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18 Must-Visit Restaurants in Morelia, Michoacan, Mexico

When it comes to states with the best regional Mexican food, Michoacán is one of the top destinations in Mexico. It’s right up there with Puebla, Oaxaca, Yucatan, and Jalisco.

However, Michoacán doesn’t receive as many foreign travelers as those other states, likely because it’s on the US Department of State’s “Do Not Travel” list. This is unfortunate because Michoacán cuisine truly is one of the best and most interesting in Mexico.

Luckily for us, the US Department of State advises against all travel to Michoacan, except to two cities – Morelia and Lazaro Cardenas. That was all the assurance we needed to book bus tickets to Morelia and explore what Michoacán food was all about.

If you travel for food like we do and decide to spend time in Morelia, then here are 18 great restaurants to visit for the tastiest traditional Michoacán dishes.

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Carnitas and enchiladas morelianas

WHAT FOOD IS MORELIA, MICHOACAN KNOWN FOR?

Michoacán is often referred to as the “soul of Mexico”. Spend a few days in Morelia and you’ll understand why.

We’ve been exploring Mexico for the past eight months and the people of Morelia have been some of the warmest and most welcoming we’ve encountered thus far. They’re hospitable and caring, and their warmth carries over to their food.

You can read more about them in our Michoacán food guide, but traditional Michoacán dishes like sopa tarasca, morisqueta, and churipo are the type of dishes that comfort and warm you, much like your mother’s bowl of chicken noodle soup.

In the words of James Beard award-winning chef Pati Jinich, “The more I cook, the more I am convinced that the food of a place resembles the characteristics of its people.”

In the eyes of many, Michoacán is the soul of Mexico, and its food is Mexican soul food.

THE BEST MORELIA RESTAURANTS

To help organize this list of the best restaurants in Morelia, I’ve arranged them by category. Click on a link to jump to any section of the guide.

  1. Carnitas
  2. Restaurants
  3. Street Food / Market Stalls
  4. Desserts

CARNITAS

We tried many delicious dishes in Morelia, but carnitas is our hands down favorite dish. Originally from Michoacán, it refers to a dish of slow-cooked pork that’s become popular throughout Mexico. However, no one makes it the way Michoacános do.

We already loved carnitas but even more so after visiting Morelia. They make it differently here. We enjoyed Michoacan-style carnitas so much that we had it as often as we could in the hopes of finding the best.

1. Carnitas Don Pepe

In our opinion, Carnitas Don Pepe is the best carnitas restaurant you can visit near Morelia’s Historic Center. Open since 1942, they served some of the juiciest and tastiest carnitas we enjoyed in Morelia.

If you’ve had carnitas tacos in Mexico City or anywhere else in Mexico, then you may find that the carnitas in Michoacán is served a little differently. Instead of being chopped up into tiny pieces, they give you the carnitas in larger chunks with corn tortillas and condiments so you can assemble the tacos yourself.

Carnitas restaurants in Morelia typically give you a mixture of different cuts of pork (surtido). At Carnitas Don Pepe, you have the option of getting surtido or especial. Surtido comes with maciza (butt/shoulder), cuerito (skin), and aldilla (loin) while especial consists of aldilla, costilla (rib), and cuerito. Both are delicious but we highly recommend getting the especial.

Pictured below is a quarter kilo of especial. A quarter kilo is usually enough for one person.

Carnitas at Don Pepe

Not only was the carnitas at Don Pepe incredibly tasty, but their refried beans were some of the best as well. Carnitas is typically served with refried beans, guacamole, pico de gallo, pickled vegetables, and salsa.

The meaty parts of the pig are delicious but what makes carnitas truly special is the cueritos or pork skin. They have a gelatinous texture that goes so well with the other cuts of meat.

Carnitas taco at Don Pepe

Carnitas Don Pepe is located about an 8-10 minute walk west of Plaza de Armas (zocalo). I’m not sure why, but there don’t seem to be any carnitas restaurants located in the heart of the Historic District. Carnitas Don Pepe is one of the closest.

