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San Miguel de Allende Restaurants

sweeterpea Jan 7, 2008 08:13 AM

We will be heading to SMA in about a month and wondering if anyone has been to these restaurants and any opinions out there:

Tio Lucas
La Capilla

Thanks!

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  1. r
    RoyRon RE: sweeterpea Jan 8, 2008 01:26 PM

    Hi:
    I would suggest, as an alternative, (much less expensive) recommendation that you give a place called La Posadita a try. It is almost directly across the street from La Capilla and also has a great roof top dining area, which if the weather is warm enough, is as good a the views from La Capilla. The food at La Posadita is standard Mexican classics but everything I have tried has been wonderful. They also mix a damn good margarita too. You have to walk up a narrow flight of stairs which has a small sign over the door. If you want to try what, in my humble opinion, is the best place in SMA don't miss Rstaurante Da Andrea which is about a 20 minute (100 pesos) taxi ride outside Centro. They are only open Thursdays through Sundays and reservations are a must but if you like really excellent Italian food food served in a beautiful old hacienda don't miss this place. Many people consider this restaurant as the best in SMA and I would certainly agree. It is light years better than Tio Lucas albeit on the expensive side for SMA. If you check out other SMA posts on this board you will find one I posted earlier last year in which I wrote a very extensive review.

    3 Replies
    1. re: RoyRon
      sweeterpea RE: RoyRon Jan 9, 2008 08:02 AM

      Thanks, Royron, that is very helpful!

      1. re: RoyRon
        j
        JCMandJBM RE: RoyRon Jun 6, 2008 04:01 PM

        After trying several restaurant with so-so food in lovely settings here in San Miguel we were disappointed to find that La Posadita was closed for renovations until mid-June. Will have to try on our next trip. The best meal so far has been the pollo and calabacita along with chiles stuffed with corn and Oaxacan cheese my husband made in the lovely kitchen of the house we rented on Umaran.

        The best ice cream was found at a cart on on the corner of Hernandez Macias and Canal. Try the rose petal, pistchio, or pinon. I'd put it up against the vendors in Dolores Hildalgo (although it is still worth a trip there anyway).

        1. re: RoyRon
          0
          09vaca RE: RoyRon Mar 25, 2009 05:36 AM

          !Hola!

          Just returned from SMA yesterday with a list of "best" restaurants, in order of preference:

          1. Woolis Kaban: brand new in March 2009 located on San Francisco: Mexican owned/run, traditional cuisine from the south east of Mexico, esp Oaxaca & Tampico. EXCELLENT! Opened by the restauranteur who opened Harry's in SMA. Contemporary decor, excellent service. Also SUPERB breakfast, cheap. We ate there twice for dinner, once for breakfast.

          2. La Capilla: Ambience is unbeatable: in a 16th century chapel attached to La Parroquia--wonderful views of the cathedral lit up at night and the Sierra Madre mountains. Excellent food, good service. It may be the most expensive restaurant in SMA, but dinner including drinks ran us about $75 U.S. dollars -- far less than it costs in a comparable restaurant in our own town!

          3. La Posadita: Good ambience, esp on rooftop, across from La Capilla, though not as extraordinary ambience. Excellent traditional food, excellent service, less expensive--maybe $50 U.S. Great cakes. We ate there twice for dinner.

          4. On Canal Street, under the Quebrada street walking bridge, there is a little old lady who makes the world's best gorditas on a brazier for 20 pesos (just over a dollar). We purchased them and walked up Canal to the churchyard of Las Monjas to sit in the shade and eat. We ate them four times on this trip, and have visited her several times on each of our five trips to SMA over the past twenty years. (Some people caution about eating street food; we've never had a problem. Our caution is to take acidophilus for the month prior to and during our trips.)

          4. For cooking classes: http://www.mexicocooks.com/

        2. b
          bbleu2 RE: sweeterpea Jan 9, 2008 03:08 PM

          I actually really love going to La Capilla. Do I think that the food is the greatest ever? Not at all, but I think that it is one of the prettiest settings/restaurant that I have ever been to, especially on the weekend when the Parroquia is lit up. The patio with all of the twinkle lights is beautiful and the dining room is pretty stunning. I also think that their Don Julio margaritas are one the best margaritas in San Miguel and I have done extensive taste testing. :-) They also make their own potato chips which I adore. If they don't bring them, be sure to ask for them. As for entrees, I have generally been happy and only once really happy. I usually get the salmon, which has always been good.

          I think that La Posadita is a great idea also. I would go there also and skip Tio Lucas, which if fine but nothing special.

          If you live anywhere that has really good food I would not have super high expectations for SMA. I don't think that any of the food in San Miguel is that amazing so I just kind of go to places that have "good" food but have something else to offer such as a view, great ambiance, music, etc. It sounds as though Da Andrea may be the exception, I just haven't ventured out, as I am not a huge fan of Italian to start.

          Enjoy your trip.

