There’s no denying it. San Miguel de Allende is gorgeous. In some ways, it reminded me of Prague. It’s almost too pretty to be real.
This colonial-era city nestled in central Mexico’s Sierra Madre mountains has been dubbed the “most charming small town in Mexico”, famous for its cobblestone streets, baroque architecture, and old world charm.
For the past fifty years or so, San Miguel de Allende has been a popular destination for American expats and tourists. It’s so accustomed to welcoming foreigners that an estimated 10% of its population isn’t Mexican. Some go so far as to describe it as “Mexico’s Disneyland for adults”. It’s a fairytale destination that oozes with charm though it can feel overly gentrified at times. This manifests itself in many ways, one of the most noticeable being the food.
While it isn’t hard to find upscale Mexican cuisine or boutique hotel restaurants in San Miguel de Allende, it’s a little harder to find good local food. The street food scene is nowhere near as gritty or exciting as Guadalajara or Mexico City, but if you look hard enough, then you’ll find the real San Miguel coexisting with the city’s many trendy restaurants and third wave coffee bar concepts. You’ll just have to stray farther from the city center to find them.
Anyone who knows us well knows that local food, especially street food, is what really turns us on about a new destination. Touristy restaurants don’t do it for us so we scoured the internet, asked locals, and did a lot of walking to find what we believe to be the best restaurants in San Miguel de Allende.
FOOD IN SAN MIGUEL DE ALLENDE QUICK LINKS
If you’re spending enough time in San Miguel de Allende and want to learn more about Mexican cuisine, then you may be interested in joining a food tour or taking a cooking class.
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THE BEST RESTAURANTS IN SAN MIGUEL DE ALLENDE
To help organize this list of the best San Miguel de Allende restaurants, I’ve arranged them by category. Click on a link to jump to any section of the guide.
Brunch is a thing in San Miguel de Allende. If that isn’t a sign of gentrification, then I don’t know what is. We aren’t big breakfast eaters but we do love good coffee. This city is a coffee lover’s paradise so we visited some of the best and most popular coffee shops in San Miguel de Allende, a few of which are known for serving good breakfast as well.
1. Ki’bok Coffee
National Geographic described this coffee shop as “a tiny cafe that serves some of the best coffee in the world.” That’s a bold statement and may be up for debate, but there’s no denying that Ki’bok is one of the most popular places in San Miguel de Allende to go for good coffee and a tasty Sunday brunch.
Ki’bok Coffee offers a few international dishes like pasta, hummus, and focaccia sandwiches to go with traditional Mexican dishes like enchiladas and sopa azteca. Pictured below is my delicious plate of chilaquiles verdes, a Mexican breakfast dish of lightly fried tortillas served with salsa and other ingredients like pulled chicken, queso fresco, crema, onions, and avocado.
Renée had this equally delicious plate of aguacate relleno, or oven-baked avocados stuffed with eggs and manchego cheese.
As described, Ki’bok is known for serving some of the best coffee in San Miguel de Allende. I suggest trying their Hemingway coffee. It’s their signature blend of Cuban cortado double espresso served with an infusion of brown sugar and topped with foam and powdered cinnamon.
If you’re a fan of coffee, then be sure to check out our guide on the best coffee shops in San Miguel de Allende.
Ki’bok Coffee is located near Parroquia de San Miguel Arcángel. If you’re a digital nomad, then this is a great place to work. Aside from serving great food and coffee, they have large tables and fast wifi as well.
Address: Diez de Sollano y Dávalos #25, Cuadrante #1, Centro, 37700 San Miguel de Allende, Gto.
Operating Hours: 8AM-7PM, daily
What to Order: Breakfast dishes
What We Paid: MXN 325 for two with coffee
2. Lavanda Café de Especialidad y Desayuno
Lavanda Café is arguably the most popular coffee shop and brunch spot in San Miguel de Allende. We were here just for coffee and dessert but Lavanda does offer a full breakfast and lunch menu of Mexican and international favorites like french toast, waffles, chilaquiles, and fish tacos.