Entrance to Carnitas Don Pepe

Here’s Ren eagerly digging into her carnitas. If you can see the menuboard in the back, you’ll find that carnitas is served in varying portions from a quarter to a full kilo. This is standard at all carnitas restaurants in Morelia.

Carnitas Don Pepe interior

Carnitas Don Pepe

Address: C. La Corregidora 826, Centro histórico de Morelia, 58000 Morelia, Michoacan
Operating Hours: 8AM-PM, daily
What to Order: Carnitas
Expect to Pay: MXN 200-250 for a half kilo

2. Carnitas Jorge

Carnitas Jorge is another carnitas restaurant that isn’t too far from the zocalo. It’s on the same block as Carnitas Don Pepe so you can visit both on the same day, if you have the stomach space.

What you’re looking at below is a half kilo of carnitas, which is more than enough for two.

Carnitas at Carnitas Jorge

Unlike the other carnitas restaurants on this list, Carnitas Jorge serves you whole pinto beans.

Carnitas taco at Jorge

Carnitas Jorge is another good carnitas restaurant to visit if you’d rather not stray too far from the zocalo.

Carnitas Jorge exterior

Carnitas Jorge

Address: C. La Corregidora 782, Centro histórico de Morelia, 58000 Morelia, Michoacan
Operating Hours: 9:30AM-4:30PM, daily
What to Order: Carnitas
Expect to Pay: MXN 220 for a half kilo

3. Carnitas Huandacareo

After visiting the previous two restaurants, you’ll need to walk a bit farther to get to more carnitas restaurants in Morelia. Carnitas Huandacareo is about a 20-25 minute walk from the zocalo but it’s worth the trek if you want more carnitas in Morelia.

Pictured below is a quarter kilo of carnitas.

Carnitas at Huandacareo

My token carnitas taco shot. It’s a little blurry but still incredibly sexy.

Carnitas taco at Huandacareo

Carnitas Huandacareo is a small family-run restaurant that serves tasty carnitas in Morelia.

Carnitas Huandacareo exterior

Carnitas Huandacareo

Address: 5 De Febrero 753, Obrera, 58000 Morelia, Michoacan
Operating Hours: 10AM-5PM, daily
What to Order: Carnitas
Expect to Pay: MXN 240 for a half kilo

4. Carnitas Don Raul

If you saw the carnitas episode on Taco Chronicles, then this next restaurant may be familiar to you. Thanks to the popularity of that Netflix series, Carnitas Don Raul is perhaps the most popular carnitas restaurant in Morelia. It’s located about a 30-minute walk from the zocalo but it’s definitely worth the effort.

Pictured below is a half kilo of carnitas. Check out those glistening strips of cueritos or pork skin!

Carnitas at Don Raul

Perhaps due to the popularity it gained from the show, Carnitas Don Raul was the most expensive carnitas restaurant we visited in Morelia. However, they do give you the most condiments to enjoy with your carnitas.

Carnitas taco at Don Raul

Like Don Pepe, Carnitas Don Raul serves amazing refried beans. Their guacamole is fantastic too.

Guacamole and refried beans at Carnitas Don Raul

Carnitas Don Raul is located about 2.2 km (1.4 miles) east of the zocalo. It’s a bit of a trek but worth every step if you’re serious about finding the best carnitas in Morelia.

Carnitas Don Raul exterior

Carnitas Don Raul

Address: Carpinteros de Paracho 1007, Vasco de Quiroga, 58230 Morelia, Michoacan
Operating Hours: 9:45AM-5:30PM, daily
What to Order: Carnitas
Expect to Pay: MXN 300-320 for a half kilo

5. Carnitas El Michoacano

We enjoyed every carnitas restaurant we went to in Morelia but Carnitas El Michoacano was our hands down favorite.

Not only was the meat succulent and juicy, but they also give you A LOT of cueritos, the most of any carnitas restaurant we went to in Morelia. The meatier chunks of pork are good on their own but they’re even better when paired with gelatinous strips of pork skin. It’s a marriage made in carnitas heaven.