          2 Replies
          1. re: bbleu2
            sweeterpea RE: bbleu2 Jan 9, 2008 04:06 PM

            Thanks for your comments. We are not looking for anything exceptional; just something that's good or very good. We are really looking forward to this, it will be our first time in SMA.

            1. re: bbleu2
              r
              RoyRon RE: bbleu2 Jan 10, 2008 07:58 AM

              I think you can see that I am a huge fan of Da Andrea but I have to say that this is not your typical "Red Sauce" Italian restaurant. Yes it certainly very Italian but nothing like most of Italian - American places that exist in the USA. In fact in the times I have visited I have never seen one dish offered with tomato sauce of any type.

            2. r
              RoyRon RE: sweeterpea Jan 10, 2008 07:55 AM

              I have to agree with bbleu2 about the restaurant scene in SMA. There are a number of good to very good restaurants but if you come from a major metropolitan city in the the USA you will not find anywhere near the quality and diversity in the SMA restaurant scene. For example, SMA is in serious need of a really Asian place and I have always wondered why there aren't any. It could Chinese, Japanese, Thai, whatever but I think it would be a success if it was good restaurant. The Asian places that do exist are very close to abysmal in my opinion.

              3 Replies
              1. re: RoyRon
                sweeterpea RE: RoyRon Jan 10, 2008 10:30 AM

                Thanks for your comments. We are just looking for good food; I know to save gastronomic adventures for SF or NYC ;o) We live in Canada where there is no decent Mexican food so looking forward to that in SMA.

                1. re: sweeterpea
                  Lori SF RE: sweeterpea Jan 13, 2008 12:05 PM

                  Some of the smaller more causal places offer good Mexicana and maybe not stunning but feel more authentic and less touristy, beauty in their own right.
                  El Correro- on Jesus #23 offers the best breakfast, nice casual cafe. Fresh juices and good coffee love the Chilaquiles a true dish of Guanajuato. Lunch is good too- great tortilla soup and enchilades, good corundes a tamale without filling. Just off the Jardin.

                  La Finestra Cafe- on Hernadez, across form the Belle Artes School, tucked in a back court yard also makes a lovely homemade style breakfast, very charming sunny little spot.

                  Love El Ten Ten Pie- on Cuna de Allende #21, good local spot, mother and daughter run the place..good, honest food, cheap. Casual simple and cute.

                  Cannot beat Cha Cha Cha- warning their hours are never what they are suppose to be, check before heading over..I love the walk over more interesting residential and with just some commerical buldings in this area. They have a small patio, feels like you are at someone's house. I enjoyed the Chicken Mole..everything was good and so cheap and great!! Westside neighborhood, Calle de Abril #28, at Rosales sorry I don't have their number. Some might consider this a hole n the wall, but a find it so adorable.
                  San Augustin Cafe across the street from the San Francisco Church is a great spot for a mid day snack, good coffee drinks, nice glass of wine, tapas and known for their Mexican Hot Chocolate and Churros! Great for people watching.

                  Not to be missed is the Aurora Fabrica an old textile mill converted into art galleries, furniture and jewlery shops. The Food Factory is excellent food, local and Asian influences, this is at the enterance to your left when you enter the Aurora Fabrica. You could have dinner here, lovely place and great food, small and quaint. They also have serve lunch. I like the little wine bar next door, we went there after spending about three hours touring and shopping the galleries in the Auroa Fabrica. We had some wine and a cheese plate..sitting on the terrance, splendid!
                  I find this is the easiest way to walk over, you could take a taxi over as well-
                  From el Jardin, walk North on Hidalgo (there is no other option) for four (4) blocks. You will pass the following streets, San Francisco/Canal; Mesones; Insurgentes; Callejon del Pueblito; Privada de Hidalgo and the entrance to the Mercado de Artesanias which is called Andador Lucas Balderas. Once you do this, you will be right at the intersection of Hidalgo and Calzada de La Luz right at the stinky bridge (hard to miss). Keep going North-East on Calzada de la Aurora for three or four (4) more blocks, depending on which side of that street you walk. You will find the following streets: Mario Talavera; Maria Greever and Av. H. Colegio Militar. Then you will pass a bridge with a cross in the middle on the right hand side and the entrance to La Aurora will be on your right also immediately after the bridge. There is a circus tent (Restaurant La Carpa) by the entrance. The best days to visit here is on Friday when most all the galleries are open.

                  da Andrea is very special agreed with others on this place.

                  L’Invito - beautiful Italian food as good and if not better than some of the places here in San Francisco. This is in the Institute Allende in the back left side of the as you enter the courtyard of the school.. One of the best views in front of the restaurant. I love going here not only because of the food but I love the space, old bones, semi rustic, fireplace. Silvia Bernardini is the owner and very nice she is also the President of the Convivio of Slow Food of San Miguel de Allende. She and her husband also have a place about 8 miles out to Dolores called Green Ranch. They have events and times to go taste various food from all the local producers of the areas, this is something quit fun to do.

