There are those who consider it the trendiest, quaintest and most bohemian-chic destination in the country. San Miguel de Allende has that special something that fascinates locals and foreigners. Maybe it is that symbolic charm of its gothic and baroque architecture, the magic of its streets, the atmosphere of its traditions or the cultural environment that is perceived and breathed in each step. What is true is that this singular colonial city (Cultural Patrimony of Humanity) has a unique style that attracts the attention of domestic visitors as well as of people abroad; many of the latter have established here their permanent residence. This multi-national mosaic gives it a cosmopolitan character that balances perfectly with its historical roots and mestizo identity. Warm and welcoming place, a favorite among young people and high-class contemporary adults; perfect for a romantic get-away or for spending time with the family or with friends. A must: Parroquia de San Miguel Arcángel and Jardín Principal (Main Garden); Casa Allende Historical Museum, Church of San Francisco, Los Lavaderos, Barrio del Chorro, Casa de los Condes, Temple of Concepcion, La Cañada de la Virgen (archaeological site, recently opened to the public). Colorful festivities of great tradition: Saint Patrick’s (March 17, there is an important deeply rooted Irish community); Easter week; San Antonio de Padua (June, popular verbenas (street parties), bull fights); Sanmiguelada (September, similar to the Sanfermines in Pamplona). Rooted culinary heritage (fox tail –beef broth with recaudo (marinade); empanadas de carnitas, fiambre San Miguel -meats, vegetables and fruits with vinaigrette; beans with chicharrón; dulces de leche (milk candies), fruit rolls, marzipans, tumbagones –crispy roll of wheat flour with powdered sugar)- in evolution to a gourmet trend, complimented by dishes and recipes of other regions of the world. Fine antiquities and contemporary works of art; quality handcrafts (ceramics, blown glass, baskets, talavera, furniture, sculptures, forged iron pieces, brass, carved wood; textiles, amate, jewelry in silver an semi-precious stones; of the most typical, El Nigromante, Mercado de Artesanías, Casa del Diseño, Artes de México). Its location –between the Sierra Central and the Cordillera de los Altos- it frames a diversity of landscapes for ecotourism, extreme sports, outdoor activities (Charco del Ingenio Ecological Reserve; Lago Dorado, Los Picachos, Cave paintings). Good spas and golf courses (Las Ventanas; Santuario; Malanquín). Bohemian and very lively nightlife.
TO STAY SAN MIGUEL DE ALLENDE
• Casa de Los Olivos
With only five rooms around a central patio, this charming offers a warm and personalized experience right in the middle of downtown San Miguel. Ideal for a romantic get-away or to relax.
Correo 30. Centro.
Tel: (01-415) 152 0309.
• Casa Sierra Nevada
Already a classic; peaceful atmosphere and professional service. Fifteen rooms and suites. Beautiful gardens, pool. Spa Laja, a must. Andanza: a good gastronomic proposal.
Hospicio 42. Centro.
Tel: (01-415) 152 7040.
• Casa Misha
Refined and romantic boutique hotel. Magnificent views of the city. Seven exclusive suite.
Chiquitos 15. Centro.
Tel: (01-415) 152 2021.
• Hotel Dos Casas
Boutique hotel located downtown; contemporary atmosphere framed by colonial architecture. Five rooms; kind service.
Quebrada 101. Centro.
Tel: (01-415) 154 4073.
• Hotel Matilda
Recently opened; contemporary style boutique hotel. Art gallery, spa. Pets allowed.
Aldama 53. Centro.
Tel: (01-415) 152 1015.
• L´Ôtel San Miguel de Allende
Design boutique hotel located downtown. Good combination of luxury and warmth in a bed & breakfast. Only children above 16 are allowed.
Chiquitos 1A. Centro.
Tel: (01-415) 154 9850.
• Rosewood San Miguel de Allende
From a well-known and luxurious hotel chain. Sixty-seven rooms and suites. Spa, gym, service for children. Spectacular terrace, ideal to have a drink with tapas. 1826 Restaurant & Bar: regional cuisine and a wide variety of tequilas.