A half kilo of carnitas was usually more than enough for the two of us but we could have eaten more at Carnitas El Michoacano. The carnitas here is top-notch delicious.

Carnitas at El Michoacano

I must have eaten three of these carnitas tacos within the first five minutes.

Carnitas taco at El Michoacano

Carnitas El Michoacano is located in Vasco de Quiroga, a more residential part of Morelia about 2.5 km (1.6 miles) east of the zocalo. Don’t be intimidated by the distance. You’ll be rewarded with some of the very best carnitas anywhere in Morelia.

Carnitas El Michoacano exterior

Carnitas El Michoacano

Address: Obrajeros de Nurio 326, Vasco de Quiroga, 58230 Morelia, Michoacan
Operating Hours: 7:30AM-4:30PM, daily
What to Order: Carnitas
Expect to Pay: MXN 230 for a half kilo

RESTAURANTS

It wasn’t hard learning about which dishes to try in Michoacán. What was challenging was finding restaurants in the Historic Center that served them. We don’t usually have trouble doing that but in Morelia, we had to go door-to-door and check every restaurant’s menu.

I think part of the reason for that is traditional Michoacán cuisine consists largely of rustic soulful dishes, the kind of food that’s more often made at home than served at restaurants. Sort of like chicken pot pie or Filipino adobo.

So when we found a restaurant that served Michoacán regional cuisine, we ordered as much as we could off their menu. The first two restaurants in this section – Restaurante Caracuaro and La Guarecita de San Agustin – are perfect examples of that.

6. Restaurante Caracuaro

If you had time for just one restaurant in Morelia to try as many Michoacán dishes as you can, then Restaurante Caracuaro is a great place to go. It’s perhaps the best restaurant on this list to try Michoacán specialties like sopa tarasca, morisqueta, and aporreadillo.

What you’re looking at below is a bowl of sopa tarasca, a tasty Purépecha pinto bean soup made with tomatoes, onions, ancho peppers, queso cotija (cotija cheese), avocados, and other ingredients. I’m not much of a soup person but I really enjoyed this one.

The Purépecha are an indigenous people that’s inhabited the northwestern parts of Michoacán for over a thousand years. Many dishes in Michoacán cuisine are Purépecha dishes.

Sopa tarasco at Restaurante Caracuaro

Like the Yucatan, Michoacán is home to many different preparations of tamales, one of the most popular being uchepos. Uchepos are made with fresh instead of dried corn and are often sweet.

Uchepo at Restaurante Caracuaro

Pictured below is a spicy plate of aporreadillo. It’s a filling dish of meat jerky and egg cooked in a sauce made with different types of chili pepper, garlic, onion, and spices. Typically served with a side of rice and refried beans, it’s a popular dish that’s commonly consumed in Michoacán and Guerrero.

Aporreadillo at Restaurante Caracuaro

Like tacos, enchiladas are available everywhere in Mexico. Some cities like Guanajuato (enchiladas mineras) and Queretaro (enchiladas queretanas) have their own regional versions. So does Michoacán.

Known as pollo placero (or enchiladas morelianas, enchiladas placeras), the Michoacán version of enchiladas is served with stewed carrots, potatoes, and oregano-seasoned chicken that’s been fried in lard.

Enchiladas morelianas at Restaurante Caracuaro

Aside from carnitas, morisqueta was one of my favorite dishes in Michoacán cuisine. Strictly speaking, morisqueta refers to just white rice and pinto beans topped with queso fresco and sour cream, but it’s usually served with some type of soup or stew.

What you’re looking at below is a version of morisqueta from Apatzingán, a city in the west-central region of Michoacán. It’s a hearty dish that’s traditionally served with pork ribs braised in tomato sauce.

Morisqueta at Restaurante Caracuaro

As described, Restaurante Caracuaro is one of the best restaurants in Morelia to visit for traditional Michoacán food. They serve excellent food and offer great service.

Restaurante Caracuaro is located about a 10-15 minute walk east of the zocalo.

Restaurante Caracuaro exterior

Restaurante Caracuaro is a large restaurant with a main dining hall and one or two smaller dining areas. The main dining room is quite dark and gloomy but you can ask to be seated in one of these brighter side rooms.