Lavanda Café offers two types of cake on their menu, this delicious guava and dulce de leche cake and a chocolate lavender cake. They also offer a few pastries like pecan sticky buns, Mexican corn cakes, almond banana bread, and pistachio brownies.
The best coffee beans in Mexico are produced in Oaxaca, Veracruz, and Chiapas. Oaxaca beans are the best and most expensive. According to one coffee shop owner I spoke with, Lavanda Café is just one of two shops in San Miguel de Allende that serves coffee brewed from Oaxaca beans.
Of all the coffee shops we visited, Lavanda has the most extensive menu. They offer espressos, cold brew, and coffee infused with flowers. I asked our server for recommendations and she suggested the Mexican Geisha – a type of pour-over black coffee known for its distinctly floral and fruity flavor.
Lavanda Café is very popular so expect a wait when you go. We tried going on two occasions and both times, there was a half-hour wait. If you’d rather not wait, then it’s best to go shortly after they open at 8:30AM.
Lavanda Café de Especialidad y Desayuno
Address: Calle del Dr Ignacio Hernandez Macias 87, Zona Centro, 37700 San Miguel de Allende, Gto.
Operating Hours: 8:30AM-3:30PM, Mon-Sat (closed Sundays)
What to Order: Breakfast dishes
What We Paid: MXN 203 for cakes/pastries and coffee for two
3. Cafe Oso Azul
When doing research for the best brunch and coffee shops in San Miguel de Allende, Cafe Oso Azul often came up. They offer an extensive menu of both Mexican and international breakfast dishes like chilaquiles, huevos rancheros, french toast, and hotcakes.
All breakfast dishes can be ordered a la carte or as part of a set meal with your choice of coffee and either a plate of fresh fruit or a glass of orange juice. Pictured below is my french toast smothered in syrup and topped with a small mound of sliced mangoes and strawberries.
If you’re a fan of smoked salmon, then we highly recommend getting the Jen’s Special. Served in a small skillet, it consists of home-cured salmon served with goat cheese, onions, and either scrambled or fried eggs.
Cafe Oso Azul is located on the next street parallel to Lavanda Café. It was one of our favorite places to have Sunday brunch in San Miguel de Allende.
Cafe Oso Azul
Address: Zacateros 17, Zona Centro, 37700 San Miguel de Allende, Gto.
Operating Hours: 8:30AM-9PM, daily
What to Order: Breakfast dishes
What We Paid: MXN 235 for two with coffee and drinks
4. Hierba Santa Cocina del Sur
Hierba Santa Cocina del Sur may have been our favorite restaurant in San Miguel de Allende. This hidden gem of a restaurant located at the very end of an alleyway in Guadalupe is helmed by a husband and wife chef team from Acapulco. Open for breakfast or lunch (or an early dinner), they serve delicious and beautifully presented Mexican dishes, many of which are specialties from their home state of Guerrero.
From the food to the service to the space to the decor, we absolutely loved everything about this restaurant.
We ate here twice, once for lunch and another time for Sunday brunch. When we were here for brunch, they started us off with this incredibly delicious chargrilled bread with butter and their very own homemade guava jam. Man was this good!
Chef Daniela recommended that we get this dish called huevos motuleños. It’s a beautifully plated breakfast dish of fried eggs served with ham, beans, gouda, peas, plantains, salsa, and queso fresco. Delicious!
You can’t really tell from the picture but nestled between the fresh greens and the crusty bread are poached eggs. What you’re looking at is huevos benedictos – Hierba’s take on the classic eggs benedict.
Instead of english muffins, they use chargrilled crusty bread for the base and top it with poached eggs, bacon, hollandaise sauce, and hierba santa or the Mexican pepperleaf herb. Hierba santa has a unique flavor and is used as an essential ingredient in many Mexican dishes like tamales, pozole, and mole verde. If you like eggs benedict, then you need to try this.
Renée enjoyed lunch here on a different day and was served this starter of tortilla chips and their homemade salsa. According to her, this was the best salsa she’s ever had in her life.
