Our complete guide on where to stay, eat, and play in San Miguel de Allende
November 15, 2016
| Updated May 1, 2019
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Getting to San Miguel
San Miguel has two airports: Del Bajío International (BJX) in Leon/Guanajuato, about a 11/2-hour drive, and Querétaro Airport (QRO), about an hour’s drive. Hernandez Tours is very reliable for transportation.
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Sleep: L'Otel at Doce-18
Fluffy white comforters, outdoor showers, and a quiet communal breakfast area overlooking Doce-18’s busy dining area below—the 10-room L’Otel is the city’s newest bespoke sleeping digs. From $295 U.S.
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Sleep: Hotel Matilda
It’s worth peeking into this stylish hotel for its art collection, an edgy curation of largely Mexican artists. The open-air restaurant Moxi, which looks onto the infinity pool, has Mexico’s most lauded chef Enrique Olvera’s name attached to it. From $266 U.S.
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Sleep: Casas Maxim Airbnb
Casas Maxim has three modern, comfortable apartments; the two-bedroom penthouse, which sports a private terrace with a sweeping view, starts at $155 U.S.
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Shop: Recreo San Miguel
Lisa and Michael Coleman have evolved the serape—the iconic Mexican poncho born in San Miguel in the 1700s—with flowing silk crepe and soft plaid wool trimmed with lambskin.
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Just the place to buy a gift, this little shop boasts a perusable bohemian mix ranging from colorful table runners to cool and affordable necklaces and earrings to folk art.
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Shop: Kingsley Market Showroom + Shop
Lisa Kingsley has the best eye for eclectic minimalism design in San Miguel, as demonstrated in her boutique stocked with goods made by the city’s artisans: tribal-style pewter bracelets, sustainable leather clutches, and oils anointed with attributes like “Good Willing,” made with Mexican orange blossom.
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Shop: Armour Jewelry
Expect thick basket-weave chokers and serpent cuffs plated in 24-karat gold at Armour Jewelry. Lapis earrings graze the shoulder and tassel necklaces sweep the midriff. Everything is handmade.
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Eat & Drink: The Restaurant
Grab a seat at the bar for lunch (the shaved brussels sprouts and kale salad with almonds has a cult following) or reserve a table in the open-air courtyard. The Restaurant's ingredient-driven menu includes grilled duck breast with kimchi fried rice and ancho-braised pork cheeks with cauliflower purée. $$$ U.S.
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Eat & Drink: Taco Lab by Tacolicious
This collaboration between chef Donnie Masterton and Joe Hargrave serves addictive crispy tacos and chopped salad with avocado, radishes, and jicama, all made with top-notch ingredients. Don’t miss the specials, such as octopus tacos with peanuts and green posole. $ U.S.
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Eat & Drink: Jacinto 1930
This Doce-18 eatery is a tribute to Mexico and the maize it was built on. Botanas arrive in miniature form, such as tiny mushroom “carnitas” tacos with salsa macha, and perfect gorditas filled with chicharrones. $$ U.S.
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See: YAM Gallery
The gallery features a great selection of up-and-coming Mexican artists, as well as their own artists-in-residence. At the beginning of 2017, Mexico City painter Sofía Echeverri will be showing her work; it’s a stop worth making.
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See: Centro Cultural Ignacio Ramírez “El Nigromante”
Located in the former Convent of the Immaculate Conception, built in the 1700s, this art school has come into its own, now featuring galleries plus dance and art studios. Don’t miss the dreamy renovated murals by Davíd Alfaro Siquieros, a Mexican social realist.
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See: Santuario de Atotonilco
More than 50,000 pilgrims annually make the trip to this little 250-year-old church 71/2 miles from San Miguel. Known as the Sistine Chapel of Mexico, its ornate baroque frescoes cover its every inch.