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Eat Well, Sleep Well In San Miguel


Professor Arnie Greenberg

It looks like a quaint little hillside town with crooked cobbled streets and many buildings needing repairs. But don’t be fooled. There is a degree of sophistication here that captures the spirit of holiday. Not only is San Miguel d’Allende sprucing up its roads and facades, its opening new restaurants and hotels all the time. One can rent an apartment for a reasonable price (in US $) or a larger condo or casita or you can rent a large or small house either near the center of town or in the surrounding hills.

On the other hand, if housekeeping and cooking are not your forte, there are some wonderful hotels and more restaurants than you can try in two months, eating out daily.

This small, unobtrusive hotel, just behind the main cathedral is at Cuadrante 3. Look at their web site at

If that isn’t grand enough, just around the corner near Ten Pie Restaurant is the Casa Rosado, a beautiful central multi level wonder.

The web sites for these two hotels will tell you all you need to know. Their photos are better than mine. Two others that I can recommend for comfort and location are, Casa Lisa next to Juarez Park. It looks like a homey bed and breakfast but it is much more. It has luxurious Mexican tradition with spa services. See or fax 152 7322.

Others worth looking into are Hotel Parador San Sebastian on Mesones 7 Fax 152 7084. It’s classic and historical surrounding a large patio.

If you’re interested in food prepared by master chefs in a traditionally Mexican way, I offer the following. But you must understand that this is only a small list of what is available. By next week I will have discovered others.

In the heart of the city center our favorite place for a meal or a drink including hot chocolate is, San Augustin at San Francisco 21.This cozy room is a great meeting place or somewhere to unwind in the evening.

It is a creation of the Mexican actress Margarita Gralia and her husband Ariel Bianco. There is a full menu of breakfasts and traditional Mexican cuisine but they specialize in chocolates, Argentine empanadas, enchiladas suizas and breast of chicken I always add the famous churros which go well with a hot drink.

Unlike many restaurants in San Miguel, they are open until 11 PM and midnight on Saturday.

Last night I attended a farewell party for friends at the exquisite Vivoli Café , an Italian Trattoria at Hernandez Macias #66. Not only were the décor sophisticated and the accordion music soothing, but the food was beyond expectations. For the first time here, I ordered salmon. It was well presented and done to perfection with mashed potatoes and pesto sauce. The dishes are authentic and their specialty is Spinach Ravioli and Gnocci.

We were too late for the 4-6 PM early bird special but what we ate was worth the price of around $25 per person US. Tel: 415 152 0045.

There are far too many good places to eat, be they bagel restaurants for breakfast, fast food places (even a Starbucks) for a snack, quaint places for lunch and both patio or indoor restaurants with atmosphere. Some favorites of my friends and us are:

Tio Lucas which adds jazz (Fri. & Sat at 9 PM) to unparalleled Caesar salads, meat, fish and chicken. Mesones 103 opposite the main theater, Tel: 415 152 4996. Reservations suggested.

As you walk around, you discover interesting places to suit your taste. We personally enjoy Ole Ole (Loreto#66) with its matador décor, Hecho En Mexico (Made in Mexico)near the Instituto and a tiny upstairs restaurants Aqui Es Mexico (This is Mexico)  with a truly Mexican feeling established by the staff and décor.

Courtyard Eating - click to enlarge
Courtyard Eating

We must also include:

El Pegaso Corregidora 6

El Correo, Correo 23 Phone; 415 12 4951

La Grotta Cuadrante #5 Tel: 415 152 4119 Includes Tango Argentine flavor

Bugambilia Hidalgo #42 Traditional Mexican. Phone: 415 152 0127 (discount for cash)

Casa Payo is a splurge at Zacateros #21

El Harem is the best Lebanese Restaurant at Correo and Murillo #7 where you can have a whole meal or just a snack of hummus or baba ghanouje.

You can find delicious ribs at Don Quixote on Pila Seca or just a burger and onion rings for under $5.00 US.

Near the food market there are butcher shops, grocery stores and places that sell whole Bar B Q chickens, cooked before your eyes and ready to eat. A great array of vegetables is available daily in the market.

No, you won’t go hungry in San Miguel. We have had a quick lunch for under $10 for two or a more fancy dinner for about $50 with wine.

We may eat in restaurants more often here, but what are vacations for.

Each time I walk downtown, I find another food treasure. Friends discover small out of the way places too, but tonight I hit the jackpot. On a whim, I looked in to what looked like a small bar. I was immediately greeted by a gentleman who turned out to be the owner of the restaurant-bar BERLIN. In a charming manner he offered us a table of our choice. Little did I know the various small rooms would soon be filled with sophisticated and chatty diners.

We settled on a lovely fish fried in breaded potatoes and a savory goulash for me. Wine and/or beer did nicely in this art filled atmosphere. We opted to wait the 25 minutes they said it would take for their special soufflé for my wife while I settled for their fruit pie and ice cream.

By the time we left the various rooms were still filled while the charming owner, Delve Kapustin, saw us to the door.

He explained that the Berlin is open 365 days a year for dinner and by the looks of those at the bar, there seemed to be a selection of regulars.

Mr. Kapustin explained that aside from the restaurant, he operated Viejas San Miguel, a company that transports people from San Miguel to various airports by shuttle. He’s a good man to know.

The restaurant is at Umarin #19, Phone: +52 4150 154 9432

For information about airport transfers go to

You can rest assured that this writer will visit the Berlin restaurant Bar again soon. Tell him I sent you.

For travel service call him at +52 (415) 101 2568 or go to Sollano #4, Int.3

San Miguel is a charming town and interesting place for sightseeing. Here you should visit thee central Jardin the hub of activity, La Parroquia the symbol of san Miguel, the Museo Casa de Allende the birthplace of the city’s namesake, the various temples and the nearby Santuario de Atotonilco UNESCO World Heritage Site. It cost only 50cents to get there by bus.

Let me know if you want other suggestions. I have a long list but start with these. Bon Appetite!

I must close now…It’s time for lunch and so many places to choose from. 

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You can Contact Professor Arnie Greenberg at


Over the past few years, Professor Greenberg has traveled with groups to France, Italy, Spain, Greece, Budapest, Vienna, Salzburg, Prague and both Sorrento and the Bay of Naples plus most of Sicily. His tours traveled to the far reaches of the globe including Italy and most of China (Beijing -Hong Kong) and to Russia where his group cruised the waters from St.Petersburg to Moscow. 

"He took a group to Greece and another to northern Russia. In Nov 07 he took a tour group to much of India and ended his tour groups by revisiting France. He now travels with his wife and friends. They winter in Argentina or San Miguel Mexico.  His newly found spare time is taken up with his painting and writing. "I must write every day." His current work is a cautionary manual for would-be tour leaders..  "So You Want To Be A Tour Leader." 

Arnie now travels with friends. He continues writing Travel articles about unusual places but often concentrates on novel writing. Two books based on French Art will be published this year.  Keep reading his web for travel ideas.  His next novel HELLSTORM'S Folly, will be available this fall. He now lives in British Columbia.

Go to: or contact him directly at

(More about the writer.)


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