Unlike Oaxaca, Puebla, or Yucatan, Queretaro doesn’t have a reputation for being a top foodie destination in Mexico. Tourists flock to Queretaro for its wine and cheese but it isn’t characterized by emblematic dishes like mole poblano, Yucatecan cochinita pibil, or Oaxacan moles.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t find great food in Queretaro.
The Mexican food in Santiago de Querétaro is delicious. You’ll find the usual touristy restaurants around its zocalo (main square) but stray away from Plaza de Armas and you’ll find a wealth of terrific restaurants, fondas (family-owned eateries), markets, taquerias, and street food stalls offering a tasty array of Mexican dishes and antojitos (snacks).
Eating local food is what excites us most about trips. If eating like a local is important to you, then here are twenty great places for you to eat in Santiago de Querétaro.
QUERETARO RESTAURANTS QUICK LINKS
To help you plan your Queretaro trip, we’ve compiled links to top-rated hotels, tours, and other travel-related services here.
Recommended hotels in Centro, one of the most convenient areas to stay for first-time visitors to Queretaro.
- Sightseeing Tour: City Tour in a Classic Ford T Vehicle
- Wine Tour: Haciendas, Wineries, and Magical Towns
- Cooking Classes: Queretaro Cooking Classes
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WHAT TRADITIONAL FOOD IS QUERETARO KNOWN FOR?
Aside from wine and cheese, Queretaro state isn’t really known for its regional cuisine, at least not in the same way as Puebla, Oaxaca, Yucatan, Michoacan, or Jalisco. When I told one Queretaro restaurant owner that we were continuing on to Morelia, he said: “Oh! The (regional) food there is better.”
When doing research before our trip to Queretaro, we struggled to compile a list of must-try dishes. One local tourism website listed several “typical dishes from Queretaro”, but most of them – like tacos dorados, cecina, sopes, and huaraches – are common in other parts of Mexico as well.
There don’t seem to be too many dishes whose origins can be traced back to Queretaro, but there are a few dishes that are more commonly eaten than others.
If you were to try just one dish in Santiago de Querétaro, then it should probably be enchiladas queretanas. It’s a type of enchilada filled with chicken and coated in some type of red sauce, probably guajillo sauce. The enchiladas are then served with stewed potatoes and carrots, fresh salad, and cotija cheese.
Enchiladas queretanas are absolutely delicious. They reminded us of enchiladas mineras, a similar type of enchilada from Guanjauato. In Santiago de Querétaro, we suggest going to Los Compadres or Huaraches y Gorditas Conchita for delicious enchiladas queretanas.
Gorditas de Migajas
Gorditas are common throughout Mexico but one type of gordita seems especially popular in Queretaro – gorditas de migajas. It refers to a type of gordita made with pork rind crumbs mixed into the corn masa. Migajas in Spanish means “crumbs”.
Like regular gorditas, gorditas de migajas can be filled with a variety of different ingredients like chicharron, queso, huitlacoche (corn smut), and chicken tinga (shredded stewed chicken). The pork crumbs impart a taste and texture that you can’t get in ordinary gorditas.
Guajolotes refer to a type of Mexican sandwich made with pambazo bread filled with meat (usually pork or chicken), lettuce, crema (Mexican sour cream), and cotija cheese. The bread has a characteristic red color from being drenched in guajillo sauce.
Known as “pambazo mexicano”, this type of sandwich is available in many parts of Mexico. According to one local Queretaro website, guajolotes queretanas are an adaptation of pambazos from Mexico City. They were originally made with the addition of enchiladas. However, enchiladas are no longer added to the sandwich so it’s essentially the same thing as a pambazo mexicano.
Guajolotes are widely available in Santiago de Querétaro. We had it just once, at Huaraches y Gorditas Conchita.
Pozole refers to a pre-Hispanic soup or stew made with hominy corn as its key ingredient. The hominy is mixed with meat (usually pork or chicken) and other ingredients like shredded lettuce, radish, onion, garlic, chili, avocado, and lime.
