Saturday, September 28, 2019

A Self-Guided Food Tour of San Miguel de Allende

When I came to SMA back in June, 2013, the food scene was owned by a few chefs and a handful of restaurants. 2016 changed all that with new restaurants opening almost every week. Every day, someone is discovering what we already know: San Miguel is one incredible place to eat!
Any food lover will tell you that their travels are defined by the meals they eat. When they come to San Miguel de Allende, one of the first things they want to do is a food tour. Many people don’t have the time to find all the local spots on their own and rely on local experts to uncover them.
SMA has many great food tours but there are those of us that like to find things on our own. For us, the thrill of the hunt is always half the fun.

Food tours can also be pricey and some people prefer to spend their money on a restaurant meal instead. With a true mix of sophistication and simplicity, you can savor everything in SMA from international, gourmet cuisine to savory local fare.
If you’re craving an authentic SMA food experience, we’ve made it easy for you. Here’s a self-guided food tour that gives you the highpoints of all the classic food that defines San Miguel de Allende, along with ethnic choices and places to go at the end of the day to wind down with a bottle of wine.

You’ll get a flavor for why we think SMA’s status as a culinary center in Mexico is so fitting for a town that, first and foremost, loves to eat. What you find on your own is the other half of the magic!
Buen Provecho!
If you like to walk, most of the places on this self-guided tour can be easily reached by foot. You can also hop a bus, hail a taxi or take SMA’s soon-to-be joy ride, a Tuk Tuk.

Correo #29
Daily: 8:00 AM – 10:00 PM except Sunday closes at 9:00 PM
We can’t think of a better way to start your day than at Cumpanio, one of the best bakeries in SMA. It’s modern and state-of-the-art despite the fact that a Franco-Italian family brought it to Mexico over 100 years ago. The menu changes; coming out with new pastries, breads and delicious cakes every week. Don’t forget to pack a Cruffin de Lemon; the best pastry in SMA. Load up on croissants and brioche; they’re the best this side of Paris. $$ - $$$

Café La Ventana
Sollano #11
Daily: 9:00 AM = 9:00 PM except Sunday closes at 3:00 PM
At this tiny coffee window that defines San Miguel slow, grab a cup of morning wake up, compliments of Chiapas, where some of Mexico's best coffee is grown. $
Now, walk one block to the Jardin and find a bench so you can watch the morning flight of birds around the La Parroquia. This beloved icon is often used as a reference point when plotting a course through the city. It changes color throughout the day as the sun moves so come back often to witness the transformation. Morning is one of the best time of day to take photographs so snap away.
Tradition plays a critical role in the SMA food scene so when you’re ready, wander down Calle Relox, just to the right of Helados Dolphy in the Jardin, to La Colmera, the oldest bakery in town. 
La Colmena/The Blue Door Bakery
Relox 21
Week days: 7:00 AM – 7:00 PM Closed Saturday and Sunday
It’s an fascinating comparison of the French-driven Cumpanio with this old style, Mexican bakery. Founded by the Rayas family, La Colmena has been serving up assorted empanadas, turnovers, bolillos and sweet breads since 1901; they haven’t changed the recipes over the years. You’ll recognize La Colmena by its brightly painted blue doors and the swarming bees in season. It’s got a huge, local following; mainly Mexican. $
9:30 Am: get ready to eat at one of SMA's iconic breakfast restaurants. We usually take small bites but when the food is this good, you’ll probably want to clean your plate.

El Pato Barbacoa y Mixiotes
Calzada de la Estacion 175
Opens: 8:00 AM - 2:30 PM or when the food runs out.
Closed Tuesday.
Don’t be fooled by this tiny palapa located in a dirt parking lot on the left hand side of the street; it’s one of the #1 places to eat in SMA. The next best thing to your mother's pot roast, Mixiotes is a traditional, pit-barbecued meat dish made of lamb that’s cut with the bone and seasoned with pasilla, guajillo and spices. Also try the Espaldilla Taco, cut from the lamb shoulder. It’s got more fat and my vote for the tastiest dish on the menu.
Now, take a walk to town instead of taking a cab or a bus because this is where you’ll see a real slice of life in SMA. There are dozens of small, family owned businesses that line Canal on your way back up the hill. We’ll stop at many of them just to chat with the owners. There’s no better way to find out what’s going on in a city, especially where to eat, than talking with the locals.$

