Guanajuato City is gorgeous. This former silver mining town in central Mexico is famous for its colonial architecture, its narrow streets, and its labyrinthine network of alleyways and tunnels. The view from Monumento al Pípila is second to none and the callejoneadas serenading the town was something we looked forward to every night.
But as captivating as Guanajuato is, one thing it isn’t really known for is its food. At least not in the same way that Oaxaca, Puebla, Mexico City, and Guadalajara are. Walk around Plaza de la Paz and most of the restaurants you’ll find are of the touristy variety, similar to San Miguel de Allende. But that doesn’t mean you can’t find great food in this city.
If you stray from the main tourist areas, I think you’ll find that Guanajuato has many hidden gems, local places that offer authentic versions of Mexican classics like enchiladas mineras, tacos al vapor, guacamaya, and tacos de cabeza. You just have to dig a little deeper to find them.
To help you in your search, we’ve come up with this list of 18 of the best restaurants and roadside stalls in Guanajuato. If finding authentic local food is what excites you most about a new city, then this list is definitely for you.
FOOD IN GUANAJUATO QUICK LINKS
If you’re spending enough time in Guanajuato and want to learn more about Mexican cuisine, then you may be interested in taking a cooking class. Click on the link below to book a cooking class in Guanajuato.
- Cooking Classes: Guanajuato Cooking Classes
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WHAT FOOD IS GUANAJUATO KNOWN FOR?
As described, Guanajuato isn’t really known to be a foodie destination like Oaxaca, Mexico City, Merida, or Puerto Vallarta, but there are a couple of regional Mexican specialties that you absolutely must try.
This is the most famous regional Mexican dish from Guanajuato City. Being a former mining town, it only follows that its most famous dish is named after the people who used to work in those mines. Based on what I’ve read, the miners’ wives would often make them this dish at the end of each work day.
Enchiladas mineras translates to “miner’s enchiladas” and refers to a type of enchilada filled with cheese, onions, and a stew-like mix of potatoes and carrots. Typically served in portions of four, the enchiladas are baked and then served with a piece of grilled chicken, lettuce, salsa, cheese, and jalapeño peppers.
Gucamaya is a type of torta or Mexican sandwich. Originally from the neighboring city of León, it’s sold as street food in Guanajuato City, usually from roadside stands or market stalls. It’s a beast of a sandwich made with a bolillo bread roll stuffed to the hilt with roast pork, chicharron, avocado, salsa, and lime juice.
THE BEST GUANAJUATO RESTAURANTS
To help organize this list of the best Guanajuato restaurants, I’ve arranged them by category. Click on a link to jump to any section of the guide.
GUANAJUATO SPECIALTIES / TRADITIONAL MEXICAN FOOD
In this section, you’ll find suggestions on where to find the best enchiladas mineras and guacamaya in Guanajuato. Restaurants that specialize in just one or two dishes aren’t as common in Guanajuato so most of these restaurants also serve traditional and authentic Mexican dishes like tlacoyos, gorditas, chilaquiles, and pozole.
1. Enchiladas de Lupe
Restaurants and roadside stalls that specialize in just one dish are my favorite places to eat. With so much experience making just that one dish, you’re almost guaranteed they’re going to be good. It’s for that reason why Enchiladas de Lupe, for me, is one of the best restaurants in Guanajuato.
As its name suggests, Enchiladas de Lupe is a Mexican restaurant that specializes in enchiladas mineras. It’s a small family-owned restaurant where one elderly woman – Doña Lupe I presume – does all the cooking. She does it in the room before the dining area so you can watch her make the enchiladas by hand. I don’t know when this restaurant opened but clearly, she’s been at this a long time because her enchiladas mineras are absolutely delicious.
Underneath this mound of deliciousness are four of the tastiest enchiladas in Guanajuato. This may have been the single best meal I had in the city. You can get their enchiladas mineras with or without chicken.
Enchiladas de Lupe is my absolute favorite restaurant in Guanajuato, largely because they make the best version of the one dish that this city is known for. Located near Callejón del Beso, it’s open nightly from 6-11PM. Don’t miss it.
Enchiladas de Lupe
Address: Antigua Pl. de Gallos, Zona Centro, 36000 Guanajuato, Gto.
