SAN MIGUEL de ALLENDE
Amanda Blakely was introduced to us by our dear travelling gypsy It's Beautiful Here. When I spoke to Georgia from It's Beautiful Here about the idea of the Farmer's Market Guides she told me she had a wonderful friend who could help out with a guide for San Miguel de Allende. To be honest I had never even heard the place and upon research and stories it's now jumped onto one of the top places on my list to go. It's not your usual Mexican destination usually inclusive of clear blue waters and white sand, it's actually in the far eastern part of Central Mexico. However it swells within its own magic that also casts a spell on travellers, boasting that 20% of the people living there are actually expatriates!
+ SATURDAY 9AM-2PM TIANGUIS ORGANICO y ARTESANAL
+ TUESDAYS EL TIENGUIS
by Amanda Blakley of The Adventures of Atticus
San Miguel de Allende, our spiritual home. A place we've been fortunate enough to call our second home for the past nine years (for a few weeks or months at a time). After our second son was born this Fall, we made a run for the border as soon as his passport ink was dry. Of course Mexico in general is a fertile land (agriculturally speaking), but San Miguel de Allende also happens to be a niche community that combines a unique growing climate (high altitude with hot days and cool nights) with a passion for organicly grown, local fruit, vegetables and herbs. Below is the lowdown on all the best places in (and outside) of town to stock up on healthy, delicious and colourful eats!
By far our favorite place to hit for amazing local produce and products is Tianguis Orgánico y Artesanal, the San Miguel Organic Saturday Market (held weekly from 9 AM to 2 PM).
In addition to the stalls and vendors there is always some form of live music. Of course it's fun to wander the stalls, soak up the vibe and sample the various products and producers on your own, but might we recommend a few of our faves?
- La Trinidad for local and organic produce (this is the farm that also operates a little country restaurant, mentioned below)
- 'Il Gallo Verde' for homemade gelato (two flavors each week), sesame pita crackers and pesto.
- 'Mente Cacao' for amazing chocolate made by hand from cacao and local honey
- 'La Isla' for oysters on the half shell and bagels with lox (their fresh seafood deliveries arrive by air twice a week)
- Heavenly quiche from 'Les Quiches de Madame la Lune'
- Gorgeous hand stitched potholders and cushions by 'The Rug Hook Project', supporting a rural women's cooperative.
- O.Taga - two young, organic farmers selling super-greens for salad and delicious all-natural cilantro salad dressing.
- Felipe Elías Juarez Tejedor for hand loomed 100% wool rugs.
Caffeineate: Oso Azul (Blue Bear), run by a Dane and Boh. Oh left his high level bankers life to grow coffee! These guys take the art of growing organic beans, roasting them and making coffee very seriously - lucky for you! They also happen to make a little molten-lava muffin that is definitely worthy of the meteoric calorie splurge.
Brunch: Posada Corazon, a beautiful B&B in the heart of San Miguel. Their breakfast is served all morning and all ingredients come from their organic fruit/vegetable/herb garden - including the housemade herbal tea and we love that they have their own hen coop for fresh eggs!
Cheap, healthy lunch at: Genesis Tienda Naturista, a small healthfood cafe serving up one of our favorite vegetarian pita sandwiches and a beautiful housemade granola (free of vegetable oils).
Dinner: Via Organica (also an organic grocer) for fresh and healthy fare. They have a nightly special that includes a mug of housemade, organic beer, a salad, a healthy main and even a little dessert (flour-less chocolate cake for the win!)
Dine well: Aperi for a world class experience dining in the elegant and inviting cocina of chef Matteo Salas. Matteo has worked in some of the best and most refined kitchens around the globe, it says a lot that he has chosen San Miguel as home for his family and his long-anticipated restaurant. Book early and opt for the tasting menu served in the cocina. His food is farm-to-table, always inspired by what is fresh and in season, but made with recipes he created and polished while working around the world.
Healthy take-out/catering: Megumi is new to the San Miguel scene, serving up authentic and organic Japanese cuisine. Sae Otomo will deliver her beautiful creations right to your door or set up a multi course dinner for you and your guests. We can't stop dreaming about the flavour combinations and beautiful bite-sized portions we had the pleasure of enjoying!
Other markets: For a real taste (literally) of Mexico, the Tuesday market, El Tienguis, should be at the top of your list. If you look hard enough, you can quite literally find anything and everything here (from motorcycle parts to pirated fitness dvd's), but special mentions go to the roasted pork tortas from La Casa de Las Carnitas, the tripe or pastor tacos at Taco Toro El Buffet, Jugos Naturales from Energia Salud y Rico Sabor Frutal (we love the alfalfa/piña blend) and the steamed fish at a fabulous corner stall (sin nombre - without a name). This is also the perfect place to find a new charger for your iPhone, crickets sprinkled with chill powder (naturally paleo and gluten free), pounds upon pounds of delicious ripe and sweet fruit or vegetables, a keyboard for your iPad, natural bristle scrubber for your pots/pans and maybe even a pair of shoe inserts - if you're lucky.
Stock your fridge at: Natura the best place in town to get raw, grass fed milk (cow and goat), butter and yoghurt/kefir, locally baked bread, nuts & seeds, organic chicken, beautiful seasonal produce, healthily prepared-meals and artisanal chocolate (cacao sweetened with honey and flavoured naturally with herbs or fruit). Plus, be sure to ask about their handmade personal care products (creams, oils and serums) - for fountain-of-youth-goodness.
Farm life: De Temporada - an organic farm and lunch cafe. Take a $10 cab ride into the countryside to this working farm with a small cafe overlooking the crops serving a few daily specials, fresh pressed juice and hand crafted ice cream (lavender, tomato and other curious flavors).
For a sweet treat: Gelato Dolce Far Niente handcrafted artisanal and organic gelato made daily from seasonally ingredients. We love their ethos of giving back to the community (they donate product to local orphanages weekly).
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