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Best San Miguel de Allende Restaurants for Families + Other Local Food Tips

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So much of the soul of a place can be revealed through local flavors and food traditions. My family's love of Mexican cuisine is part of the reason we chose San Miguel de Allende, Mexico as the location of our month-long expat experience and why we long to move to this city. I must admit that we ate out almost every night during both of our visits here. Restaurants are plentiful, offering up delicious Mexican and international fare. Prices are incredible, too. These are my picks for the best San Miguel de Allende restaurants for families. I also provide tips on San Miguel's street food, markets, and grocery stores. Let's dig in!

For the best chilaquiles in San Miguel de Allende, head to Rincon de Don Tomas

For the best chilaquiles in town, head to Rincon de Don Tomas (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

El Rincon de Don Tomas

For breakfast with a view of the city's beautiful pink sandstone Parroquia San Miguel Arcangel, pull up a chair at the sidewalk patio, El Rincon de Don Tomas. As a chilaquiles connoisseur, I am particularly taken with theirs, served with eggs and beans. Be prepared to be hounded by street vendors, though. I recommend waiting until after your meal to make any purchases to avoid an onslaught of additional sellers. There's no kids' menu, but prices are affordable and plates reasonably sized, so you don't need one.

A hot chocolate bear is a fun surprise for kids at Lavanda in San Miguel de Allende

A hot chocolate bear is a fun surprise for kids at Lavanda Cafe (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

Lavanda Café

There's always a line out the door at Lavanda, and for good reason. Food at this brunch place is beautifully presented and memorably delicious. Cazuela is the house specialty; a breakfast casserole made with potatoes, mushrooms, cheese and chili sauce topped with a fried egg and bacon crumbles. A small children's menu is available. Best for kids is their chocolate caliente (hot chocolate) — if you're lucky, it'll be served with a bear face in the foam!

Camarones al Guajillo at Hecho en Mexico ~ Best Restaurants in San Miguel de Allende for Families

Camarones al Guajillo at Hecho en Mexico (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

Hecho en Mexico

My family's favorite restaurant in San Miguel de Allende is hands-down Hecho en Mexico. Between our two stays in the city, we have eaten here at least a dozen times. We keep coming back for their darling outdoor patio, friendly and attentive service, and extensive Mexican menu with special options just for kids. Best of all is their Camarones Guajillo — shrimp served with guajillo peppers and butter sauce.

Street tacos similar to the ones at La Brasilla in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico

I must admit that I was too busy shoveling tacos into my face to take any photos at La Brasilla, but they looked a lot like this: simple and delicious (Photo credit: resnick_joshua1, Depositphotos.com)

La Brasilia

For the best tacos in town, head to La Brasilia. My kids' summer camp counselor recommended this place after my daughter complained about a bad taco experience elsewhere in town. This taco specialty restaurant will not disappoint true taco lovers!

Tacos are served with a variety of meats on either corn or flour tortillas, with cheese or without. A variety of fresh salsas and hot sauces will be brought to the table for your taco topping pleasure. Baked potatoes are the only side dish option, served with your choice of garnishes.

La Brasilia is nothing fancy and prices are crazy affordable. Menus are in Spanish only and the servers don't speak English. In fact, we were always the only gringos in the joint. For non-taco people, my tween son claims their cheeseburger is the best he's ever tasted.

Lemon tart with meringue at Panio in San Miguel de Allende

The lemon tart with meringue at Panio is tiny but rich — it's best to share! (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

Panio

Be sure to stop into Panio at least once during your stay in San Miguel de Allende with kids. You'll feel like you've stepped into a Parisian patisserie as you try to decide between a chocolate croissant or lemon tart. Coffee, tea and even beer are available to wash down your treats. Salads and sandwiches are also served for lunch. Get a baguette to go!

There are two Panio locations in San Miguel de Allende. Additionally, Cumpanio is a hip full-service restaurant managed by the same owners. Although we loved the sunny yellow décor and their addictive crispy fries served with fresh Parmesan, my family wasn't impressed with the rest of Cumpanio's offerings.

Bright umbrellas line the covered patio at Vivali Italian restaurant in San Miguel de Allende

Bright umbrellas line the covered patio at Vivali (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

Vivali Restaurante

After a few days of enjoying Mexican food in San Miguel de Allende, your brood might long for something different. Pizza and pasta please most kids, especially at a restaurant as pretty and welcoming as Vivali. Best of all is their bright marinara sauce, according to my husband, daughter and son. As a gluten-free eater, I stuck to offerings like chicken piccata and fish served with olives, tomatoes and oregano.

