San Miguel de Allende may be known as an artist community and expat haven, but the town is also known for its incredible restaurants. Mexican cuisine reigns in this colorful town with regional specialties from the Yucatan to Oaxaca. But for those with more finicky palates, or for locals who just want something different, international cuisine from pizza to sushi can be found on every almost street. Regardless of your personal taste, dining in San Miguel is one of the many pleasures to enjoy in this colorful city.
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One glance at tripadvisor.com for San Miguel de Allende restaurants, and you’ll see that there’s no way you will go hungry! But how do you know if the place is a tourist trap or a local favorite?
Yes, San Miguel de Allende is a major tourist destination. Yes, 10% of the population are expats. But these two components combined have created innovation when it comes to dining options. Wherever you go, you will see locals and tourists alike. Renowned chefs like Enrique Olvera of the famed Pujol have opened restaurants that border on molecular gastronomy. Fine dining in San Miguel de Allende rivals any world-class destination. And even street food has something about it that you will not find anywhere else.
If you have just a few days, we have a few remarkable restaurants in San Miguel for you from courtyard coziness to rooftop views. This list will grow in the future as we are still exploring the restaurant scene in San Miguel ourselves. We have personally dined at these restaurants and can give you an honest opinion about their food, service, and atmosphere. If you try one or two of these restaurants during your trip, you won’t be disappointed. They incorporate a love of flavor and creativity with the perfect relaxing atmosphere. Feel free to comment on other great places that you personally enjoyed!
Aperi is the best restaurant in San Miguel de Allende in our opinion. The dining room is in the courtyard of Dos Casas Hotel & Spa with tree shade and a little fountain that birds like to visit. You can order a la carte, but we highly recommend the multi-course degustation menu. Some dishes demonstrate molecular gastronomy, while others are elevated Mexican cuisine with French techniques. We make a point of visiting Aperi often to experience the changing seasonal menu. Aperi is connected to Dos Casa Hotel & Spa, a high-end hotel, offering a full epicurean experience. See more of Aperi’s creative dishes in our post: Fine Dining at Aperi.
2. La Posadita
La Posadita is a favorite rooftop restaurant of locals and tourists overlooking the pink Parroquia. The cool breeze, low lighting and excellent traditional Mexican cuisine make this a perfect spot for special occasions. Our favorites are Chile en Nogada, Enchiladas Suizas, and Escamole with Guacamole served with warm tortillas. Check out the views from both the front and back of the restaurant, especially at night. You can see fireworks all over the valley from here.
With its stunning views of the Parroquia and Mexican-Asian cuisine, Quince has been rated as one of the top rooftop restaurants and bars in San Miguel de Allende. Large dining tables and lounges line the rooftop on different levels. The cocktails are fruity and the food is delicious. Quince is perfect for a romantic dinner for two or groups wanting to celebrate with good food, music, and creative drinks.
Located in one of the top hotels in the city, Hotel Matilde, Moxi is the perfect place to enjoy an al fresco lunch in the shade with a view of the pool. Specializing in indigenous Otomi dishes, you have a choice of degustation or a la carte. Moxi is part of the gastronomic empire of renowned chef Enrique Olvera of Pujol If you have some extra time, go upstairs to their M Bar. Intriguing artwork is part of the decor, and the drinks are superb.
6. Antonia Bistro SMA
Antonia Bistro SMA sits on top of Hotel El Palomar, one of the premium hotels in San Miguel. An eclectic mix of cuisines ranging from Peruvian ceviche to suckling pig, this rooftop bar serves delicious dishes with a view unmatched in San Miguel de Allende. Make reservations a half hour before sunset to watch San Miguel come to life over a mezcal drink. Antonia Bistro SMA is open for lunch and dinner. Portions are substantial whether you order appetizers or an entree. Try one of the many seafood selections.
7. Luna Rooftop Tapas Bar
The Rosewood Hotel may be out of many people’s price range, but the Luna Rooftop Tapas Bar is open to everyone. Take the elevator to the top floor and marvel at the view towards the Parroquia, especially at sunset. The tapas menu and specialty mixed drinks invite you to linger and savor the moment. And if you can splurge, try the Rosewood’s 1826 Restaurant for Sunday brunch or a special anniversary dinner.
8. Spice Market at Live Aqua Urban Resort
We crave Asian food from time to time and thought we would give the Spice Market at Live Aqua Urban Resort a try. Loved it! Prices are high, but the food is exquisite. We had Taiwanese fried chicken, two different steamed buns, and a delicious duck curry. We will say that you, as the customer, will have to space out your ordering. They took our order for four things, and as they were ready, they brought them out. Normally that’s not an issue, but steamed buns have to be eaten right away, and they came out second and together so we were shoving them in our faces instead of enjoying the flavors. If you have time for a leisurely meal, order one thing at a time and just enjoy it.
Some Other San Miguel Restaurant Suggestions…
There are plenty of other fantastic restaurants in San Miguel de Allende, and we will bring you those dining options in the future. Other great restaurants recommended by some of my friends are Bovine for its seafood and steaks, El Pegaso with its eclectic Mexican cuisine, and The Restaurant for its contemporary cuisine and rooftop views.
If there’s one thing San Miguel de Allende is not short of, it’s fantastic restaurants.