                  Tio Lucas and La Capilla are both less than trilling. Agreed with RoyRon go across the street to La Posadita same view as La Capilla and better food for a lot less..and yes good margaritas! This was our spot we stopped in to before heading back for a siesta. Lovely sunny patio.

                  Berlin Bar has wonderful food, good spot and nice bar.

                  If you want beautiful atmosphere go to Casa de Sierra Nevada, a very young well known chef and a lovely dining area. I had much better breakfast elsewhere but its a lovely setting, if you do sit outside bring a wrap it does get drafty. For dinner there Casa del Parque is more informal and the Andanza is more refined with table linens and such. The Andanza has a nice bar if you just want to stop in for a drink. The house I rent is about 1/4 mile a way so this was a nice stop before heading into the center of town.

                  Go to the Mercado for wonderful real deal foods and sample the local traditionaI foods, I never miss the main markets when I go anywhere in Mexico. I go here for my carnitas sandwich fix and other delights.

                  1. re: Lori SF
                    d
                    donnameyer RE: Lori SF Feb 19, 2008 11:06 PM

                    I agree with many of Lori's suggestions.

                    Ten Ten Pie, on Cuna de Allende and Cuadrante, now has an outside terrace across the street, just down from the fountain. Very nice with umbrella tables and orange trees in tubs. But it is not, in fact, run by a mother-daughter team. It is owned and run by Juan Villasenor. Sometimes his mom are around, usually having mid-day comida, and occasionally his sister Susana lends a hand. But mostly it's Juan's staff, who have been there for years. Don't miss the avocado/tomatillo salsa.

                    Alas, l'Invito is no longer at the Instituto. Silvia has moved the restaurant to her place in the country.

                    For the absolute best coffee in town, bar none, go to Cafe on Correo.

                    Best spot for Sunday brunch: Cafe la Parroquia on Jesus. I love their omelet de la parroquia, which is a Spanish style omelette, with potatoes, bacon and onions. Francoise will keep your coffee cup filled until you can hardly walk out.

                    Another wonderful breakfast spot is Casa Crayola, with steaming hot fresh-baked bread, choose-your-ingredients omelettes, and great chilaquiles.

                    A brand new place, Olivers, on Zacateros, is getting rave reviews though I haven't been there yet.

                    Some of the best pies and cakes in town are at El Buen Cafe on Jesus & Cuadrante. Kris Rudolph bakes everything in house.

                    And Hecho en Mexico near the Instituto has great salads.

              2. k
                kak RE: sweeterpea Jan 11, 2008 12:12 PM

                Hi,
                My husband and I have a couple of favorites: Nirvana, a fusion restaurant with a new menu, as of a week or so ago; it's in an elegant setting with dramatic artwork on the walls. Sierra Nevada en el Parque, on the other side of the Juarez park, also has a new chef and menu and specializes in traditional (and not so traditional) Mexican cooking; the patio overlooks a lush garden and mini-waterfall. Market Bistro specializes in country French cooking; wonderful homemade pates. Bugambilia is a lovely, old restaurant with, again, traditional Mexican dishes, including Chiles en Nogada. Casablanca has an eclectic menu--including a first-rate curried meat, shrimp, and fruit dish called Fru Fru.
                Well... you get the picture. There's a lot from which to choose!

                4 Replies
                1. re: kak
                  sweeterpea RE: kak Jan 11, 2008 02:18 PM

                  oooooooh! thank you! Now I'm really looking forward to this! :o) Maybe it's a blessing the cook at our rental doesn't work after 3:00 pm ;o)

                  1. re: sweeterpea
                    cristina RE: sweeterpea Jan 11, 2008 03:11 PM

                    Just remember that in Mexico, the main meal of the day is usually eaten between 2:00 and 4:00 PM. That might explain why your cook doesn't work after 3:00.

                    It's usually best to follow Mexican custom rather than wait till Canadian supper time to eat your main meal.

                    Link: http://www.mexicocooks.typepad.com

                    1. re: cristina
                      sweeterpea RE: cristina Jan 11, 2008 05:12 PM

                      Yes, thank you. We have been to Mexico before.

                  2. re: kak
                    b
                    bronwen RE: kak Jan 15, 2008 07:06 AM

                    I second Bugambilia, i t's very pretty.

                  3. k
                    kak RE: sweeterpea Jan 12, 2008 03:10 PM

                    These days, in San Miguel, people eat just about any time, from 1 pm to late evening. In fact, some restaurants --I'm thinking Casablanca, Market Bistro, Harry's, Nirvana, El Campanario--may have more evening than afternoon diners!

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: kak
                      sweeterpea RE: kak Jan 12, 2008 03:29 PM

                      Yes, we find if your're in a place where there's a fair amount of tourists or gringos you can eat pretty much anytime.

                      1. re: kak
                        Lori SF RE: kak Jan 13, 2008 12:06 PM

                        I personally avoid all of those places. Maybe the exception would be Nirvana although I have not been my friend that lives there said it has been inconsistant.

