Taste of San Miguel Review — Our Family Food Tour in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico

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Warning: this Taste of San Miguel review will leave you hungry. The city of San Miguel de Allende, Mexico is an incredible place to explore, and this food tour was our best dining experience in town. Here are a few details of our day walking and eating.

Taste of San Miguel Review

Taste of San Miguel Review

There are over 300 restaurants in San Miguel de Allende. That’s considerable for a small town in Central Mexico with a population of less than 150,000. And this number doesn’t even factor in all the taco trucks, ice cream stands, and other local eateries one can find on side streets. As our guide told us, you could eat in a different restaurant in San Miguel every day for a year and still find new places to try.

San Miguel de Allende is an eater’s paradise. Here you’ll find everything from roadside tamales to authentic French croissants. The city’s status as an expat and traveler’s hub continues to attract cooks, chefs, and restauranteurs. They come from all over Mexico and all over the world, and where they go, the foodies follow.

We were very excited to work with Taste of San Miguel for the review of their Downtown San Miguel Food Tour. On this walking tour, we sampled only the tiniest fraction of the food in San Miguel de Allende.

We were hooked.

This Taste of San Miguel review recounts some of the sights and flavors of our day. We left full, happy, and wanting to start the tour over again the next day. The only thing we wished we had done differently was to go earlier! Then we would have had time to return to many of the foods we sampled.

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What Taste of San Miguel Offers

Taste of San Miguel Review

This walking food tour does everything but carry you from restaurant to restaurant. Your guide orders everything for you and takes care of the bill on the way out. If you have food allergies or other dietary restrictions, they’ll do their best to accommodate you.

All you have to do is to pay for the tour online and then walk from one delicious dish to the next. Tip your guide at the end if you feel like it, but all other costs are taken care of during the tour.

This Taste of San Miguel review doesn’t cover every detail of our day. However, I hope it paints an adequate picture of just how delectable our day was.

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Ceviche — Taste of San Miguel Food Tour Review

Taste of San Miguel Review

We showed up hungry for our Downtown San Miguel Food Tour, which started at noon. Our guide, Vail, was waiting for us. After she made introductions and gave us a small primer of San Miguel de Allende’s history and food scene, we were off.

Our first stop was at La Parada, a Peruvian restaurant specializing in ceviche. Some people have described ceviche as Latin America’s version of sashimi. That said, the fish that made the Tsukiji Fish Market famous is completely raw. In contrast, the fish and seafood used in ceviche are partially cooked by citric acid. Marinated in lime juice and other spices, this fish is no longer raw the same way sashimi is. Both are amazingly delicious.

Taste of San Miguel Review ceviche 2

Our ceviche sample at La Parada was a delectable chunk of Chilean sea bass served with corn, shaved coconut and mango, among other seasonings. It was complemented with a tortilla chip and a small shot of “Tiger Milk.” No tigers were harmed in the making of this dish. In fact, Tiger Milk is essentially the ceviche marinade, which tastes equally of citrus and the sea.

Vail told us the story of the owners and why they gave their restaurant the fun and clever “bus stop” theme, and we wandered around for a minute photographing its decor.

See what others have to say about La Parada in San Miguel de Allende

Conchinita Pibil — Taste of San Miguel Food Tour Review

Taste of San Miguel Review walking tour Yucatecan restaurant

Once finished, it was time to walk down some of San Miguel de Allende’s photogenic streets. San Miguel de Allende is such a stunning town, so we stopped here and there for pictures.

As we walked to our next stop, Vail told us some of San Miguel de Allende’s history. We learned about some interesting traits of the city’s architecture and why the walls of the houses in the old quarter are usually only three colors. If the house is red, orange or yellow, that means that the local government probably painted it for free. If any other color, that means that the owner has to pay for it themselves, and possibly pay extra. Once San Miguel de Allende became a UNESCO World Heritage site, measures like these were put in place.

We enjoyed learning as we walked, then it was on to our next destination: Las Casa del Diezmo. Here they specialize in Yucatecan cuisine, which is food from the Yucatan Peninsula.

Taste of San Miguel Review conchinita pibil taco

Once seated in its lush, garden courtyard, we were presented with dishes of conchinita pibil, which is pulled pork marinated in spices.

It’s bright red, but it’s not spicy. Yucatecan cuisine uses achiote, a red seed that gives food a dramatic scarlet hue. The pork is served as a panucho, which is a special refried tortilla loved in the Yucatan and washed down with a glass of Agua de Jamaica, a tea made from Hibiscus flowers.

See what others have to say about Las Casa del Diezmo in San Miguel de Allende

Black Mole Enchiladas — Taste of San Miguel Food Tour Review

Taste of San Miguel Review black mole enchiladas

Next up in our Taste of San Miguel review is La Cocina / Cafe del Viajero and their special black mole enchiladas. Made from countless ingredients and dizzyingly varied in colors and flavors, mole sauces are quintessential Mexican cuisine.

As Vail pointed out: “There are as many mole recipes as there are Mexican cooks.” Every family has their own special flavor and everyone thinks that theirs is best. As an example, she told us that her mother-in-law’s recipe has over 80 ingredients.

The black mole at La Cocina / Cafe del Viajero was superb. Deep, hearty with hints of cacao and peppers, this sauce must have been slow-cooked for days. It is a bold flavor, and while not spicy, our daughter found it too strong to finish.This was the only occasion where anyone didn’t relish every bite, but it was fine with us. More for me! Keiko doesn’t usually like mole as much as I do, but this one surprised her.

