As we wrap up our final days here in San Miguel de Allende, we wanted to pass on a few of the great restaurants we have enjoyed here. It is not a complete list, but it is our list which means affordable and flavourful.

CHEAP EATS:

Taco stand at Hidalgo and Insurgentes: If you are willing to give street food a try, it doesn’t get any better than this. The stand is up and running by around 7:30 or 8:00 most evenings. We have tried tacos at other places, and nothing can hold a candle to this place. Our favourite choice is an order of Gringas al Pastor. They slice off bits of marinated pork and cook it up on the griddle with a handful of molten Oaxacan cheese all put in a flour tortilla with a sliver of pineapple. The tacos al pastor are excellent, as well. In addition to tacos al pastor, they serve bistec, costilla (rib meat), chorizo and lengua (tongue). I’m sure the other choices are good too, but we are hooked on the gringas al pastor. A gringa al pastor will cost you $15 pesos, and the tacos are about $8 pesos apiece.

The Asador on Potranca on Salida a Celaya: Potranca 4. As with the tacqueria, this place has no name but you can’t miss the huge black grill sitting in front of the restaurant. Arrachera is their specialty, and the hamburguesa de arrachera is very flavourful. Arrechera is a thinly cut, marinated flank steak. I also like their hamburgers and the baked potato con todo: bits of arrachera, cheese and sour cream. We haven’t been there on the weekend, but I believe they offer grilled rib-eyes on Friday and Saturday. The arrachera burger is $40 pesos and the baked potato con todo is $30 pesos. Open for dinner (maybe lunch, too, but we’ve never tried).

Burritacos on Mesones between Hidalgo and Reloj: Once again, not sure of the name of this place, but it is the only place I know of that makes fresh flour tortillas here in San Miguel de Allende. Corn tortillas are far more common in this part of Mexico. You order the number of tacos you want at the counter (I usually get two or three), and then go to the back to choose from about 12 fillings. My favourites are pollo con mole verde (chicken in a green sauce) and papas y chorizo (potatoes and sausage). There are a few tables out front, but we often get the tacos to go and eat them while sitting in the Jardín. A burritaco costs $8 pesos. Open for lunch and (an early) dinner.

BREAKFAST AND LUNCH OPTIONS:

There are loads of options for breakfast and lunch here in San Miguel. The places listed below tend to run between $30 to 70 pesos for a meal.

Cafe Contento: Hernandez Macías 72. The terrace is shady and pleasant and the food is consistently good. Try the crepes with fresh fruit and cajeta (caramel sauce). A scrambled egg breakfast, one of their sandwiches, or the Sopa Azteca are also good options. As a bonus they have a basket full of old New Yorkers and other magazines to browse while you wait for your food. Free wi-fi is available and there is a small collection of paperbacks for sale or trade. Their bread comes from the Buena Vida bakery which is just down the hallway. Stop by Buena Vida to get a cinnamon roll or donut for dessert.

Cafe Buenos Dias: Reloj 64. This place is filled with loyal customers with good reason. The bacon is (almost) always crisp, the cafe latte is the best in town, the waiter is a perfect gentleman, and the owner, Elisa, is always welcoming and friendly. Pat always gets the scrambled egg breakfast and I am very fond of the French toast and the fresh fruit smoothies.

Via Organica: Calle Margarita Ledesmo 2. For breakfast, try their French toast or tapas de huevo (scrambled eggs, beans and cheese served in a puff pastry). For lunch, they have excellent salads. We also like the chicken salad torta and the ham and cheese torta, which come with a small side salad and cost as little as 30 pesos. In addition to the restaurant, Via Organica has a shop with fresh organic produce, handmade local cheeses and other items for sale.

Media Naranja: Hidalgo 83. Another great place for breakfast or lunch. Their salads are excellent (especially with the extra chicken). I recommend the falafel salad with tahini dipping sauce.

Bagel Cafe: Even though it is the Bagel Cafe, our favourite dish is the club sandwich. They also have good chilli. Try the naranjada here. It is a very refreshing drink on a hot day.

Cafe Etc, (or Cafe Juan): Reloj 37. Most people agree that Juan makes the best cappuccino in town. The club sandwich is excellent too. A friend of mine tells me there is a Spanish conversation class that meets here on Monday and Friday at 11:00. The cost of the class is 20 pesos.

Monte Negro: On Correo very close to the Jardín. The food here is always fine, although not spectacular, so it’s not usually our first choice, but it’s always a safe one. The prices are reasonable, the ambience is comfortable, and the salsas are tasty.

Sappos Restaurant: Paseo del Parque 10. The terrace is very pleasant, and the chilaquiles are the best I’ve had in town.

Cafe Rama: Calle Nueva 7. Come here for a special lunch. It is a bit more expensive than some of the other options, but the quality of the food is worth it. Try the Asian Chicken Salad, and make sure to leave room for dessert. The truffles are superb and I hear the lemon cheese cake is a revelation.

Posada Corazon: Aldama 9. Come here to splash out for brunch in a beautiful setting. They have a set menu which is $140 pesos. It is includes 2 cups of coffee, hot chocolate or tea, fruit salad or juice, a main dish such as eggs Benedict, and a buffet of homemade granola, yogurt and artisan cheese. Reservations are recommended.

DINNER IN SAN MIGUEL

Ten Ten Pie al Carbon: Sterling Dickenson 5. It’s a bit off the beaten path, but well worth it. This place has the best arrachera we have tasted since being in Mexico. Perfectly seasoned and always tender. The chicken kebabs are also excellent. You will not be disappointed. Margarita, the manager, is always gracious and kind. The last time we were there, she plucked pomegranates off of a tree in the courtyard and shared them with the customers for a refreshing dessert.

Longhorn Smokehouse: Salida a Celaya 6. This is the place to go in San Miguel for Texas-style barbecue. The grilled ribs are quite good, but our favourite choice is a cheeseburger and a side of fresh cut fries. Thursday is steak night. They also have key lime pie that is worth saving a little extra room for. As a bonus, the waitress there (Jimena) is very friendly and charming.

Burrito Bistro: Correo 45. We love the fresh roasted salsas, and they make a delicious naranjada. We have liked everything we have tried on the menu, but our favourites are the grilled chicken salad, the thai chicken soup, and the grilled chicken burrito.

Gombo’s: Tata Nacho 2. Come here for the pepperoni pizza.

Fenicia: Calle Zacateros 73. Great Lebanese food. The chicken shawerma wrap is especially good.

Mare Nostrum: Umaran 56. Run by a Sicilian couple, the pastas are handmade and delicious. The last time I was there I had mushroom-stuffed ravioli with a sweet potato sauce. It was wonderful. Rumor has it the pizzas are good too.

Chinese food: DondayinSMA has a great post about the two Chinese restaurants here in San Miguel.

BITS AND BOBS

Ice Cream:
On the corner of San Francisco and Reloj is Dolphy’s Ice Cream, a Mexican ice cream chain. They use real cream and have about 20 flavors to choose from.

As you head south on Ancha San Antonio, you’ll find Santa Clara Ice Cream, another high quality creamy ice cream. Menta con chispas in my favourite.

For a taste of real Mexican ice cream, go to the ice cream stand at the corner of Canal and Hernandez Macías. I highly recommend the sorbets. Limón and Mango are my favourite. If you are feeling adventurous they have queso (cheese), mamey (a fruit with a sweet potato-like flavour) and rose flavours on offer.

Fresh Fruit and Vegetables: My favourite place to go to for fresh fruit and vegetables in San Miguel is in the Mercado Ignacio Ramirez. DondayinSMA is also fond of this particular stall. See his post for details.

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