                        Also, forgot La Finestra (across from the Institute Allende), with excellent traditional dishes.

                        1. re: Lori SF
                          sweeterpea RE: Lori SF Jan 13, 2008 01:40 PM

                          Thanks, Lori, for all your recommendations. Now we are getting very excited! I've heard about Ten Ten Pie and was trying to find it's location, thanks very much.

                      2. k
                        kak RE: sweeterpea Jan 13, 2008 02:04 PM

                        Okay--two more: Villa Rivera, behind the Parroquia, has okay food, but the real draw is the dramatic view of the back of the church. Vivoli Cafe, across the street from Bellas Artes, has excellent Italian food and a bread basket full of homemade foccacia.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: kak
                          Lori SF RE: kak Jan 13, 2008 02:26 PM

                          From what I heard about Vivoli Cafe it is a new place so maybe they are getting their act together but it was dreadful when they first opened and expensive. Their restaurant is not even good in LA!

                          Sweeterpea one word of advise don't order pizza in SMA, its hard to make a decent crust because of the altitude and the water.

                          1. re: Lori SF
                            sweeterpea RE: Lori SF Jan 13, 2008 02:45 PM

                            Thanks, kak!

                            Don't worry about us ordering pizza, we want Mexican OVERLOAD ! :o) What I would give for a big plate of Chilaquiles con Pollo right now ... *drool*

                        2. k
                          kak RE: sweeterpea Jan 13, 2008 02:44 PM

                          My husband and I had a wonderful comida this afternoon at Vivoli Cafe. We shared the appetizer portion of a seafood risotto, I had the appetizer (but dinner-size portion), tuna carpaccio, for my entree; my husband had a fantastic omelet that came with a lovely fresh fruit assortment. The coffee and espresso were good and strong, the service was excellent, and we spirited away some of their lovely focaccia for later! It would seem that they have, indeed, gotten their act together.

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: kak
                            o
                            Oakland Barb RE: kak Jan 21, 2008 04:45 PM

                            A question for those who know this city.
                            We're thinking of visiting for Easter. Will it be diffcult to find good restaurants open Easter week? Plans cen be changed...

                            1. re: Oakland Barb
                              k
                              kak RE: Oakland Barb Jan 21, 2008 04:57 PM

                              Barb,
                              The restaurants will be open but it may be difficult to get a table at some of the more popular ones--say, Nirvana, Bugambilia, Harry's, El Companario--without reservations. Holy Week, the town is mobbed.

                              1. re: kak
                                Ruth in Condechi RE: kak Feb 22, 2008 08:46 AM

                                Just as a FYI the first gastronomic festival is being held March 7-9 in SMA The town will be mobbed, reservations at some restaurants are already SOLD OUT. Go to the www.festivalsabor.com where you can read up on the most well known of mexican chefs who will be there, including Diana Kennedy, Rick Bayless and many other MEXICAN chef celebrities.
                                You know some people do refer to SMA as the 51st American state?

                          2. sweeterpea RE: sweeterpea Feb 25, 2008 04:02 PM

                            Hi Everyone, thanks again for the suggestions. We are back now and had an amazing time. Here is a trip report of sorts:

                            Cafe la Parroquia -- fantastic breakfasts and beautiful fruit plates for brecky; service with a smile and great prices. The only downside is a lot of people tend to hang out and smoke in the courtyard. Loved the fresh roses in the fountain.

                            L'Invito -- hands down our FAVE restaurant. Sylvia has moved out to the country and will PAY for a cab to and from her restaurant! She told us she was having problems with the landlord at her location in town and decided to move lock stock and barrel out to the outskirts of town. She is a lovely lady and usually greets at the door and you feel like you are hanging at a friend's house. she will talk about the menu, specials, then go into the kitchen and whip things up herself. We went twice as we loved the relaxed feel and vibe of this place, plus she also has 5 sweet dogs that are super friendly. Warning: they do tend to beg for food; if you are uncomfortable with the dogs hanging out, the staff will remove them, let them know. We went twice and spent 2-3 hours each time. Did I mention we love this place? Killer grilled chicken, homemade lasagna (give her 3 hours notice) and lovely fresh organic salads fresh from the garden.

                            Casa Sierra Nevada: Casa del Parque -- Very romantic atmosphere in the evening; We also ate here twice. The first time we went the service started out a bit uneven and my shredded shark empanadas were ice cold in the middle. However, as the evening progressed, service picked up and I was given a new plate of empanadas and we loved it. Live music and tons of candles in the evening, lend a beautiful dining atmosphere, but wear a wrap as a cool breeze blows off the gardens. Dishes recommended are: The shredded shark empanadas and the seafood grill plate, plus the tequila shrimp with cuitlacoche ragu on a black bean tamal.