Ren looking at a menu inside Restaurante Caracuaro

Restaurante Caracuaro

Address: Dr. Miguel Silva G. 92, Centro histórico de Morelia, 58000 Morelia, Michoacan
Operating Hours: 8AM-8PM, daily
What to Order: Traditional Michoacan dishes
Expect to Pay: Around MXN 400-450 for two people with drinks

7. La Guarecita de San Agustin (Near Plaza de Armas)

Like Restauante Caracuaro, La Guarecite de San Agustin is one of the best restaurants in Morelia to have traditional Michoacán food. Located in the heart of the Historic District, on the south side of the zocalo, they have an extensive menu featuring many local dishes like aporreadillo, uchepos, corundas, and enchiladas morelianas.

I thought I’d have to wait until Pátzcuaro to try charales but we were happy to find it here at La Guarecita. Charales is a Pátzcuaro specialty of lightly battered and fried Chirostoma fish.

Charales looks to be a seasonal item at La Guarecita. It isn’t a permanent dish on their menu so I highly recommend ordering it if you see it on their specials board.

Charales at La Guarecita de San Agustin

To be honest, we didn’t know about this dish until we saw it on La Guarecita’s menu. Known as xanducata de pollo, it’s a tasty dish made with chicken and rice in a thick, mole-like sauce.

Xandacuta at La Guarecita de San Agustin

This Michoacán dish is the main reason why we decided to eat at La Guarecita. We couldn’t find churipo anywhere so were ecstatic to find it here.

Churipo is a hearty Purépecha stew made with beef, vegetables, chili peppers, corn, herbs, and corundas.

Churipo at La Guarecita de San Agustin

If you have a sweet tooth, then you’re definitely going to want to bite into this syrupy sweet Michoacán dessert called chongos zamoranos. It’s a cloyingly sweet curdled milk dessert made with milk, sugar, cinnamon, and rennet tablets.

Chongo zamorano at La Guarecita de San Agustin

There are many great restaurants in Morelia but only a few offer a wide selection of Michoacán specialties on their menu. La Guarecita de San Agustin is one of them.

If you want good food that isn’t too far from the zocalo, then La Guarecita is a great option to consider.

La Guarecita de San Agustin exterior

La Guarecita de San Agustin is a traditional restaurant along the popular Hidalgo walking street, just a stone’s throw away from the zocalo.

Inside La Guarecita de San Agustin

La Guarecita de San Agustin

Address: Hidalgo 54, Centro, 58000 Morelia, Michoacan
Operating Hours: 7:30AM-11PM, daily
What to Order: Traditional Michoacan dishes
Expect to Pay: Around MXN 500-600 for two people with drinks

8. Cuish Cocina Boutique Mich-Oax

Oaxaca and Michoacán are two states with a reputation for having the best food in Mexico. So when you find a restaurant that specializes in both cuisines, you don’t ask too many questions. You just go.

Cuish is a terrific restaurant in the heart of Morelia’s Historic Center. They have an interesting menu featuring specialties from both Michoacán and Oaxaca. Each dish is labeled with an “M” or “O” on their menu so you know where it’s from.

What you’re looking at below is atapakua, a flavorful Purépecha stew made with pork cooked with local ingredients like ancho chilis, tomatoes, fresh corn, pepitas (pumpkin seeds), garlic, sorrel, and yerba buena.

Atapakua at Cuish

This artfully plated dish of enchiladas morelianas was meant to be served with chicken, but they were out of it that day so they gave us tasajo (dried beef) instead. If you’ve been to Oaxaca, then you may recognize it as the type of meat they often serve with tlayudas.

Since we were in Morelia, our gregarious server was quick to point out that tasajo in Michoacán is known simply as bistec.

Enchiladas morelianas at Cuish

If you’d like to wash all that delicious Michoacán food down with a local spirit, then you may want to get a glass of charanda. It’s a PDO spirit distilled from sugarcane, similar to rum.