Bautista Brothers Carnitas
Guadiana #2
From: 8:00 AM until they run out
Bautista Brothers is a SMA institution and the heart of the operation is this converted garage where the carnitas are made every day. The pork is insanely delicious; ask for the rib (Costilla) when you place your order. In a torta, piled on a plate or in a handmade tortilla, Carnitas are made by simmering pork in lard until its tender. At the top of our list of favorite street eats in SMA, you’ll find Bautista Brother’s pop-up stalls all over the city, including several at the Tuesday market. Also try a Gordita Migaja, made from the crumbs that are left in the bottom of the pan when you make carnitas. It’s rich but so delicious$
El Pegaso
Centro, Corregidora 6, Zona Centro
Thursday – Tuesday: 8:30 AM – 10:00 PM
Closed Wednesday 
El Pegaso is full of Mexican folk art and began as a folk arts and crafts center in 1982. One of the few restaurants you can get a half order of Eggs Benedict and they actually toast the English muffins, this Hollandaise sauce is light, lemony and not overpowering. They also have a small rooftop bar where you can get a Margarita later in the day. Just one block from the Parroquia, the star of the menu is a seasonal Chiles en Nogada.$$
Nicasio Comedor Mexicano
Hidalgo #28
Monday - Saturday 9:30 AM–12:15 PM 1:00 PM – 6:45 PM
Sunday 9:30 AM – 1:30 PM
Tuesday Closed
The chefs have launched a menu of classic Mexican dishes. Our favorite: the Sincronizada -a tortilla based sandwich with refried beans and Chicharron prensado covered with cheese, jalapenos, avocado and an egg and Molletes: bolillio, frijoles refritos, chorizo verde, bacon, pico de gallo, avocado and an egg to top it off; our favorite breakfast dish in SMA. $$
El Rincon de Don Tomas
Portal de Guadalupe 2
Daily 8:30 AM - 10:00 PM
You can order a variety of breakfast items but if it’s cold outside, we like the Huevos Otomi; a hearty bowl of scrambled eggs in a bean stew. If you’re feeling adventurous, travelers have also been known to drink their breakfast, starting out the day with a neat shot of tequila at room temperature straight out of the bottle. This restaurant is in the corner of the Jardin so you’ll want to linger; it’s one of the best places to people watch in Centro. $$
12:00 Noon – 2:00 PM: Visit a Mercado or book a cooking class...
You can get an immediate sense of what the food is like in a city by heading straight to any of the markets. Here are some of SMA’s best options:
Mercado Ignacio Ramirez
Calle Colegio, Centro
Daily: 8:30 AM – 8:30 PM except Sunday closes at 6:00 PM
There is no clearer picture of Mexican daily life than here at Mercado Ignacio Ramirez. At SMA’s main market, you’ll find everything from vegetables and fruits, meats, flowers, shoes, cowboy hats and boots, piñatas, toys along with assorted other merchandise. Wander out back and take the stairs down to the Artisans' market. You’ll see a collection of Mexican artistry including local papel picado, embroidered clothing, pottery, ceramics and silver jewelry. There is an entire section dedicated to cheap eats; some of them better than others. $
Mercado San Juan de Dios
San Rafael 7, Centro
Daily: 8:00 AM – 6:00 PM
San Juan de Dios is one of the most authentic experiences you’ll have in SMA; it’s where the locals go to shop and eat. Inside the market, you'll find more altars and shrines than you can count; some of them temporary. Among the stalls selling fruits and vegetables, pollo and market wares, San Juan de Dios market has many foods that locals love to eat like huaraches - deep fried ovals of masa topped with sausage, cheese, chicken, and nopales. Try El Huarache Veloz, located in the building off to the right of the market, housing many of the low cost fondas. $
Mercado Sano
Ancha San Antonio 123
Daily: 9:00 AM – 7:00 PM except Sunday closes at 5:00 PM
A more modern market, stop in to talk with many of the vendors who provide SMA with some of the best, organic ingredients in town. If you go on Saturday for the weekly organic market, go early for gigantic, orange doughnuts and cheese empanadas at La Buena Vida Bakery just inside the lower level downstairs. Inside, on the top level, stop and chat with Chef Alicia Wilson Rivero at Pura Vida Kitchen, a healthy cooking school that also makes some of the most nourishing dishes in town. Buy wild flowers, hand picked mushrooms, organic cheese, fruits and vegetables, goat butter and many, delicious pastries. Also try one of the best Caramel Chocolate Tarts by Isabelle Ortega at Madame la Lune's on the inside lower level.
If you stroll down Sterling Dickinson, the street that runs parallel next to the market, you’ll find one of the best Italian bakeries in town, Buonforno, at Sterling Dickinson #33. Their almond croissants and Italian cookies are legendary.