                            Vivoli -- Our rental house was a stone's throw from Vivoli, and to be totally honest, the food was quite good. Wonderful foccacia bread and great service. I had a salmon pasta in a rose sauce and tons of perfectly cooked salmon was included. Mr. S had a lasagne which he thought was quite good. Definitely would go back again; I know that this place has had a lot of negative reviews, but we are very picky about food and we would definitely go back.

                            Andrea -- We went for dinner. Gorgeous setting, perhaps better for lunch as then you can enjoy surroundings more. At dinner it's quite dark, and I would have loved to see the property better. Andrea served the most beautiful ravioli with Gorgonzola sauce and I think anything on the menu would be excellent. No written menu, but the waiter will tell you what the selections are for the evening. The chocolate mousse was the most perfect chocolate mousse I have ever had, and I managed to score the last one in the restaurant, heh heh. Definitely a special date place.

                            St. Augustin -- We went about 3 times, could not get enough of the chocolate and churros and we usually scored the prime table looking out onto the church. Very little english v. our very little spanish but we made do and with our dictionary came out ok. From what I could tell, they told me the chocolate is the Ibarra variety found at the store, but of course I have not been able to replicate it at home yet :o( I wonder if there was some coffee in the hot chocolate, so deep dark and delicious, very lightly sweetened, plus I would get a little buzz after a cup. ( I normally don't drink coffee)

                            Guanajuato: Truco7 -- we took a day trip to the city of Gunajuato, and were fairly disappointed with Truco7, but I have read that Guanajuato is not known for their food. From all accounts I have read, they raved about this place. Service was bad, and the food just seemed just ok. However, you can't beat $22.00 for 3 big lunches. Would not go back.

                            Tuesday Market -- we had a BLAST at the Tuesday market. The fried fish ladies served up beautifully cooked fish, with salsas, gaucomole and chips. The churro people (I think this was the only stall) made crunchy fresh churros right in front of you, plus the most delicious freshly fried potato chips. We had a hard time deciding whose churros were better, them or St. Augustin. Just across from the potato chip/churro people, the fresh squeezed juice stall was a fave as well, we had a hard time picking a flavor, but went with orange (boring, I know).

                            The rest of the time our cook at the house made us some meals, but in hindsight we should have just eaten out as comparitively speaking, it is quite inexpensive to eat out in SMA. We never made it to La Capilla as it was closed the day we wanted to go, and we blew off Tio Lucas for Casa del Parque and the mariachis in the square.

                            Some finds that I'm not sure you all know about:

                            Santa Clara (ice cream) -- located on Zacateros; very yummy high quality ice cream

                            Nutrit Yogurt -- organic yogurts and fresh baked goods. I think the street was Calle Salida Salya (?sp) but it is on the same street as the Mega, right beside a Pemex Station. The yogurt is organic and from milk freshly acquired the day before. There's tons of flavors, but hands down, the Limon wins. You can buy by the cup or container. Slip a straw into the cup and slurp it up, and the Limon tastes like drinking a key lime pie.

                            We are already making plans to return in the fall, and hope to eat out at more places!!

                            8 Replies
                            1. re: sweeterpea
                              Eat_Nopal RE: sweeterpea Feb 25, 2008 08:44 PM

                              The fall is a great time in Mexico... please consider branching out from SMA... which frankly speaking isn't that exciting if you are interested in Mexican cuisine. I would highly recommend planning a chowing day trip to Lagos de Moreno (Jalisco), Celaya (Guanajuato), San Luis Potosi... or Queretaro.

                              1. re: Eat_Nopal
                                sweeterpea RE: Eat_Nopal Feb 26, 2008 10:10 AM

                                Thanks, Queretaro is on our agenda next. We thought it was too much to fit into this last trip. Looking forward to it!

                                1. re: sweeterpea
                                  cristina RE: sweeterpea Feb 26, 2008 12:16 PM

                                  If you're going to Querétaro, you might want to come to Morelia to visit! There are things to eat in this area that are solely Michoacán and totally out of this world. Let me know when you're heading this way...

                                  Link: http://www.mexicocooks.typepad.com

                                  1. re: cristina
                                    sweeterpea RE: cristina Feb 26, 2008 02:06 PM

                                    Morelia is on our list for the future as well; we've been to Patzcuaro and just love the area; miss the carnitas too :o)

                                    1. re: sweeterpea
                                      cristina RE: sweeterpea Feb 26, 2008 02:31 PM

                                      I will lure you with the promise of enchiladas placeras in Pátzcuaro. If you haven't tried them yet, you will be an instant addict.

                                      Link: http://www.mexicocooks.typepad.com

                              2. re: sweeterpea
                                BerkshireTsarina RE: sweeterpea Mar 8, 2008 06:58 PM

                                About the hot chocolate at St. Agustin: it comes in three varieties, Spanish, French, and Mexican. I assume the Mexican is the Ibarra; the French tasted like really good hot chocolate at home (the U.S.), and the Spanish, ah! That's my absolute fave. Did you get to try all three? If not, a mission for your next trip. Also, try the little patio cafe on Hernandez Macias (opposite the Bellas Artes) that belongs to the Buena Vida Bakery. Mexican breakfasts and lunch, delightful setting, delicious food. But very small, be warned. And SMA has a really big league place for chocolates and fancy pastries in Petit Four on Mesones.

