According to Nathan Aguilera, author of the Foodie Flashpacker blog
There are hundreds of reasons to visit San Miguel de Allende, Mexico’s top voted city for tourism. Located in the Mexican state of Guanajuato, San Miguel was voted the best city in the world not just once, but twice! It beat out some of my other favorite Mexican cities including Guadalajara, Mexico City, and my current home base of Merida.
Its status as a UNESCO World Heritage Site means that stunning architecture coexists with modern attractions and amenities.
Once you’re there, you’ll understand why. It combines the beauty and tradition of historical Mexico with the excitement and innovation that its modern citizens bring to the table.
All of the shops, restaurants and buildings that have been restored have done so with a meticulous eye for detail.
Whatever your preference, whether it’s sightseeing, cultural celebrations, or shopping San Miguel de Allende will deliver in ways that exceed your expectations.
Most of all, it’s a city known for its romantic locations, especially its restaurants and bars. Their food scene and nightlife play a massive role in making San Miguel the unforgettable destination that it is
Of course, that might mean you’re hesitant to visit in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. Restaurants and bars are famously not great for social distancing and other containment measures.
Not to worry, the city itself has taken on health and safety measures that go above and beyond to keep visitors safe. They’ve received the coveted ‘Safe Travels’ stamp from the World Tourism and Travel Council certifying San Miguel as a safe travel destination. (You can visit San Miguel’s tourism site to learn all about their different initiatives ensuring traveler safety)
Outdoor dining is going to be even safer, and unsurprisingly San Miguel de Allende excels in that area as well, with some of the best rooftop dining in the world.
With no skyscrapers or other modern features to block the view, nearly every rooftop restaurant has an unimpeded view of what many consider to be the most gorgeous cathedral in all of Mexico.
In my last article I covered some of the overall best restaurants in San Miguel de Allende. This time, I’ll show you the best rooftop restaurants San Miguel has to offer!
Will you also be exploring the nearby capital city of Guanajuato? Be sure to check out my guide to the best Guanajuato restaurants!
13 Best Rooftop Bars & Restaurants in San Miguel de Allende
Since its founding in 2016, Quince has rocketed to not just local acclaim, but global recognition. They have earned the enviable (and nearly unattainable) rank of best rooftop restaurant in the world not just once but twice, first in 2018 and again in 2020. The staff of the restaurant is also highly acclaimed, with award-winning chefs and mixologists.
They offer a range of cuisine, including both local classics and international favorites, including steak, seafood, ceviche, pasta dishes, and several soup and salad options.
If the world-class offerings from the kitchen aren’t enough, it also boasts an in-house french bakery, and a rooftop sushi bar (the only one in San Miguel).
In addition to food, they’re an excellent spot for nightlife. Quince has a great drink menu, including several custom cocktails unique to its location. They often host international DJs and have frequent parties and events that are ticketed, but open to the public.
Quince also offers a stunning view of the city, including an up-close and personal view of the Parroquia de San Miguel Arcángel, the city’s iconic gothic Cathedral. It’s a can’t miss option, and is one of a few spots that could be called the definitive San Miguel de Allende experience.
Reservations are highly recommended and can be made by emailing the restaurant at: [email protected]
San Francisco 57, Centro // +52 415 152 7295
Atop San Miguel de Allende’s acclaimed El Palomar hotel is Antonia Bistro, the passion project of Chef Alejandro Cuatepotzo. The competition for the best restaurant in San Miguel is fierce, but Antonia Bistro is firmly in the running. It offers local and international cuisine as well as several vegan and gluten-free options, all carefully sourced from local suppliers.
Their menu includes specials like polenta and grilled octopus, more traditional offerings like tuna, steak, and pork, and even casual fare like tacos and hamburgers.
Regardless of whether you’re looking for something new and exciting, or a local classic Chef Cuatepotzo delivery. In addition, they offer both classic cocktails and several house specials. The dessert menu offers a few classics, done exceptionally well.
The 360 view offered by Antonio bistro offers an unimpeded view of the whole city. It’s a memorable experience whether you’re going for a classy date with cocktails and dessert, or looking for an amazing meal. It’s certainly a can’t miss for your tour of San Miguel de Allende.
Diez de Sollano y Dávalos 14, Centro // +52 415 688 1393
La Unica is an upscale bar and grill, offering locally sourced and inspired cuisine. This makes it a favorite of both locals and visitors looking for an authentic, and authentically luxurious experience.