Operating Hours: 6-11PM, daily
What to Order: Enchiladas mineras
What We Paid: MXN 240 for two with drinks
2. An’ca Carmen
Enchiladas de Lupe may have been my favorite, but for Ren, the enchiladas mineras at An’ca Carmen were the best. This family-owned restaurant near the Basilica serves tasty examples of Mexican classics like chilaquiles, molletes, flautas, and tetelas.
To be honest, we didn’t come here for the enchiladas mineras. We asked our server for recommendations and this was the first dish he recommended. Their version of Guanajauato’s famed regional dish is just as good as the enchiladas mineras at Enchiladas de Lupe so it’s all a matter of personal preference.
This may sound cheesy, but it’s clear that both versions of enchiladas mineras were made with love. It’s that one unquantifiable ingredient that makes good food great. You can’t measure or describe it but you know it when you taste it. I recommend trying both to see which you prefer.
The other dish our server recommended was this breakfast platter of chilaquiles. An’ca Carmen has an entire page of chilaquiles dishes on their menu but our server picked this one out for Ren, maybe because it’s called “Lady Chilaquiles“? Ha! Who knows. Whatever the reason, it was delicious.
If you’ve never had it before, chilaquiles is made with corn tortillas cooked in salsa and topped with cheese and other ingredients. An’ca Carmen offers over ten variations of this popular Mexican breakfast dish. This version was topped with the house salsa and served with a side of grilled chicken and refried beans.
Pro tip when ordering at restaurants in Mexico: One dish per person is usually enough. In our experience, servings at Mexican restaurants are fairly large and filling so there’s no need to order appetizers or anything else to go with your entree.
These tlacoyos go for just MXN 20 so I thought they’d be small, like tacos, but they turned out to be pretty big! If you have a taste for traditional food, then you need to try tlacoyos. Thicker than corn tortillas, it’s a pre-Hispanic Mexican dish made with masa stuffed with a variety of fillings like cheese, beans, mushrooms, and chicharron.
At An’ca Carmen, you’ll have several fillings to choose from. We went with mushroom and ropa vieja. Both were very good.
An’ca Carmen serves great food at very reasonable prices. When we were there, the restaurant was filled almost entirely with local Mexican families. It had that authentic local feel which we always look for when seeking out restaurants on trips.
In the picture below, you can see a table near the entrance of the restaurant where a woman, presumably the family’s matriarch, does some of the cooking. There are several pots with different fillings which she uses to stuff tlacoyos and other freshly made corn dishes. It was interesting to watch her work.
Address: Calle de Alonso 53, Zona Centro, 36000 Guanajuato, Gto.
Operating Hours: 9AM-5PM, daily
What to Order: Enchiladas mineras, chilaquiles
What We Paid: MXN 190 for two with drinks
3. Los Huacales
Based on ratings alone, Los Huacalaes has to be one of the best restaurants in Guanajuato. It’s a traditional Mexican restaurant that serves good food in a relaxed, casual space.
I was here for the enchiladas mineras, which our server was quick to describe as an “excellent choice”, but they do offer an extensive menu of traditional Mexican dishes like molcajete, milanesa, chile relleno, and enfrijoladas.
These beautifully plated enchiladas mineras are what turned us on to this Guanajuato specialty. The flavor from the stewed potatoes and carrots is what makes this rather iconic dish truly special.
Remember what I said about not overordering at Mexican restaurants? They always give you filling portions like this hearty bowl of sopa azteca.
Sopa azteca refers to a type of Mexican tortilla soup. It’s made with fried corn tortilla shreds served in a broth flavored with garlic, onion, tomato, chile de árbol, and epazote. Depending on the cook, it can be made with additional ingredients as well like chicharron, avocado, cubes of cheese, and sour cream.
As described, Los Huacales is one of the most highly-rated restaurants in Guanajuato, Mexico. It’s an unassuming little space tucked away behind the Basilica.
Address: Subida de San José, Baratillo 14, 36000 Guanajuato, Gto.
Operating Hours: 9AM-6PM, Tue-Sun (closed Mondays)
What to Order: Enchiladas, molcajete, desayuno (breakfast)
What We Paid: MXN 280 for two with drinks
4. Mercado Hidalgo
I was eavesdropping on a conversation between a cook and his customer and he was telling her that the best guacamayas in Guanajuato can be found at Mercado Hidalgo. It doesn’t matter which particular stall you visit because they’re all good.