                                1. re: BerkshireTsarina
                                  sweeterpea RE: BerkshireTsarina Mar 9, 2008 09:21 PM

                                  I forgot to mention we did go to Petit Four -- awesome brownies if you need a chocolate fix to remind you of home. All the pastries looked beautiful.

                                  1. re: sweeterpea
                                    aoakes4 RE: sweeterpea Nov 30, 2008 05:34 AM

                                    We just got back from SMA, had breakfast at Petit Four two mornings the week that we were there, and had Paco (Petit Four's owner) and his team at the cafe make us a squash pie for our Thanksgiving dinner on Thursday. Everything from Petit Four was delicious, and Paco's cooking class at the Sazon was instructive and great fun. Highly recommended.

                              3. j
                                JCMandJBM RE: sweeterpea Jun 7, 2008 07:55 PM

                                After eating at various restaurants all week we found a true winner: Gallo on Hernandez Macias between Umaran and Pila Seca. We were pleasantly surprised by the excellent gorditas, blue corn quesadillas, and pollo en mole negro. Plus, they had the best homemade corn tortillas we've had in SMA.

                                1. l
                                  lisarodman RE: sweeterpea Dec 9, 2008 02:42 PM

                                  We will be heading to San Miguel at the end of this month and are looking for a great restaurant in which to spend New Year's Eve. La Capilla is charging $190 per person. Any better, more reasonable suggestions?

                                  1. r
                                    RoyRon RE: sweeterpea Dec 11, 2008 10:27 AM

                                    I would suggest Harry's Bar or Tio Lucas as two possible alternatives. I am not sure if Restaurante Da Andrea will be open on New Years Eve but it would be worth checking. For a less formal place yopu could check out La Posadita which is almost across the street from La Capilla.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: RoyRon
                                      l
                                      lisarodman RE: RoyRon Dec 16, 2008 05:37 PM

                                      thanks for your suggestions. based on your past recommendations, i was thinking of la posadita, but someone said it's outdoors and might be cold? what do you think of the restaurant at the casa sierra nevada hotel? i'd like to save da andrea for another night.

                                    2. r
                                      RoyRon RE: sweeterpea Dec 17, 2008 12:24 PM

                                      La Posadita is mostly out door din ing so if the weather is chilly it wouldn't be the best bet. The resaurant in the Casa Sierra Nevada is excellent but very pricey. I think it is more expensive than Da Andrea but it get very good reviews. You might check out a web site called Falling in Love with San Miguel because the woman who has this site includes a lot of updates on restaurants in SMA.

                                      1. n
                                        newyorkerindc RE: sweeterpea Dec 29, 2008 06:53 PM

                                        Greetings from San Miguel, where we are currently staying a few nights.

                                        I just logged to Chowhound to read further recommendations -- please, someone rescue me from a bad culinary visit! -- and had to add my two cents about La Capilla. We ate there tonight and I thought the food was atrotious. The setting was lovely, but the service inadequate, and the prices unjustifiably high.

                                        I started with the pumpkin soup, which was rich and tasty. My companion's sopa de elote was tasteless. So, too, was my red snapper fillet, which was served over a bean stew that looked like slop. My companion's entree, a pork tenderloin stuffed with figs, was similarly disappointing. For two, the meal came to MP1100, which is not outrageous by our hometown (New York and Washington,DC) standards, but quite high for anywhere in Mexico outside of Mexico City.

                                        My takeaway: Avoid La Capilla. The setting might be lovely but the food is terrible (not just mediocre, which I could accept) and the service unfriendly and unaccommodating.

                                        I must say that I have been underwhelmed by the food in this city. There are restaurants everywhere one turns. Perhaps I've been choosing the wrong ones (based on friends' recommendations, Rough Guide, and New York Times articles), but I have been quite underwhelmed by the food, especially when compared to other similarly sized Mexican cities (I have traveled extensively throughout this country). So far, our highlight has been Bugambilia, where I had the most delicious chiles en nogada I've yet to experience.

                                        7 Replies
                                        1. re: newyorkerindc
                                          streetgourmetla RE: newyorkerindc Dec 31, 2008 02:17 PM

                                          The guide books are not going to help you find good food here.The historic city center blows for good food.Head out to El Parian and explore the flea markets and food stalls, El Texano, makes some of the best barbacoa de borrego I've had in Mexico, with moranga(blood sausage), and pancita(stomach).There are so many food options here and it's so close by.Ask for El Parian por donde esta el tianguis.

