With a growing trend of locally grown organic produce and locally produced wines, cheeses and olive oil, the food scene and culture in San Miguel has never been stronger. My recent recommendations include:
Restaurants in Town
Casa Nostra: Opened in February, 2018, this is a wonderful addition to the dining scene for Mediterranean cuisine. It is located at Terraplen #8, south of the Jardin and north of Parque Juarez. It has a small indoor dining room, but has two outdoor terraces upstairs. The top terrace is perfect for views of the sunsets over the distant mountains, the flowering jacaranda trees in the spring and of the churches of San Miguel. I was very impressed with the passion of chef/owner Marco Massarotti and the wonderful menu he has created. It features a large number of tapas, salads, risottos and pastas plus entrees of fish, chicken and veal. In the colder months, you might enjoy cheese fondue, raclette and chocolate fondue for dessert. There is also an extensive menu of cocktails and wines. I loved the pistachio crusted tuna, and the lobster ravioli special. I can’t wait to go back for another great experience.
Trazo 1810: Located at Hidalgo #8 in the Casa 1810 Boutique Hotel, I enjoyed an excellent meal in their rooftop bar and restaurant. The views are stunning and the food outstanding. I loved the beet salad and octopus/pulpo entree. The chocolate dessert was excellent as well. My friend loved the fresh green salad and a lovely couscous served with grilled shrimp. I highly recommend this great new spot close to the Jardin.
Nomada Cocina de Intrepretacion: Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, this is the restaurant that recently moved to a new location at Hernandez Macias #88. Opened by talented chef, Marco Cruz and his wife Sofia, this is a great addition to the SMA food scene. They also feature a tasting menu on Wednesday evenings. I loved my beet salad and a white fish with salsa verde. The mushroom risotto was also excellent. I went to their attractive new location and had a great meal with local friends. Had another fish entree. The presentation is always lovely.
Vinos + Tapas: At Insurgentes #63 this is one of my favorite new spots in town. I heard about their excellent mussels so had to go with local friends. The decor is sleek and contemporary, the staff excellent the the food really outstanding. I enjoyed mussels along with octopus pintxos and a tapas of figs and goat cheese wrapped in prosciutto. I was back and loved the mussels again. Their new outdoor terrace on the second floor is a lovely addition. I highly recommend it.
Another great spot is Marsala, Cocina con Acentos at Hernandez Macias #48. They redid the former restaurant space into a comfortable, contemporary space with very good food. I enjoyed my quinoa salad and a great lamb ragout. Make sure to add it to your list of places to try. I went back again for dinner and had an even better meal and experience. I recently read that it served a great Sunday brunch. I recently went and thought it was excellent. For one price you get an entree, unlimited mimosas or Bloody Marys and visits to the buffet for scones, fruit, yogurt, granola and more. I can’t wait to go back.
Bovine: This is a sleek, new spot with a really stunning, contemporary décor was opened by chef Paul Bentley from Magno Brasserie in Guadalajara. I enjoyed a meal with local friends and we all loved the food. The fish entree was really excellent and the side of brussel sprouts and grilled cauliflower were outstanding and some of the best I have eaten. Reservations can be made through their website. You can also reserve the private dining room called Mesa Dragones, featuring Casa Dragones tequila. Here you can try a special tasting menu created just for them with tequila pairings. Canal 16.
La Azotea and Pueblo Viejo’s new fine-dining restaurant ATRIO means atrium. When you make the climb to the rooftop restaurant you get one of the most spectacular views of the Parroquia in the entire city. It is located in the old La Fragua space at Cuna de Allende #3 I went on the first night and loved the food. The salmon on a bed of curry, the burrata salad, a quinoa/shrimp salad. Fig and marscapone dessert was amazing. It had lovely wines and large cocktail menu.