When I first read about guacamaya, I was expecting something that looked like a typical submarine sandwich but what I got was something I had never seen before. The lady making our sandwich took a Mexican bolillo roll and stuffed it to the point of explosion with roast pork, chicharron, avocado, and salsa. It was incredible!
You can’t really tell just how big it is from this picture but keep scrolling to get a better sense of its size.
This picture gives you a better sense of how big this sandwich is but it still doesn’t do it justice. I’m not even sure it still qualifies as a sandwich since the filings looked like they were erupting out of the bread! The guacamaya is an absolute beast of a sandwich, and you can get one for just MXN 75.
Our favorite ingredient in the guacamaya is the chicharron. We’re used to eating deep-fried pork rinds in our home country but never like this. I didn’t take a picture but the lady was breaking off pieces from surfboard-sized sheets of chicharron that were crispy and much more delicate than regular chicharron.
We enjoyed it so much that we wanted to buy a whole chicharron surfboard to enjoy as a snack with beer. Ha!
If you’re looking for cheap authentic food in Guanajuato, then Mercado Hidalgo is a great place to go. It’s home to dozens of stalls selling prepared food, snacks, souvenirs, clothing, bags, and other Mexican knick-knacks.
I couldn’t find a name but we bought our guacamaya from this stall. It’s located right by one of the entrances to the market.
I don’t know if it’s part of the market but right next to Mercado Hidalgo is this separate building with two or three floors of food stalls. If you’re looking for cheap local food, then this would be a great place to explore as well.
Address: Interior del Mercado Hidalgo local No. 145, Centro, 36000 Guanajuato
Operating Hours: Around 10AM-7PM, daily
5. Santo Café
We rarely eat breakfast but we’re always happy to make an exception if a restaurant offers something unique or special. Santo Café is that kind of restaurant in Guanajuato.
Santo Café offers a huge menu of both Mexican and international dishes, including good breakfast platters with eggs, pancakes, and omelettes. Normally, we’d steer clear of a place like this but we read about its unique bridge seating that offers overhead views of passing pedestrians. You’ll see what I mean in the following pictures.
For breakfast, I had this delicious plate of huevos aztecas. It consists of scrambled eggs served with spinach, onion, tomato, red bell pepper, ham, fried tortilla, and refried beans. All of Santo Café’s breakfast platters come with a cup of freshly made coffee and either a glass of orange juice or a fruit plate.
Ren had this equally delicious plate of huevos al gusto with chorizo and refried beans.
Santo Café serves good breakfast food but what makes this place truly special is that bridge. To get to Santo Café, you walk up this side ramp and cross a short bridge into the restaurant.
Isn’t this nice? If you’re lucky enough to be seated at one of Santo Café’s bridge tables, then you’ll have an overhead view of pedestrians walking under the bridge. It was a little chilly this early in the morning but the view and atmosphere were worth it.
If you’re looking to enjoy a nice breakfast with unique views in Guanajuato, then Santo Café is one of the best places to go. I suggest arriving early if you want to be seated on the bridge since there are just two small tables available.
Address: Campanero, Del Campanero 4, Zona Centro, 36000 Guanajuato, Gto.
Operating Hours: 9AM-9:30PM, Wed-Mon / 2-7PM, Tue
What to Order: Breakfast
Expect to Spend: MXN 194 for breakfast for two
TACOS / STREET FOOD
Our very first meal in Guanajuato was at a decently rated restaurant around Plaza de San Fernando. We didn’t know it at the time but it turned out to be one of those touristy restaurants that serves a little bit of everything, both Mexican and international. Many restaurants in the central part of Guanajuato are like that. We hated it and vowed to avoid those types of restaurants for the remainder of our trip.
That night, I redid our eat-inerary and did my best to find the best local eateries and street food stands in Guanajuato. If you want all the tacos – all the BEST tacos in Guanajuato – then this section is for you.
6. Taquería Chela & Chuchita
Chela & Chuchita is one of the nicer taquerias on this list. Located just off the main plaza, it’s a small restaurant that serves traditional Mexican comfort food like tacos, tortas, quesadillas, and volcanes.