Nemesio Diez 11. Centro.
Tel: (01-415) 152 9700.
TO EAT SAN MIGUEL DE ALLENDE
• Bistro en Los Senderos
Located three kilometers away from downtown San Miguel, in Los Senderos development. A countryside atmosphere, eco-chic, among vineyards. Dishes with organic products, many of which come from their own vegetable garden. Ideal for couples, families or friends that want a gourmet experience close to nature.
Organic salad; Duck carnitas; Arugula and fig pizza.
Av. Central 101. Col. López Mateos.
Tel: (01-415) 155 9594.
Without further pretensions, a cozy patio, Chef Ana Lilia Galindo offers a short, but well-picked menu. Ideal for couples and to linger after the meals.
Artichoke soup; Satay chicken with coconut rise.
Sollano 17. Centro.
Tel: (01-415) 154 8363.
Contemporary style international cuisine.
Restaurant and excellent bakery in a trendy place with class and good taste. Ideal for breakfast, lunch or dinner; or simply to have a coffee or hot cocoa and bread.
Cumpanio eggs with green sauce and cream (breakfast); Carpaccio and tuna tartar (lunch).
Correo 29. Centro.
Tel: (01-415) 152 2984.
• El Correo
Regional home-style seasoning in a rustic and simple place, without pretensions. Ideal with family or friends.
Tamales; Snacks; Carnitas.
Correo 23. Centro.
Tel: (01-415) 152 4951.
• La Burger
On the outskirts of San Miguel, next to the highway to Dolores. Very informal and rural place, where the only interesting item are the wood fire hamburgers, prepared in an Argentinean style grill. Ideal for a relaxed outing with friends or family.
Hamburguesa; Hamburguesa vegetariana; Cortes argentinos.
Carretera San Miguel de Allende-Dolores Hidalgo Km. 7.3.
Tel: (01-415) 114 0073.
• La Crepe
International cuisine, with a French and Mediterranean touch.
Cozy and home-style atmosphere in a colonial patio. Good, nice and inexpensive.
Noodle soup; Blackberry crepes.
Hospicio 37. Centro.
Tel: (01-415) 154 9435.
• La Garufa
Elegant, contemporary and cozy. Well-assorted wine cellar. Ideal for couples or friends.
Argentinean chorizo; Meat cuts (first quality).
Canal 28. Centro.
Tel: (01-415) 154 6555.
• La Grotta
Simple and cozy, in downtown San Miguel. Ideal for couples or friends in a relaxed outing.
Cuadrante 5. Centro.
Tel: (01-415) 152 4119.
• La Virundela
Small and cozy place, served personally by its owner. Ideal for couples or small groups.
Chuletón (rib steak); Vacío de res (flank steak); Empanadas.
Hernández Macías 48. Centro
Tel: (01-415) 152 4400.
• Mi vida Restaurant
Italian cuisine with a Mexican accent.
Simple, but intimate and cozy place. Personalized service where the chef-owner is in charge. Live jazz (Wednesday night); pianos (Saturday nights). Ideal for a romantic outing or with friends.
Pulpo; Cordero; Pasta al pesto.
Hernández Macías 97. Centro.
Tel: (01-415) 152 7482.
• Ristorante Da Andrea (Hacienda Landeta)
Spontaneous Italian cuisine.
On the outskirts of San Miguel de Allende in a beautiful hacienda. Served personally by Chef Andrea Lamberti, who spontaneously prepares his dishes with love. Ideal for family or friends.
There is no fixed menu: trust the chef.
Carretera San Miguel de Allende-Dr. Mora Km. 2.5.
Tel: (01-415) 120 3481.
• The Restaurant
Contemporary haute-signature cuisine.
In a colonial house; probably the best in its class, Chef Donnie Masterton is in charge. The menu changes constantly. Ideal for a gourmet outing or special occasions.
Sollano 16. Centro.
Tel: (01-415) 154 7862.
• Tío Lucas
For many locals, the best in terms of meat. Good atmosphere, daily live jazz. Ideal with friends.
Mesones 103. Centro.
Tel: (01-415) 152 4996.