Cafe Casa Blanca: Located on the ground floor of the newly opened Hotel Casa Blanca, this is an attractive cafe that features a great menu of Mediterranean meze or tapas. I loved sharing three vegetarian dishes for lunch with my friend. It is located in a 300-year old landmark building and is part of the growing group of local restaurants by chef Donnie Masterton. I am excited to try the upstairs restaurant, Fatima, after in opens. Juarez 7.
Restaurante del Parque: Santa Elena #2. Belmond’s Casa de Sierra Nevada en el Parque has reopened its restaurant after being closed for a few years. It was always one of my favorite places for brunch or dinner. This elegant spot as wonderful views of the gardens of the hotel. I enjoyed dinner with local friends who were equally glad that it had reopened. It is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. It is a great spot on a holiday or when the downtown restaurants are full.
Panio: New location is really lovely on Salida de Celaya #69. This is their third location in town. They have a lovely bakery as well as a cafe for coffee sandwiches and more. I really loved the sandwich with prosciutto, goat cheese and sundried tomatoes for lunch on the first week that they opened.
Across from the new Panio is another great new find. Rustica, at Salida a Celaya #34, was opened by a delightful a young couple. I enjoyed visiting with Eduardo who was originally from Spain. They have turned a former, casual Mexican spot into a delightful restaurant and cafe with a perfect outdoor patio in the back. I went for lunch where they have a menu of omelettes, tacos, sandwiches, coffee and pastries. I thought the roasted beet salad and a pizza with arugula, figs, goat cheese and prosciutto was a perfect choice!!
Hacienda de Guadalupe Boutique Hotel: Newly remodeled it the restaurant of this boutique hotel just north of the Jardin at Hidalgo #4. It has a stylish, contemporary design with tile floors, and wood accents. I went for brunch and really enjoyed the food and service.
Recently opened is the new luxury hote, Live Aqua San Miguel Urban Resort at Calz. De La Presa No. 85. They have a stunning new restaurant and bar, along with a coffee bar serving pastries. On my last trip, I went to Sunday brunch. They have a full brunch buffet, an ala carte menu with a buffet option as well. We just ordered from the menu and had a great meal with outstanding service. I highly recommend it. The entire property is contemporary and beautifully designed.
Other favorites include:
Cent’anni Trattoria: At Canal 34, this is second location for this Italian trattoria based in Condesa in Mexico City. The San Miguel restaurant opened in early 2014. It has inside seating downstairs but the highlight is the rooftop bar and outside terrace seating with wonderful views of the Las Monjas across the street. They have a large menu of pizzas, salads, pastas and meat and fish entrees. Our group had a great house salad with nuts, goat cheese and apples, and steak, fish and grilled pulpo or octopus. Try to go before the word gets out, as it will be very crowded on weekends.
La Parada: Check out this Peruvian restaurant located at Recreo #94. Located in an old home, the decor is contemporary and food very good. There is a small indoor space but a large, attractive patio with the bulk of seating. They have some very good ceviches/cebiches. They have a very good chicken entree with rice and good pisco sour cocktail. The young owners are delightful!
They just opened a Mezcal bar in April, 2018, two doors north, called San Mezcal. They feature an extensive menu of mezcals from many Mexican states along with wine, cocktails and a tapas/small plate menu. It is a fun, small, contemporary space that is well-worth the visit.
Moxi: Don’t miss this great restaurant at the boutique Hotel Matilda at Aldama 53. The small private dining room with fireplace and round table is perfect for a group. The service and food are always excellent. Their terrace is a lovely spot for dinner on warmer nights! For something more casual, there is a fun bar on the second floor featuring handmade pizzas. Their new chef Pancho Ibañez has just introduced a new menu featuring authentic Mexican flavors, organic ingredients and simple but sophisticated preparations, said Bruce James, Director of Hotel Matilda. “He is making big waves in San Miguel with his hearty and innovative take on contemporary Mexican cuisine.”
Restaurante Lolita: Opened in November 2012, this good restaurant can be found a short distance from Centro on Salida a Celaya 52. There is valet parking if you need it. They have a large selection of Mexican wines and Mexican specialties from salads, soups, fish, pork, beef and chicken. The decor is attractive (very Mexican) and the service great. They also had live music the night we were there.
