san miguel de allende
SMA is an old colonial town, around 500 years old, in the heart of mexico.
A remarkable example of 16th-century Spanish Colonial Baroque architecture, as well as a place of vital importance during the Mexican War of Independence, it was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site by the United Nations in 2008. The UNESCO historic district encompasses 64 blocks and includes homes, public squares and buildings such as La Parroquia, a 17th-century cathedral famous for its neo-Gothic design.
THINGS TO CONSIDER
- weather: APRIL IS TYPICALLY very WARM, around 30°c. however THE EVENINGS CAN GET CHILLY, around 14°c. BRINGING sun screen, A LIGHT JACKET OR shawl IS RECOMMENDED.
check the average estimation here.
- shoes: SAN MIGUEL IS PRIMARILY A WALKING CITY HOWEVER KEEP IN MIND THAT THERE ARE MANY STEEP HILLS AND COBBLE STONE STREETS. COMFORTABLE WALKING SHOES ARE RECOMMENDED FOR ALL OF THE WEDDING EVENTS.
- TAXIS: EVEN IF THE BEST WAY TO GET AROUND SMA IS BY FOOT, TAXIS ARE EASILY ACCESSIBLE THROUGHOUT THE CITY. ANY HOTEL, B&B, OR RESTAURANT CAN CALL A TAXI SERVICE FOR YOUR CONVENIENCE. Taxis are safe but not metered and the standard fare is AROUND 30 MXN (more at night or to outlying areas).
- Personal or rental cars are more of a burden than a convenience in SMA. The streets are narrow and parking is practically non-existent. Take a shuttle from the airport or the bus from Mexico City and walk or use taxis while in San Miguel.
- water: DRINKING TAP WATER IS NOT RECOMMENDED. hotels and restaurants will PROVIDE PURIFIED wateR.
-currency: The exchange rate tends to hover around 19 MXN to $ 1 USD.
Check the current rate on XE. There are many ATM machines throughout the city (ask FOR the "cajero"). There is a currency exchange booth at the airport, but we suggest ordering currency through your bank prior to the trip so you will arrive with mexican pesos in hand and avoid lines at the airport and those dreaded ATM fees.
Be sure to bring small change for tips!
THINGS TO DO
- vist la parroquia and take a stroll though one of the many beautiful parks.
- heaD to la gruta and take a dip in the thermal springs.
- go for a hot air ballon ride and get a panoramic view of the city.
- check out el mercado ignacio ramirez and pick up some fresh produce or souvenirs.
- go horse back riding or check out the nature preserve.
- spice up your cooking and sign up for a cooking class at marilau cooking school.
- check out 36 Hours in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico by the New York Times.
- VISIT THE ancient pyramids Cañada de la Virgen ust 45 minutes outside the city through Albert Coffee Archaeotours (includes transport, entry fee, and guide).
-TAKE A walking tour of the city WITH Helene Kahn Tours.
WHERE TO EAT
Those looking for serious, high-end cooking in San Miguel can't do much better than Moxi. Run by Enrique Olvera, one of the country's foremost chefs and owner of Mexico-city restaurant Pujol (currently ranked number 20 on San Pellegrino's list of the world's 50 best restaurants) .
Aldama 53, Zona Centro, 37700 San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato, Mexico +52 415 152 0883
At breakfast time, locals can be found at Cumpanio (Correo 29), a sleek new gourmet bakery/café just off the Jardín, the city’s main square with its signature pink Gothic-style cathedral. This hip little watering hole is also open for lunch, light supper, and nightcaps.
Calle Correo #29, Centro, 37700 San Miguel de Allende, Gto., Mexico +52 415 152 2327
La Posadita boasts one of the best restaurant locations in San Miguel and the views from its charming roof terrace are a big part of its draw. Homely service accompanies the generous portions of TRADITIONAL Mexican CUISINE. Margaritas from the bar, including a tamarind-flavoured twist on the classic recipe, are expertly made and uniformly well received, making La Posadita the perfect spot to unwind after a day's sight-seeing.
Cuna de Allende 13, Cento, 37700 San Miguel de Allende, GTO, Mexico +52 415 154 8862
More than just a restaurant, Via Orgánica forms part of a local non-profit organisation that runs both a nearby organic farm and a school designed to promote sustainable farming techniques, fair trade and environmentally friendly living. The winner of numerous guidebook plaudits, the cafe itself uses all organic produce, serving local wines and beer from Via Orgánica's own microbrewery. With freshly squeezed fruit and vegetable juices, salads, and plenty of vegetarian dishes on the menu, this is the place to come for a taco detox. Breakfast is also a strong-suit, with options including pancakes with fresh fruit and home-made granola. More produce from the farm is available from the whole food shop on site.
