Food Republic declares San Miguel de Allende the second best food city in Mexico, and then goes on to list their picks for best “high and low” eats. I’m not sure I agree that SMA trumps Oaxaca (Mercado 20 de Noviembre anyone?), but I was excited to read this article because I adore eating in San Miguel, and the town is certainly one of the best in Mexico, foodwise.
While I enjoyed Johnson’s writing, I thought the article was a bit skewed toward high-end food, which may explain why I have never eaten at any of these restaurants besides Tortitlan.
And Tortitlan? Really? The sandwich shop is perfectly decent, but our highly scientific survey of tortas gives Tortitlan the low score of 7, and the ambiance has a hint of gringo-style fast food. Tortitlan tortas are not bad, but if you find yourself in San Miguel and craving a crispy bit of milanesa, lush with avocado and cradled by crusty bolillo, I highly recommend El Tucan (across the street from the Bellas Artes and a couple of blocks north) or Torta Mundo (Umaran Street).
As for high-end restaurants…My number one pick for fancier San Miguel dining is currently Mare Nostrum (Umaran 56), which was not mentioned in the article. Tender homemade pastas, delicate sauces, charming outdoor seating in a ferny patio, unpretentious yet swift service, and really amazing deals on wine and food. I feel a little weird choosing an Italian place as my favorite dinner spot, but, then again, San Miguel’s international aspect has long been part of the town’s appeal.
My ignorance of the author’s swankier recommendations doesn’t make me think he doesn’t know what he’s talking about, it just makes me think:
a) San Miguel obviously has a lot to offer food-wise. (and otherwise)
b) I need a bigger budget.