With a growing trend of locally grown organic produce and locally produced wines, cheeses and olive oil, the food scene and culture in this stunning city has never been stronger. In addition to my top recommendations below, there are a number of more casual cafes and restaurants in town, a growing list of nearby wineries which offer excellent food and wine tastings plus some fun spots for coffee, pastries, ice cream and chocolates. Known for its great weather, San Miguel has many choices for rooftop dining that you can take advantage of while enjoying the amazing views.
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 am always 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. My favorites include the pistachio crusted tuna and one of their ravioli specials. I have been several times and always look forward to going 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.
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. In the last few years they started serving a great Sunday brunch. I have been many times with friends and love it. For one price you get an entree, unlimited mimosas or Bloody Marys, coffee and visits to the buffet for scones, fruit, yogurt, granola and more.
At the suggestion of a friend, I made sure to try Hacmans Restaurant at the recently opened hotel, Amatte Wellness Community, at Salida Real a Querétaro 168. It is located on a rooftop above Centro with stunning views of the area. Make sure to go for the sunset! There are a lot of steps to climb or you can take the elevator to the top. There is restaurant seating along with five bars offering tequila, wine and cocktails. I was very impressed with the menu and had one of the best meals that I have had in town. The quality of the food, the presentation and the service were top notch.
I enjoyed the octopus ceviche amuse-bouche, the burrata salad with figs and tomatoes, a sea bass entree with some mussels and topped off by a deconstructed carrot cake ice cream. I also had an excellent old fashioned with a smoky mezcal. I highly recommend the experience.
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 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. I have been back twice more and always enjoy the experience.
Thanks to local friends, I enjoyed a great meal at Salvajes Brasserie at Hidalgo 92 a short walk north of the Jardin. Opened in 2022 by the owners of Bastardo Restaurante & Beer Garden outside of town, this is a small French bistro featuring a menu of wines, cocktails and traditional French dishes. The food menu changes frequently. Here you can try such dishes as onion soup, a fresh morel cassolette, steak frites and more. I enjoyed a great red wine, a braised leg of lamb with stewed white beans and a tasty crème brûlée crêpe. They have a bar and limited seating downstairs and a covered upstairs patio along with a small private dining room. It is has limited seating so making reservations in advance are must.
Opened in February, 2023 is Etapas. This is a small, upscale restaurant serving Spanish and Mediterranean cuisine. They have a dining room on the first floor and a small terrace on the second floor. Chef Fabián Quiles, most recently had Accés restaurant in Barcelona, Spain. He also worked in restaurants including The French Laundry in Yountville, CA and one in Palm Beach, FL. The meal I had was excellent. I had a burrata salad, roasted duck and a tasty custard cream for dessert. My friends enjoyed the beef and the roasted whitefish. I thought the food was very creative and the service excellent.
Café Casa Blanca: Located on the ground floor of the Hotel Casa Blanca, at Juarez 7, this is an attractive cafe that has reopened in 2022. It is located in a 300-year old landmark building. Upstairs is Fatima 7 opened in in May 2019. I went for a private event just as it was opening and and then went back while hosting a family dinner. The food was excellent and the views stunning.
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. I then went back for Sunday brunch. It is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. It is a great spot on a holiday or when the downtown restaurants are full. I have been there twice for brunch on New Years Day and really enjoyed it.
Around the corner is Antigua Villa Santa Monica at Fray Jose Guadalupe Mojica #22: The property has a very traditional colonial Mexican feel and has lovely grounds, a pool and nice outdoor dining. It is one of my go-to places for their Sunday brunch buffet as I always enjoy the food, setting and the service. It is a great spot to go on a holiday weekend when the city is crowded.
Just down the street is another new find, the Talavera Restaurant at Tres Fuentes Boutique Hotel. This is a lovely restaurant overlooking the beautiful garden and grounds. On my first trip, I went for Sunday brunch and enjoyed a tasty omelette, fruit plate and latte. I went back again for my second Sunday brunch, which in addition to a buffet, they had an excellent band playing music on the lawn. Just like Antigua Villa Santa Monica and Restaurante el Parque, this is a perfect spot for brunch on a busy weekend when Centro is crowded.
Recently they have been offering dinner along with music performances. I went last night for the first time and loved the food and the concert with music from Frank Sinatra to Elvis. Check their website for the schedule which tends to happen on Thursday evenings and Sunday afternoon. It is fun experience.