View of San Miguel de Allende from Luna Rooftop Tapas Bar at the Rosewood Hotel

View of San Miguel de Allende from Luna Rooftop Tapas Bar at the Rosewood Hotel (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

Rosewood Hotel San Miguel de Allende

It's worth splurging on dinner and drinks at Luna Rooftop Tapas Bar at the upscale Rosewood Hotel. This swanky locale charges luxury prices, but serves up panoramic views of the city. Tapas sizes are larger than what you'd typically get in Spain or the U.S., so you probably don't need to order as much food as you might think. The flank steak tacos are particularly good and Luna boasts my family's favorite guacamole in town. Also noteworthy, hot chocolates are served Mexican-style, with spices like a sprinkle of cinnamon and a wee dash of cayenne pepper. Children are welcome and can choose from a kids' menu.

Crab-topped handmade pasta served with pesto cream sauce at Restaurante 1826 at the Rosewood Hotel in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico

Crab-topped handmade pasta served with pesto cream sauce at Restaurante 1826 at the Rosewood Hotel (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

Also at the Rosewood Hotel San Miguel de Allende, 1826 Tequila Bar specializes in tequila or mezcal cocktails and sushi. Kids are welcomed at all of the hotels' restaurants including the upscale farm to table restaurant, Restaurante 1826. Additionally, tasty poolside food (like homemade lavender ice cream!) is served to hotel guests and those who purchase a day pass at the Rosewood.

Azteca (tortilla) soup with all the fixings plus a chicken tostada at El Pegaso

Azteca (tortilla) soup with all the fixings plus a chicken tostada at El Pegaso (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

El Pegaso

El Pegaso (the Pegasus) is like the Cheesecake Factory of San Miguel de Allende. They offer a huge menu featuring all sorts of dishes and cuisines plus lots of dessert options. It's not the best food in the city, but you're sure to find something to please all palates. Plus, the upstairs patio offers excellent views.

You'll find Mexican options (my daughter raves about their tostadas!) as well as lots of salads, sandwiches and soups. They even offer a few Chinese dishes! My son loves their crab and cream cheese wontons and my dad's pork fried rice was quite good. Steer clear of the kung pao chicken, though — it comes with way too much cloyingly sweet sauce and just a wee scoop of rice.

La Azotea

Peek outside the windows at La Azotea to watch the bells being rung by hand at Parroquia San Miguel Arcangél. While dining here I kept saying, “I'm just so happy!” The location right next door to the city's famed church does that to a person. Click the video above to see what I mean.

Azotea's rooftop bar is for adults only, but families with kids are welcomed to dine inside the restaurant. Everyone raves about their jicama tacos, which use a thin slice of jicama in place of the tortilla. Come here for an upscale dining experience with crazy views that your family will long remember.

Making friends in San Miguel de Allende with kids

Making friends in San Miguel de Allende at Mercado SANO (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

Mercado SANO

This multi-level market features an organic grocer and several individually-owned stalls. At Mercado SANO you'll find foods like frozen yogurt, veggie burgers, gluten-free crêpes, fancy coffee drinks, fresh-squeezed juices and more. Yes, it's hipster heaven in San Miguel de Allende! There’s even free WiFi. This spot makes a good place for a light snack or relatively quick breakfast. It's the city's version of a fast food court, just healthier…and slower. Come on Saturdays for an outdoor organic market surrounding the building.

Street corn for sale in San Miguel de Allende

Street corn for sale in San Miguel de Allende (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

Street Food

Some of the best food in San Miguel de Allende won't be found in restaurants. Rather, it's the Mexican street food that will tempt your tastebuds. Be on the lookout for tacos, tamales, paletas (homemade popsicles), corn on the cob, ice creams, and fresh fruits served with chili sauce. If you're nervous about tummy troubles from eating street food, watch where the locals eat. A long line typically means the food is safe. My family has happily eaten from all sorts of food carts in San Miguel with no negative repercussions.

Cool off with a paleta, or popsicle, in the Jardin in San Miguel de Allende with kids

Cool off with a paleta, or popsicle, in San Miguel de Allende's city center (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

San Miguel de Allende Markets

If you will be staying in a vacation rental property in San Miguel de Allende, you will likely want to pick up a few things to eat from the city's markets.

Mentioned above, an organic market takes place next to Mercado SANO every Saturday and features all sorts of organic fruits, vegetables, baked goods and more.

A vendor selling fresh fruits at Tuesday Market in San Miguel de Allende with kids

A vendor selling fresh fruits at Tuesday Market (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

Tianguis de los Martes is a giant flea market held every Tuesday just outside the city. While you can buy all sorts of clothing, toys and household goods here — there is also an array of fresh produce for sale as well as hot meals.

Mercado de Artesanias is where to go to buy hand-crafted items like ceramics, baskets, and jewelry but you can buy food items there as well.

Purchase peeled fruits as a snack - hot sauce optional! ~ Where to Eat in San Miguel de Allende with Kids

Would you like your fruit with hot sauce, or without? (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

Grocery Stores

You will find several small grocers that sell beverages, bread, pharmacy items, and packaged foods in San Miguel de Allende. For more substantial shopping, however, you will want to visit what my 10-year-old son has deemed, “The Largest Grocery Store in the World.” La Comer, the city's primary grocery store, is half household goods (TVs, washing machines, lawn care items, linens, etc.) and half groceries. You'll find everything your family needs at La Comer from fresh-baked pastries and frozen foods to meats, deli items, produce and beyond. There's even a fast food restaurant and a coffee café located within the store! Take a taxi to this grocery store, located just outside of city center.

