The cobblestoned colonial town of San Miguel de Allende, in the picturesque Sierra Madre mountains of Mexico, has long been known for its incredible culture, history and world-famous art scene. What many people may not know about San Miguel is that its restaurants are some of the best on the planet and its wine scene is rapidly growing
While traditionally known for its carnitas vendors and rotisserie chicken shops, an upscale movement has taken place in San Miguel de Allende and the now world-renowned tourist destination is getting more serious about fine dining and wine pairings.
Chef Donnie Masterton pioneered the San Miguel upscale dining movement, when he opened The Restaurant in the early ’00s. The opening of this fine dining restaurant in San Miguel de Allende ushered in a new wave of restaurants showcasing local farmers and artisan products that has since made San Miguel Mexico’s most serious farm-to-table dining destination.
Eclectic Dining & Wine Pairings in San Miguel de Allende
With the arrival of some of Mexico’s best and brightest chefs, including Mexico City’s Enrique Olvera, who is widely regarded as the most important chef in Mexico, dining in San Miguel has never been more fun. Competition among world-famous chefs is high and San Miguel is now known as one of the best cities in Mexico for dining, from street food to five star.
From new to classical and all ranking as essential on the list of where to dine in San Miguel, here are the top ten restaurants in San Miguel de Allende:
1. Moxi (Aldama 53)
Mexico City celebrity chef Enrique Olvera (of Pujol) heads the kitchen at this casual yet super-sexy indoor/outdoor restaurant at the Hotel Matilda, a low-key boutique hotel with an incredible art collection. Olvera pushes the limits of modern Mexican cuisine but never crosses the line into fusion or full-molecular.
2. 1826 Restaurant (Nemezio Diez 11)
When 1826 opened at The Rosewood San Miguel resort, it instantly became the best restaurant in town. Chef Victor Manuel Palma previously served as executive sous chef at Las Ventanas al Paraiso in Los Cabos. His take on Mexican food is fresh and contemporary.
3. Patio Tres (Calle Correo 24)
Patio Tres has quickly become the hottest new bar in San Miguel. Everyone who’s anyone in the local restaurant scene can found here on their days off. Tree-covered patio. Beautiful young crowd. Expert mixology. Great Mexican wines.
4. “Taco Corner”
There are dozens of great taco carts and even a few food trucks located throughout San Miguel de Allende. 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.
5. Mi Vida (Hernandez Macias 97)
One of the best meals in San Miguel an be found at this elegant white-on-white restaurant and bakery opened by an Italian expatriate. The tasting menus are the way to go and Mi Vida has the best Italian fish soup in Mexico.
6. Cumpanio (Calle Correro 29)
It used to be that the only place in town to by bakery goods was the legendary Blue Door Mexican bakery (around the corner from here), which is still a worthy stop, particularly in the early morning hours. But in the past few years a dozen new bakeries have popped up with visions that extend beyond bolillos and donuts. Cumpanio is now the best bakery in San Miguel de Allende. French baguettes. Rustic Italian loaves. Mexican sugar pastries. Cupcakes. Wedding cookies.
7. El Tomato (Mesones 62)
One of the best chefs in town is an Argentinian from Canada who took over El Tomato a few years ago and turned it from a vegetarian restaurant to an Italian/Argentine steakhouse. When you’re craving a classic steak and a big red Mexican wine, this is the place to go.
8. The Restaurant (Sollano 16)
The original fine dining restaurant in San Miguel, Donnie Masterton is still one of the area’s best chefs. The chic, ultra-urban-hacienda décor is among the prettiest in Mexico.
9. La Ventana (Sollano 11)
Coffee bar that roasts its own beans every morning. If you’re renting a villa in Centro or own San Miguel real estate within two blocks from here, you can smell the aromas wafting in through your windows at dawn. San Miguel has seen an explosion of great local coffee roasters in recent years.
10. Tortitlan (Ancha de San Antonio 17)
Tortitlan is a a no-nonsense torta shop. The menu lists more than three dozen tortas, all served on the classic bolillo bun. Try the cemitas poblano with beef milanese or the San Miguel with carne asada.
Reviews and recommendations by Brad Johnson of Food Republic <http://www.foodrepublic.com/2012/11/08/eating-high-and-low-mexicos-second-best-food-city> .