Via Organica, Calle Margarito Ledesma 2, San Miguel de Allende, Guanjuato, Mexico, +52 415 121 0540
Cafetería San Agustín
An obligatory stop for breakfast or a late night snack, Cafetería San Agustín is something of an institution in San Miguel. Popular with visitors from elsewhere in Mexico on account of its owner, former Mexican soap opera star Margarita Gralia, its similarly renowned for its churros con chocolate: crisp doughnut sticks, dusted in sugar and served with freshly made drinking chocolate for dipping. With its lively coffee-house atmosphere and views of the Iglesia de San Francisco, it's a nice place to linger provided there isn't a lengthy queue. A range of different chocolates are on offer, from dark and rich to sweet. If you're in the mood for something savoury, enchiladas and other Mexican favourites are also available.
San Francisco 21, Zona Centro, San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato, Mexico +52 415 154 9102
Overlooking the church of San Antonio, Cafe Firenze would be worth a visit for the views alone, but the kitchen, overseen by two chefs from Atlanta also happens to serve some of the best Italian cuisine in town. Perfect if you're looking for a change from Mexican fair, Cafe Firenze is known as much for bold Mediterranean flavours as for refined presentation. classics like porcini mushroom risotto finished with white truffle oil, carbonara and tiramisu also on the menu. Many ingredients are locally-sourced and organic, while pasta and even smoked salmon is freshly made in-house. With strong representation both from Italy and South America, the wine list is a further strength, as is the friendly and attentive service.
Cafe Firenze, Plaza de San Antonio, # 2 sur, Callejón de San Antonio 1, San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato, Mexico +52 415 121 0763
Hecho en Mexico
Popular with members of San Miguel's expat community and with good reason,
Hecho en Mexico offers a varied menu which ranges from well-executed Mexican staples, including Veracruz-style grilled talapia and stuffed poblano chillies, to burgers and club sandwiches. GORGEOUS courtyard AND performances from Cuban-born violinist Pedro Cartas and his quartet.
Ancha de San Anotnio 8, San Miguel de Allende, GuanaJuato, Mexico, +52 415 154 6383
Smokey grilled mushrooms and crisp empanadas feature on the menu of this family run Argentinian and Uruguayan establishment. RECOMMENDED FOR MEAT EATERS, WHOSE DISHES ARE Cooked on a grill over smouldering mesquite wood coals that impart their subtle aroma to the meat. Many of the tables are set in and around a leafy courtyard.
La Virundela's affable owners also keep a cellar full of Latin America wines, including bottles from selected Argentinian bodegas, and are on hand to advise on pairings.
Hernández Macías 48, Zona Centro, 37700 San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato, Mexico +52 415 152 4400
Consistently among San Miguel's top rated restaurants, MuRo is regularly praised for the warmth of its staff. Breakfast is a highlight and the extensive menu runs from huevos a la mexicana (Mexican-style eggs with onion, green pepper and tomato) to pastries and french toast. Lunchtime offerings include burritos, tortilla soups, salads, and seasonal specials such as chiles en nogada, poblano chillies stuffed with ground meat and served with pomegranate seeds and a cream sauce. A wide variety of freshly made juices are on offer too and there is regularly live music in the tranquil fern-fringed courtyard at lunchtimes.
Loreto 10-B, Centro, 37700 San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato, Mexico Tel. +52 415 152 6341
Next to the Rosewood Hotel just outside the centre of town, Cafe Rama is another popular spot with San Miguel's visitors and resident expats. With mismatched furniture and the contemporary art on the walls (much of which is for sale) it's heading in the direction of trendy, but the food remains reasonably priced. Good coffee, a wide selection of teas, and classics such as eggs Florentine make it an excellent option for breakfast and the globetrotting lunchtime and evening menus offer something to suit all tastes. Open until midnight, Cafe Rama also keeps a well-stocked bar with a long list of cocktails to choose from.
Calle Nueva 7, Centro, 37700 San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato, Mexico +52 415 154 9655
Baja Fish Taquito
The best of San Miguel's budget options and a strong introduction to Mexico's hallowed-street food tradition, Baja Fish Taquito serves fish tacos, seafood cocktails and vibrant, lime-laced ceviche in an informal cafe-style setting. Portions are generous, piled high onto soft maize-flour tortillas and topped with fresh salsas and pico de gallo (a Mexican garnish made with chopped tomato, onion and chilli), while the service is swift and accommodating. With it's low prices (around US$1 a taco) and central location, Baja Fish Taquito is ideal for a quick pitstop amidst a full day of activities.