Tianguis de los Martes/Tuesday Market
1 1/2 miles outside of Centro, up the hill near the old Gigante
Opens 9:00 AM
For anyone who loves food as much as I do, Tuesday can't come soon enough. You start out with something you don't find everywhere - market fresh. Many of colorful fruits and vegetables were just-picked yesterday or that morning and put on the truck as opposed to going through a long and complicated distribution chain. Ninety five percent of the people at this market are Mexican; another reason to go and catch a glimpse of real life in SMA. 
The Tuesday Market is located about a mile and a half outside of Centro, “up the hill” near the old Gigante. It's a 70 peso taxi ride that takes about 10 minutes but if you're looking for some serious exercise, just hike the huge hill east of downtown. I take Correo Street to Santa Domingo, turn right and follow the road; the market is on the left hand side of the street. You'll go past the Mirador, where you’ll get a panoramic view of downtown SMA. If you see a # 8 or # 9 bus hop on; the bus will be marked El Tianguis or La Placita. Get off the bus just beyond the glorietta (round-about) and walk across the pedestrian bridge. You'll want to experience the trip at least once by riding the bus; it's how most of the people headed to this market travel.
The market opens at 9 AM and many of the food stalls open by 9:30 AM. I always eat breakfast right away when they open. That way, you can be assured that the food was just made and is always fresh.

 There are 3 sections to the market; all of them have permanent cover from the elements. Food is inexpensive so bring lots of 50 peso bills; you'll need small notes for shopping anyway.
Three of the best places to eat at this market are all located in the middle section:

Tacos Don Santos
Don Santos has earned its accolade by serving some of the most genuine, Mexican street food in SMA. The Tacos are thin strips of beef or pork that are cooked with cow intestines and chorizo. Once chopped, they’re placed in a tortilla and heaped with a mound of onions and cilantro. The delicious, peppery salsas add another layer of flavor to the dish.
Bautista Brothers Carnitas
More often than not someone is bringing out a fresh tray of Carnitas or I have a perfect sense of timing. This pork dish is simmered in lard and cooked low and slow until fork-tender. Everything is eaten, so pick your favorite part, from the tip of the nose to the curl of the tail. If only Carnitas came with a warning label.
Rodriquez Family Barbacoa
The Rodriguez Family Barbacoa is usually one of my first stops; a special treat as the entire family works this popular market stand. I get a half cup of the caldo without vegetables and extra Barbacoa, then load up with chopped cilantro, onions and a huge squeeze of lime. Without a doubt, it’s the best cold weather dish in the market.   

Take a cooking class...

We experienced a renewed interest in food preparation (after cooking a different recipe every Sunday for thirty years and then taking a hiatus for the past six years by eating out every day in SMA) at some of the best cooking schools in SMA. Take your pick because every one of the instructors listed in our article on cooking classes is exceptional. You can customize the hours and content of a class by working with the instructors.

Chef David Jahnke left the University and now has a full range of courses out of his home. Chef Ruben Yanez Hernandez also teaches at Sazon, Casa Sierra Nevada’s cooking school. Chef Michael Coon is now based in Mexico City so if you’re headed that way, contact him to book a class or food tour.
2:30 PM: the perfect time for a quick, afternoon snack or a picturesque view of downtown SMA:

Birrieria Jonacho
Hernandez Macias 47 
Thursday – Sunday Opens: 11:00 AM
Chef Antonio de Livier (Tono) owns La Panga del Impostor in Guadalajara, has three Caldos Animo in Mexico City and is opening another in Polanco. He just opened Birrieria Jonacho in SMA. No waiters or white tablecloths here; just great Mexican food – mainly soups and tacos. The famous Birriamen soup is a combination of delicious broth, oriental noodles, beef, lamb and spices. You might want to take a long walk after this one because the portions here are huge.$$