                                          1. re: streetgourmetla
                                            j
                                            JaimeCafe RE: streetgourmetla Jan 27, 2009 08:00 AM

                                            Streetgourmetla,
                                            Can you provide directions to El Parian outside of SMdeA? Is El Parian a neighborhood?
                                            JaimeCafe

                                            1. re: JaimeCafe
                                              streetgourmetla RE: JaimeCafe Jan 27, 2009 09:03 AM

                                              El Parian is a market and square that extends into a flea market followed by street food stalls, other mercados.It lies a road that heads out to a more upscale part of town.I was in a hotel near centro, like 4 blocks to the city center, and it was 3 blocks in the opposite direction to these markets.Unlimited eating possibilities.But, ask for El Parian, a vendor also called it Mercado El Chicano, but the beginning is a plaza and building the says El Parian.Very close.Amazing food.Handmade gorditas de trigo, rellena(blood sausage), quail eggs with papaya, barbacoa, carnitas, and more.

                                              1. re: streetgourmetla
                                                j
                                                JaimeCafe RE: streetgourmetla Jan 27, 2009 09:10 AM

                                                Thanks for this information. Been going to SM for 30 years and quite possibly I've been here before, but just did not know the name. I'm actually wondering if it is across the street from (and an extension of) the artisan market which is about 3 -4 blocks northeast of the Jardin.

                                                1. re: JaimeCafe
                                                  streetgourmetla RE: JaimeCafe Jan 27, 2009 09:18 AM

                                                  Wish google maps covered SM so I could take a look, but alas.It's a little bit of Mexico in San Miguel de Allende, as opposed to the rest of it.

                                                  1. re: streetgourmetla
                                                    b
                                                    barbaroja RE: streetgourmetla Feb 10, 2009 07:35 PM

                                                    Have you tried SMAmap? http://SMAmap.com. It is a searchable street map and include many restaurants, hotels, etc.

                                          2. re: newyorkerindc
                                            cristina RE: newyorkerindc Jan 1, 2009 06:40 AM

                                            Remember that the higher-end restaurants in San Miguel are pretty much designed for the foreign (and primarily American) tourist. Menu offerings tend to be dumbed down, watered down, and tasteless.

                                            Link: http://www.mexicocooks.typepad.com

                                          3. j
                                            jonigor RE: sweeterpea Dec 22, 2009 05:09 AM

                                            I've lived in San Miguel for 11 years and am a foodie. So here is my short list:
                                            Breakfast: Cafe Crayola--great breakfasts, charming atmosphere, wifi,
                                            Located at Calzada de la Aurora 48. Closed Wed.
                                            Lunch: Media Naranja. great aztec soup, great salad, wonderful sandwiches. Located on corner of La Luz and Hidalgo, upstairs above the pharmacy. Closed in July and all Sundays
                                            Dinner: Jackie's for a special occasion (see my other review)
                                            Hecho en Mexico for wonderful salads, salmon, hamburgers. Located on Ancha de San Antonio near the Instituto. Open every day.
                                            La Brasserie-charming, intimate, inexpensive, eclectic menu. The nightly specials are the way to go. Also the enchiladas verdes that are on the menu are great. Located on Jesus. Closed on Sunday and Monday.

                                            1. h
                                              haariet sheldon RE: sweeterpea Dec 28, 2009 09:06 AM

                                              there is a brand new one called jackie's san antonio. we have been several times. it's gorgeous and sophisticated with great views indoor/outdoors, real gourmet food, now best in town, they have ESCOLAR fish, I am told it's like monk fish, o.o.this world 145 pesos. wonderful truffle risotto 115 pesos and the worlds best duck, I think it was with figs..totally yummy. 2nd floor w. elevator tel (I think : 11-02223) not sure

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: haariet sheldon
                                                r
                                                ronfel RE: haariet sheldon Mar 25, 2010 02:38 PM

                                                We live in the neighborhood and agree that Jackie's is wonderful. She is a delight to chat with and the food is marvelous. Atmosphere is great as well.

                                              2. p
                                                pammi RE: sweeterpea Jan 3, 2010 06:22 PM

                                                Having returned from SMA today and having used this board for guidance- Woolis Kaban was our hands down favorite- beautiful room,charming host and hostess (brother and sister) and first class food. Biggest disappointment-La Posadita. The only good thing about it was the view-otherwise it was completely awful. Sloppy,indifferent service, out of the first several dishes we wanted and what we we did finally order (reluctantly) was badly prepared. Go have a drink for the view's sake, but don't waste a night at this over-rated spot..

                                                1. j
                                                  joannofsonoma RE: sweeterpea Aug 28, 2010 04:30 PM

                                                  We ate last night at Cafe Rama, tucked away on the side of the Instituto,on Neuva. FANTASTIC FOOD. On Fridays the chef does a 5 course menu for 400 pesos. Out of this world. He is from Vancouver...........the place is really a gem, no solid walls, open kitchen. Don't miss out!!! Try it!!! You will be very pleased. The restaurant is located at the back of an organic market called Natural.

                                                  Forget going to Tio Lucas!!! Save your money and try Cafe Rama!!!