See what others have to say about La Cocina / Cafe del Viajero in San Miguel de Allende 

Mamey Ice Cream @ Nieves de Ganafa — Taste of San Miguel Food Tour Review

Taste of San Miguel Review mamey ice cream

Taste of San Miguel Review walking tour mamey ice cream

Next up was an interesting change: ice cream on the street! As much as I love black mole, the flavor lingers on the tongue. That’s why the Taste of San Miguel have wisely chosen to stop for a palate cleanser. There are many corner stalls that set up iced stands with dozens of flavors. This was Vail’s favorite stand, and we can see why — every flavor was amazing!

Vail translated the menu of flavors and recommended that we try a local flavor from a fruit called mamey. This is now one of our favorite flavors. In fact, we returned the next day for more. Our boy preferred the mango ice cream (because he loves mango anything), but the rest of us went specifically for mamey if that tells you something.

I also tried a sorbet made from garambullo, which is a cranberry-like fruit from a cactus. That’s the reddish-purple one that you see on top of the orange mamey. Garambullo was good, but the mamey was really good.

Ice cream stands aoccupy many street corners in San Miguel de Allende. Nieves de Ganafa operates on the corner of Canal and Calle del Dr. Ignacio Hernandez Macias, very close to Bellas Artes.

Tortilla Soup — Taste of San Miguel Food Tour Review

Taste of San Miguel Review tortilla soup

Our next stop was for another Mexican staple: sopa de tortilla, or tortilla soup. At Los Milagros (located at Plaza Principal #4, right by Jardin Allende), the tortilla soup arrives with plenty of toppings and condiments on the side. That way, you build your own flavor.

The rich, tomato-based soup became even tastier once I had added fresh cream, chunks of avocado and chicharrónes, or pork cracklings. I also added some queso fresco, which is freshly-made soft cheese.

By this point in the food tour, we were all well past satisfied and into over-full territory, but we had two more stops.

See what others have to say about Los Milagros in San Miguel de Allende

Tequila! — Taste of San Miguel Food Tour Review

Taste of San Miguel Review tequila paloma

Taste of San Miguel Review tequila paloma tequila paloma Gato Negro

From Los Milagros, we walked up a hill to Gato Negro bar for an aperitif. And by aperitif I mean tequila. In truth, I’m the only one in our family who drinks alcohol, so Keiko and the kids had a limonada (lemon soda). Vail told us about the bar and how Johnny Depp and Antonio Banderas hung out in a hideout of upstairs here while filming the movie Once Upon a Time in Mexico. (In Brandon & Jennifer Pearce’s blog, they have pictures:)

The bar is small and dingy, and it definitely smells like a bar. That said, Vail did a great job of explaining the context of the place as well as a small history of tequila and mescal. There are many differences, but I was surprised to now that tequila actually comes from a city called Tequila, just like Champagne and Burgandy come from those French cities.

Would I like a shot or a cocktail, Vail asks? I chose a Paloma, which was tequila with grapefruit soda.

Churros & Cajeta —Taste of San Miguel Food Tour Review

Taste of San Miguel Review churro with cajeta

Now it was on to our final stop for dessert: churros. San Augustin Churros y Chocolate is owned by a famous Argentinian soap opera star, and there is usually a line to get in. Actually, there are often two lines: one for a table, and one for takeaway. We lucked out when arrived. The table right next to the kitchen was open!

It was Thursday at around 3:30 pm, so many people were probably still finishing their lunch elsewhere. Remember the Spanish mealtime schedule? They do something similar here, too.

Vail ordered for us. Like the mamey-flavored ice cream from earlier, Vail introduced us to a new flavor that we now love beyond reason: cajeta. What is cajeta? Imagine a rich caramel made from goat’s milk. Now imagine that it’s your favorite thing in the world. Vail told us she would order this so we could try it, and we’ve learned to just follow her lead.

Our churros were warm and fresh from the kitchen. The first crispy bite, accented by gooey cajeta, sent us into gastronomic bliss. We would return, we said, and fortunately, we made time before we left San Miguel to eat one more. That was Saturday at around noon and yes, we had to line up. That said, the queue was not as long as we saw a few days before. If you go, be sure to beat the crowd!

See what others have to say about San Augustin Churros y Chocolate in San Miguel de Allende

Our Conclusion & Tips for Your Taste of San Miguel Food Tour

Taste of San Miguel Review Vail food tour guide

We would recommend this food tour for couples, groups, solo travelers and of course families. Our guide kept our teen and tween engaged, and the constant movement from one part of the city to the next meant we are always doing something new.

Our tour was early afternoon, so the restaurants had fewer people. The earlier ones had just opened and were still empty in fact. This means you and the kids have more space and less pressure to sit still and pay attention.

We encourage you to tip your guide but keep in mind that your guide will take care of all other tips, checks, and other money-related fees during the tour.

Wear comfortable shoes. This is a walking tour, after all, and San Miguel de Allende’s cobblestone streets can be a hilly affair. Most of all, book a food tour with Taste of San Miguel as soon as you arrive in San Miguel de Allende so that you will have a chance to go back any or all of the places you want to try again later.

Still unsure if it’s worth your time? Read what others have to say about Taste of San Miguel Food Tour.

Further Reading

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Taste of San Miguel Review

Disclosure: Taste of San Miguel sponsored our food tour.  However, my opinions are my own and I only recommend places/services that I believe will genuinely help your travel, and this Taste of San Miguel review was honest — everything was amazing and I wish we had time to do their other tours!

Comments

  1. Hi Jason,

    Delicious.

    Those black mole enchiladas look so darn tasty. I do feel hungrier after reading and salivating I mean, checking out the fare.

    80 ingredients? Amazing for such a seemingly small food stuff.

    As for that ice cream it looks fun and tasty, with all the different coloring. Must be refreshing too in the hot, humid climes of this region.

    Thanks for the delightful share Jason.

    Ryan

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