Hacienda el Sanctuario: This boutique hotel at Terraplén 42 has a restaurant on a lovely patio. It is the perfect spot for breakfast or brunch. They often have a buffet on Sunday. I was just there with a local friend and had a very good brunch with great service. It is decorated with beautiful pieces of Mexican folk art from the states of Michoacán, Oaxaca, Chiapas and Guanajuato.
Belmond’s other restaurant is Andanza. It is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I always enjoy the colonial setting. I had been several times in the past, but recently went back for dinner with my new neighbors. I really enjoyed my meal! Since I was there last, they have a new and talented chef who is in process of redoing all menus. Their Blue Bar is also a great spot to grab a drink. They offer live music twice weekly in the courtyard. It is in their downtown location Hospicio #35.
Panio: Their newest 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 Panio is another great restaurant. Rustica, at Salida a Celaya #34, was opened by a delightful 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 enjoy going for lunch where they have a menu of omelettes, tacos, sandwiches, coffee and pastries. The roasted beet salad and a pizza with arugula, figs, goat cheese and prosciutto is the perfect choice!! The frittata is also one of my favorites. The ingredients are always so fresh. I now go every time I am in San Miguel, as it has become one of my favorite spots in town.
Recently opened is the new luxury hotel, Live Aqua San Miguel Urban Resort at Calz. De La Presa No. 85. They have a stunning new restaurant and bar, Zibu Allende, along with a coffee bar serving pastries. On my first visit, 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.
I was excited to try their new, upscale restaurant called Spice Market on my last trip. It is located on the top floor and is beautifully decorated along with having a creative Asian meno. They have a large outdoor terrace which is perfect for San Miguel sunsets and weather. I enjoyed the experience, service and food.
A new spot getting good press is Tostevere at Codo #4. I just went for the first time and really enjoyed the experience. It is a tiny spot, so make sure to make a reservation before you go. They have a small menu featuring tacos, tostadas, sides and some sandwiches and entrees. I thought the seared tuna and grilled octopus tostadas were excellent as was the roasted beet tostada. I also thought dessert of figs with a balsamic reduction sauce and cream was a perfect way to end a great meal. I will definitely go back.
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. I went back on my last trip where I enjoyed an excellent tuna entree.
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.I was just back and had a seafood and rice entree plus a mango mousse, that is not to be missed. The young owners are delightful!
They 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 food menu offered by a new chef. It is a fun, small, contemporary space that is well-worth the visit. My favorite cocktail is the old fashioned with a smoky mezcal! Recreo 88.
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 is Australian Paul Bentley who most recently was at the popular Magno Brasserie in Guadalajara, MX. He is designing a new menu. I am excited to go back.
Lolita Cocina Mexicana & Bar: Opened in November 2012, this good restaurant can be found a short distance from Centro on Salida a Celaya 52. 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. I was not aware until my recent trip that they also have great breakfast and lunch menu. I went with a local friend and enjoyed one of my favorite dishes, huevos motuleños from the Yucatan. The dish is made with fried eggs on tortillas with black beans and cheese along with ham, peas, plantains and a tomato sauce. Their outside front patio is perfect on a beautiful day.
Café Firenze: I always enjoy Café 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 current 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 entrée on a recent trip!
MX Restaurante Bar: Make sure to check out this San Miguel restaurant and bar. The décor 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 farm-to-table menu. There is a nice bar across the hall with comfortable seating. I 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 it was expanded for more bar/lounge seating. It has a great tapas menu with yummy jicama tacos. I just went back again for the tacos and also had an excellent grilled octupus or pulpo. I always enjoy the experience. Umarán 6.
Downstairs from La Azotea, Pueblo Viejo remains a local’s favorite with Mexican specialties. They have music on the weekends. I went back after several years with my family and friends and enjoyed the food and music.
Down the street is the Carlotta Hotel Boutique – Restaurant & Bar at Umarán 14. Opened in 2021, this is a six room boutique hotel that has a small bar and restaurant in the courtyard. I really liked the design and decided to have brunch/lunch after an appointment downtown. I really enjoyed it and had a tasty avocado toast with very fresh ingredients, a fruit plate and a latte. The restaurant us is open for breakast, lunch and dinner.
Around the corner is a great new find, Ojo de Agua at Pila Seca #32. With a number of locations in Mexico City and in other cities around the country. They have a menu that features a large number fresh fuits and vegetables. There are many juices, salads, soups, sandwiches, and breakfast specialties. I had a perfect Huevos Tatemados made with a pamesan cheese quesadilla, stuffed with spinach and avocado and topped with fried eggs and a choice of salsas. The atmosphere is contemporary with a great design. I loved the outdoor patio area. They also have items for sale including fruits and vegetables.