Chela & Chuchita offers daily promos. We ate here on a Monday so I got this tacos al pastor set with an agua fresca for just MXN 55.
As their name suggests, this taqueria specializes in chuchitas. According to their menu, a chuchita is a type of quesadilla made with flour tortillas, so I guess that makes it similar to gringas?
This is the only time we’ve encountered chuchitas thus far in Mexico so I don’t know if it’s a dish they came up with. In any case, it’s delicious. You can have it with different fillings like fish, beef, pork, or chicken.
What you’re looking at is a dish called papas asadas or roasted potatoes mixed with meat, cheese, and grilled onions. It’s served with corn tortillas and you can get it with fish, beef, chicken, pork, or just vegetables.
To eat, you fill a tortilla with the meat and potato mixture together with some cilantro, raw onions, salsa verde, and lime juice.
If you want to have tacos in Guanajuato but don’t want to eat at a roadside stall, then Taquería Chela & Chuchita is a good alternative.
Taquería Chela & Chuchita
Address: Calle de Alonso 29, Zona Centro, 36000 Guanajuato, Gto.
Operating Hours: 3-10PM, Sun-Wed / 11AM-12MN, Thurs-Sat
What to Order: Tacos, chuchitas, volcanes, papas asadas
What We Paid: MXN 195 for two people with drinks
7. Tacos Tony
Located down the street from Chela & Chuchita is another taqueria – Tacos Tony. Like its neighbor, it’s a small restaurant that offers standard Mexican comfort food like tacos and quesadillas filled with different meats like pastor, bistec, chorizo, and costilla. Their menu lists taco de cabeza as well but unfortunately, they were sold out at the time.
Pictured below are four different types of tacos livened up with raw onions, cilantro, and a nice spicy salsa.
Like Chela & Chuchita, Tacos Tony is a good choice for people wanting to sink their teeth into authentic Mexican tacos without going to a true taco stand.
Address: C/ Galeana 379, Zona Centro, 44100 Guadalajara, Jal.
Operating Hours: 8AM-9PM, daily
What to Order: Birria
Expect to Spend: MXN 129 (small), MXN 169 (large)
8. La Vela
Most of the taquerias we went to in Guanajuato only offered tacos filled with meat. If you want seafood tacos, then the best place to go to is La Vela. It’s a fun seafood restaurant that offers Mexican dishes like tacos, tostadas, cocteles, and antojitos made with different types of seafood.
On my plate below is a delicious shrimp taco and an equally tasty marlin gordita. A gordita is a traditional Mexican dish made with masa stuffed with meat, cheese, and other fillings. Gordita stems from the word gordo, meaning “fat”.
Everything we ordered at La Vela was delicious, but our favorite dish may have been this empanada. They offer empanadas filled with cheese, marlin with cheese, shrimp, or octopus.
An inside look at our octopus empanada. La Vela’s empanadas are large and airy and filled with just the right amount of seafood. This was delicious.
The Instagrammers in us couldn’t resist this bottle of Dos Equis embellished with a skewer of shrimp, cucumber, and cocktail sauce. You can get it with a bottle or can of beer. La Vela serves fun versions of micheladas as well.
La Vela is a colorful, surfer-themed restaurant near the entrance to the funicular.
Address: 36000, Constancia 6, Zona Centro, Guanajuato, Gto.
Operating Hours: 11AM-7PM, Tue-Sun (closed Mondays)
What to Order: Tacos, tostadas, empanadas
What We Paid: MXN 235 for two with drinks
9. Tacos “El Paisa II”
Walk farther away from the main plaza and you’ll notice something magical start to happen – the tacos get better. Tacos “El Paisa II” is a humble Mexican restaurant located just past Mercado Hidalgo, in an area of town that starts to feel more local and less touristy. In my opinion, this is where the real food in Guanajuato begins.
Tacos “El Paisa II” offers Mexican favorites like tacos, quesadillas, burritos, and tortas. You can get them filled with different types of meat like bistec, chorizo, costilla, and our all-time favorite – cabeza. Tacos de cabeza refers to tacos made with meat from the head.