Bistro Mi Casa: One of the prettiest dining rooms in town, this is a great spot for dinner. The outdoor terrace has amazing views of Centro and the Parroquia. Don’t miss an evening with Gil Gutierrez, if he is playing, as his music is amazing. Good food and great entertainment make for a perfect evening. It is located inside the Instituto Allende at Ancha de San Antonio 20. For reservations visit the website for the email address. It is open for dinner Monday to Thursday and some Friday nights.
Cafe Firenze: I always enjoy Cafe Firenze. They moved from a contemporary space overlooking the church of San Antonio at San Antonio #2 to a new spot, Recreo #13 in Centro. In the past I have enjoyed good wines, service and food. The new location is smaller with both indoor and outdoor seating. With seven to eight tables make sure to book ahead. The salads, pastas, and entrees were really excellent. I just had a wonderful grouper entree on my recent trip.
Nextia/Sky Lounge: Located in the boutique Hotel Nena, this is a sophisticated, sleek restaurant and bar. Nextia, downstairs, is a bar and courtyard restaurant. The upstairs Skylounge has great views of Centro and the Parroquia. A perfect spot to watch the sunset on a beautiful San Miguel night. The address is Calle Nueva (Nemesio Diez 10). The hotel has six rooms.
MX Restaurante Bar: Make sure to check out this San Miguel restaurant and bar. The decor is sleek and contemporary and the upstairs rooftop bar is one of the best in town. The lighting at night is spectacular and the views of the Parroquia are wonderful!! A perfect spot for an after dinner drink. They have a full menu upstairs as well in the dining room downstairs, including sushi. It is located at San Francisco #8, a block from the Jardin.
1826 Restaurant: This is the main restaurant at the Rosewood Hotel in San Miguel. It is a beautiful room with a great menu. There is a nice bar across the hall with comfortable seating. Also love, Luna, the rooftop tapas bar which has amazing views of Centro and the Parroquia. This is the place to watch the sunset over the city.
La Azotea: A sleek restaurant that is perfect for drinks, lunch or dinner overlooking the mountains and nearby churches. Sunsets here are excellent. It was smaller when it first opened, but has recently been expanded for more bar/lounge seating. It has a great tapas menu with good jicama tacos. I always enjoy the experience. Umaran 6.
Downstairs from La Azotea, Pueblo Viejo remains a local’s favorite with Mexican specialities. They have music on the weekends. I went back after several years with my family and friends and enjoyed the food and music.
La Casa del Diezmo, Jesus 36: The former El Buen Cafe, this is one of our favorite lunch/brunch spots overlooking the garden. They feature Yucatan cuisine. The decor has been updated and is warm and colorful. The new owners are a delightful! They have live music on Sundays.
Bugambilia: Known for its Mexican specialties since 1945, Bugambilia has moved from Sollano to Mesones 101 in the Hotel Casa Linda.
Pescau, at Jesus 21, specializes in seafood. It has a great contemporary atmosphere. They have excellent tuna ceviche and marlin tacos.
I also recommend Dos Casas at Quebrada 101. Their restaurant, Aperi, is one of the best in town. I have been several times with local friends. It has a lovely contemporary decor with both indoor and outdoor seating. They offer both a tasting and an ala carte menu. I thought the salad, sea bass entree and chocolate hazelnut dessert were very good and beautifully presented. On my second visit, I loved the beet salad and the tuna steak entree. It is one of the best fine dining experiences you will find in San Miguel. For special occasions, the chef’s table experience in the kitchen is highly recommended by local friends.
Dos Casas also owns Cumpanio, Correo 29. It is a gourmet bread store or panaderia gourmet, which also has a great restaurant that is perfect for lunch. It was designed by a top Mexico City designer who has made this a very attractive, sleek new addition to San Miguel. You can always hit the bakery and pick up something great for your breakfast or a snack to eat in the Jardin. They also have locations at Doce 18 and at Salida de Celaya #69 mentioned above.