La Alborada
Sollano and Davalos #11
1:00 PM – 10:00 PM. Closed Sunday
Because a red pozole that’s peppery, spicy, loaded with chicken, pork or beef needs no holiday to be appreciated. A classic Mexican dish, you’re next task will be to figure out which of the different toppings and spices you’ll finish it off with; the selection is staggering at this little hole-in-the-wall. Photos adorn the walls of actors and musicians; you’ll see the likes of José Alfredo Jiménez, Cantinflas and others. It’s right around the corner from La Parroquia. $

Birdies Burgers
Doce 18 Concept House at Relox 18
Daily: 11:00 AM – 10:00 PM 
Our favorite burgers in town take second today to this chicken sandwich. It takes some serious strategizing on how to get your mouth around it. Don’t forget your bib. Food Confession? On a good day, we can do a double. $$

San Augustín Chocolates and Churros
San Francisco 21
Monday – Friday 8:00 AM – 11:00 PM – Friday closes at 12:00 AM
Saturday 9:00 AM – 12:00 AM Sunday 9:00 AM – 11:00 PM
This restaurant is owned by Tela-novela star Margarita Gralia and is loaded with memorabilia from her career. Because of her fame, it brings in lots of Mexican tourists and on the weekends, there are long lines down the block. Grab the window seat that opens to the street with a view of the San Francisco church and the plaza.

Freshly-made churros and Mexican Hot Chocolate are the order of the day. $$
The Restaurant
Calle Sollano 16, Centro, 37700
Phone: 415 154 7877
Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday 12:00 Noon – 10:00 PM
Thursday – Saturday 12:00 Noon – 11:00 PM
Monday: Closed
If you’re looking for something light at this point, go for a salad at The Restaurant, an institution in SMA for over 10 years. Chef Donnie Masterton cooks with fresh ingredients purchased from farmers and ranchers in SMA, many who are located within a 5-mile radius of his restaurant. This superb shaved Brussels sprout and kale salad with pecorino cheese, almonds and lemon vinaigrette is a work of art. Don’t blame us if you want to eat it every day you’re here, we do, too! Thursday Hamburger night is legendary, featuring a burger menu using Canada de la Virgen beef.
Luna Tapas Bar at the Rosewood Hotel
Calle Nemesio Diez #11 
Monday – Thursday: 2:00 PM – 11:00 PM
Friday – Sunday: 1:00 PM – 11:00 PM
Months into their new menu, the Rosewood has made their choices more affordable. Take in the magical, 360 degree view of SMA from the Luna Rooftop Tapas Bar; one of the best views in the city. $$$
5 PM: make your own happy hour starting at one of these principal watering holes.
La Azotea
Umarán # 6
Daily 1:00 PM – 12:00 AM
Because 2X1 with a view and some of the best service in town is more than enough to make us happy. A texturally adventurous bite, their Jicama Taco is famous. The shell is a thin slice of Jicama that’s topped with lightly breaded shrimp, chipotle mayo and a tamarind sauce. The fried leek finish puts this taco in a class by itself. This signature taco is one of the best deals in SMA at $65 pesos. We take ours with a sunset view; one of the best pairings in town. $-$$
La Mezcalaria
Correo #47
Daily: 5:00 PM – 11:00 PM
Try one of their intoxicating Mezcal Margaritas; we love the Pepino and Cilantro or drink it straight up. Although La Mezcalaria’s food is not for the timid eater, roasted crickets with lime and chilies are a must. $$  

Mama Mia’s
Umaran #8
Monday – Thursday 8:00 AM – 12:00 AM
Friday, Saturday, Sunday 8:00 AM – 3:00 AM
Adal Garcia Moreno, the head bartender at Mama Mia's, once told us that Mama Mia’s makes the best Margarita in town and I only needed a sip of this gigantic drink to be convinced. One of these drinks is an experience; two of them, a party. They’re really 2 for 1, just all in the same glass. $-$$