Pescau, at Jesus 21, specializes in seafood. It has a great contemporary atmosphere and outdoor patio seating. 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 and family. It has a lovely contemporary décor with both indoor and outdoor seating. They offer both a tasting and an ala carte menu. I thought the salad, sea bass entrée and chocolate hazelnut dessert were very good and beautifully presented. On my second visit, I loved the beet salad and the tuna steak entrée. 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. The original Chef Matteo Salas left and was replaced by Chef Omar Alejandro Henriquez Martinez who has worked in a numer of the top restaurants in Mexico City and Puerto Vallarta.
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.
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 Restaurant at Sollano 16, is one of the top spots in town…particularly for special occasions like New Year’s Eve or Day of the Dead. 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 every Thursday night during the week. The contemporary design and great style, excellent food by chef Donnie Masterton 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 Masterton, 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.
Chamonix, at Sollano 17, with its great outdoor dining, is one of my favorite spots for over 17 years. They do a nice job with the the preparation of the the salmon and the spring rolls. I also loved the seabass on my last visit. They have a lovely patio as well as a small indoor dining room which is nice during the cooler months.
Café Parroquia at Jesus 11, is the place for Sunday breakfast or weekday lunch. I 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. I have to go every time I am back in town!
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. I just went back again with friends and had the best gazpacho and salmon burger.
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 was just back with a group of friends and had the seared tuna with their yummy sweet potato caserole and jicama slaw. The food is always consistently good!!
Next to Hecho en Mexico is Antaño Cuatro at Ancha de San Antonio #4. Opened in late 2020, it features a large breakfast and lunch menu. I went and enjoyed a great salmon and goat cheese omelette on the lovely outdoor terrace. The service was excellent.
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 La Aurora: After a day of gallery hopping and shopping this is a great spot for lunch or dinner.
Oko Noodle Bar: Located in Plaza Alhondiga across from La Comer, this good Asian restaurant has a fun casual atmosphere, with good food and huge portions.
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 and some nights during the week which is a great addition. Make sure to make a reservation for the music as the concerts are very popular.
Open for a few years now is La Mezcalería for mezcal, tapas, cocktails and wines at Correo #47. I have been several times and always enjoy 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 mezcals or tequilas. I thought the smokier mezcal was excellent.
Formerly located in the Colonia San Antonio neighborhood, Zumo Rooftop 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.
I just went back for brunch and again loved the food. The crab benedict was excellent! Stewart just expanded the restaurant by adding another terrace on the rooftop above. I can be reserved for dining and special events. Quebrada #93.
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 Panio bakery and food court with a pizza restaurant and bar. I love Le Macaron Boutique for wonderful macaron. 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 located in the Doce 18 Concept House has been recently taken over by Nomada Cocina de Interpretacion as mentioned above.
Le Cochon Qui Saute: 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: This is one of my go to spots in town which is a gourmet grocery and cafe. Here you can buy cheese and other specialty food items or grab a lovely quiche, sandwich or salad in their cafe. They just moved around the corner from #79 Salida de Celaya to a larger location at Josefina Orozco 10. I was just there for lunch and enjoyed the contemporary design and the food.
Opened in April 2016, is the sleek, 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 recently went to a newly opened spot, Bruno Cucina at Mesones #58. With other locations in Leon and Queretaro, this is an upscale Italian spot in a sleek, contemporary setting. They feature a number of salads, pizzas, pastas and entrees. I enjoyed my dinner with a local friend. The caprese salad and the seafood risotto were excellent. I very much enjoyed the experience!
Mi Bistro 300: Located at Quebrada 18D, this is 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. They started in a small outdoor spot, but just moved into a brand new spot across the parking lot. I thought the food was excellent as was the decor and ambiance. The grilled octopus entree was a perfect choice.
Next door at Quebrada 18A, is one of the best new restaurants to open recently. Opened in late 2021, Bocaciega Hostería is a Greek restaurant located next to Casa Quebrada, a new boutique hotel with 13 rooms. I was very impressed with the beautifully decorated dining room, the plates, the service, the lovely presentation and the quality of the food. They have a menu of Greek dishes which are easily shareable as they are quite large. The menu items include tabuleh, hummus, falafel, fried calamari, grilled octopus, lamb and baklava. I really enjoyed the tabuleh salad and the octopus. I highly recommend the experience.
The owners also own La Choperia or La Chope and Tostevere in town. Chef Jose Bazan previously worked at major hotels and restaurants in Mexico City.
