10 Sollano
10:00 AM – 10:00 PM. Closed Sunday.
#53: Mixiotes - the best Mexican version of your mother’s Sunday Pot Roast will cost you $70 pesos. Abrazos fuerte from Pilar? Priceless!
After a long climb on Trip Advisor, El Pato finally hit #1 of the 417 restaurants in SMA. Now, don’t you think it’s time you tried a bowl of one of the best dishes in town?
El Pato Barbacoa y Mixiotes
Calzada de la Estacion 175
Wednesday – Monday: 8:00 AM – 2:30 PM Closed Tuesday

Chef: Jose Luis
#54: Don’t expect the Queen of tacos to lose its crown anytime soon. Jicama Taco with shrimp/$65 pesos.
La Azotea
Umaran #6 (upstairs)
Sunday - Saturday 1:00 PM - 12:00 AM
#55: Belly up to almost any bar in SMA and you’ll find a Corona…
Here, Ana Luisa Torres Gastelum of Grupo Modelo, tips her brew to the fact that you’re never too old for an ice-cold Corona and you don’t have to be at the beach to drink one.
#56: Every Bautista Brothers location makes their Carnita Torta a little different but they all use the same meat, cooked at the heart of their operation at Guadiana #2.

Eating at this converted garage is still one of the most authentic Mexican experiences you can have in SMA and if you’re going to cheat, you might as well make it carnitas. Still our favorite food in Mexico, a carnita torta and a Mexican coke is under $50 pesos.
Bautista Brothers Carnitas
Guadiana #2
From 8:00 AM until they run out
#57: Chilaquiles. When breakfast comes down to Mexican food, pure and simple, Lavanda has got you covered. $98 pesos.
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
#58 - #59: A commendable cheat: Conga + Croissant.
Year after year, we keep ordering this duo for breakfast and we’ve never been disappointed…not once!
Correo #29
Daily 8:00 AM – 10:00 PM except Sunday closes at 9:00 PM
#60: The essential Italian feast: split a MiVida Pizza. One of the best pizzas in town, it’s made from quality, Italian ingredients. We can taste the difference; you will too.

Calle del Dr Ignacio Hernandez Macias #97
Sunday 3PM - 11 PM
Served on Wednesday and Sunday only.

Chef: Greta Ortega Casanas
Sous Chef: Cecy Alverez
#61: Two on a split is worth repeating again and again:Tacos Orientales - because everything that’s really good to eat is made in a Josper oven by one of the most creative chefs in town.
Cuna de Allende #3
Daily 1:00 PM – 11:00 PM
Chef Arturo Sandoval
#62: Hard shell Taco Trio: mix it up with a fish, brisket and carnita offering; a bargain on the appetizer menu; still just $90 pesos.

Taco Lab
Doce 18 Concept House at Relox 18
Daily: 10:00 AM – 10:00 PM 
Chef: Donnie Masterton

#63 - #65: The best bars in SMA for scoring a standout meal? Now there are two! First it was The Bar at the R and we're adding San Mezcal to that short list.

Chef Alexandra Gutt and her husband Juan opened San Mezcal, three doors down from their main restaurant, La Parada, six months ago and with 15 creative yet simple dishes on the menu, we're beyond impressed with the food.

I know where my true addiction to French fries has finally landed because fries just do not get any better than these. If you like the Pastor, you'll love the taste; They're peppered with Cheddar, Pico de Gallo with Pineapple and a Guacamole sauce. Although good on a split for $ 120 pesos, I could have eaten a few bowls of them myself they're that good.

We also split the Chicken Sandwich with fried chicken, mole and apple salad, which was equally as impressive at $ 140 pesos and returned the BLT, where the bacon is cooked in agave syrup, resulting in a magnificent flavor boost to this sandwich. The BLT also has paper-thin slices of red and green tomatoes and is topped off with a chipotle mayo sauce. It's no wonder this is one of the most popular items on the menu at $ 115 pesos.
Many items at San Mezcal start at $ 60 pesos. Only four dishes are priced over $ 100 pesos, all of which are large enough to split.

San Mezcal
Recreo # 88
Sunday - Monday: 5:00 PM - 10:00 PM
Wednesday - Saturday: 5:00 PM - 11:00 PM
Tuesday: Closed