Isn’t this stunning? What you’re looking at is an intriguing Mexican dish called mole de hormiga chicatana. Chicatana refers to a large species of Mexican leaf-cutter ant. They’re harvested just once a year, at the start of the rainy season, and are used as an ingredient in the cuisines of central and southern Mexican states like Guerrero, Oaxaca, Veracruz, and Puebla.
According to Chef Daniela, it’s a meticulous dish to prepare because it entails cleaning and removing the inedible wings off of each ant by hand! I saw unprepared specimens for sale at Mercado de San Juan in Mexico City and they really are quite large, their abdomens about the size of small pearls.
To eat, you use the chargrilled vegetables as a spoon to scoop up the rich, complex-tasting mole. Beautifully plated and intriguing dishes like this one are proof that Hierba Santa Cocina del Sur is really a fine dining restaurant masquerading as a casual brunch spot. For us, it’s one of the best restaurants in San Miguel de Allende and a must-visit for anyone looking for interesting local food.
Located at the very end of La Plaza de Hacienda La Aurora, Hierba Santa Cocina del Sur is a casual restaurant that serves some of the best and most interesting food in San Miguel de Allende. Don’t miss it!
Hierba Santa Cocina de Sur isn’t visible from the main road so look out for this alley off Calzada de La Aurora. Located in the artsier part of town, it’s a little over a kilometer north of Jardín Allende and the city center. Trust us, it’s worth it.
Hierba Santa Cocina del Sur
Address: Calz de La Aurora 48A, Guadalupe, 37710 San Miguel de Allende, Gto.
Operating Hours: 9AM-6PM, Mon, Wed-Sat / 10AM-2:30PM, Sun (closed Tuesdays)
What to Order: Breakfast and lunch dishes
What We Paid: MXN 370 for breakfast for two with coffee
TRADITIONAL MEXICAN RESTAURANTS
If you travel for food, then you’ll know that the best local restaurants are typically nowhere near a major tourist attraction. San Miguel de Allende is proof of that. While we did find a few good restaurants that serve Mexican specialties in downtown San Miguel, most will require you to do a bit of walking.
5. El Pato Barbacoa y Mixiotes
If you arrive in San Miguel de Allende by bus, then your first order of business should be to walk with your bags to this restaurant. Located right next to the Central de Autobuses terminal, El Pato serves some of the best barbacoa and mixiote we’ve had so far in Mexico.
As their name suggests, El Pato Barbacoa y Mixiotes specializes in two dishes.
Barbacoa refers to a type of Mexican barbecue. It consists of a whole sheep or goat that’s traditionally slow-cooked in an underground pit covered with maguey (agave) leaves. Known for its high fat content and strong flavor, the meat is typically served with fresh corn tortillas, onions, cilantro, and one or more salsas.
Barbacoa is enjoyed throughout Mexico, usually as a weekend dish. You can enjoy it from Wednesdays to Sundays at El Pato.
Similar to barbacoa, mixiote refers to a pit-barbecued meat dish popular in central Mexico.
Mixiote is made with cubed meat on the bone – typically mutton, rabbit, chicken, lamb, or pork – flavored with a host of herbs and spices like pasilla and guajillo chili peppers, garlic, cumin, cloves, thyme, marjoram, and bay leaves. The seasoned meat is then placed in the semi-transparent skin of maguey leaves – which in itself imparts a unique flavor – before being cooked in the pit.
Like barbacoa, mixiote is typically served with chopped onion and cilantro and eaten in freshly made corn tortillas with salsa.
Most meat dishes in Mexico are served with fresh corn tortillas. You fill the tortilla with meat, onions, cilantro, and salsa and you’re good to go. Delicious!
El Pato Barbacoa y Mixiotes is located right next to the main bus terminal in San Miguel de Allende. It’s hard to find local food this good in the city center so I strongly recommend eating here before taking an Uber or taxi to your hotel.
El Pato may not serve upscale Mexican cuisine but in our humble opinion, it’s still one of the best restaurants in San Miguel de Allende. Seriously, don’t miss it.
El Pato Barbacoa y Mixiotes
Address: Calz. de la Estación 121, Zona Centro, 37736 San Miguel de Allende, Gto.