The entire restaurant, but especially the terrace is decorated with flowers and ivy, making it beautiful and picturesque even before taking the view into consideration.
La Unica is another spot that boasts a close view of the historic Parroquia de San Miguel Arcángel, as well as many other historic buildings.
The food uses both ingredients and recipes from the surrounding countryside. The tacos are some of the best in the city and come in varieties that you may not have tried before, like marrow or suckling pig.
Their menu certainly doesn’t stop there and includes steak, fish, classic barbacoa, and many other grilled and smoked options.
La Unica is also a full-service bar. They offer an excellent selection of wines, spirits, and cocktails.
The combination of local fair, natural decorations, and stunning scenery make La Unica a gorgeous, intimate location that does not sacrifice anything in terms of dining and therefore one of the best restaurants in San Miguel de Allende.
The phrase hidden gem may be criminally overused, but sometimes there’s really no other way to describe a restaurant like La Azotea. It’s certainly hidden: the restaurant doesn’t even have a sign and is in fact located on the roof of a different restaurant (the far less celebrated Pueblo Viejo). And it’s as gem-like as it is hidden.
La Azotea is a bar and tapas restaurant. They offer mostly Spanish and Mexican style shareable plates, as well as a few internationally-inspired options, like spring rolls and croquettes.
They also offer the definitive version of the jicama taco. If anywhere else has this on their menu, you’d have to tell me, and possibly the locals: La Azotea is the only name that comes up. It uses a thinly sliced grilled strip of jicama to replace the tortilla and offers a variety of fillings with shrimp being the house recommendation.
The bar has a great selection and offers drink specials like 2 for 1 margarita for 90 pesos during weekdays. And while it’s not unusual for a bar to offer mixed nuts, the house-roasted spiced nuts at La Azotea deserve at least passing mention.
La Azotea also offers views of three different churches, including of course the Parroquia de San Miguel Arcángel, but also the Iglesia de San Francisco and the Templo de la Purísima Concepción. The combination of the view and dining and drink options make this a spot well worth the effort to find.
Hidalgo 8, Centro // +52 415 121 3506
Perched atop the historic colonial-era Casa 1810 hotel boutique is the casual eatery Trazo 1810.
Led by chef José Francisco González the restaurant specializes in food done simply and well, driven by ingredients that can be presented as whole and pure as possible. It offers food made with, and often inspired by, local ingredients to produce modern Mexican food, with European and sometimes Asian flourishes.
The menu itself changes often driven by the availability of ingredients and the chef’s adventurous spirit, but typically includes staples like pork, lamb, and seafood including grilled octopus (my favorite!) and shrimp. They also offer vegetarian and gluten-free options.
Like any noteworthy rooftop restaurant, they also offer an excellent selection of wines and several house cocktails. Their dessert menu is surprising and charming as well.
The view of the city is stunning and includes views of two churches and numerous other historic buildings, and its location relative to the city square makes it an excellent spot to take in fireworks displays for new years and similar events. The ambiance also makes it one of the most romantic entries on this list. It’s not nearly as well-known as it deserves to be, meaning it’s easy to get in and have a relaxed, romantic evening.
Quebrada 93, Centro // +52 415 152 0489
Zumo is located on the roof of the Villa Limon hotel boutique and offers both indoor, and outdoor seating for its rooftop dining experience. If you opt for indoor seating, you won’t be missing the view as Zumo has windows that give you a full 360-degree view of the city.
Unlike many options, Zumo sits on the edge of downtown San Miguel de Allende, giving you a view of the rolling hills and charming houses that make up much of the historic city, as well as two of the iconic churches that mark the San Miguel de Allende skyline.
Zumo offers distinct menus for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. All three of these options focus heavily on small plates dining and tasting menus.
Their menu includes local staples, like suckling pig tacos, grilled octopus, and fresh fish.
It also includes international specialties like duck confit, cauliflower tempura, and pappardelle. Their breakfast menu includes the same variety, offering anything from eggs benedict and french toast to chilaquiles.
Their drink menu includes both classic and house cocktails, and a substantial wine list. They offer frequent weekday specials, and bottomless mimosas as part of their breakfast/brunch menu.
Both the view and the food offered by Zumo offer a different angle San Miguel de Allende on your San Miguel de Allende. It’s a fantastic choice that may even be worth multiple return trips.