A recent find is Kab’an Cocina de Origen. Located at Hernandez Macias 43B, this is an upscale restaurant on two floors with a small outdoor patio as well. It has a very creative menu inspired by the Mayan culture, an excellent chef and very knowledgeable servers! I had a lovely roasted beet salad and a mahi mahi fish entree served in a leaf with beans and vegetables. On the main floor there is also a small French pastry shop and wine store and downstairs is a fun speakeasy bar.
Antonio Bistro: Located atop the El Palomar Hotel at San Francisco #57, this 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. I recently went back for great sunset views and really enjoyed my shrimp tacos and mozzarella salad.
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 have been there for Easter lunch with friends three times and have always had a delightful meal. The setting on the terrace is really lovely. It is also BYOB with a corkage fee. Montitlan 18. During COVID it was closed, but is was open for Easter 2022 and will be adding more dates soon.
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.
Opened in 2007, I went to Vivoli Cafe at Hernandez Macias 66 several times. After a somewhat bad experience, I stopped going. I just went back to the newly christened Vivali Restaurant + Bar, that features a number of Italian specialties from pastas and pizzas. It has been recently revived by the original owner. I really enjoyed the experience with local friends. My seafood risotto was very tasty as was the caprese salad. I am glad that I went and will definitely go back! They also opened a rooftop terrace which I am excited to try.
Another fun, casual Italian spot is Antigua Trattoria Romana at Codo 9. I went back again for a third time and was very impressed this visit. They have an extensive food and wine menu. I really enjoyed the linguine al frutti de mare or linguine with fresh clams, squid, mussels, shrimp, octopus and fish.
Opened in mid- 2019 is La Doña de San Miguel at San Francisco #32. An upscale restaurant, I was impressed with the decor, the service and the food. I loved the salmon entree with pistachios and a decadent chocolate dessert. My only disappointment was that someone next to us started smoking a cigar as we were paying the check. I recommend going on the early side before the locals go to avoid this happening to you. Is is part of a restaurant group based in nearby Queretaro.
The popular Italian restaurant MAMA MIA, after 45 years, has moved from Umarán # 8 to Hernández Macías # 91. They have a coffee shop and cafe, Flor de Altura, two bars and large outdoor patio. The menu featuring antipastos, salads, pastas, pizzas and entrees. I enjoyed their pasta with pesto sauce and loved the atmosphere.
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 Restaurant & Retreat is a wonderful spot to visit in Atotonilco, next to Mayer Schacter’s Galleria Atotonilco. There are lovely grounds, a pool, hotel rooms and a great restaurant. 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 17 years when they had their first place downtown. I make a point to go at least once a year when I am in town. My favorite spot is on the terrace in the back! I would call ahead to make a reservation in advance as it is very popular on weekends.
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.
La Burger is next to three other restaurants in the same location, which makes it a great spot to visit on a weekend when downtown San Miguel can get crowded. These include Bastardo Restaurante & Beer Garden, SMOKED ‘N LOW for barbecue and Cien Fuegos Pizza & Comfort Food.
I recently went with neighbors and local friends to Bastardo, as it was highly recommended. By the way, I love the name!! On Wednesdays they have a hamburger special. The veggie burger sounded really good, so I ordered it for lunch. It was by far the best one I have ever had. It was made with sweet potatoes, beans, farro, caramelized onions and cheddar cheese! I topped it off with a yummy lavendar ice cream for dessert. My friends raved about the burgers and roasted tomato soup. The rustic, eclectic atmosphere and service were excellent. I highly recommend it.
I now have to try SMOKED ‘N LOW on my next trip. My friends really like the barbecue and casual outdoor setting. I also liked the look and menu of Cien Fuegos, and will definitely try it as well and report back to you.
Another great spot is El Vergel Bistro & Market. Located at Camino la Alborada 17, Predio la Alborada, a short drive outside of town across from 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. I was back again for dinner and loved the salmon and quinoa risotto. On my recent visit for lunch, I had the best grilled cheese sandwich with tomato soup! Recently, I enjoyed the beet and kale salad and rich seafood stew.
In addition to the great restaurant, there is The Market, run by Luna de Queso, which has some great food items to purchase. There is also Nomad for international furnishings and accessories.
I also enjoyed my visit to El Coyote Flaco Restaurante, near Atotonilco, with local friends. It is a casual restaurant serving good food and wood fired pizzas. They have a full bar and offer music on Sunday afternoons. I went with local friends and enjoyed being outside on a lovely afternoon, listening to music. They are open Wednesday to Sunday. Carretera Santuario Atotonilco KM 2.
