San Miguel de Allende is the prettiest city in Mexico.
It’s a small colonial city with UNESCO World Heritage Site status. San Miguel de Allende sits to the northwest of Mexico City in the Bajio mountains. After a month of living in Mexico City, San Miguel was the next stop on our Mexico travel route.
San Miguel de Allende is home to many artists and expats. It has a different feel to other cities in Mexico thanks to the influence of those living here. In San Miguel, you can find beautiful ceramics, delicious breakfast spots, and scenic views.
We spent a weekend exploring San Miguel de Allende, before we travelled on to Guanajuato. One thing to note about San Miguel is that prices in the city are higher than average for Central Mexico due to the number of expats living here.
Things to Do in San Miguel de Allende
El Jardin – The main square in San Miguel de Allende. By day, you can see the pink granite Parroquia de San Miguel Arcángel, a crazy candy-coloured church. In the evenings, the square is buzzing with mariachi bands and couples sitting on the benches beneath the trees after dinner.
El Mirador (viewpoint) – Climb the cobblestone streets and narrow stairs to El Mirador for a view across the city and the surrounding valley.
Mercado de Artesanias (Artisan Market) – The Artisan Market stretches along the streets under the bridge and into the town’s main covered market. You can find many different artisan shops selling locally made goods and hand-painted Mexican ceramics. I bought all my family’s Christmas presents here, including handmade espresso cups, plates, and soap dispensers.
Tianguis Organico – Every Saturday, an organic market takes place next to the Instituto Allende Art School. Unfortunately we missed it, but apparently, there are around 50 trades with organic produce, breads, jams and pickles, and plants.
Fabrica La Aurora – In the 1950s, a wave of artist colonies set up in San Miguel de Allende. After World War II, many American families moved in to join these colonies. Our favorite place to admire the art in San Miguel de Allende was Fabrica La Aurora. It’s an old textile factory that has been converted into art galleries and antique shops. Fabrica La Aurora is open to the public and you can wander around and stop for coffee inside.
Best Breakfast Cafes in San Miguel de Allende
Cafe Oso Azul – friendly expat-run cafe with good food
We loved this courtyard cafe because the food was good and the owner was really friendly. Their homemade yoghurt was some of the best I ate in Mexico, and they also have plenty of omelettes and egg-based dishes on the menu. Coffee was good.
Lavanda Cafe – the most popular brunch spot in town
People were queuing out the door at Lavanda Cafe when we arrived for brunch at 10AM. This cafe is definitely the most popular breakfast place in town. Their specialty of poached eggs and their lavender-infused coffee draw in the brunch crowd. Everything here was good.
Best Lunch & Dinner Spots in San Miguel de Allende
Delica Mitsu – delicious Japanese deli
This low-key Japanese eatery was some of the best food we ate in Mexico. It’s a lunch-time only deli and a popular spot with expats, so it gets really busy at lunchtime. It’s a mix-and-match menu that includes rice, sushi, edamame, Japanese salads and seaweed salads.
Via Organica – mid-range organic restaurant
Via Organica really exceeded our expectations. If you’re looking for a romantic evening meal and a good glass of organic red wine, then this is the restaurant for you. Their roasted tomato soup was rich and delicious, and we ate a great vegetarian burrito for a main.
Airbnb San Miguel de Allende
Airbnbs in Mexico are great. We stayed in Airbnbs for our whole 9-month trip, including in San Miguel de Allende. Find your perfect Airbnb in San Miguel de Allende and get £30 off your first stay.