Operating Hours: 8AM-2PM, Wed-Sun (closed Mon-Tue)
What to Order: Barbacoa, mixiotes
What We Paid: MXN 325 for two with drinks
6. Taqueria Zempoal
We asked Chef Daniela and her staff at Hierba Santa Cocina del Sur where to go for the best local food, and Taqueria Zempoal was one of the restaurants they recommended. Unsurprisingly, it’s located about 1.5 km (0.9 miles) south of the city center, in a more residential area that looks nothing like downtown San Miguel.
Taqueria Zempoal is a local favorite that serves typical taqueria food like tacos, quesadillas, carne asadas, alambres, and tortas. Pictured below is my tasty plate of volcanes topped with al pastor meat.
Volcanes are flattened rounds of masa dough that are cooked at low heat on a grill until their edges curl up and resemble a crater, hence the name volcanes. They’re toasty and crunchy, though not as crunchy as tostadas. They can be filled with your choice of meat like pastor, bistec (beef steak), pollo, chorizo, or costilla (ribs).
Like volcanes, alambres refer to another way of enjoying meat in Mexico. It consists of grilled meat like pastor, bistec, pollo, or costilla mixed with a variety of ingredients like bacon, onions, bell peppers, cheese, avocado, and salsa. They’re typically served with freshly made corn tortillas.
Address: Salida a Celaya 25, Zona Centro, 37700 San Miguel de Allende, Gto.
What to Order: Typical taqueria Mexican food
What We Paid: MXN 151 for two with drinks
7. Taqueria “El Maguey”
A bit farther down the road from Taqueria Zempoal is another traditional Mexican Taqueria called “El Maguey”. They offer a very similar menu as Zempoal and Brasimix (#8) so we suggest trying all three to see which restaurant you like the best.
The al pastor meat at El Maguey is shaved so thinly that it looks almost like Korean kimchi. We had tacos al pastor at many taquerias in San Miguel de Allende and for Renée, this one was the best.
Pictured below is my equally delicious quesadilla filled with juicy bistec meat. A quesadilla is basically a larger taco made with cheese.
Taqueria “El Maguey” is located about a 3-minute walk from Taqueria Zempoal.
Taqueria “El Maguey”
Address: 37700, Salida a Celaya 41, Zona Centro, 37700 San Miguel de Allende, Gto.
Operating Hours: 5PM-2AM, Wed-Mon (closed Tuesdays)
What to Order: Typical taqueria Mexican food
What We Paid: MXN 115 for two with drinks
Brasimix is the third taqueria we visited in this part of town. Situated between Taqueria Zempoal and Taqueria “El Maguey”, it’s the biggest restaurant of the three and offers pretty much the same dishes.
In the foreground below is a trio of tacos filled with chorizo, bistec, and chuleta de cerdo (pork chop).
You can’t go to a taqueria without trying their al pastor, the king of all Mexican tacos. This was delicious too.
I ordered this michelada to wash down my trio of tasty tacos. A michelada is a traditional Mexican drink made with beer, lime juice, chili-based sauces, tomato juice, and peppers. Recipes can vary greatly from place to place with some versions being made with additional ingredients like Tajín, Worcestershire sauce, Maggi seasoning, and soy sauce.
As you can probably tell from its ingredients, the michelada is a savory drink that may not be for everyone. Served in a chilled, salt- and chili-rimmed glass or mug, you can think of it as the Mexican version of a bloody mary.
Brasimix and the previous two taquerias are located away from the city center so we suggest doing a taco crawl and visiting all three on the same day. Of the three, Taqueria “El Maguey” opens the latest, at 5PM, so it’s best to come here for dinner. Do let us know which one you like best!
Address: Salida a Celaya 20A, Zona Centro, 37700 San Miguel de Allende, Gto.
Operating Hours: 3:30-10PM, daily
What to Order: Typical taqueria Mexican food
What We Paid: MXN 146 for two with drinks
9. Carnitas El Guero
If you’ve been to Guanajuato City, then you’ve probably enjoyed the incredible views from Monumento Al Pipila. I was expecting a similar experience from the mirador in San Miguel de Allende but that wasn’t the case. The view was underwhelming but it did lead me to Carnitas El Guero, a family-owned restaurant that serves great Mexican breakfast dishes and carnitas.
