Dining in San Miguel de Allende

By Judy Hodges
This item appears on page 51 of the April 2013 issue.

If you’re in the enchanting town of San Miguel de Allende, Mexico (Nov. ’12, pg. 14), saunter over to Café San Agustín (21 San Francisco), owned by an Argentine movie star who occasionally drops by. They offer a choice of Mexican, Spanish or French hot chocolate, and the churros are legendary (about 9 pesos, or 70¢, for three with a hot chocolate).

Another suggestion for breakfast is Café Media Naranja (Hidalgo 83), which offers high-quality coffee (25 pesos, or about $2), omelets (50 pesos) and a wonderful green vegetable/fruit juice (25 pesos). You can order smoothies in a variety of flavors. Open for breakfast and lunch only.

During a 2-month stay with my husband in February-March 2012, our favorite splurge restaurant was The Restaurant (Sollano16; phone 415 154 7862 or, in the US, 213/471-2833). Open 1-10 p.m. and closed Sunday-Monday.

The chef, Donnie Masterton, has a well-earned reputation. Don’t miss his carnitas salad (85 pesos), with lime, Serrano chile, red onion, cilantro and cashews, or the chili-dusted crispy shrimp tacos on jicama tortillas (110 pesos). Expect to pay about $60 per couple for dinner, including wine or margaritas (delicious!).

A not-such-a-splurge favorite is La Crêpe (Hospice 37; phone 154 9435). Don’t miss the cold smoked salmon and capers crêpe! The fixed-price menu is a bargain at 100 pesos. Open 1-10 p.m.; closed Tuesday-Wednesday. Sunday brunch, 11-4.

You’ll find some of the best burgers and fries on the planet at La Burger, located on Dolores Hidalgo Road about 7.5 kilometers from San Miguel. A mini cheeseburger (which is plenty big) with fries costs 95 pesos. It’s usually packed on weekends. Open 1-9 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday and 1-6 Sunday.

The steaks are divine at Garufa (Canal 28; phone 415 154 6555), an Argentine restaurant, and, yes, you can ask for a doggie bag. On Wednesdays you can bring your own wine for a one-peso corkage fee. I’d also recommend the creamed spinach. Dinner for two with your own bottle of wine runs about 479 pesos ($37). Valet parking is free.

For the best tacos in Mexico, try Tacos Don Felix (15 Fray Juan de San Miguel St.; phone 152 5719). It’s out of the central area of San Miguel but is well worth the search. Open 6 p.m.-12 a.m. Friday-Saturday and 2-9:30 p.m. Sunday. You may need a reservation.

I’d recommend the 7-taco platter (90 pesos); each taco is small, with a delicious filling. Their special dinners of salmon, tuna or beef served with very fresh vegetables are also a bargain (200 pesos). Credit cards are not accepted.

Finally, for a French bakery with superb baguettes and sweets, look for Cumpanio, at the corner of Recreo and Corregidora. You may eat in or take goods home.

Denton, MD