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.
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. Next door, there is also now Aragonés Bistro Mexicano, a new outdoor restaurant, featuring Mexican specialties for breakfast, lunch and early dinner. that Km 2.5 on the Road to Dr. Mora.
A short drive from Hacienda Landeta is a fun local experience. Finca Luna Serena is a farm that produces local olive oils. I went recently with local friends. We first learned about how olive oil is produced and about the different grades. We then took a tour of the beautiful property which looked like you were in Tuscany in Italy. They have organic olive, fruit and citrus trees along with organic gardens and a greenhouse. Following the tour, we had a tasting of four of their extra virgin oils. We were then served pieces of goat cheese which we could taste with a choice of their products. I enjoyed the oil infused with lemon, basil, rosemary and garlic. Other favorites included their blends of balsamic vinegars with figs and pomegranates.
Lunch followed with a salad, entree and desert. My lamb chops were excellent and was the olive oil gelato! I was then able to shop in their store which in addition to their oils, featured their lotions, soaps and massage oils. Susan and Victor, the owners who live at the farm are very friendly and helpful. I highly recommend that you book a trip. They also provide transportation to and from the farm with an extra charge. Their products are also available in town at the Opal Mine in San Miguel at Hernandez Macias #99.
Along with special events, they also provide morning tours on weekends followed by brunch. In addition to tours, they also offer a number group and private cooking classes featuring French, Chinese, Greek, Spanish tapas, Mexican, Indian and Vietnamese cuisine to name a few.
For many years, one of my favorite musicians in town is Gil Gutierrez. He used to perform weekly at his restaurant Bistro Mi Casa at the Instituto Allende. This is now closed and he is focused only on Zandunga, his restaurant and performance space, approximately 15 minutes outside of town. It features him and other performers playing jazz or blues. It is located in lovely surroundings. The performance space is semi-enclosed with room to dance among the tables. Guests enjoy a buffet of Mexican specialties including grilled meat, fresh tacos, and quesadillas made to order. There is a full bar as well. I recently went for the first time with friends to celebrate Halloween and Day of the Dead, and really enjoyed the experience, the setting, music and seeing a number of friends, including Gil, who I had not seen in a while. Tickets can be purchased at Hernandez Macias #129 or contact them through their email, firstname.lastname@example.org.
On the way to Zandunga is a great new find, El Pavo Real Winery. They are offering wine tastings as well as mezcal tastings from some of the best producers in Mexico. They have a beautiful. contemporary tasting room with outdoor seating. They are also featuring special events from tastings on Friday evenings, special dinners on Saturday and brunch on Sunday. I went for a special Day of the Dead/Día de los Muertos brunch in October, 2022. It was beautifully decorated and the food was excellent. It is a great spot to go with friends on busy holiday weekends when Centro in San Miguel can be very crowded.
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.
I went to Valle de Los Senderos many years ago when it was smaller development with a small organic restaurant. Over the last few years, the development has undergone a major transformation. The stables has been enlarged and the restaurant closed. The owners have built a new beach area near the water features on the property. They have created places where people and families can swim, enjoy horseback riding, yoga classes, boating, paddle boarding, biking and walking trails. A new spa is under construction.
Also at Valle de Los Senderos is La Santisima Trinidad’s newest venture, Viñedos Los Senderos.They took over the 0ld Los Senderos vineyards and built a new winery, tasting room and restaurant. The highlight is their restaurant, Barrica de Fuego Smokehouse & Grill, with an Argentinian menu of meat dishes with cooking on an open fire or in a mesquite smoker. I loved the contemporary decor with great views of the vineyards and surrounding countryside. I expect that as the vineyards grow and production increases that tastings will be offered.
The address for Los Senderos is Carr. Dolores Hgo Km 3.5 and is a short drive from Centro in San Miguel.
Mama Mia Campestre has recently opened near the Sanctuario Atotonilco at Carretera al Santuario de Atotonilco 15 minutes from San Miguel. The restaurant is located in a beautiful setting of an ancient forest of mesquite trees over looking a pong. The tables are scattered throughout the grounds and on a rooftop terrace overlooking the trees and a pond. Many of the dishes including their popular pizzas are cooked in a mesquite wood oven. You can select from a large number of entrees, salads, sides and pizzas. I enjoyed the guacamole, burrata and pear salad and serano ham pizza. There is also a microbrewery on the site, Cerveceria Hechicera with a tasting room. It is a fun place for families as there are a number of activities for children.
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!!!