Depending on what it’s made with, Mexican pozole can be made in three main types – rojo (red), verde (green), and blanco (white). Though all three types are available in Santiago de Querètaro, pozole rojo seems to be the most popular.
We didn’t have pozole rojo in Santiago de Querétaro but we did have pozole blanco, at Los Picapiedra.
THE BEST RESTAURANTS IN SANTIAGO DE QUERÉTARO
I’ve organized this Queretaro food guide by type of establishment to make it easier to go through. You can click on a link to jump to any section of the guide.
TRADITIONAL MEXICAN RESTAURANTS
1. Los Compadres
Los Compadres is a great local restaurant just a block north of Plaza de Armas. They serve many traditional Mexican dishes and antojitos like enchiladas, gorditas, pozole, tortas, and chilaquiles.
You can barely see them but pictured below is a plate of their tasty enchiladas queretanas. Served with a side of refried beans and a fresh salad, they give you three enchiladas smothered in stewed carrots, potatoes, and cheese.
We had enchiladas queretanas at three different restaurants in Queretaro and the version at Los Compadres was our favorite. It’s so good.
We ordered a gordita de migaja and a gordita de queso as well. Pictured below is the gordita de migaja.
The gorditas at Los Compadres are quite large but unlike other gorditas be migajas, the pork rind crumbs were used as a filling and didn’t seem to be mixed into the corn masa. You can find better gorditas elsewhere so I suggest skipping these.
Los Compadres is located on the corner of Calle 16 de Septiembre and Calle Pasteur Norte, just a 2-minute walk north of Plaza de Armas. It’s a great place to go for inexpensive traditional Mexican food in the Historic Center.
Los Compadres is a colorful restaurant with fun murals and decorations adorning its walls. It seems popular with the locals so expect a crowd when you eat there.
Address: Calle 16 de Septiembre 46, Centro, 76000 Santiago de Querétaro, Qro.
Operating Hours: 9AM-10:30PM, Tue-Sun (closed Mondays)
What to Order: Enchiladas queretanas, agua de jamaica
2. Gorditas del Andador
Gorditas del Andador is a tiny hole-in-the-wall that serves some of the best gorditas de migajas in Santiago de Querétaro. You can get them filled with whatever guisados (stews) they have available that day.
We asked our server for an assortment and she came back with a tasty quintet filled with chicharron, chicken tinga, beans, cheese, and other fillings. Their gorditas aren’t that big but they’re absolutely delicious.
Aside from their stellar reviews, what drew us to Gorditas del Andador was the crowd of locals waiting to get their gorditas to go. We had to wait around 15-20 minutes to get our orders, which is never a bad thing when you want the best food.
Gorditas del Andador is a tiny fonda or family-owned Mexican eatery. One woman kneads and flattens the corn masa, another fries them up, while a third fills them with the various stews. It’s the type of family-run establishment that you often see in Mexico.
There’s just one table, a bench, and a few plastic chairs inside Gorditas del Andador so most people get their orders to go. It’s rustic and perhaps not a place for people who want tablecloths and silverware, but it doesn’t get more local or authentic than this.
Gorditas del Andador
Address: And. Libertad 22, Centro, 76000 Santiago de Querétaro, Qro.
Operating Hours: 11AM-4:30PM, daily
What to Order: Gorditas de migajas
3. Gorditas los Pinos
Gorditas los Pinos makes tasty gorditas that are different from the offerings at Gorditas del Andador. The latter specializes in deep-fried gorditas de migajas (mixed with pork rind crumbs) while Gorditas los Pinos makes regular gorditas cooked on a comal. The results are noticeably different with the non-fried gorditas being much softer and smoother in texture.
Personally, I prefer gorditas de migajas but the offerings at Gorditas los Pinos are delicious as well. Like any savory gordita, you can get them filled with a variety of different ingredients like chicharron, huitlacoche, higado (liver), huevos (eggs), and stewed vegetables.