As their name suggests, El Guero specializes in carnitas – a Michoacán dish made with pork simmered or braised for hours in oil or lard. You can have them in tacos, tortas, or quesadillas, but I was here early in the morning so I wanted them with eggs.
Pictured below is my tasty plate of huevos revueltos (scrambled eggs) con carnitas. They were served with a side of beans and ham, salsa, and fresh corn tortillas. ¡Buenos dias!
As described, most meat dishes in Mexico are enjoyed with corn tortillas. It’s almost impossible to go a day here without eating corn in some form.
Carnitas El Guero is located across the street from the mirador. The view from the mirador may be underwhelming, but the same can’t be said about El Guero’s carnitas. They’re delicious.
Carnitas El Guero
Address: Salida Real a Querétaro 90, Zona Centro, 37700 San Miguel de Allende, Gto.
Operating Hours: 9AM-5PM, daily
What to Order: Carnitas, Mexican breakfast dishes
What We Paid: MXN 93 for breakfast with a drink
All located within downtown San Miguel, these next five restaurants are for people who want good food but aren’t willing to go the extra mile for it.
10. Los Burritos
Los Burritos is the closest thing we’ve had to a Mexican fast food chain. They specialize in burritacos, a tasty hybrid of burritos and tacos.
If you’ve eaten your way through Mexico City, then you’re probably familiar with tacos de guisados, those uber delicious tacos filled with different types of stew. That’s basically what these burritacos are except they’re made with flour tortillas. You can get them filled with various stews like mole rojo, pollo con chipotle, picadillo, and papas con chorizo.
To be honest, we weren’t expecting much from Los Burritos but these burritacos were incredibly tasty.
Los Burritos is a quick 5-minute walk from Jardín Allende and the city center.
Address: Hidalgo 23, Zona Centro, 37700 San Miguel de Allende, Gto.
Operating Hours: 10:30AM-5:45PM, Mon-Sat (closed Sundays)
What to Order: Burritacos
What We Paid: MXN 95 for two with drinks
11. Sabroso Taqueria
If you want modern tacos in an IG-worthy setting, then Sabroso Taqueria is the place to go in San Miguel de Allende. It’s a trendy Mexican restaurant that shares a space with two other restaurant/bar concepts – Chicago’s Stuffed Pizza and Raffaela Terraza.
Sabroso Taqueria makes more modern versions of traditional Mexican food like tacos and volcanes. They even offer vegetarian and vegan options. On the plate below are tacos filled with suadero meat and cochinita pibil.
Suadero refers to a thin slice of pork or beef cut from the area between the animal’s belly and leg. Cochinita pibil is a Yucatán dish made with pit-roasted pork marinated in strong citrus juices. You can think of it as the pork version of barbacoa. Both are delicious and must-try dishes in Mexico.
If you like trendy restaurants, then you’ll definitely enjoy Sabroso Taqueria. They’re all about the hashtag and IG-worthy food.
Sabroso Taqueria has ground floor seating but hardly anyone sits there. San Miguel de Allende is all about rooftop restaurants so everyone goes straight to the second floor.
Sabroso Taqueria shares a space with Raffaela Terraza, a trendy rooftop bar. It’s a great place to have beer or cocktails to go with your tasty tacos.
Choose a table near the edge of the rooftop terrace and you’ll be treated to this view. Rooftop restaurants are a thing in San Miguel de Allende so you can’t visit this city without going to at least one.
Did I say that Sabroso Taqueria is all about the Gram? Neon angel wings to spruce up your IG feed.
Address: Zacateros 41, Zona Centro, 37700 San Miguel de Allende, Gto.
Operating Hours: 1-10:30PM, Wed-Thurs, Sun-Mon / 1PM-12:30AM, Fri-Sat (closed Tuesdays)
What to Order: Modern tacos
What We Paid: MXN 254 for two with drinks
12. Chilli Billy
As you can probably guess from its name, Chilli Bily specializes in chili con carne, a popular Mexican-American stew made with chili peppers, ground beef, tomatoes, and kidney beans.