Charanda at Cuish

Cuish is one of the most interesting restaurants on this list. They serve great food and offer excellent service right in the heart of the Historical District. They serve other Michoacán specialties as well like charales, sopa tarasca, corundas, and uchepos.

Cuish exterior

Not only does Cuish serve excellent food, but it’s a charming restaurant as well. The interior and decorations reminded us very much of Oaxaca.

Inside Cuish

We enjoyed great service at almost every restaurant in Morelia but our lunch at Cuish was the most memorable. Unfortunately, we didn’t catch our server’s name but aside from the good food, he was a big reason why we enjoyed this restaurant so much. ¡Muchisimas gracias señor!

View from the second floor of Cuish

Cuish Cocina Boutique Mich-Oax

Address: C. de Santiago Tapia #60, Centro, 58000 Morelia, Michoacan
Operating Hours: 2-11PM, Tue-Sat / 9AM-7PM, Sun (closed Mondays)
What to Order: Traditional Michoacan and Oaxacan dishes
Expect to Pay: Around MXN 350-400 for two people with drinks

9. La Casona de las Rosas

Jardin de las Rosas (Garden of the Roses) is a small but lovely plaza just a short walk from the zocalo. It’s a pleasant place to visit on any day of the week but especially on Sundays when vendors set up around the park to sell a variety of wares like crafts, paintings, sculptures, and artisanal food items.

You’ll find around five or six restaurants around the plaza with al fresco seating, including La Casona de las Rosas. This is a fun place to have lunch on a Sunday when the park really comes alive.

I don’t think this is originally from Michoacán but pictured below is a bowl of caldo tlalpeño, a type of Mexican soup made with chicken and vegetables seasoned with garlic, onion, epazote, cumin, and chipotle chili.

Caldo Tlalpeno at La Casona de las Rosas

If chicken and vegetable soup is a little too boring for you, then perhaps you’d like to go for a bowl of caldo de rana instead. It’s a Mexican soup made with frog’s legs cooked with guajillo chilis, celery, carrots, and potatoes.

Caldo de rana at La Casona de las Rosas

La Casona de las Rosas is a good place to have breakfast as well. They offer a variety of breakfast platters, including this Michoacano breakfast featuring corundas and pork ribs drenched in red salsa.

Michoacano breakfast at La Casona de las Rosas

La Casona de las Rosas is an atmospheric restaurant that offers great food and excellent service. It’s a fun place to just hang out and go people-watching too.

Outdoor seating at La Casona de las Rosas

La Casona de las Rosas has a large indoor seating area as well, though most people prefer to sit outside. There’s a stage inside so it looks like they play live music here at night.

Indoor seating at La Casona de las Rosas

La Casona de las Rosas

Address: C. de Santiago Tapia 331, Centro, 58000 Morelia, Michoacan
Operating Hours: 8AM-12MN, daily
What to Order: Breakfast dishes, antojitos, botanas
Expect to Pay: Around MXN 300-350 for two people with drinks

STREET FOOD / MARKET STALLS

If you’re traveling on a budget and want great food at a good price in Mexico, then one of the best things for you to do is to visit a market fonda (family-owned eatery) or street food stall.

Not only will you be getting good food for cheap, but you’ll be rubbing elbows with locals as well. It’s one of the most authentic food experiences you can have in Mexico.

MERCADO REVOLUCION

I explored two large markets in Morelia – Mercado Independencia and Mercado Revolucion. Mercado Independencia is the larger and more interesting of the two but Mercado Revolucion is located in a more pleasant neighborhood so I’m recommending that one instead.

10. Mega Quesadilla Doña Agus

Mega quesadillas seem to be a thing in Morelia. It’s exactly as its name suggests – a large quesadilla measuring around 18 inches (46 cm) long. Aside from cheese, it’s filled with the usual ingredients like chorizo, pastor meat, bistec, and tripa.

You’ll find food stalls selling mega quesadillas at different spots throughout Morelia, including Mercado Revolucion. Just outside the market is a row of about four or five food stalls selling typical Mexican dishes like pozole, enchiladas, pambazos, and these mega quesadillas.

