Our guidebook described San Miguel de Allende as "a Disneyland for American retirees". And yep, that's about right. Walking around, we were the youngest people by about 40 years.
So this isn't the best place to come if you want to experience "real Mexico". But sometimes it's nice to be somewhere that's a little easier.
And San Miguel has a lot going for it. It's colourful and pretty; all the buildings have unique details, a hand-painted plaque or a huge carved wooden door or pots of cacti on the balcony. Each time you climb a hill you're rewarded with views of the surrounding mountains. The food is great, it's a nice place to walk around, relaxing and slow paced, people, both the expats and locals, are friendly. There are also lots of galleries and boutiques. The expats in San Miguel have serious style – these were some of the most stylish people I've seen anywhere, of any age.
It's a place to relax and potter around, stop off for a coffee or a juice, meander through the main square on the way to lunch, browse in the market. We stayed for a week, but it's not too big so if you're short on time, a day is enough.
Where to eat
- Lavanda Cafe: The best coffee we had in San Miguel, with good breakfast and lunch options too. It's always busy. Their signature dish is eggs Benedict.
- La Mezcaleria: Innovative modern Mexican food with a really nice atmosphere in the evenings.
- Tule: This place takes smoothies to a new level. Mine was avocado, spinach, honey, pineapple and parsley. Sounds weird, but it's the most delicious juice I've ever had.
- Baja Fish Taquito: A small fish taco spot with a roof terrace.
- La Grotta: We had a great takeout pizza from here one night, and it looks like a nice, cosy place to eat in too.
Where to stay: We loved the Hotel Edén de los Ángeles, it's right in the centre, good value, with spacious rooms, a roof terrace and the biggest beds ever.
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