San Mezcal 
Recreo 88
Sunday - Monday: 5:00 PM – 10:00 PM
Wednesday – Saturday: 5:00 PM – 11:00 PM
Tuesday: Closed
This bar is a stop on the local Mezcal tour starting at 5:00 PM when they open. There are over 100 brands of Mezcals to pick from and tasty eats from their small but selective menu. We can’t resist their loaded, Al Pastor fries; one of our favorite bar snacks in town. $-$$
Centro Bar SMA
Portal Allende #2
Daily: 9:00 AM – 1:00 AM
We’ve been known to sit for hours and people watch; it’s one of the best spots in the city. Many of SMA’s Mariachi groups play at this bar in the evening. Get your list of tunes and be prepared to settle in; sometimes until closing.
Los Milagros Plaza Principal
Plaza Principal #4
Daily: 8:00 AM – 11:00 PM

This is one of the most attractive spots in the Jardin to nurse a national beer. Snag one of the coveted, window seats. If you decide to stay all night, order a Molcajete; some say they’re the best in SMA. $-$$
If you’re coming out of a bar in Centro, you can grab a quick elotes (grilled Mexican street corn) from Don Pedro’s cart in the Jardin on your way to another adventure.
We’re ready to eat again but this time, you’ll split our favorite dish, Chamorro (Pork Shank) at one of these two restaurants. You’ll love the preparation; each restaurant having their own take on this classic, Mexican dish. Besides, you’ll get a sense on what some of SMA’s best restaurants offer, besides great style and food.

La Dona
San Francisco #32, San Miguel de Allende
Monday - Wednesday 12:00 Noon - 10:00 PM
Thursday - Sunday 12:00 Noon - 11:30 PM
Sunday 11:00 AM - 9:00 PM $$-$$$
La Unica
Diez de Sollano y Dávalos 14, C
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday 1:00 PM–11:00 PM
Thursday, Friday 1:00PM–2:00 AM
Saturday 8AM–2AM
Sunday 8AM–11PM $$-$$$
Late night rendezvous…
El Manantial
Barranca #78
Sunday, Monday  2:00 PM–10PM
Tuesday - Saturday 1:00 PM–12:00 AM
This bar, one of the oldest and most popular spots in San Miguel, was founded in 1920 as a men’s cantina. You can also get Chamorro here, along with delicious seafood ceviche and tacos. It’s nearly always packed; a testament to the good food and drinks. Try a Ginger Margarita; another SMA classic. $-$$
La Coronela Cantina Bar
San Francisco #2
Daily: 2:00 PM – 4:00 AM
Surfacing from the Golden Years of Mexican cinema, this is a regular stop for many of the Mariachi groups that play in the Jardin. Larger than it looks from the outside, we recently caught up with friends who were tipping a well deserved shot of Mezcal in the early afternoon. Also, it’s a great way to escape the zany vibe of the Jardin in the wee hours of morning if you decide it’s still too early to go home... and it is you know.$$
Cantina El Gato Negro
Mesones #12
Open: 11:00 AM
Enjoy a taste of the quintessential drink, Tequila, at one of the oldest (1922) cantinas in SMA. Graffiti murals include Marilyn Monroe, The Beatles and The Doors. It’s dark and narrow inside but climb the stairs to the small, rooftop terrace and you’ll see the light of day. Chat with the bartender for a quick lesson on the history.

El Gato Negro vies with La Cucaracha for the title of the most famous cantina in SMA. You be the judge; try them both.$-$$
La Cucaracha
Zacateros 20, Centro
Opens: 10:30ish PM Closes: 3:00 – 4:00 AM
Innocent looking, right? La Cucaracha opened in 1947; once called one of the 10 best bars in the world by Esquire magazine. Located on Zacateros, it’s a mix of locals with foreigners and national tourists on the weekends. You wouldn’t find any artisanal beers here and it’s by no means SMA glamorous, but you can’t leave town with at least one experience here; that’s if you’re lucky enough to get in. With its tough drinking reputation, it’s had its share of all stars, writers and artists over the years, but for the most part, it’s a rite of passage that will probably leave you sleeping it off the next day. I’d say don’t plan La Cucaracha if you have a 3:00 AM shuttle to the airport but you’re timing for closing the bar down may be pretty close to perfect. $-$$