When in doubt, always go to the busiest food stall and that stall today was Mega Quesadilla Doña Agus. This mega quesadilla went for just MXN 30.

Mega quesadilla at Dona Agus

It’s hard to mess up a quesadilla. Cheese makes everything better so it doesn’t really matter where you go. Pictured below is my deliciously cheap and filling mega quesadilla with chorizo.

Inside a mega quesadilla

This row of street food stalls is located on the south end of Mercado Revolucion. It’s a great place to eat a filling meal for cheap in Morelia.

Food stalls at Mercado Revolucion

Mega Quesadilla Doña Agus

Address: 20 de Noviembre 733, Centro histórico de Morelia, 58000 Morelia, Michoacan
Operating Hours: 8AM-7:30PM, daily
What to Order: Mega quesadillas
Expect to Pay: MXN 30 per mega quesadilla

PLAZA DE SAN AGUSTIN

Another good place to eat cheap food in downtown Morelia is Plaza de San Agustin. Surrounding the plaza in front of Rectoría de San Agustín is this U-shaped cluster of stands selling traditional Mexican food.

Most of the places here offer the same things so it doesn’t really matter where you go. As advised, just look for the busiest stall.

Food stalls at Plaza de San Agustin

11. Antojitos Mexicanos “Carmelita”

When I went, one of the busiest stalls was Antojitos Mexicanos “Carmelita”. I had this plate of three quesadillas with mixed fillings for just MXN 50.

Quesadillas at Antojitos Mexicanos Carmelita

This is the stall I went to but like I said, most of the places here offer the same dishes so it doesn’t really matter where you go.

Antojitos Mexicanos Carmelita stall at Plaza de San Agustin

Antojitos Mexicanos “Carmelita”

Address: Centro histórico de Morelia, 58000 Morelia, Michoacán
Operating Hours: 9AM-12MN, daily
What to Order: Antojitos, botanas
Expect to Pay: Around MXN 75-100 per person with drinks

MERCADO MUNICIPAL VASCO DE QUIROGA

Mercado Municipal Vasco de Quiroga is the third traditional market I visited in Morelia. It isn’t nearly as big nor as lively as the other two but we went here specifically to visit one stall – Uchepos y Corundas Rossy.

Mercado Municipal Vasco de Quiroga

12. Uchepos y Corundas Rossy

As its name suggests, Uchepos y Corundas Rossy specializes in corundas and uchepos. I wanted to get uchepos de dulce con mantequilla (sweet uchepos with butter) but they were out of it by the time we got there so I got this corunda rellena de calabacita con queso instead. It’s a type of corunda filled with squash and cheese.

Corunda from Uchepos y Corundas Rossy

Mercado Municipal Vasco de Quiroga is located across the street from Carnitas El Michoacano. If you’re still hungry after your carnitas meal, then you may want to pick up a few uchepos and corundas from this stall.

Uchepos y Corundas Rossy stall

Uchepos y Corundas Rossy

Address: Obrajeros de Nurio 17-Int. 78, Vasco de Quiroga, 58230 Morelia, Michoacan
Operating Hours: 9:30AM-3PM, Tue-Sat / 9:30AM-2PM, Sun (closed Mondays)
What to Order: Corundas, uchepos
Expect to Pay: MXN 7-12 per corunda or uchepo

13. Corundas Sto. Niño

You can find corundas at many restaurants in Morelia but I prefer trying them (or any other dish) at specialty restaurants like Uchepos y Corundas Rossy or this one – Corundas Sto. Niño. Located near Carnitas Don Pepe and Carnitas Jorge, they specialize in a handful of pre-Hispanic dishes like corundas, pozole, tamales, and atole.

Corundas Sto. Niño offers two types of corundas – corundas de manteca and corundas de ceniza. The owner tried explaining to us the difference between the two but our limited Spanish made it difficult to understand.

Corundas de manteca translates to “butter corundas” while corundas de ceniza means “ash corundas”. According to this recipe, corundas de ceniza is cooked with lime and ash.