Here’s a closer look at the gordita filled with huitlacoche. Huitlacoche is the Mexican term for corn smut, a mushroom-like fungus that grows on corn. It’s an interesting and often used ingredient in Mexican cuisine.
Gorditas los Pinos is a humble eatery located about a 6-7 minute walk west of Plaza de Armas.
Gorditas los Pinos
Address: 76000, Calle José María Pino Suárez 15, Centro, Santiago de Querétaro, Qro.
Operating Hours: 9AM-9PM, Mon-Sat / 9AM-6PM, Sun
What to Order: Gorditas
4. Los Picapiedra
Los Picapiedra is a great local restaurant that offers just three dishes on their menu – pozole, tostadas, and tacos. Rojo seems to be the color of choice for pozole in Santiago de Querétaro but Los Picapiedra makes a darn delicious pozole blanco. It’s hearty and tasty and loaded with strips of shredded chicken and hominy corn.
Pictured below is the medium size pozole. Los Picapiedra serves it in small and large sizes as well.
Pozole in Mexico is always served with a plethora of sides like shredded lettuce, chopped onions, radish slices, lime, and one or more salsas. You top your pozole with the condiments and then mix it all up to eat.
Los Picapiedra makes tasty tacos and tostadas topped with different types of meat as well. If I remember correctly, these were made with suadero which is the meat cut from the area between the pig or cow’s belly and leg.
When a restaurant focuses on just one or two dishes, chances are, it’s going to be good. Los Picapiedra is an example of that. The restaurant is located at the corner of Manuel Gutierrez Najera and Calle Independencia, near Iglesia de la Santa Cruz.
Address: Manuel Gutiérrez Nájera 35, La Santa Cruz, La Cruz, 76020 Santiago de Querétaro, Qro.
Operating Hours: 2-11:30PM, Mon-Sat (closed on Sundays)
What to Order: Pozole blanco
5. Rico Menudo Doña Pueblito
If you’re in the mood for tripe in Queretaro, then Doña Pueblito is one of the best places for you to visit. Like Los Picapiedra, it’s a highly focused restaurant that offers just one dish on their menu – menudo.
Also known as pancita or mole de panza, menudo refers to a traditional Mexican soup made with beef tripe served in a broth flavored with red chili peppers.
I absolutely love tripe so this was easily one of my favorite meals in Queretaro. Menudo is typically garnished with chopped onions, dried oregano, salsa, and lime juice.
Doña Pueblito is located along busy Calle Ignacio Zaragoza. It’s outside the Centro Historico area but definitely worth a visit.
Rico Menudo Doña Pueblito
Address: La Santa Cruz, La Cruz, 76020 Santiago de Querétaro, Qro.
Operating Hours: 7:30AM-1:15PM, Fri-Wed (closed on Thursdays)
What to Order: Menudo
6. La Biznaga Arte y Cafe
La Biznaga Arte y Cafe is easily one of the best and most popular restaurants in Queretaro City. We stayed for two weeks at an Airbnb close to this restaurant and there was always a line of locals waiting to be seated. Eat here just once and you’ll understand why.
La Biznaga serves amazing food in a fun, unpretentious space with lots of trinkets and interesting decorations to look at (more on that later). They’re open for breakfast and lunch from 9AM till 2PM and for dinner from 5 till 10PM.
We ate at La Biznaga twice, once for breakfast and another time for dinner. They offer seriously delicious breakfasts like huevos al gusto, chilaqauiles, enmoladas, and enchiladas. You can get any of their breakfast dishes in a set meal with a basket of sweet bread, coffee or tea, and juice with one free refill. They offer hot chocolate as well.
Pictured below is the huevos al gusto served with a side of refried beans. These were easily the best refried beans we’ve had anywhere in Mexico.
Just as good was this omelette with mushrooms and/or ham and a side of those delicious refried beans.
Every single dish, drink, salsa, and condiment we had at La Biznaga was delicious, but in my opinion, what really sets them apart is their bread. I don’t know if they bake them all in-house but their bread is AMAZING.
