Magical Guide to San Miguel de Allende
San Miguel de Allende
Arts & Culture
Food & Wine
San Miguel is pure magic, and if you haven't been there, or worse, never even heard of it - keep reading! I was lucky enough to visit this beautiful city in central Mexico for a few days with my family. Immersed in cobblestone streets and Spanish architecture, San Miguel is filled with art galleries, shops and restaurants. The colorful buildings and churches were enough to make me want to come back! After reading my guide, San Miguel will be at the top of your bucket list.
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Where to stay in San Miguel de Allende
Rosewood San Miguel de Allende
Colonial enclave in the heart of central Mexico with swoon-worthy views of San Miguel de Allende from the rooftop.
$100 food / beverage credit.
Upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.
Casa de Sierra Nevada, A Belmond Hotel, San Miguel de Allende
Every detail of the Casa de Sierra Nevada — from its antique-filled rooms to its fusion restaurant — is a creative homage to the Mexican city it calls home.
$100 food / beverage credit.
Upgrade on arrival, subject to availability
With a gallery space, homewares store and multiple restaurants, Dôce 18 prides itself on being much more than merely a place to rest your head in San Miguel de Allende.
A bottle of Taittinger champagne.
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Things to do in San Miguel de Allende
You cannot visit San Miguel without seeing Parroquia de San Miguel Arcangel. It is the rose-colored church you can see from almost anywhere in the city. Nearby, you will find El Jardin, the heart of this picturesque city in Mexico's central highlands. "The Garden" is actually more of a town square that is filled with life no matter the time of day. It is the main plaza you are sure to walk through at least once during your stay and hopefully you will catch a mariachi band or two.
The entire city of San Miguel de Allende is filled with amazing artisan shops and art galleries. One of my favorite shops was Dôce 18 Concept House, which is part of L'Otel Doce18. Other artisan shops to check out include Mixta and Meson Hidalgo. A few art galleries to pop into are Nudo Galeria, Cuna de Allende 17 and Arde.
Take a cooking class - Good food is central to San Miguel, which is why cooking classes are a popular activity there! Sazon Cooking School is one option or another popular one is Cooking with Chef Paco Cardenas. Both include tours to the San Miguel market and can be booked online!
Partake in a tequila tasting at Casa Dragones or a mixology class at Bekeb or Monkey Bar. If tequila isn't your thing, there are some great wineries to visit. La Santisima Trinidad and Tres Raices winery to name a few!
Places to eat & drink in San Miguel de Allende
San Miguel is filled with delicious restaurants around every corner. If you love food as I do, you will leave SMA full and happy with my recommendations!
Mamma Mia – Cafe that also has live music and a beer taproom.
Lavanda Cafe – Breakfast and coffee spot well-known amongst locals.
Cumpanio – Delicious breads, pastries and breakfast dishes.
Panio – Grab a coffee or a quick bite here to eat in El Jardin.
San Agustin – Known for the churros. If you only go to one place for breakfast, this is it!
Lunch & Dinner
Quince - Voted the #1 rooftop restaurant in the world! Enough said ◡̈.
Raices Restaurante SMA - Low-key vibe with amazing food and service. Try the green enchiladas or the chilaquiles - very authentic dishes!
Bastardo - One of my favorites! They served fresh homemade bread warm from the oven with herb butter as an appetizer. I had the short rib with mashed potatoes and lavender ice cream for dessert. Both were divine!
La Unica - Great food and cocktails with a view. More of a party restaurant on the weekends.
La Posadita - Another great rooftop spot across from the central church with authentic Mexican dishes.
The Restaurant - A more formal, upscale choice. The presentation and flavors don't miss!
Luna - located on the roof of the Rosewood hotel, Luna was one of my favorite views of the city for a drink. Be sure to book around sunset!
DUKE - Nightclub in SMA if you are looking to dance!
Bekeb - This rooftop bar is the place to be. The bar’s eponymous cocktail combines mezcal, elderflower Liqueur, lemon verbena and pineapple, and there’s a selection of coffee cocktails, as well as a non-alcoholic cocktail list. Bekeb offers panoramic views – perfect for taking in the sunset, drink in hand.
Monkey Bar - Outdoor craft cocktail bar inside Hotel Matilda.
Need to Know
Santiago de Querétaro (QRO) is the closest airport to fly into. You will need to book a car service from the airport to San Miguel, which we booked through our hotel. It will be about an hour to an hour and a half with traffic. Tip: Have some pesos ready. You’ll need them for small shops and taxis. Lastly, brush up on your Spanish! Most of the service workers do not speak English.
If you love Mexico, check out my 5-Day Itinerary for Exploring Tulum.
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This guide is part of our ongoing series on travel to San Miguel de Allende.