Calle Mesones #11-B, Zona Centro, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico
There are dozens of great taco carts and even a few food trucks located throughout San Miguel. And some of the best vendors can always be found at the corner of Ancha de San Antonio and Nueva, across the street from the bus stop. Known among locals as “taco corner,” there are typically four to five vendors here at any given time (except during the mid-day siesta) selling tacos, gorditas, carnitas, tortas, and, sometimes, tamales into the wee hours.
WHERE TO DRINK
A craft cocktail bar located in the same hotel as Moxi, Hotel MatildA. There are plenty of attractive cocktails that utilize Mexican flavors like the Che Che Cacao of mezcal infused with nance tropical fruit, ancho chili, and agave nectar.
Aldama 53, Centro, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, +52 (415) 152 1015
la sirena gorda
Known as the 'Fat Mermaid', stroll through the swinging saloon doors for ahi tuna tostadas, cold Mexican beers and signature ginger margaritas.
Calle del Dr Ignacio Hernandez Macias 85, Ruta Centro, Zona Centro, 37700 San Miguel de Allende, Gto., Mexico, +52 415 152 5019
Mezcaleria—San Miguel’s only true mezcal bar—could easily be plunked down in SoHo or Downtown L.A. with its modern décor and global grub. Grilled pulpo (octopus), homemade sausages paired with house mezcals from esoteric agave varietals will have you saying, “Hijole!”
Correo 47, Centro, 37700 San Miguel de Allende, Gto., Mexico, +52 415 121 5354
la casa dragones
When visiting San Miguel de Allende, Mexico there’s no more unique and memorable experience than a private tour or stay at La Casa Dragones. Visit the historic 17th century stables of the Dragones cavalry, now transformed into an elegant private home. This stunning 4-bedroom, 4-bath home is centrally located in the heart of San Miguel de Allende, close to the city’s finest restaurants, art galleries and cultural attractions. During a stay or private tour at the house, you’ll also receive an expert tasting of Casa Dragones Tequila. During the presentation, you’ll discover the innovative process and handcrafted techniques that result in Casa Dragones’ uniquely smooth tasting tequilas.
Luna rooftop tapas bar
As the highest spot in town to watch the sun set, Luna Bar offers ridiculous views of colorful rooftops and church steeples framed by the Sierra Madre mountains. Tamarindo margaritas are the specialty, but ask for a double shot. It’s pretty tame on the tequila otherwise. Across the street from Rosewood’s Luna bar, Hotel Nena has a killer rooftop bar as well (with slightly less expensive drinks) complete with a tiny pool—just in case you have the urge to start a water fight.
Calle Nemesio Diez 11, Centro, 37700 San Miguel de Allende, Gto., Mexico, +52 415 152 9700
When in Mexico, it’s all about the bugs. Order the Malinche libation with the strategically absent ingredients on the menu for the ultimate surprise: Three plump, chili-seasoned chapulins (grasshoppers) grace the glass for a cocktail with crunchy goodness. Located in El Meson Hotel.
Mesones # 80, Centro, San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato, + 01415 152 0580
After dark on the weekends, the upstairs bar atop Pueblo Viejo restaurants heats up with a live DJ. The sunset views are also pretty stellar.
Umaran 6, Zona Centro, San Miguel de Allende, Gto., Mexico, +52 415 152 8265
the sunset bar
The Sunset Bar, located across the street from the Angela Peralta theater, is another great place to take in a sunset. It has a much more casual vibe than the Luna Bar or Azotea. They have a lot of lounge seating for groups, but they also have table seating and a dozen or so barstools. And they have a limited menu of very casual, sinful bar food. (Try the Donkey Dog) They usually have a DJ late night on the weekends. Located above Casalina Hotel Boutique.
Calle Mesones 101, Centro, 37700 San Miguel de Allende, Gto., Mexico, +52 415 154 4007
The Sky Lounge is located in a beautiful boutique hotel across the street from the Rosewood Hotel, and the small rooftop bar has views similar to the view from the Luna Bar, only from a slightly lower level. The Sky Lounge is small but very chic – it even has a small dipping pool. They also serve a limited menu of tapas and offer Happy Hour specials Tuesdays through Saturdays from 7:30 to 8:30.
Nemesio Diez, Zona Centro, 37700 San Miguel de Allende, Gto., Mexico, +52 415 154 7129