These sweet pastry breads were fantastic. We ate here for an early dinner one day and their sandwich bread and pizza crust were incredibly delicious too.
La Biznaga makes their own style of pizzas with a wide variety of ingredients. This one was topped with vegetarian chorizo, avocados, beans, tomatoes, onions, cilantro, and pimento peppers.
As described, the crust on this pizza is amazing. It’s crunchy on the outside but soft and airy on the inside. It’s so good.
La Biznaga makes delicious burgers and sandwiches as well. This one was made with herbs, hummus, mushrooms, olives, cheese, and spinach served on the most amazing paprika-dusted garlic bread.
Here’s a closer look at the sandwich. I’m not a vegetarian (yet) but I’d have no problem giving up meat with sandwiches as good as this. This was seriously delicious.
For dessert, we enjoyed this equally delicious pay de guayaba (guava pie). I’m not exaggerating when I say that everything we had at La Biznaga Arte y Cafe was a winner.
From the mural on its facade to its fun interior, La Biznaga Arte y Cafe certainly lives up to its name. It’s an artsy cafe and restaurant that offers great service and some of the most delicious food in Santiago de Querétaro.
La Biznaga opens for breakfast at 9AM. Not a morning passed when we walked by this restaurant and didn’t find people already lined up outside before opening time. After a couple of meals here, it isn’t hard to see why it’s so popular.
Here are a few pictures from inside the restaurant. It’s an eclectic space filled with interesting bric-a-brac. This dining area is partly open so it gets a lot of good light.
This is one of the darker indoor dining spaces. The room through that doorway has a loft-like second floor that you can reach via a ladder. Pretty cool right?
La Biznaga Arte y Cafe
Address: Manuel Gutiérrez Nájera 17, La Santa Cruz, La Cruz, 76020 Santiago de Querétaro, Qro.
Operating Hours: 9AM-2PM, 5-10PM, Mon-Sat (closed on Sundays)
What to Order: Breakfast, sandwiches, burgers, pizza
7. El Tocino
Across the street from La Biznaga Arte y Cafe is El Tocino, another good place to have a classic Mexican breakfast in Santiago de Querétaro. They offer traditional breakfast dishes like huevos divorciados (pictured below), huevos motuleños, chilaquiles, and molletes.
Huevos divorciados literally means “divorced eggs” and refers to a classic Mexican breakfast dish served with eggs and two types of salsas.
Pictured below is huevos motuleños, a tasty Mexican breakfast dish that’s originally from the town of Motul in Yucatan. It consists of corn tortillas topped with black beans, fried eggs, cheese, and tomato sauce.
We really lucked out with our choice of Airbnb because Manuel Gutiérrez Nájera is filled with many restaurants serving good food.
El Tocino isn’t nearly as popular as La Biznaga but it’s definitely worth checking out as well. We ate here just for breakfast but they serve lunch and dinner as well.
Like La Biznaga, El Tocino has a cute and artsy interior. It’s a fun place to enjoy a simple but delicious Mexican breakfast in Queretaro City.
Address: Manuel Gutiérrez Nájera # 12, La Santa Cruz, La Cruz, 76000 Santiago de Querétaro, Qro.
Operating Hours: 9AM-6PM, daily
What to Order: Breakfast
8. Mr. Jaibo
If you’re in the mood for shrimp or fish tacos, then Mr. Jaibo is one of the best places for you to visit in Santiago de Querétaro. It’s a small taqueria that serves tacos, tostadas, ceviches, and other seafood dishes made with the freshest fish and shrimp.
I was talking to the restaurant’s owner and he was proud to tell me that they source their seafood fresh from the market every morning. I believe him because these fish and shrimp tacos were some of the best I’ve had anywhere in Mexico, and I’ve spent time in coastal cities like Puerto Vallarta and Playa del Carmen. They were so good.
Three tacos were enough to fill me up but I needed to try their shrimp tostadas as well. I’m glad I did because these were every bit as delicious as the tacos.