If you’re feeling daring and want to dive into real Mexican cuisine, then you need to try tacos made with what Western society deems as the “less desirable” parts of the animal. Less desirable mi culo. Tacos de cabeza are seriously delicious.
I don’t remember exactly what this was, but it may have been the taco de adobada, or taco filled with pork marinated in spicy red chilis.
As much as I love the tacos in Mexico, I think I may enjoy quesadillas even more. The soft, gooey, and stringy cheese goes so well with the marinated meats. This incredibly delicious quesadilla was filled with a combination of chorizo and bistec.
We ate at Tacos “El Paisa II” but to its immediate left is Tacos “El Paisa I”. I don’t know what the story is but you can probably get the same food from either place.
Tacos “El Paisa II”
Address: Av. Benito Juárez 99, Zona Centro, 36000 Guanajuato, Gto.
Operating Hours: 11AM-1AM, daily
What to Order: Tacos, quesadillas, tortas
What We Paid: MXN 109 for two people with drinks
10. Tacos al Vapor El Jaguar
This humble taco stand is one of the best places to try tacos al vapor in Guanajuato. Also known as tacos de canasta (“basket tacos”) or tacos sudados (“sweaty tacos”), tacos al vapor refers to a type of street taco filled with various meat stews and bathed in oil or melted butter.
Unlike regular tacos that are made to order, tacos al vapor are pre-made and kept in a basket or container to keep them moist and warm. Texturally, they’re softer and much more moist than freshly made tacos. They’re also cheaper. We’d typically pay between MXN 14-18 for a freshly made taco but these tacos al vapor went for just MXN 9 apiece.
On this plate are five tacos al vapor smothered in shredded cabbage, pickled vegetables, and salsa. The tacos are too moist to eat with your hands so they’ll give you a spoon. They’re delicious.
Tacos al Vapor El Jaguar is a humble but exceedingly popular stand located in a more residential part of Guanajuato. Click on the link to see exactly where it is on a map. They’re only open till 1PM from Monday to Saturday.
Tacos al Vapor El Jaguar
Address: Barrio de la Griteria, 36000 Guanajuato
Operating Hours: 8AM-1PM, Mon-Sat (closed Sundays)
What to Order: Tacos al vapor
Expect to Spend: MXN 9 per taco
11. Taqueria Rinconcito Mixe
I’ll never forget this taqueria. I thought I had to wait till Mexico City to try tacos de suadero but to my surprise, it was available here!
Rinconcity Mixe is a taqueria that offers tacos, quesadillas, alambres, and papas asadas filled with different types of meat like pastor, chorizo, costilla, and arrachera. When I saw the word “suadero” on their menu, I knew exactly what I was having.
Suadero refers to a thin cut of meat that’s sliced from the area between the animal’s belly and leg. It’s a fattier portion of meat that’s smoother and less stringy in texture. It’s absolutely delicious and one of my favorite cuts of meat for tacos.
I was so impressed with their tacos de suadero that I decided to follow them up with some tacos al pastor. These were delicious as well and one of the cheapest I had in Guanajuato. Each pastor taco at Rinconcito Mixe goes for just MXN 12 apiece.
If you’d like to go on a DIY street food tour, then you can start with Taqueria Rinconcito Mixe and visit the next four taquerias on this list. Visiting these five nighttime taquerias will give you a taste of the real Guanajuato.
Taqueria Rinconcito Mixe
Address: Plazuela del baratillo ext.#18 zona centro 36000, C. Alhóndiga #33a, Zona Centro, 36000 Mexico, Gto.
Operating Hours: 4PM-1AM, daily
What to Order: Tacos, quesadillas, alambres, papas asadas
Expect to Spend: About MXN 12-20 per taco
12. Tacos El Campeon
I’ve read that the best tacos come out only at night in Mexico. If that were true, then these next four taco stands are definitely proof of that.
Tacos El Campeon is perhaps the most local taco stand I visited in Guanajuato. Located about a 5-minute walk from Taqueria Rinconcito Mixe, it’s located in a residential area rarely visited by tourists. By the time they opened at 8PM, the stand was already swarming with locals. If you want a true local taco experience in Guanajuato, then you need to make the trek to Tacos El Campeon.
