San Miguel de Allende, a UNESCO World Heritage site in the Central Mexico state of Guanajuato, has long attracted visitors for its stunning colonial architecture, near perfect climate, and thriving arts scene spurred by a large population of expats. Lately, it has also made waves in the food scene, with new high end bars, restaurants and wineries joining the existing local gastronomy.
Consider these excellent, pet-friendly options where you can stay, eat, drink and be merry to your heart’s content, alongside your furry companions, for an extraordinary holiday getaway with a gourmet focus.
Casa de Sierra Nevada
In the heart of the city, Casa de Sierra Nevada, A Belmond Hotel, comprises six luxuriously restored heritage mansions, with 23 suites and 14 rooms, all different from one another. Most feature paintings by local artists (San Miguel is known as a haven for the arts) along with antique furnishings, courtyards or gardens, and even private plunge pools.
Stucco walls, shaded courtyards with trickling fountains, vaulted archways and wood-beamed ceilings highlight the city’s traditional colonial architecture. The experience is complemented by a beautiful pool, a luxury spa, and inviting restaurants serving breakfast, lunch, dinner and drinks. Even your pups get their own bedding and homemade treats.
“We have three distinct dining experiences to cater to various preferences,” says Christian Herrera, sous chef at Casa de Sierra Nevada. “First, there’s Andanza, where we focus on delivering simple, yet flawlessly executed classic dishes. Next, there’s Tunki, where creativity takes the spotlight, and our kitchen presents a refreshing interpretation of traditional Peruvian cuisine. Finally, at Restaurante del Parque we bring a part of the culinary history of Mexico.”
Casa de Sierra Nevada is proud of its strong commitment toward sustainability, sourcing many products (including fish, meats, produce, and dairies) from local suppliers, and serving green certified coffee and tea from fair trade partnerships. Most notably, the wine list includes many Mexican labels, especially from the up-and-coming vineyards in the immediate area.
Andanza occupies the plant filled courtyard of the hotel’s main building. The menu combines international flavors and techniques with Mexican products, with many vegetarian, vegan and gluten free choices. A pear and chayote carpaccio starter, for instance, is flavored with bleu cheese, caramelized pecans, olive oil, black garlic aioli, lemon zest and crispy kale.
A 12-hour short rib comes with sweet potato purée, granny smith apple and ginger relish, pickled mustard seed, roasted cabbage with blue cheese, golden raisins and a rich Pedro Ximenez demi-glace. The stunning signature catch of the day features wild mushrooms in Jalisco style birria, chickpeas, cabbage, cilantro and escabeche onion.
Named after the national bird of Peru, Tunki Rooftop by Handshake is a creative cocktail bar created in partnership with Mexico City’s Handshake, one of the best bars in the world according to World’s 50 Best. The menu is inspired by the food of the Peruvian Andes, and the cocktails and wine list are created to match. The rooftop location is ideal for a sunset drink before dinner, with exquisite views of the city.
“We had this beautiful terrace in one of the suites that we were not taking advantage of, so several ideas came up to do something to elevate the guest experience,” says Herrera. “Having an amazing location with the best view of the city, especially of the iconic Parroquia, we took it as an opportunity.”
“We approached Handshake, who were immediately happy to collaborate with us, lending us their name, their experience and their innovative proposal. They created a menu especially for us, along with training our staff to make sure the recipes were done step by step, as it is not conventional cocktail making but innovative mixology, with incredible equipment and recipes.”
Restaurante del Parque is the most relaxed of the three, yet it’s still sophisticated and welcoming. “Beyond just being about individual dishes, the entire concept of Restaurante del Parque was born from my time spent living in Puebla,” says Herrera. “The profound connection between culture and food in this region is unlike anything I’ve ever encountered before. In my opinion, the cuisine of Puebla and Oaxaca stands out as the epitome of richness, complexity, and cultural depth. We’ve carefully curated a menu featuring the most authentic and delicious dishes from these neighboring states.”
Highlights include tlayudas – large, crispy corn tortillas topped with shrimp al pastor; a mole sampler served with chicken or pork; and Puebla’s traditional tacos árabes, of Lebanese origin and served in pita bread with labneh and chipotle salsa.
“For me it is very important to cover three fundamental pillars: creativity, storytelling, and guest satisfaction,” says Herrera. We are in constant development of new dishes, but we keep the signature and popular dishes year-round.”
Rosewood San Miguel de Allende
A few blocks away, closer to the iconic Parroquia, Rosewood San Miguel de Allende features a hacienda-inspired aesthetic housing 67 guest rooms and suites, a signature spa, a fabulous pool set amid sprawling gardens, and four distinctive restaurants and bars. Like all Rosewood properties it is incredibly dog-friendly, providing outstanding amenities for our furry friends like personalized pillows, toys and treats.
Executive chef César Enciso joined the property in 2022, bringing with him more than 10 years of culinary expertise and a deep passion for Mexican hospitality. Originally from the city of Guanajuato, Enciso oversees all culinary operations at the hotel including 1826 Restaurant, 1826 Tequila Bar, Luna Rooftop, and Agua poolside restaurant and bar.
1826 Restaurant is the property’s flagship, showcasing Mexico’s rich culinary heritage and tradition, paying homage to the city’s historic importance. In 1826, the town of San Miguel de Allende was renamed to commemorate its most famous local hero, Ignacio Allende y Unzaga, one of the main protagonists of the Mexican independence movement.
The menu represents diverse regional specialties of Central Mexico using ingredients from nearby growers and producers. “Nearly every dish on the menu is inspired by the childhood memories of our cooks, who grew up in different parts of Mexico and therefore have connections with different regional specialties,” says Enciso. “We change the menu every six months based on the season and what ingredients are freshest, most abundant and delicious.”
Another signature of Rosewood properties is their sustainable, locally-centered approach, which is reflected in every aspect, from art and furnishings to spa products and toiletries, and of course, food and drinks.
“We work with nearby Chinaberry Farm to source our lettuce, tomatoes, and various organic vegetables that rotate according to the time of year. Our local cheese monger, Quesos Don Pascual, supplies us with incredible cheeses like queso ranchero and Oaxaca cheese. We also source from the best suppliers outside of San Miguel for items like our artisanal tlayudas from Oaxaca. We listen to our farmers, growers, and suppliers and regularly update the menu so that it always reflects the highest quality, locally sourced ingredients.”
Enciso’s favorite dish is the beef tongue at 1826 Restaurant. “It’s the perfect pairing of sophisticated technique and presentation with authentic Mexican flavors and ingredients. It’s beautiful, delicious, and unexpected,” says the chef.
“The new menu at 1826 Tequila Bar is truly a reflection of my upbringing in Guanajuato. Most of these dishes are elevated versions of what I used to prepare alongside my parents and my grandmother, and the menu reads like a tribute to them,” says the chef.
Rosewood San Miguel de Allende also participates in the PlaceMaker program – a brand led initiative in which hotels work with local ambassadors to help provide guests with a curated guide of the destination through their lens. In San Miguel, the ambassador of the program is Rosana Álvarez, founder of sustainable, organic ranch Vía Orgánica.
Via Orgánica is a regenerative agriculture farm and ranch whose goal is to educate the local community about the importance of organic agriculture, as well as to incentivize the locals to stay in the region and cultivate its land to create economic opportunities. Among other gastronomic experiences, Rosewood San Miguel offers guests private tours of the ranch, followed by a cooking class with Enciso featuring fresh herbs and vegetables that they pick at the farm. They can also arrange a visit to one of the many vineyards and wineries in the region.
Although not a newly discovered destination, San Miguel retains its charm and continues offering new experiences worth a visit.
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