Mivida at Hernandes Macias 97, in the old Azefran and Gallo space, has been transformed into a very attractive Italian restaurant, with a Mexican accent. They have attractive indoor seating as well as seating in the garden in the rear. Great pastas and wines. I was just back again with local friends and enjoyed a great salad and pasta dish.
El Meson Hotel: At Mesones 80, this boutique hotel has a very contemporary designed restaurant and bar in the front courtyard and a stylish wine and martini bar in the back overlooking the pool.
Tio Lucas, Messones 103: Known for its steaks, it has good food but much better late night jazz.
Café Rama, Calle Nueva 7, 154-9655: This local’s favorite, took over the former Natura local organic grocery and just expanded again, doubling their space and adding a wonderful indoor dining room with eclectic furnishings and great art. There is now a larger bar and considerably more seating. It has wonderful food and is perfect for lunch or dinner. The atmosphere is very attractive and casual. The pulled pork sandwich and the jicama slaw are the best!
The Restaurant at Sollano 16, is one of the tops in town… particularly for special occasions like New Year’s Eve. Always ask to be seated on the front patio around the fountain. They do have a Sunday brunch and offer special events like a pop-up restaurant by a visiting chef or a popular burger night during the week. The contemporary design and great style, excellent food by chef Donnie Masterson and an attentive staff make for one of the best experiences in town.
The Restaurant recently expanded, by taking over part of Sollano Sixteen Life + Home, and opened a new Asian bar and restaurant, The Bar at The R. Chef Donnie Masterson, explained at a recent event, that he has a passion for Asian food and that he wanted to open a small bar that featured sushi and small plates along with music played on 33 1/3 vinyl records. The food is very tasty.
Café Parroquia at Jesus 11, is the place for Sunday breakfast or weekday lunch. Love the omelettes!! Sitting on the terrace, listening to birds and the gorgeous fountain with roses petals floating in the water, is the perfect way to start the day. Also great is their La Brasserie restaurant in the front room which is open in the evenings. It is a cozy, casual spot with great food at very reasonable prices!
El Pegaso, corner of Correo and Corregidora, for great lunch fare. I always get the gazpacho. They recently opened a lovely rooftop dining room and bar which has great views.
Hecho en Mexico at Ancho San Antonio 8 near the Instituto, is known for the best guacamole in town and the wonderful fish tostada salad. It is not on the menu but ask for it. They often have musical entertainment at night.
I always enjoy the wonderful views and Mexican food of La Posadita at Cuna de Allende 13. They have great Mexican specialties. Make sure to eat on the rooftop terrace! I heard they just remodeled and it is lovely.
The Food Factory at L’ Aurora: After a day of gallery hopping and shopping this is a great spot for lunch or dinner.
Cafe Contento: Located at Hernandez Macias. #72, across from Bellas Artes, this is small bistro cafe with outdoor seating. They serve great coffee and have a large selection of salads, sandwiches, Mexican specialties and omelettes. They now have lectures certain days of the week and art classes upstairs. The new chef, Jose Boussouet Martinez, who was the former chef of the past Mexican President Vincente Fox, is now teaching evening cooking classes as well. Don’t miss the separately owned bakery, La Buena Vida, on the back right!! Their breads, cookies and pastries are excellent.
Paprika: A great restaurant in San Miguel, it has a great eclectic decor with both indoor and outdoor seating. I enjoyed a wonderful salad and great salmon dish. Ancha de San Antonio #7. I recently went back and enjoyed a great tuna dish. They do have music on weekends which is a great addition.
Recently opened is Mexcaleria for Mezcal, Tapas and Vinos Mexicanos y Cocteles at Correro #47. I tried it and loved the contemporary atmosphere and outdoor patio. The food is very good despite somewhat slow service. This is a great spot to try one of their mescals or tequilas. I thought the smokier mescal was excellent.
