10 Nov Grocery Shopping Guide to San Miguel de Allende
Grocery Shopping Guide to San Miguel de Allende
Among the many reasons I love Mexico, are the open air and specialty markets, particularly the Tianguis. Like in small European towns, most Mexican folk shop in many small locations that specialize in particular goods. There’s the butcher (a specific one just for chicken), the tortilla shop, the fruit and vegetable stand, and then, the one-stop privately owned shops that appear on nearly every street corner. I’m going to share some of my favorite shopping locations in San Miguel de Allende.
Before I do, I’d like to add that many people in San Miguel do all of their shopping at one of the larger supermarkets like Mega or Soriana. These corporate chains don’t support our local farmers and their produce is often picked early, irradiated and transported over large distances while their meats are often frozen and thawed, causing health concerns. On more than one occasion I’ve bought chicken at the Mega that smelled of bleach when I opened the plastic. I’m not the only resident whose complained about the Mega cleaning their meats with bleach and not the only one who’s gotten sick from eating their meat either. So let’s support mom and pop spots that sell things that support our local economy!
Fruit and Vegetables: The Tiangiuis, Rancho La Trinidad, Mercado Sano, and Frutilandia
The tianguis takes place on Tuesday and Sunday, though many local residents don’t know that it also happens on Sunday. I actually prefer the Sunday tianguis. It has slightly less selection, but considering the size of the sprawling open air market, I’ve never felt that it lacks anything. The tianguis sells everything from groceries to clothing, metalwork to cheap toys from China and everything in between. My usual purchases include local fruit, vegetables, and honey, clothes, makeup and, of course, candy. It’s pretty much the biggest bang for your buck and you’re supporting the local farmers by buying their produce. Currently, we’re seeing the cutest tiny apples, delicious tangerines, cantaloupe and grapefruits. I just tried a new fruit, cherimoya, nicknamed the “ice cream fruit” which was pretty unbelievable. For veggies, our regulars include broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, onions, garlic, Serrano peppers, spinach, kale, potatoes, tomatoes and zucchini. A week’s worth of produce costs me approximately 200 MX pesos or 18 USD.
Getting there: From the glorieta at the Salida a Queretaro, if you are entering SMA from QRO, it is your first right. Follow the cobblestone road back to the first entrance which is a dirt path. Follow it around to the tianguis.
Another great option for quality, price and experience is Rancho la Trinidad, a lovely farm that grows organic veggies just outside of town, toward Cienenguita. They have lovely organic produce, salad mixes and veggies, plus a small restaurant for lunch.
Mercado Sano, located on the Ancha de San Antonio, next to Real de Minas hotel is an amazing place for fresh produce, organics and general yumminess.
This is my current favorite fruit and vegetable stand and you’ll find me shopping here 2-3 times a week. The produce is fresh, beautiful and inexpensive. The owners are friendly and courteous, and I can literally fill a large bag with produce for 12-15 USD. Learn more about Frutilandia by clicking here.
Location: about halfway up Cinco de Mayo from Ancha de San Antonio on the left.
Butcher: La Lonja
What I love about this butcher, other than the courteous, helpful service is that they have inexpensive, high-quality “common” meats (I usually buy pork chops, ground beef, and chorizo), but they also have an array of specialty meats by order, including veal, ostrich, lamb and duck, among others.
Getting there: La Lonja is located on the corner of Mesones and Pepe Llanos, near the Plaza Civica.
Chicken: Pollos Canal (chicken from Rancho el Viejo)
In Mexico, raw chicken is often bought from its own store, though butchers sell it as well. We buy our chicken on Canal. They come from a local farm, Rancho el Viejo, so they’re not only fresher but we’re minimizing environmental impact by minimizing transportation. Plus, they’re yummy.
Getting there: San Francisco becomes Canal. Follow Canal approximately three blocks and it’s on the corner on the left.
Cheese: Remos and Luna de Queso
Remos is a beautiful farm and vineyard on the outskirts of town, heading to Queretaro. There cheese is superb, yet not particularly pricey. They also sell wine, bread, grapes and a handful of gluten-free specialty items. We love supporting this local business!
Getting there: Take the Salida a Queretaro towards Queretaro. It’s just out of town on the left.
Luna de Queso has delicious deli meats as well as cheeses, olives, and a plethora of gourmet items. A bit on the pricey side, it’s a great option for special meals or ingredients that are hard to come by. They also have killer lunch sandwiches; my favorite is the loaded Italian sandwich with prosciutto, roasted red bell peppers and mozzarella.
Getting there: On the Ancha de San Antonio, heading toward the Salida a Celaya, it’s on the right.
Organics and Specialty Items: Mercado Sano, Natura and Via Organica
Looking for Doctor Bronners soap? Vegan truffles? Kombucha? These are your locations for specialty food and health purchases. They also sell organic fruits and veggies. Natura has delicious daily sandwiches and quiche, including a generous veggie sandwich on focaccia for 35 pesos. It’s a steal! Via Orgainca has a larger selection of organic, gluten-free and vegan specialty items, but depending on the item it can be a bit pricey. At their restaurant, I love their green juice and their green soup. Both items have been my salvation while sick with the flu.
Getting to Natura: Ancha de San Antonio, across the street from the Instituto Allende.
Getting to Via Organica: It’s located in Guadalupe neighborhood, one block off of Calzada de la Aurora. Look for the
sign close to Calzada de la Luz, about 2 blocks before, on the right (if heading toward Centro).
Natural Health and Beauty: La Victoriana, Moonrise and Genesis
This is a category I left off originally and many people have requested since the initial publication of the article. To get natural health and beauty items, whether you’re down with a cold or just looking to avoid the chemical highway, these are the places to go.
This nearly 25 year old family-owned business sells homemade alternative health products, natural beauty products, and herbs. All the products are made locally, including soaps, perfumes, baby products, shampoos, creams and much more. Their product line, 545, is made in house, primarily from plants they grown themselves.
Be sure to check out their classes and Youtube channel full of tutorials.
Address: Hernández Macías 72, 37700 San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato
Phone: 415 152 6903
A haven for hide to find supplements, naturopathic cures, herbs and teas, Moonrise is an amazing resource in our community bringing in many items difficult to find otherwise in San Miguel de Allende.
Address: Organos 29, Centro, San Miguel De Allende, Mexico 37700
Genesis is a great source for natural health supplies and herbal remedies. The herbs and products and nearly exclusively made in Mexico. It also has a great juice bar inside.
Address: Reloj #34 B Col. Centro, 37700 San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato
Phone: 415 152 2016