Sean and Mittie | Best Cheap Eats of San Miguel de Allende 15

Best Cheap Eats of San Miguel de Allende

San Miguel is known for many things: colonial architecture, hundreds of festivals, beautiful weather and all the art you could ever want. Cheap eats is not something that appears on this list, however. Certainly it’s less expensive than restaurant prices in the United States, but it’s one of the more expensive cities in Mexico, due to its tourism. This isn’t a bad thing – it means we have eclectic, delicious restaurants serving the highest quality of yumminess …but what if you’re on a budget and want to travel or live in this area inexpensively?

The following list is made of my go-to cheap eats of San Miguel de Allende, often feeding an individual for 50 pesos (about 4 dollars).

El Compita

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El Compita, a two story juice and sandwich shop. They are quite famous for their fresh squeezed juices and delicious smoothies served in a plastic bag. Sounds odd, I know. Just pop a straw in …or bring your own container. Apart from fruit, the smoothies may contain ground flax seed, granola, amaranth, and/or oatmeal. My favorite the San Miguelito has all of the above – it’s a dense, tropical smorgasbord, perfect for an active day. Their green juice is my staple. At 25 pesos a liter, it’s hard to beat. I drink one almost every day.

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As far as sandwiches go, theirs are impressive. Called Tortas for the large, round bread they’re served on, these sandwiches are not for wussies. Commit before you sit down to eat one. The standing favorite is the Torta Cubana which has 5 meats, two cheeses, avocado, lettuce etc. for under  50 pesos. I can’t finish one and I take eating very seriously.

Located on the Ancha de San Antiono, across from the Pemex.

 

La Brasilia

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This is my favorite Taqueria (casual restaurant or stand serving tacos) in all of San Miguel. It’s a bit more expensive than some of its competitors but worth the extra centavos. My favorite dishes include a roasted white potato smothered in chopped skirt steak and cheese (68 pesos) or an Alambre, or wooden plank served with a mixture of onion, peppers, rotisserie pork and cheese (70 pesos).

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I find their creamy green avocado salsa to be one of the best I’ve ever tried. I can’t get enough really. They also have Hibiscus flower water and Orchata (sweetened rice milk with cinnamon).

Located on the Ancha de San Antiono, across from the Pemex.

 

El Burrito

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This great restaurant is inexpensive and frequented by locals despite being quite close to the Jardin, or town square. The serve different daily guisados (stews) to fill burritos. Just to be clear, the use of the word burrito refers to the large flour tortilla – the filling may be with or without beans or cheese. My favorites are Tinga de Pollo (chicken in red sauce) and Mole de Pollo (Chicken Mole). They also serve sweetened daily fruit-water options like Guava or Strawberry water.

Located at Hidalgo 23, Centro.

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Sean and Mittie | Best Cheap Eats of San Miguel de Allende 8

Gorditas Don Ciro

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Gorditas are a beautiful thing to begin with, and these guys do them right. I think of gorditas as a cross between tortilla and pita, a fat little pocket for what delicious guisado you want to put in it. My favorite guisados at Don Ciro is Picadillo, a ground meat and red sauce based stew. You can have them with or without beans and fresh cheese.

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Outside of San Miguel de Allende, going towards Dolores Hidalgo and the hot springs, it is a stand on the left hand side of the street by the entrance to Xote.

 

Tacos Insurgentes

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This is a great late-night bar hopping stop. Grab a few tacos and then head on your merry way. I like tacos de pastor best.  Pastor is made of thinly sliced, marinated pork and cooked rotisserie style by an open fire. These tacos used to be called Tacos Arabes in the 60’s for their similarity to shawarma. Often served on two small corn tortillas, they’re dressed in onion, cilantro, and salsa. Gringas (flour tortillas with cheese) with pastor are incredible.

Located on Insurgentes and Relox.

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Tacos Don Felix

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This is where things get a little …interesting. Tacos Don Felix has the best pork in green sauce I’ve ever had. It’s truly great. And the once had a little taco stand that got so popular they’ve turned it into a restaurant, a quite nice one with a wine selection and all. Outside a window still exists to order tacos (i.e. the cheap ones), but if you’re looking for the full experience the restaurant has everything you could want: a beautifully designed, cozy interior, great service and killer food. Just be aware that there is a price difference.

We made the mistake of going inside when we first arrived. We looked around and asked to take a look at the menu. Everyone said that had good tacos, but this was like no taqueria I’d ever seen. We asked about the window outside, only to learn that tacos could be ordered there for less. So we went outside and sat at the tables by the window and tried to order there, but the waiter kept returning throughout our meal, giving us royal treatment …and clearly planning on charging us the indoor menu price. We thought the service was lovely, but the experience was confusing. And with the budget plan, you’ll definitely be eating at the window.

What are your favorite cheap eats? Did I leave anything off this San Miguel de Allende Cheap Eats list? Give me your feedback and ask questions below!

Mittie.Roger
mittiebabette@gmail.com

Mittie Roger has been blogging for 5 years; her blog focuses on off the beaten path travel in the Americas. Both a blogger and a social media consultant, Mittie works with writers, brands, and artists of many mediums. Her first book of short stories, Aurora, was published in December of 2013 after its title story, “Aurora”, received second place in the 2012 Richard Bausch contest. Her fiction has also appeared in Our Stories and Monkey Puzzle Literary Magazine and her non-fiction has appeared in Land Rover Magazine, Land Rover Monthly and Fuse. Her most recent publication, These Boots Are Made for Walking: Travel Journal and Workbook, uses creative prompts to get you thinking differently, traveling more and experiencing life.

7 Comments
  • Benjie Nelson
    Posted at 17:05h, 21 July

    Mittie, the only one I could think of to add is Carmen’s for lunch. For 50 peso’s you can get fish with veggies, rice and beans add 5 pesos for fresh fruit water. She also has the best enchilada’s in town. The green ones are heavenly!

  • Steve
    Posted at 15:55h, 30 July

    Love it. Thanks for sharing, and I’ll be sure to check them all out in due course.

  • Larry Le Mieux
    Posted at 12:19h, 17 July

    There’s a little restaurant on Stirling Dickinson that is Elsanne’s favorite. Don’t remember the name but has killer enchiladas…and cheap! Chilikillers are great too!

  • Alicia W
    Posted at 20:59h, 17 July

    And, the salad bar at Mercado SANO!!! $39 for a bowl of all organic – picked-that-day veggies!! ;p

  • Mary Meyer
    Posted at 23:34h, 17 July

    great list, just one question, where do you find restaurants that charge less if you’re seated outside? The lower price at the window is for take out only I would assume.

  • Mittie.Roger
    Posted at 11:59h, 19 July

    Hi Mary, I had that experience at Tacos Don Felix in Independencia. The cheaper price is for standing at the window (or sitting at a barstool), the way the taco carts in centro work.

  • Mittie.Roger
    Posted at 12:00h, 19 July

    Thanks for the great additions, you guys! Eating in San Miguel is just another part of the magic.

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