Andy’s Tacos
Insurgentes and Hidalgo
Opens: 7:30ish PM
The smell of Andy’s Tacos is a magnet for aficionados who jockey for one of the few seats to get an overflowing plate of Tacos Al Pastor. The pork is marinated in dried chilies and spices then slow-cooked on a vertical rotisserie. Cover the taco with a spicy, red chipotle salsa and slices of cooked pineapple and you’ll likely be totally unaware of when to ever stop eating. Andy’s Tacos reached cult status when it was featured in the Wall Street Journal; they also published a recipe. It’s one of the best al Pastor recipes I’ve tried; complex but totally worth the effort.
It’s always an after-hours feast at Andy’s so eat up; you’re likely to meet more people here than you did all day. $
A never-ending feast, only this time it’s ethnic…
After tasting some of the best Mexican food in SMA, chances are you’ll probably want to try some of these off-tour options tomorrow to get “the other taste of SMA” – the ethnic one.
SMA has become an international hub for eating; many different countries are now represented in its culinary profile. We happen to love them all:
Cafe Casa Blanca 7
Juarez #8
Breakfast: 8:00 AM – 11:00 AM
Comida: 11:00 AM – 10:00 PM
Brunch: from 11:00 AM
Closed: Monday
Mediterranean: Mana’esh: Zaartar flatbread with labneh cheese, tomato and mint and a fried egg; our favorite breakfast pizza. Kebab night is every Wednesday at 5:00 PM; two kebabs with sides of cous cous, yogurt, pita bread and belly dancing.  Also try the Lamb meatballs with a jam of eggplant and tomato with tzatziki and the Ribeye stuffed meloui with onion, mint, parsley, cilantro and sumac. We also enjoy their seasonal dinners - this one prime rib (which you can’t find in SMA) and mashed potatoes at Thanksgiving last year. $$-$$$

Petit Four French Bakery
Mesones 99-1
9:00 AM – 8:00 PM except Sunday closes 5:00 PM. Closed Monday
French: Butter is a primary ingredient at any bakery and owner, Chef Paco Cárdenas, told me that they've used New Zealand butter since they opened. Dig in – everything at this French bakery is nothing less than remarkable. Breakfast? One of everything, please!

Chef Paco Cárdenas also teaches cooking that includes a market tour. It was one of the first culinary classes we took in SMA and is still one of the best. $$-$$$

La Parada 
Recreo 94
Wednesday – Saturday: 12:00 Noon - 10:00 PM
Sunday and Monday 12:00 Noon - 9:00 PM
Tuesday: Closed
Peruvian: Ceviche and Pisco Sours. Also try the flavorful and famous Higaditos Asaltados: Sauteed Chicken Livers with Soy Sauce, Chile, Salad and Papas La Parada. In fact, I could eat Papas La Parada by the pound. The secret is to fry them, smash them and fry them again.

As remarkable potatoes dishes are hard to find in Mexico, I’d go there just to feast on the potatoes.$$

The Bar at the R
Sollano 16
Opens: 6:00 PM – Closes: when the DJ packs up to go home.
Closed: Monday
Asian: delicious STIX, Tempura Green Beans and Sushi. This is our favorite place in SMA to share appetizers and enjoy a fabulous, Pineapple Margarita.

The DJ’s are exceptional so bring on the music. Chances are it's going to be another late night.$-$$

Cuna de Allende #3
Daily 1:00 PM – 11:00 PM
Spanish – Asian Fusion: The best Bao Bun, Rib Rice and crunchy red snapper marinated with spicy oriental red chilies, chipotle and citric sauce.

Always a favorite, it’s at the top of our list of places to eat in SMA. $$-$$$

Buenos Aires Bistro
Mesones #62
Sunday – Saturday: 1:00 PM – 10:00 PM
Argentinian: Empanadas or grilled, baby Romaine Lettuce with the smoky flavor of the grill.

If you’re lucky enough to hit one of SMA’s food or wine festivals, chances are Buenos Aires de Campo is doing the cooking. Eat up; you wouldn't get BBQ meat this good at any other place in SMA. $$-$$$ 

Bar Margaret at Hotel Amparo
Mesones #3
Hours: Tuesday to Saturday: 5:00 PM to 9:30 PM
Breakfast and coffee: Daily starting at 7:30 AM
Sunday Comida starting at 1:00 PM
Southern: On Sunday, a truly, authentic, southern fried chicken dinner served with mashed potatoes, greens, mac and cheese and homemade pie. You’ll find one of the best mixologist in the bar up front.
Bar Margaret has a Bloody Mary called the Green Snapper, made with tomatillos and gin instead of the customary tomato juice and vodka. It's one of our favorite drinks. $$-$$$
MiVda and MiVida Deli
Calle del Dr Ignacio Hernandez Macias #97
Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday 1 PM - 11 PM, Sunday 3:00 PM – 11:00 PM
Closed Tuesday
Italian: try the ice cream sandwich with homemade vanilla gelato or the ice cream bar with house made passion fruit gelato, 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 order the homemade gelato off the dessert menu in the restaurant.