I asked the server what they had and he started rattling off the usual meat fillings like bistec, costilla, and chorizo. When I heard him say “cabeza”, I knew exactly what to get. Pictured below is a scrumptious pair of tacos de cabeza smothered in red and green salsa. This is what Mexican street food is all about!
Tacos El Campeon is located at the mouth of Santa Fe Tunnel. Click on the link to see exactly where it is on a map.
Tacos El Campeon
Address: Sta. Fe Tunnel 76, San Clemente, 36010 Guanajuato, Gto.
Operating Hours: 8PM-1AM, daily
What to Order: Tacos
Expect to Spend: MXN 17 per taco
13. Tacos Juan
Tacos Juan is another late night roadside stall that offers Mexican comfort food like tacos and quesadillas. If I remember correctly, this was the only stall we visited that offers tacos de lengua or tacos made with beef or pork tongue. Lengua is one of my absolute favorite cuts of meat and something that you need to try while in Mexico.
Lengua tacos are typically more expensive than tacos made from other parts of the head. While other types of head meat tacos go for about MXN 15 per piece, tacos de lengua sell for about MXN 20 per piece. They’re a little harder to find but definitely worth it.
Tacos Juan is located just a stone’s throw from Tacos al Vapor El Jaguar. While the latter is open only in the morning till 1PM, Tacos Juan opens only at night. Click on the link to see exactly where it is on a map.
Address: Zona Centro, 36000 Guanajuato
Operating Hours: Nighttime only
What to Order: Tacos, quesadillas
Expect to Spend: About MXN 15-20 per taco
14. Tacos El Chino
How lucky were we? We stayed at an AirBnB within sniffing distance of these last two late night taco stands. Every night from 8PM, we’d get the irresistible aroma of grilled meats wafting into our apartment. Hungry or not, it was impossible to resist!
Located on the slope leading up from Plaza de Los Angeles, Tacos El Chino is known for serving tacos de tripa frita, or tacos filled with fried small intestines. I’m all about texture and these tacos were some of the best tacos I had in Guanajuato. They’re seriously delicious and not that easy to come by so don’t miss them.
Tacos El Chino is run by this cute elderly couple. It’s amazing how they can still manage to do this every night. Click on the link to see the stand’s exact location on a map.
Tacos El Chino
Address: 36000, Subida de La Mula 30, Zona Centro, Guanajuato, Gto.
Operating Hours: 8PM-12MN, daily
What to Order: Tacos de tripa frita
Expect to Spend: MXN 15 per taco
15. Taqueria Sugar Daddy
This taqueria is located just a few meters up the slope from Tacos El Chino. They offer the usual Mexican comfort fare like tacos, quesadillas, and tortas filled with pastor, chorizo, bistec, or costilla. If I remember correctly, they also offer tacos de tripa.
These tacos al pastor were the very reason why we were often enticed out of our AirBnB at night. The smell of that grilling cone of meat was irresistible!
This taqueria looks to be relatively new since it isn’t on Google Maps yet. I couldn’t find a name for the place so I asked the waitress. She said something that sounded like “Taqueria Xiura Dary”.
I couldn’t find anything about a Taqueria Xiura Dary online so Ren asked the al pastor cook. He said “Taqueria Sugar Daddy” and jokingly pointed to the callejoneadas enjoying his tacos. “Like them, sugar daddy”, he said. Ha!
Whatever its real name is, just look for this stall a few meters up from Tacos El Chino. You can easily eat at both stands on the same night.
Taqueria Sugar Daddy
Address: Just a few meters from Tacos El Chino
Operating Hours: Around 8PM-12MN
What to Order: Tacos, quesadillas
Expect to Spend: MXN 20 per taco
SNACKS / DESSERTS / DRINKS
16. Empanadas MiBu
If you’re looking for a filling snack in Guanajuato, then you may want to try these empanadas from MiBu. They make savory and sweet empanadas filled with a variety of ingredients like mole rojo, tinga, salchicha, arroz con leche, and Nutella.
The mole rojo empanada filled with pollo deshebrado or shredded chicken was delicious. The pastry was flaky and oozing with that tasty chicken with mole rojo filling.
Empanadas MiBu receives high praise from locals. To translate one person’s review: “Delicious!! Whenever we are in Guanajuato, it is a special stop. 100% recommended.”