I didn’t try them but you may want to go for their fish and chips as well. Another guest staying at the same Airbnb complex as us raved about them.
Mr. Jaibo is located on the north side of Manuel Gutiérrez Nájera, on the way to Mercado “La Cruz”. If you like seafood, then you need to visit this restaurant.
Address: Manuel Gutiérrez Nájera 9_7, La Santa Cruz, La Cruz, 76020 Santiago de Querétaro, Qro.
Operating Hours: 1-7PM, Wed-Sun (closed Mon-Tue)
What to Order: Seafood dishes
9. Santa Cecina, Taqueria del Barrio
Like Mr. Jaibo, Santa Cecina serves amazing tacos in Santiago de Querétaro, but instead of seafood, they make theirs with cecina and chorizo. Cecina refers to thinly sliced meat – typically beef or pork – that’s been salted, marinated, and sun-dried.
The cecina itself is delicious but another thing I really liked about these tacos is that they’re made with french fries. We’ve eaten tacos all throughout Mexico and this was the first time we’ve had them with fries. We enjoyed them A LOT.
I suggest getting tacos with both cecina and chorizo. Be sure to get them with cheese as well for more richness and flavor.
Salsas are a quintessential part of Mexican cuisine and the sauces at Santa Cecina are on point.
Santa Cecina is located on the corner of Av Reforma Ote and Av Luis Pasteur Sur, in a less touristy part of Queretaro City’s Historic Center.
Santa Cecina is a small taqueria with just four or five tables. It’s got colorful murals, fantastic food, and a great vibe.
Santa Cecina, Taqueria del Barrio
Address: Calle Pasteur, Esq, Av Reforma Ote 70, Centro, 76000 Santiago de Querétaro, Qro.
Operating Hours: 11:30AM-9:30PM, Sun-Wed / 11:30AM-10:30PM, Thurs-Sat
What to Order: Tacos
10. Haga Su Taco
Tacos de guisado are tacos filled with different types of stew. We’ve enjoyed these tacos many times in Mexico City but this was the first time we’ve had DIY tacos de guisado.
Haga su Taco literally means “Make your Taco”. At this taqueria, you’re welcome to fill tortillas with whatever stews they have that day. How fun!
The stews weren’t labeled so I’m not sure what type of stews I got. One was made with some type of stewed meat while the other was a rich mole, similar in taste to mole poblano. ¡Que rico!
If you’ve never had tacos de guisado, then you should try them at Haga Su Taco. It’s a fun concept that you don’t see too often in Mexico.
One Mexican couple who was eating there for the first time seemed pleasantly surprised by the concept.
Haga Su Taco
Address: 76020, C. Felipe Luna Sur 46, La Cruz, Santiago de Querétaro, Qro.
Operating Hours: 10AM-5PM, daily
What to Order: Tacos de guisado
11. Taqueria El No Que No
If you want good old-fashioned tacos al pastor, then Taqueria El No Que No is a great place to visit in Santiago de Querètaro. They serve the usual taqueria fare like tacos filled with al pastor meat, suadero, chorizo, and bistec.
Pictured below are two tacos de suadero and one taco al pastor. Both were delicious.
Like a proper taqueria, El No Que No opens only at night, from 5:30 till 11:30PM. It’s located along busy Calle Ignacio Zaragoza, about a block away from Rico Menudo Doña Pueblito.
Haga Su Taco
Address: Calle Ignacio Zaragoza 125, La Santa Cruz, La Cruz, 76000 Santiago de Querétaro, Qro.
Operating Hours: 5:30-11:30PM, daily
What to Order: Tacos
DESSERT SHOPS / OTHER RESTAURANTS
12. Neveria Galy
I read about Neveria Galy on a local blog post about must-try dishes and drinks in Santiago de Querétaro. It’s an ice cream shop that makes nieves – a type of water-based Mexican ice cream flavored with natural fruits.