                                                  2 Replies
                                                  1. re: joannofsonoma
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                                                    LASGarcia RE: joannofsonoma Nov 18, 2011 10:41 PM

                                                    Hands down THE most creative unique restaurant in San Miguel. Jason is awesome. Everything I have tried here is delicious, and his "Friday" dinners are now on Wednesdays and Fridays are for Tapas. Honestly, I am reluctant to even post this, because it is so good and I don't want it to be overrun. If you like Chai, Jason makes his own blend (also roasts his coffee beans himself.) I like Iced Chai with water instead of milk and a little raw sugar. The Borscht is simple and delicious. You really cannot loose here. I would highly recommend trying the Lemon (Limon?) tart. You will completely be bowled over by the amount of flavor that he packs into one small piece of pie.

                                                    1. re: joannofsonoma
                                                      j
                                                      joannofsonoma RE: joannofsonoma Nov 20, 2011 02:24 PM

                                                      Recently moved back to San Miguel de Allende permanently and was happy to see that the food scene is popping and much more emphasis on organic and locally sourced food products. Do not miss going to Natura, the market that was inside Cafe Rama. It is now located on the Ancha de San Antonio, maybe 2 blocks from the previous home. Super offerings of organic produce, grains, cheese, meat, breads, you name it!!! So happy to back having REAL corn tortillas and the azul ones also.............

                                                    2. c
                                                      capnfleet RE: sweeterpea Dec 10, 2010 02:03 PM

                                                      While we're on the topic of restaurants, I wanted to mention a new place I found, OKO.

                                                      Not sure how long they have been around but it is the perfect place to take a break from local cuisine and have some tasty pad thai.. (thats what i had, delicious!) Its owned by a young couple from the US who are wonderful as well. Just thought it was worthy of sharing with you guys!

                                                      Link: http://okonoodlebar.com

                                                      1. a
                                                        Andrea_thomas RE: sweeterpea Jul 17, 2011 09:08 PM

                                                        At first I was going to pass this place up since I assumed I'd run into nothing but gringos here. However, I was very wrong. This place is jumping with locals and gringos and it's a great mix. Happy hour is from 5-7 every day. The food is outstanding and reasonable. The music is a great mixture of oldies and not so. Harry is a warm and friendly host. Don't miss it.

                                                        1. j
                                                          jonigor RE: sweeterpea Apr 7, 2012 12:57 PM

                                                          Jackie's and Woolis Kaban are closed. Jackie's was fabulous. Too bad.
                                                          Someone listed Harry's on this post. My advice, stay healthy and don't eat there.
                                                          Go for a drink only.
                                                          The Restaurant at Sollano 16 is great, as well as Jason's Cafe Rama. Go to both.
                                                          Skip La Posadita except for the view.
                                                          La Brasserie is charming and good food.
                                                          Casa Carly has the best breakfast in town.
                                                          The newest hangout is La Manantiel and it has FABUOUS shrimp tacos.
                                                          Also Flash Fish is stupendous.
                                                          I'm a foodie and have lived in SMA for 14 years.

                                                          2 Replies
                                                          1. re: jonigor
                                                            cristina RE: jonigor Apr 7, 2012 01:29 PM

                                                            What do you think about either the main dining room or the rooftop bar at the Rosewood, or both? Just curious...

                                                            Link: http://www.mexicocooks.typepad.com

                                                            1. re: cristina
                                                              k
                                                              kak RE: cristina Apr 7, 2012 01:46 PM

                                                              The view from the rooftop bar, La Luna, is great, but not worth a 95 peso glass of wine!

                                                          2. aledm RE: sweeterpea Nov 19, 2012 02:23 PM

                                                            Have a look at our "2012 San Miguel de Allende, Gto., Mexico Restaurant Reviews by ALEDM" at http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/878436

                                                            1. t
                                                              terrybtt RE: sweeterpea Jan 2, 2013 05:25 PM

                                                              I can't believe nobody has mentioned Taco Don Felix in the Independencia neighborhood. Don Felix used to have a very popular outdoor taco stand then decided to move indoors. Don Felix and various members of his family will warm you from the outside and the food will warm you from the inside. I recommend the enchiladas al pastor (not on the menu, but ask for them al pastor.) Then check out the ribeye. You'll be glad you did. Buen provecho!

                                                              Also check out The Restaurant on Sollano near the Jardin. Donny Masterton, youngish hip chef, who has developed his chops in NYC at the Montrachet and the Tavern on the Green and various other top spots in LA, DC and San Francisco. Some folks like to dress up some don't. Donnie doesn't care, he just wants you to dig the Chow!

                                                              1. t
                                                                terrybtt RE: sweeterpea Jan 2, 2013 05:44 PM

                                                                Forgot to mention a new Peruvian restaurant called 'La Parada' and it's on Recreo, about 4 blocks from the Jardin, on the way toward Parque Juares. Young Peruvian Chef Alexandra Gutt is becoming very popular very quickly. Interesting cuisine from Peru...beautiful, unique setting. Buen provecho!

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