Like burritos, chili con carne is a dish that straddles the border between northern Mexico and the southern United States. Its exact origins are unclear but it’s often attributed to northern Mexican states like Nuevo León or to southern Texas.
Chilli Billy prides itself on making 100% homemade chili. The chef/owner’s name is Billy so I’m guessing they use a well-guarded family recipe. They offer a few chili-centric dishes like chili bowls, chili burgers, chili dogs, and chili fries. Pictured below is my tasty chili burger with a side of french fries.
I was chatting with Billy’s wife (or girlfriend) and she said that they had been open for just four months at the time of my visit. Business must be good based on their online reviews!
I was enjoying my coffee at nearby El Cafe de La Mancha when I saw a small group of people exiting the restaurant. Intrigued, I crossed the street to have lunch here. I’m happy that I did because their chili is delicious.
Address: C. Margarito Ledesma 2B, Zona Centro, Guadalupe, 37710 San Miguel de Allende, Gto.
Operating Hours: 12NN-7PM, Tue-Sun (closed Mondays)
What to Order: Chili bowls, burgers, and hot dogs
What We Paid: MXN 219 for a chili burger meal
13. Broaster To Go
I dare you to walk by this pollo frito (fried chicken) restaurant and not get hungry. We stayed at an AirBnB near here and every day, at least twice a day, we’d be subjected to the irresistible smells wafting from this place. I know other people felt the same way because heads would turn soon as they got a whiff of that heavenly fried chicken aroma.
We wound up getting takeaway here twice and their fried chicken is every bit as tasty as it smells. Light and crispy on the outside but tender and juicy on the inside, their fried chicken is delicious.
As its name suggests, Broaster To Go offers takeout only. There’s usually a line at any time of the day but no worries, it moves quickly.
Broaster To Go
Address: 1, Calz de La Aurora, Zona Centro, 37700 San Miguel de Allende, Gto.
Operating Hours: 10AM-6PM, daily
What to Order: Fried chicken
What We Paid: MXN 119 for a 4-pc chicken meal
14. Chocolates y Churros San Agustin
San Agustin is the most popular place to have churros and hot chocolate in San Miguel de Allende. They do offer a full menu of Mexican dishes and drinks but as their name suggests, their most popular item is their churros.
You can order regular churros or churros rellenos (stuffed churros). They offer churros stuffed with different fillings like chocolate, caramel, condensed milk, Nutella, or rompope. We tried the rompope which is the Mexican version of eggnog. Serious yum!
You can also order different types of hot chocolate to go with your churros like chocolate Español, chocolate Francés, and chocolate Mexicano. Chocolate Español tastes just like the hot chocolate you’d find at churrerias in Spain – bold and slightly bitter – while chocolate Mexicano tastes lighter and sweeter.
Chocolates y Churros San Agustin is located in the heart of downtown San Miguel, directly facing the small park next to Templo de San Francisco.
Chocolates y Churros San Agustin
Address: San Francisco 21, Zona Centro, 37700 San Miguel de Allende, Gto.
Operating Hours: 8AM-9PM, daily
What to Order: Churros con chocolate
What We Paid: MXN 138 for churros and hot chocolate for two
There’s nothing I love more than street food. To me, it’s the most honest and unfiltered representation of a culture’s culinary identity. I find that to be especially true in Mexico. Restaurant food is fine but nothing beats the experience of eating tacos from a plastic-covered plate while standing.
While San Miguel de Allende is no Mexico City, you can find good street food here if you’re willing to walk far enough.
15. Tacos San Francisco
After Andy’s Taco Cart (#16), Tacos San Francisco is perhaps the most well-known taco stand in San Miguel de Allende. They open only at night and offer typical Mexican street food fare like tacos and quesadillas filled with different types of meat.
If you want to experience Mexican street food without walking too far, then this is one of the best stands you can visit.