If I remember correctly, the triangular tamales in the picture below are the corundas de manteca while the flatter ones beneath them are the corundas de ceniza. Both were tasty so I suggest trying both.

Corundas from Sto. Nino

Whatever the type, corundas are typically enjoyed with Mexican sour cream and a thin, tomato-ey red salsa.

Corundas with condiments from Sto. Nino

It’s hard to find room after a filling carnitas meal but you may want to give these corundas a try before rolling back to your hotel.

Corundas Sto. Nino exterior

Corundas Sto. Niño

Address: C. La Corregidora 805, Centro histórico de Morelia, 58000 Morelia, Michoacan
Operating Hours: 7AM-4PM, daily
What to Order: Corundas
Expect to Pay: Around MXN 30 per order of corundas

DESSERTS

14. Gaspachos el Guero de la Merced

Walk around downtown Morelia and you’ll find many locals digging into these plastic cups filled with chopped fruit. This fruity snack is called gaspachos and it’s one of the most emblematic dessert snacks you’ll find in Morelia.

Not to be confused with the Spanish dish of cold vegetable soup, gaspachos morelianos consist of finely chopped mango, jicama, pineapple, and watermelon mixed with onions, lime, orange juice, chili, and cotija cheese.

There are many gaspachos stalls throughout Morelia but Gaspachos el Guero de la Merced is known for being one of the best. Like carnitas, you can’t leave Morelia without trying this dish.

Gaspacho from el Guero de la Merced

Gaspachos el Guero de la Merced is conveniently located about a 5-7 minute walk west of the zocalo.

Gaspachos el Guero de la Merced exterior

Gaspachos el Guero de la Merced

Address: Andrés Quintana Roo 192, Centro histórico de Morelia, 58000 Morelia, Michoacan
Operating Hours: 10:30AM-6PM, daily
What to Order: Gaspachos
Expect to Pay: MXN 45 for the regular gaspacho

15. Nieve de Pasta

Like charales, nieve de pasta is a Michoacán dish originally from the magical town (pueblo magico) of Pátzcuaro. Meaning “paste ice cream” in English, it’s an ultra-thick and pasty type of ice cream that tastes similar to condensed milk or dulce de leche.

You can get nieve de pasta in its “natural” flavor but you can also get it enhanced with other ingredients like mango, strawberry, avocado, or mamey.

Nieves de pasta

The Nieve de Pasta ice cream shop in Morelia makes decent nieve de pasta but it’s still a far cry from the original at Neveria La Pacanda in Pátzcuaro.

Nieves de pasta

Nieve de Pasta is located along Av Francisco I. Madero Pte. You’ll see it on the right side of the street on your way to Callejon del Romance or the Aqueduct from the zocalo.

Nieve de pasta shop

Nieve de Pasta

Address: Av Francisco I. Madero Pte, Centro, 58000 Morelia, Michoacan
Operating Hours: 10AM-9PM, Mon-Sat / 10AM-7PM, Sun
What to Order: Nieves de pasta
Expect to Pay: Around MXN 15 for two scoops

16. La Michoacana

If you’ve been to Mexico, anywhere in Mexico, then you’ve undoubtedly seen one of these La Michoacana ice cream shops. As its name suggests, it’s a chain that originated in Michoacán, specifically from the town of Tocumbo.

La Michoacana ice cream is the same no matter where you go but it’s cool to try it in the state where it originated from.

Ice cream from La Michoacana

Like any Mexican city, there are several La Michoacana branches in Morelia. We went to the one near Plaza Villalongin and Fuente de las Tarascas.

La Michoacana ice cream shop

La Michoacana

Address: Av Acueducto 870, Centro histórico de Morelia, 58000 Morelia, Michoacan
Operating Hours: 10AM-9PM, daily
What to Order: Ice cream
Expect to Pay: Around MXN 48 for three scoops

17. Churreria Porfirio

The zocalo is one of the best places to go people-watching in any Mexican city. Morelia is no exception.

There are always plenty of restaurants to go people-watching from around the zocalo but we prefer doing it from cafes or dessert shops. In Morelia, Churreria Porfirio is an excellent spot to watch life go by over churros and hot chocolate.