Casa Chiquita, two doors down, is a a casual spot with very good pizza. There are a few seats downstairs but the roof top patio has incredible views. Correo #45.
Formerly located in the Colonia San Antonio neighborhood, Zumo restaurant has recently moved to its new location at Canal and Quebrada. This is one of San Miguel’s best fine dining restaurants. The new space above a small boutique hotel, has wonderful views of Centro and the Parroquia. The staff is extremely attentive and the food excellent. It used to be open for dinner and offered a full tasting menu. Now in its new space, they are open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. In addition to its tasting menu at dinner, they now offer ala carte options as well. I went for brunch with a local friend and we both had a great experience. I also enjoyed visiting with Stewart Haverlack the owner, who has a real passion for great food and service.
Doce 18 Concept House: The former Casa Cohen on Calle Relox 18 now houses high-end boutiques featuring jewelry, designer clothing and gourmet cuisine. There are galleries, a tasting room for Casa Dragones tequila, a store and small tasting room for La Santisima Trinidad winery, a new Cumpanio bakery called Panio and food court with Donnie Masterson’s Taco Lab and Birdie’s Burgers. I always go back to Le Macaron Boutique for wonderful macaron. Aperi’s chef opened a fine dining restaurant outside the food court called Jacinto 1930. The tacos from Taco Lab were excellent! Upstairs, L’Otel, one of the top boutique hotels in town, has opened a number of boutique hotel rooms. It is a wonderful addition to San Miguel. You do feel like you are in Mexico City, New York or Chicago!!
Jacinto 1930: I enjoyed a lovely meal with friends at this new restaurant opened by the chef of Aperi. They feature a number of small plates and entrees which you can easily share to try more dishes. I enjoyed the mushroom tacos, scallop entree and papaya dessert with ice cream. I was back recently for dinner as well as for a stop on the Taco and Tequila tour offered by Taste of San Miguel It is located in Doce 18 Concept House.
Le Cochon Qui Sante: French Chef Yves Maurice Vincent, has created a private dinner and delivery service featuring outstanding French food. He has several menus to choose from as well as different price points. I loved a dinner at the home of local friends, which consisted of mussels, French onion soup, steak au poivre with asparagus and potatoes, a cheese platter and a decadent chocolate mousse topped off with creme fraiche.
Luna de Queso: I tried both locations for this small gourmet grocery and cafe. The original location moved to a larger building at #79 Salida de Celaya where it has some nice outdoor seaating I also really enjoyed their second location at Jesus #2 just down from the Jardin. Here you can buy cheese and other specialty food items or grab a lovely quiche and salad in their small courtyard cafe. I am so glad they opened in this new location.
Just south of the Jesus #2 location, is the newly opened Local 67 Cocina Bar at Jesus #8, which is a stylish cafe serving coffee drinks, breakfast and lunch. I enjoyed a tasty salad for lunch with a local friend.
Opened in April 2016, is the sleek, new Quince restaurant located at Cuna de Allende 15. Opened by American restaurateurs, it features upscale Mexican cuisine in a spectacular setting overlooking the Parroquia and the city of San Miguel. I was there on one of the first nights it opened and thought the food and service were excellent. It is also a great spot for an early cocktail to catch a sunset view. They have some wonderful specialty cocktails made by their talented bartenders.
I also loved trying Buenos Aires Bistro with local friends. At Mesones 62, they feature a large number of salads and steaks but do have fish and chicken entrees. The atmosphere is warm and inviting and the service excellent.
Mi Bistro 300: Located at Quebrada 18, this is a new restaurant opened by five partners from Mexico City who all met in a restaurant there. They have a creative menu of tacos, tostados, entrees and more.
Antonio Bistro: Located atop the El Palomar Hotel at San Francisco #57, this new fine dining restaurant is a great addition to the San Miguel food scene. Not only are the views of Centro exceptional, but the food is excellent. I loved the beet salad, grilled tuna entree and decadent chocolate mousse, ice cream and cake.