Tempting Italian entrées include one of the best pizzas in SMA served on Sunday starting at 3:00 PM. $$-$$$

Bovine Brasserie
Tuesday: 7:00 PM - 11:00 PM
Wednesday - Sunday: 1:00 PM - 11:00 PM
Closed Monday
International: This bar is straight out of NY, Paris or London and serves the best French onion soup along with a perfect steak: a Bavette: flank steak with a French Béarnaise sauce and Bovine's famous French fried potatoes. Béarnaise and steak is the ultimate match.

Their award winning mixologist makes some of the most creative drinks in town. $$-$$$$

Trazo 1810
Hidalgo 8, Centro, 37700 in Casa 1810
Phone: 415 121 3501
Hours: 8 AM – 10 PM Daily
International: Seafood caught on the coast of Mexico in the morning, is flown into the Queretaro airport, picked up by chef later that afternoon then cooked and served that night. Seafood in inland Mexico can’t get any fresher than this…and just wait until they have their own fisherman. One of the most progressive restaurants in SMA, their menu is always changing. Don’t miss their special dinners; some of the best value in both quality and price. $$-$$$
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
Chef Marcela Bolano’s Mediterranean food is exceptional but for us, it’s all about the Vietnamese dishes she added to her menu last year when she returned from a trip to Vietnam: Beef Pho and Cold Vietnamese Salad. She also serves classic, comfort foods, starting with the best Carbonara in town. Brunch is served on Sunday; don’t pass up the stone crab. $$-$$$

Julián Carrillo 4B, Colonia Guadalupe
Monday - Friday 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM and Sunday: 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM
German: Get the homemade, sauerkraut sandwich or a plate of Eggs Benedict made with Pesto and a toasted Hoja Santa leaf.

Some of the best breakfast dishes are served in this tiny restaurant that will seat a small group of friends or your immediate family. $

It’s all over but the celebrating…
A feast for the eyes, devouring the beauty of San Miguel is on the top of our list. If you want to close out the night by sharing a bottle of wine or a cocktail at one of the many rooftops with an outstanding view of SMA, try these landmarks:
Juarez #8 
Opens 7:00 PM
A breathtaking view that never grows old is of SMA’s most spectacular churches; all ten of them. From here you’ll seeTemplo de Nuestra Senora de la Salud; Templo del Oratorio de San Felipe Neri; San Columbano; Nuestra Señora de Loreto; Iglesia de San Francisco; Tercera Orden; Parroquia de San Miguel Arcangel; Church of the Immaculate Conception of Las Monjas; La Santa Escuela de Cristo (San Raphael) and La Ermita.

Cuna de Allende #3
Daily 1:00 PM – 11:00 PM
In your face views of the Parroquia amid some of the most elegant surroundings in town. So comfortable, we call Atrio our home away from home. Try a Wente Chardonnay; some of the best white wine in SMA. 
Trazo 1810
Hidalgo 8, Centro, 37700 in Casa 1810
Hours: 8:00 AM – 10:00 PM Daily
Multiple levels of terraces with magnificent views of Centro, especially from the upper terrace where you can also catch a sundown glass of bubbly.
La Unica
Sollano #14
Sunday - Wednesday: 1:00 PM – 11:00 PM
Thursday - Saturday: 1:00 PM – 2:00 AM
The best view in the house: the other side of the Parroquia from their rooftop bar where you’re surrounded by a beautiful, blooming garden.
Quebrada #93
Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Thursday  8:00 AM – 5:00 PM and 6:00 PM – 11:00 PM
Wednesday, Friday, Saturday 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM and 6:00 PM – 12:00 PM
With superb views of Centro, you get an instant pick-me-up in this fashionable restaurant, decked out with sunny, yellow accents.
 All photographs ©Susan Knight York unless noted