You’ll typically find a small army of people gathered around the Tacos San Francisco stall at night. You can refer to the map at the bottom of this article to see exactly where it is.
Tacos San Francisco
Address: Mesones 48, Zona Centro, 37700 San Miguel de Allende, Gto.
What to Order: Typical street taco stand food
What We Paid: MXN 72 for two tacos and one quesadilla
16. Andy’s Taco Cart
Do a Google search for street tacos in San Miguel de Allende and Andy’s Taco Cart will surely come up. It’s the oldest and arguably the most popular taco stand in the city. They have pretty much the same offerings as Tacos San Francisco and are just as good. Pictured below is a delicious pair of late-night suadero tacos.
Not only is Andy’s Taco Cart cheap and delicious, it’s also one of the most reliable. When every other taco stand in the city center was closed on a Tuesday night, Andy’s Taco Cart was the only stall that was open. Behold the pair of quesadillas that satiated my late-night cravings when no one else would.
Andy’s Taco Stand opens only at night on Avenida Insurgentes, around the corner from Los Burritos. Just look for the small army of hungry diners gathered around this cart.
Andy’s Taco Cart
Address: Insurgentes 85, Zona Centro, 37700 San Miguel de Allende, Gto.
Operating Hours: 6-11PM, daily
What to Order: Typical street taco stand food
What We Paid: MXN 16 per taco, MXN 30 per quesadilla
17. Tacos Don Tomas (Taqueria San Francisco)
This is the third late-night taco stand you can visit in the city center. On Google Maps, it’s listed as Taqueria San Francisco because of its proximity to the church but I believe its real name is Tacos Don Tomas. At least that’s what it says on a small sign on the cart.
Whatever its real name, this humble cart opens only at night and serves the same delicious fare as the previous two taco stands.
There’s a saying that the best tacos come out only at night in Mexico. Tacos Don Tomas and the other street food stands in this guide are a testament to that.
Tacos Don Tomas (Taqueria San Francisco)
Address: San Francisco 17, Zona Centro, 37700 San Miguel de Allende, Gto.
What to Order: Typical street taco stand food
What We Paid: MXN 90 for three tacos and one quesadilla
18. Exquisitos Tacos “Diana”
If you want the best tacos in San Miguel de Allende, then you need to wear good walking shoes. Located a little over a kilometer south of Jardín Allende, Exquisitos Tacos “Diana” is a true neighborhood stall that offers some of the best street food in the city. They serve the usual taqueria dishes like campechano (mixed meat), pastor, bistec, and chorizo.
Open only at night, Exquisitos Tacos “Diana” is a true neighborhood stand located in a more residential part of San Miguel de Allende. Because of its location, it doesn’t get as many foreign customers but it’s well worth the trek.
Exquisitos Tacos “Diana”
Address: Orizaba 18, San Antonio, 37750 San Miguel de Allende, Gto.
Operating Hours: 7PM-12MN, Fri-Tue (closed Wed-Thurs)
What to Order: Typical street taco stand food
What We Paid: MXN 67 for three tacos and a drink
19. Tacos “Santos”
Located on the next street parallel to Exquisitos Tacos “Diana”, Tacos “Santos” may be my favorite taco stand in San Miguel de Allende. It’s my favorite not because their offerings are that much better than everyone else’s. I like them because they offer the most variety.
Tacos “Santos” is the only stall I found that offers tacos de cabeza – tacos made from different parts of the head. It’s my favorite type of taco meat and something that you should definitely try while in Mexico.
Underneath this forest of cilantro and onion are tacos filled with seso (brain), cachete (cheek), and ojo (eyes).
If you want truly interesting tacos in San Miguel de Allende, then you need to make the trek to Tacos “Santos”. You can visit Tacos “Santos” and Exquisitos Tacos “Diana” on the same night.
Address: Clavel 7, San Antonio, 37750 San Miguel de Allende, Gto.
Operating Hours: 6PM-12MN, Wed-Mon (closed Tuesdays)
What to Order: Typical street taco stand food
What We Paid: MXN 15 per taco
20. Elotes y Esquites Don Pedro
When I first learned about this popular Mexican street food called elote, I thought it sounded gross. Corn on the cob slathered in mayonnaise and cheese didn’t appeal to my Asian taste buds, until I actually tried it.