Carnevino Grill: The well-known wine and butcher shop recently opened a lovely restaurant behind the store at Calle de Ancha San Antonio #22. They offer a large number of meat and steak entrees as well as fish. They closed the wine and butcher shop and how have Caprichio, an attractive cocktail and wine bar.
La Mansion de Montitlan: Located in the Los Balcones neighborhood, this is a very good restaurant located in a private home. Open on Sundays from 1 to 3pm and holidays, I was there for Easter lunch with friends and had a delightful meal. The setting on the terrace is really lovely. Montitlan 18.
Garufa Restaurante Argentino: At Canal #28, this a restaurant featuring meats and steaks. A little on the pricey side, it has a nice decor and good food. I chose the tuna entree and beet carpaccio and enjoyed it and my friends enjoyed the steak.
Restaurants Outside of Town
With San Miguel gaining popularity as tourist destination, it often gets very crowded during festivals and holidays. There are more and more dining options within a short drive from town that are great places to escape the crowds. My recommendations include:
Nirvana is now in Atotonilco, next to Mayer Schacter’s Galleria Atotonilco, and is called Nirvana Restaurant & Retreat. There are lovely grounds, a pool and hotel rooms. The food, service and views are always great. They do a wonderful shrimp in Jamaica sauce and salmon with mango salsa. If they have the watermelon gazpacho, make sure to order it! I have been a big fan of the owner, Juan Carlos Escalante and his wife, for over 13 years when they had their first place downtown. I make a point to go at least once a year when I am in town.
La Burger: On the road to Dolores Hildago, just outside of town, is a well-known road-side spot featuring really awesome burgers. Fun outside seating with a red, green and white motif. The excellent burgers are grilled over mesquite wood. Had a perfect lunch with friends. Other friends recommend the steaks. Carretera San Miguel de Allende – Dolores Hidalgo km. 7.3.
Another new spot is El Vergel. Located at Camino a el Vergel, a short drive outside of town near Candelaria, this is a restaurant and market with Chef Donnie Masterson as one of the owners. On my first visit, I enjoyed a lovely lunch on the terrace with local friends. The chicken sandwich with asparagus pesto was excellent. On my second visit, I went at night to enjoy a great meal and listen to jazz. In addition to a great restaurant, there is The Market, run by Luna de Queso, which has some great food items to purchase. I was back again and loved the salmon and quinoa risotto.
La Santisima Trinidad recently opened Vinedos San Lucas across from Vinicola Toyan a short drive from San Miguel by taxi. This is a stunning property that features a boutique hotel, restaurant and spa. There are vineyards and a new winery that has recently opened last November. Tastings are available by reservation three times a day except for Tuesday. I had an excellent brunch in the elegant restaurant overlooking the property before my tour and tasting. You feel like you are in the middle of Tuscany! The hotel rooms are really outstanding. They offer horseback riding and other activities as well.
I always enjoyed D’Andrea Ristorante Mediterraneo, a short taxi ride from San Miguel at the beautiful Hacienda de Landeta. Andrea Lamberti moved his restaurant to a location on the road to Dolores Hidalgo, but is now back at Landeta. It is a small restaurant with outdoor patio the features excellent Italian specialties. I am excited to try it on my next trip. Carretera San Miguel de Allende Doctor Mora km 2.5
D’Adrea’s former location in the former stables of the Hacienda Landeta, is now the home to Parrilla al Rojo Vivo. This is a good spot for steaks, pasta, salads, and grilled chicken. I always loved the atmosphere when it was D’Andrea Ristorante. The food and service were very good when I went with local friends.
Another great spot out of town is the YO Restaurante at the Hacienda los Picachos, a lovely hotel property just outside of San Miguel on the road to Queretaro. I enjoyed it for Sunday brunch with local friends.
Sounds like all we do is eat in San Miguel. With many things being grown or produced locally, like artisanal cheeses, and with amazing new restaurants showing great creativity, San Miguel is becoming a Mecca for “Foodies” from all over!!!