There’s never a bad time for nieves ice cream but what you should try at Neveria Galy is the nieves de limon con vino tinto or lemon ice cream with red wine. It’s like a slushie made with lemon sorbet and wine.
As described, Queretaro is famous for its wine production so anything made with wine is always a good idea.
Neveria Galy is conveniently located in the heart of the Historic Center, just a block away from Plaza de Armas. Locals complain that their prices are a bit high but that’s probably because of the shop’s prime location.
Address: C. 5 de Mayo 8, Centro, 76000 Santiago de Querétaro, Qro.
Operating Hours: 11AM-9PM, daily
What to Order: Nieve de limon con vino tinto
I love helados or Mexican milk-based ice cream. I usually get mamey (sapodilla) or fresas con crema (strawberries with cream). When we walked into Fresario, I thought I was getting the latter but as it turns out, they’re not an heladeria at all but a shop that offers whole strawberries topped with cream and cinnamon. Cool!
Mexican strawberries and cream ice cream is divine but actual Mexican strawberries topped with cream is just as delicious. And perhaps healthier too.
Fresario is a brand new shop so it isn’t showing up on Google Maps yet. It’s located along Calle Venustiano Carranza, a couple doors away from Libreria Sancho Panza.
Address: Calle Venustiano Carranza 57A, La Santa Cruz, La Cruz, 76020 Santiago de Querétaro, Qro.
What to Order: Strawberries with cream
14. La Piccola Italia (Italian Food)
We usually stick to local food when we travel but we couldn’t ignore the popularity of this Italian restaurant along Calle 5 de Mayo. Like La Biznaga Arte y Cafe, there was always a line of locals waiting to get into this restaurant.
We had lunch here just before leaving Queretaro. La Piccola Italia offers a good selection of pizza and pasta dishes. Pictured below is their spaghetti all’ amatriciana. No matter where you are in the world, there’s never a bad time for pizza and pasta.
The pasta dish was decent but this thin crust salsiccia fresca pizza with Italian chorizo and salami was pretty good. La Piccola Italia doesn’t serve out-of-this-world Italian food but it’s good enough to scratch the itch.
La Piccola Italia is located along busy Calle 5 de Mayo so it isn’t hard to spot.
La Piccola Italia is a casual but lovely restaurant with a beautiful interior.
La Piccola Italia
Address: C. 5 de Mayo 100, La Santa Cruz, La Cruz, 76020 Santiago de Querétaro, Qro.
Operating Hours: 1-10PM, Mon-Wed / 1-11PM, Thurs-Sat / 1-9PM, Sun
What to Order: Pizza, pasta
MERCADOS / FOOD HALLS / STREET FOOD STALLS
We love going to mercados or Mexican traditional markets. You’ll find at least one in every city. Aside from dozens of vendors selling fresh produce, there’s always a prepared food section with fondas or family-owned restaurants selling excellent food for very reasonable prices.
In Santiago de Querétaro, the main market is Mercado Josefa Ortiz de Dominguez “La Cruz”, or Mercado “La Cruz” for short.
MERCADO “LA CRUZ”
As far as we could tell, there are just three eateries inside Mercado “La Cruz”. Naturally, we went to all three of them.
15. Huaraches y Gorditas Conchita
All the prepared food stalls inside Mercado “La Cruz” are excellent but Huaraches y Gorditas Conchita may be our favorite. It’s a buzzing spot that serves typical Mexican snacks like huaraches, sopes, gorditas, and tacos.
Pictured below is a trio of antojitos – huarache, gordita, and sope. They’re very similar dishes made with fried corn masa dough. They differ in shape but they can be topped or filled with a variety of ingredients like stews, roasted meats, beans, sour cream, cheese, and salsa.
Pictured below is a tasty quesadilla stuffed with chicharron.
The antojitos at Conchita are tasty but if you visit on a weekend, then we suggest going for a plate of their enchiladas queretanas. They’re delicious and available only on Saturdays and Sundays.
Other dishes available only on weekends are guajolotes (pictured below), pozole, tacos dorados, and hot cakes.