I had my first taste of elote at this stall on the east side of Jardín Allende and it changed my mind forever. Elote isn’t gross at all. Buttery, sweet, and a little spicy, it’s absolutely delicious. Esquite is similar to elote except the corn kernels are removed from the cob and served in a cup.
I believe there are two elote stands around Jardín Allende. When you’re facing Parroquia de San Miguel Arcángel, Elotes y Esquites Don Pedro is the one on the left side of the park.
Elotes y Esquites Don Pedro
Address: Jardin Allende, Principal 18, Zona Centro, 37700 San Miguel de Allende, Gto.
What to Order: Elotse, esquitas
What We Paid: MXN 30 per elote
FOOD HALLS / MARKETS
Like street food stands, mercados offer some of the best local food in Mexico. Markets provide a glimpse of the real San Miguel de Allende so be sure to visit at least one during your stay in the city.
21. Tortas Beltran (Ignacio Ramírez Market)
Ignacio Ramírez Market is probably the best mercado you can visit in the city center. It’s easy to get to and it’s home to around a dozen fondas.
A fonda is basically the Mexican version of a mom and pop restaurant. They’re typically open only for breakfast or lunch and are usually housed in a permanent structure like a mercado.
With so many to choose from, we looked for the fondas with the most customers and Tortas Beltran was one of them. As their name suggests, they specialize in tortas which are Mexican sandwiches served on soft bread rolls.
We asked our server for recommendations and one of the sandwiches he suggested was this torta de milanesa de pollo, or chicken milanesa sandwich.
Another sandwich he recommended was this torta de pierna. Pierna refers to pork leg and is one of the most commonly used ingredients in Mexican torta sandwiches.
When choosing between street food stalls in any country, always go for the one with the longest line of locals. The same rule applies in Mexico and it paid off again today. These tortas were delicious.
Tortas Beltran (Ignacio Ramírez Market)
Address: Ignacio Ramírez Market, Colegio s/n, Zona Centro, 37700 San Miguel de Allende, Gto.
Operating Hours: 8:30AM-7PM, daily
What to Order: Tortas
What We Paid: MXN 132 for two with fresh fruit juices
22. Alumia (Mercado del Carmen)
If mercados and street food stalls are a little too “local” for you, then Mercado del Carmen is right up your alley. It’s a trendy food hall that’s home to about ten restaurants, bars, and cafes.
We learned about Mercado del Carmen from Chef Daniela of Hierba Santa Cocina del Sur. This is where she likes to go with her husband when they aren’t cooking up fabulous Guerrero-inspired dishes at their restaurant. When a local chef tells you to go somewhere, you don’t ask any questions. You just go.
Chef Daniela and her husband like to go to the stall that serves Asian food (Chikatana) but Renée wanted Mexican so she went to Alumia instead. They serve traditional Mexican fare like this delicious carne asada taco.
Mercado del Carmen is located right next to Sabroso Taqueria. It’s a fun space with many food options so definitely check them out on your next trip to San Miguel de Allende.
Alumia (Mercado del Carmen)
Address: Mercado del Carmen, Pila Seca 19, Zona Centro, 37700 San Miguel de Allende, Gto.
Operating Hours: 1-9PM, Tue-Thurs / 1-11PM, Fri-Sat / 1-8PM, Sun (closed Mondays)
What to Order: Traditional Mexican dishes
What We Paid: Around MXN 25 per taco
To help you navigate to these San Miguel de Allende 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 RESTAURANTS IN SAN MIGUEL DE ALLENDE
San Miguel de Allende offers much in the way of fine dining restaurants and luxury accommodations. You can explore every rooftop restaurant and boutique hotel in the city but that doesn’t mean you’ll be experiencing the real San Miguel.
If experiencing the local food and culture is what interests you most about a trip, then we hope this list of (mostly) humble eateries leads you to many memorable meals in this charming, though sometimes Disneyland-like city.
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