Fresh produce in San Miguel de Allende

Purchase a bottle of iodine from the produce section at La Comer and be sure to let produce soak for 15 minutes for safe eating (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

Part of the joy of a trip to San Miguel de Allende is its plentiful restaurants and street food vendors. Besides the beauty and friendliness of San Miguel de Allende, it's really the food that I miss most.

Read more about things to do in San Miguel de Allende now!

If you love travel and food, then I bet you'll love these travel memoirs, many of which focus on the cuisines of various cultures.

Best Restaurants in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico + Other Local Food Tips including street food, markets and grocery stores

Save the Best San Miguel de Allende Restaurants

Planning a trip to this beautiful Mexican city? Be sure to save this list of the best San Miguel de Allende restaurants for families! Just pin the image above to Pinterest for future reference.

Which of these San Miguel de Allende restaurants sounds most tempting to you? Let us know in the comments below!

A Note from The Travel Mama: My family paid full-price for every morsel of food we ate in San Miguel de Allende. I will always let you know when I receive a media rate or comp. All opinions are mine, as always.

About Colleen Lanin

Colleen Lanin is the founder/editor-in-chief of TravelMamas.com. As the author of her book, "The Travel Mamas' Guide," she teaches parents not only how to survive a trip with children, but also how to love exploring the world with their offspring. Her stories have appeared online and in print for such outlets as the "Today" show, NBCNews.com, Parenting Magazine, Orlando Sentinel, Chicago Tribune, Expedia, San Diego Family Magazine, and more. Colleen gives tips on television, radio, and as a public speaker. She has a master’s degree in business administration with a background in marketing. She lives in Arizona with her husband and two kids.

Comments

  1. Flyingkids says:

    Mexican cuisine is one of the best. There’s just the right blend of beautiful colors, flavors, and aroma.

  2. Holy. Wow. I am so bookmarking this. I keep a big folder full of links on places to eat when I travel because exploring the food is as much fun as exploring the destination. I really love these picks.

  3. robin rue says:

    I have never even heard of San Miguel de Allende, but now I want to book a trip today! It sounds like an amazing place to visit.

    • Colleen Lanin, The Travel Mama says:

      It’s so funny how many people have never heard of San Miguel de Allende because it’s really a tourist hot spot right now. Happy to spread my love of SMDA!

  4. valmg @ Mom Knows It All says:

    Everything looks so colorful and sounds so flavorful. That hot chocolate with the bear design looks beautiful!

    • Colleen Lanin, The Travel Mama says:

      Isn’t that hot chocolate just adorable?! They even have a little bear next to it in the menu. The first time I went, I was surprised by the bear face when I happened to order a chocolate caliente. I brought my kids the next time & wanted to surprise them with the bear faces but unfortunately the bear maker wasn’t working that day!

  5. Carol Cassara says:

    Wow! This is what I love about traveling the most, getting to try different kinds of local restaurants! I think list is really helpful and I’d love to go to these places when we visit San Miguel de Allende!

  6. Wow this all looks amazing. The hot chocolate looks absolutely amazing! I need to travel more and would love this destination!

  7. Wow, all these dishes look so delicious! I love traveling to places where food is celebrated!

  8. Oh how I love Mexican cuisine. All of these dishes look amazing and I would never want to leave once I got there

    • Colleen Lanin, The Travel Mama says:

      Yep, that’s pretty much how I feel about the food in San Miguel de Allende! 🙂

  9. Toni | Boulder Locavore says:

    These food look really good! Would love to visit soon with my family!

    • Colleen Lanin, The Travel Mama says:

      I hope a visit to San Miguel de Allende becomes a reality for your family someday soon!

  10. Dogvills says:

    All these food photos made me drool! The shrimp dish looked fantastic. Even the street food looked really yummy! I would love to get a chance to travel there and have a real gastonomic experience!

  11. Shannon Gurnee says:

    Those look like some yummy dishes and drinks to enjoy there! I would love to visit someday with my family.

  12. Veronica Solomon says:

    All these foods look so good. I am so inspired to try a few of them. Thanks for sharing. I will take anything with avocado

  13. Jacqueline says:

    Wow such a wonderful Mexican cuisine….well…i live in Philippines once i visited mexico…for one my office work…but probably i dint do for this cuisine…what a great dishes all the dishes are just amazing, and just appetizing to me especially Street Food,Camarones are just awesome defiantly i must visit and taste all the tasty and yummy dishes over there thanks for sharing!

    • Colleen Lanin, The Travel Mama says:

      Jacqueline – So glad you liked getting a taste of San Miguel de Allende’s cuisine!

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