Every prepared food stall at Mercado “La Cruz” is always this busy. They all serve delicious food at very reasonable prices so it isn’t hard to understand why.
For a truly local dining experience in Santiago de Queréterao (or anywhere in Mexico for that matter), we highly recommend going to these fondas. It’s a great place to rub elbows with locals whilst digging into cheap but tasty Mexican antojitos.
Huaraches y Gorditas Conchita
Address: Garibaldi 71, Centro 76020 Mercado Josefa Ortiz de Dominguez, La Cruz, 76020 Santiago de Querétaro, Qro.
Operating Hours: 7AM-2:30PM, Tue-Sun (closed on Mondays)
What to Order: Gorditas, huaraches, sopes, enchiladas queretanas, guajolotes
16. Gorditas El Guero y Lupita
Gorditas El Gureo y Lupita is a similar stall with a highly focused food menu. They serve just gorditas – either with migajas or queso, or a mixture of the two. These may have been even better than the gorditas at Conchita.
Like Huaraches y Gorditas Conchita, Gorditas El Guero y Lupita is always buzzing with locals. They have a limited seating area so be prepared to eat on your feet.
Gorditas El Guero y Lupita
Address: Garibaldi 4-A, Centro, 76000 Santiago de Querétaro, Qro.
Operating Hours: 8:30AM-3:30PM, daily
What to Order: Gorditas
17. Don Chamorro
How beautiful does this plate of pork look? If you’re a massive meat eater, then you need to enjoy a meal at Don Chamorro.
Chamorro refers to the cut of pork sliced from the upper part of the shank. At Don Chamorro, you can enjoy it in tacos or in a plated portion for two (pictured below) with a side of corn tortillas and salsa.
For just MXN 105, you can enjoy the most tender chamorro meat wrapped in DIY tacos. It was such a big plate of food we wound up bringing home the leftovers and eating them with beer later that night.
Like the previous two stalls, Don Chamorro is hugely popular so get ready to rub elbows with locals as you dig into the most succulent pork shank meat.
Address: Garibaldi 73, Centro, 76000 Santiago de Querétaro, Qro.
Operating Hours: 7AM-2:30PM, daily
What to Order: Chamorro
EL PUEBLITO DE LA CRUZ
If you don’t like the grittiness of a Mexican mercado, then perhaps El Pueblito de la Cruz is more up your alley. It’s a trendy open-air food hall located along Manuel Gutiérrez Nájera.
El Pueblito de la Cruz is a lovely food hall with around eight or nine establishments. Most offer food and beverages but there’s also a small theater and a cute shop that sells Japanese specialty items like chopsticks and ceramics.
Set in a planted courtyard, none of the restaurants and cafes have indoor seating. All the tables are in the courtyard and for communal use so you’re free to sit anywhere and order from any establishment.
Isn’t the space beautiful? We just loved the vibe of this place.
When you’re traveling in a large group, going to these food halls is always an excellent choice because there’s usually something for everyone.
A colorful nook tucked away in the farthest corner of El Pueblito de la Cruz.
18. Norteño Style
If you’re in the mood for Sonora-style food in Santiago de Querétaro, then look no further than Norteño Style. This terrific restaurant specializes in the most delicious grilled meats, burgers, and burritos.
Behold the Norteño Style burger – 180 grams of grilled beef served with lettuce, tomato, onions, goat cheese, and a dressing made with pickles and sun-dried tomatoes. This, my friends, was SERIOUSLY delicious.
I’ve become wary when ordering burgers or steaks in Mexico because many places overcook the meat. Not here. As you can see below, the burger patty was nice and juicy – medium rare just like I asked. ¡Muchisimas gracias!
This beautiful burrito de rib was just as perfectly cooked and delicious. We love how they serve their dishes with a side of grilled spring onions. To eat, you grab the stalk and bite into the bulb cowboy-style. They’re so juicy and sweet!