Address: C. Pedro Lascurain de Retana #14 B, Zona Centro, 36000 Guanajuato, Gto.
Operating Hours: 8AM-9PM, Mon-Sat (closed Sundays)
What to Order: Empanadas
Expect to Spend: MXN 20-24 per empanada
17. Nieves Aguilar
We’ve been enjoying nieves de garrafa throughout central Mexico. Named after the big wooden bucket it’s made in (garrafa), it refers to a type of hand-churned Mexican ice cream made with fruit, sugar, and water. Similar to sorbet, it’s a deliciously light ice cream that isn’t excessively sweet.
You can have nieves de garrafa at large ice cream chains like La Michoacana, but in Guanajuato City, we recommend trying it at Nieves Aguilar. It’s a local shop that’s been churning out this delicious Mexican ice cream for over thirty years. They offer interesting flavors like guayaba (guava), taro, mamey (sapodilla), elote, and rompope (eggnog).
I believe there are two or three Nieves Aguilar branches in Guanajuato City. We regularly went to this one at Plaza de Los Angeles.
Address: Plaza de Los Angeles, Subida de La Mula, Zona Centro, 36000 Guanajuato, Gto.
Operating Hours: Around 12NN-7:30PM, daily
What to Order: Nieves de garrafa
Expect to Spend: MXN 30 for nieves (mediano, two flavors)
18. La Clave Azul
If you’re looking for good happy hour deals, then look no further than La Clave Azul, a hidden gem just off Plaza de San Fernando. It’s a quirky bar/restaurant that offers free tapas with your drinks from 2-5:30PM, Tuesdays to Saturdays.
With our first round of margaritas, they gave us these roasted potatoes along with cucumbers and turnips seasoned with chili pepper. We went here shortly after arriving in Guanajuato so what a warm welcome this was! The owners are incredibly friendly as well.
We ordered palomas for our second round and with our cocktails came this plate of taquitos or flautas. Taquitos are crispy rolled-up tortillas filled with meat or cheese and topped with condiments like sour cream or guacamole. ¡Salud!
La Clave Azul has an interesting interior filled with old posters and photos. It’s a fun place to just kick back and enjoy a few drinks and tapas after a day of sightseeing in Guanajuato.
If you didn’t know to look, then you’d probably never know that through this alleyway off Plaza de San Fernando is one of the best happy hour deals in Guanajuato.
True to its name, at the end of the alleyway is this blue wall and La Clave Azul. La clave azul means “the blue key”. I believe one of the owners is a musician so you can expect good music to be playing here as well.
La Clave Azul
Address: Segunda De Cantaritos 31, Centro, 36000 Guanajuato, Gto.
Operating Hours: 1:30-9PM, Tue-Thurs / 1:30-11PM, Fri-Sat (closed Sun-Mon)
To help you navigate to these Guanajuato restaurants, I’ve pinned them all on the map below. It includes a few other restaurants we had on our list but didn’t go to. Click on the link for an interactive version of the map.
FINAL THOUGHTS ON THE BEST GUANAJUATO RESTAURANTS
This guide on Guanajuato restaurants focuses on local food but that doesn’t mean you can’t find upscale restaurants or international food in this city. On the contrary, the majority of restaurants around the main plaza are like that. However, none seem to be all that great based on their reviews. Restaurants near major tourist attractions usually aren’t.
One highly-rated restaurant we considered going to is La Virgen de la Cueva. About a 10-minute taxi ride from downtown Guanajuato, it may be worth the trip if you’re looking for a restaurant that serves gastronomic Mexican cuisine. Another option is Casa Mercedes. These are the two top-rated upscale restaurants in Guanajuato, and not coincidentally, neither is anywhere near the main plaza.
As for cocktails and coffee, Mezcalito has been described as a “really fantastic mezcal bar“ while Café Conquistador is said to roast some of the best coffee beans in Guanajuato. Personally, we didn’t experience amazing coffee in Guanajuato (San Miguel de Allende is better) but Conquistador (or Café Tal) is probably your best bet for a good cup of joe in this city.
And with that, I shall end this already lengthy guide and hope that it leads you to many memorable meals in Guanajuato. If you have any questions, then please let us know in the comment section below.
Thanks for reading and have an amazing time eating your way through the beautiful city of Guanajuato!
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