Churros, bunuelos, coffee, and hot chocolate at Churreria Porfirio

Their churros are good but their buñuelos may be better. A buñuelo is a type of donut or fried dough fritter that’s popular in Spain and in many parts of Latin America.

You’ll often find simple versions of buñuelos sold from street food carts in Mexico but at Churreria Porfirio, it looks like a large version of a rosette cookie. It’s crunchy and crumbly and perfect with coffee or hot chocolate.

Bunuelo at Churreria Porfirio

Churreria Porfirio is a popular Mexican churros chain with branches throughout the country.

Churreria Porfirio exterior

There’s nothing like a good cup of coffee to while away the time in Mexico, or any other country for that matter.

Coffee at Churreria Porfirio

Churreria Porfirio

Address: Allende 243, Centro histórico de Morelia, 58000 Morelia, Michoacan
What to Order: Churros, buñuelos
Expect to Pay: MXN 30-99 for churros, depending on the amount

18. Calle Real

If you’ve been to Puebla and have a sweet tooth, then you’re probably familiar with poblano dulces tipicos or traditional sweets. People who enjoy the sweeter things in life will be pleased to learn that Michoacán makes its own traditional sweets as well.

Known as dulces tipicos de Michoacán, the state is famous for traditional confections like ate, cocada, moreliana, and mazapan. And like Puebla, they’re famous for their own version of rompope as well.

In Morelia, one of the best places to buy dulces tipicos is Calle Real. Open since 1840, it’s a beautiful chain of sweet shops that’ll make you feel like you’re in the 19th century. As you can see in the picture below, shop employees wear period costumes to complete the illusion.

Inside Calle Real

At Calle Real, you’ll be like a kid in a candy shop. Oh wait…

Dulces tipicos at Calle Real

The dulces tipicos from Puebla are good but the sweets in Michoacán may be even better. If you’re looking for the perfect food souvenir to bring home from Morelia, then look no further than Calle Real. Not only are their sweets delicious, but they’re beautifully packaged as well.

Dulces tipicos at Calle Real

Here’s our haul of sweets from Calle Real. My favorite is definitely the ate which is a type of Mexican fruit jelly. They were so good I couldn’t stop eating them!

There’s more than one Calle Real branch in Morelia but the most conveniently located is the one along Av Francisco I. Madero Ote.

Basket of dulces tipicos from Calle Real

Calle Real

Address: Av Francisco I. Madero Ote 440, Centro histórico de Morelia, 58000 Morelia, Michoacan
Operating Hours: 10AM-8PM, daily
What to Buy: Dulces tipicos de Michoacan
What We Paid: MXN 255

LOCATION MAP

To help you navigate to these restaurants and street food stalls in Morelia, I’ve pinned them all on the map below. Click on the link for a live version of the map.

Map of the best restaurants in Morelia

FINAL THOUGHTS ON THE BEST RESTAURANTS IN MORELIA, MEXICO

We almost always stick to local food when we travel but we couldn’t help but notice the large number of Italian and sushi restaurants in Morelia. Like surprisingly many.

We didn’t go but Pizzas del 108 is often mentioned as having some of the best pizzas in the Historical District. It may be a good place to go if you have a hankering for Italian food.

I’ve all but given up on sushi in Mexico but we happened to be staying at an Airbnb near Ici Makis Centro, one of the top-rated Japanese restaurants in Morelia. While I was away in Pátzcuaro, Ren had the yaki meshi especial and she said it was pretty decent for Japanese food in Mexico. If you want sushi, then just know that Mexican restaurants typically put Philadelphia cream cheese in every roll.

Anyway, that about sums up this Morelia restaurant guide. Michoacán food is amazing but I can understand why some travelers choose to skip this state in western Mexico. If you’re interested in visiting Morelia but have reservations, then be sure to check the US Department of State’s website for the latest travel advisory to Michoacán.

If you do decide to go, then I hope you enjoy the food in Morelia as much as we did. ¡Buen provecho!

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