Here’s an inside look at our supremely delicious burrito. It’s made with premium rib meat, Chihuahua cheese, and caramelized onions wrapped in a large wheat tortilla.
Address: Manuel Gutiérrez Nájera 22, La Santa Cruz, La Cruz, 76000 Santiago de Querétaro, Qro.
Operating Hours: 2-10PM, Wed-Sat / 2-8PM, Sun (closed Mon-Tue)
What to Order: Burgers, burritos, grilled meats
19. Rey del Kebab
If you love Lebanese food like we do, then you’ll definitely want to enjoy a meal at Rey del Kebab. It’s a Mexican-Lebanese-owned restaurant that serves delicious Middle Eastern favorites like shawarma, hummus, baba ghanoush, and falafel.
Behold the shawarma, the Lebanese classic street food dish that served as the inspiration for Mexico’s taco al pastor. Rey del Kebab serves theirs with a side of hummus and the most delicious french fries.
If you think that Lebanese food is an entirely foreign concept in Mexico, think again. As described, it served as the inspiration for the iconic taco al pastor.
The only thing missing from this platter of the most tender chicken brochetas were a couple of tortillas, so I could make my own DIY shish tawook. Did I already mention how good these fries were?
Rey del Kebab
Address: La Santa Cruz, La Cruz, 76020 Santiago de Querétaro, Querétaro
Operating Hours: 11AM-10PM, Tue-Sun / 2-10PM, Mon
What to Order: Lebanese food
IGLESIA DE LA SANTA CRUZ STREET FOOD STALLS
Like fondas, street food stalls are among the best sources for cheap but authentic food in Mexico. In Santiago de Querétaro, you’ll find a cluster of street food stalls in front of Iglesia de la Santa Cruz.
The plaza is home to around ten stalls offering Mexican dishes and drinks like tamales, atole, elotes, esquites, and buñuelos.
Walk around any Mexican city early in the morning and you’ll undoubtedly find vendors selling tamales and atole. They pre-date the Hispanic period and are among the most common breakfast items you can enjoy in Mexico.
A tamal is a dish of masa corn dough steamed in corn husks or banana leaves while atole is a hot corn and masa beverage sweetened with piloncillo, vanilla, and cinnamon. They’re usually sold and eaten together.
Elotes and esquites are among our favorite Mexican street food snacks. They consist of Mexican white or yellow corn flavored with butter, garlic, mayonnaise, cotija cheese, chili powder, and lime juice.
We’ve had elotes and esquites everywhere in Mexico but this was the first time we’ve had esquites like this. Keep scrolling to see what I mean.
Can you recognize what that chunk of goodness is? What you’re looking at is esquites con tuetano, or esquites with bone marrow. This is definitely the most sinfully delicious variation of esquites we’ve seen so far in Mexico.
Located on the left side of the church, Elotes y Esquites La Cruz is the stall responsible for that devilishly delicious version of esquites. They also make esquites mixed with other ingredients like shrimp and chicken feet.
I don’t know how common these types of esquites are but it’s the first and only time we’ve seen it in Mexico. Don’t miss it!
To help you navigate to these restaurants in Queretaro, I’ve pinned them all on the map below. It includes many other restaurants we had on our list but couldn’t get to. Click on the link for a live version of the map.
FINAL THOUGHTS ON THE FOOD IN QUERETARO
Queretaro may not have as many regional specialties as other states in Mexico but as you’ve seen in this food guide, there’s certainly no shortage of excellent Mexican food in Santiago de Querétaro.
As described, Queretaro is known for its wine and cheese production. I’ll write about it in a separate guide but you’ll definitely want to visit one of the many wineries within an hour’s bus ride from Santiago de Querétaro. Tequisquiapan and Bernal are beautiful pueblos magicos and make for great bases to go wine and cheese tasting in Queretaro.
Until then, I hope you enjoyed reading this Queretaro restaurant guide. If you have any questions or suggestions, then please let us know in the comment section below. We’d love to hear from you.
Thanks for reading and have a delicious time eating your way through Santiago de Querétaro!
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