San Francisco 8, Centro // +52 415 110 2100
The decoration at MX Restaurante is lively and modern, and the view from the roof includes a unique view of the church spires. Technically, only the bar is on the rooftop, but their full menu is available if you choose to sit at the bar upstairs, so you can get the food and the view (and the drinks) all at once if you want.
Their menu, like many others, is a mix of local and international cuisine, mostly focused on Asian fusion. It is one of the few spots in San Miguel to offer sushi. It also offers a wide selection of delicious appetizers.
Where MX Restaurante really shines is their rooftop bar. Their selection of cocktails is one of the best in the city and comes with a great view. Their wine selection is also superb.
Many nights MX Restaurante hosts dancing and similar events, which are all open to the public. It’s a great place to mingle with locals and take in the culture and nightlife.
Mesones 99, Centro // +52 442 411 6053
Duke Rooftop, formerly known as The Comrade, wasted no time adapting itself to the culture and cuisine of San Miguel de Allende. The view of the city, it should go without saying, is excellent.
In their own words, Duke Rooftop looks to embody the camaraderie of the revolutionary spirit. They do this by offering hearty food, mostly local cuisine, and grilled options like steak and seafood. Their local offerings include tacos and tostadas. Their international offerings include things like burgers, and several pasta dishes, including a pink truffle fusili, which is particularly excellent.
If you’re missing home, or want to feel at home, Duke Rooftop delivers, all with the flair you’d expect from one of the best restaurants in San Miguel de Allende.
Juárez 7, Centro // +52 415 688 1438
So far we’ve had several restaurants that sit on top of hotels, and even one that sits on top of another restaurant. Fatima 7 ups the Ante and sits on top of a hotel and a restaurant. It’s on the roof of the historical Casa Blanca 7 hotel, which also hosts the Casa Blanca 7 Cafe. Both restaurants are projects of local celebrity chef Donnie Masterson, but Fatima 7’s dining experience is tailored to the rooftop atmosphere.
Masterson has worked for several internationally recognized names, including Wolfgang Puck, David Bouley, and Patrick Clark.
Fatima 7 is not the only restaurant he’s opened in the area, but Fatima 7 stands out as one of the best restaurants in San Miguel de Allende because of the way it combines world-class food with the historic city.
It’s worth the trip to experience the work of a chef who’s on the cutting edge of San Miguel de Allende’s food scene.
Cuna de Allende 13, Centro // +52 415 154 8862
La Posadita, another excellent offering in the center of San Miguel de Allende, brings us back into the world of strictly local cuisine. They offer grilled steak and seafood, as well as delicious and authentic tamales and barbacoa, and fresh-made salsa and guacamole. It’s a good restaurant no matter when you go, but something about their vibe just screams lunch.
Like Quince, their view of the Parroquia de San Miguel Arcángel is one of the best in the city, and it should be, they’re right next door to one another. The view from the recently remodeled terrace offers stunning detail of the church.
La Posadita also offers a number of creative cocktail options, including their famous tamarind margarita. It’s piled high with frozen goodness and is sure to be the centerpiece of your visit, especially in the heat of the day.
Best Rooftop Bars in San Miguel de Allende
I know, this is a list about rooftop restaurants, but there’s a couple of rooftop bars in San Miguel de Allende that are too perfect to leave off this list. The combination of experience and view makes these a can’t miss part of your visit.
Nemesio Diez 11, Centro // +52 415 152 9700
Located atop the Rosewood Hotel, Luna is a tapas bar, offering small plate dining, and a phenomenal selection of cocktails.
If you can manage it, go during the evening. Luna is considered by just about everyone, locals included, to have the best sunset views in San Miguel de Allende. Of course, that means the place is usually packed, so you’ll probably want a reservation. You can make a reservation by following this link.
Even if you don’t manage to get in during sunset, the food selection at Luna is fantastic, and their cocktails are some of the best in the city.
Mesones 14, Centro // +52 415 152 0002
Sitting atop a colonial home that has been converted to a luxury boutique hotel Casa Hoyos has been declared the “place to be right now in terms of rooftops” by the locals.
The bar, named BEKEP after a local word meaning seed, specializes in contemporary craft cocktails that are all stylishly served- perfect for Instagram!
The rooftop is another that has impressive panoramic views of the main domes and churches that make for some gorgeous sunset photos.
The rooftop also features a pool if you’d like to spend a relaxing afternoon lounging poolside and having drinks delivered to your sunbed.
San Francisco#12, Centro // +52 442 287 9008
Silverio is a coffee bar by day, and a craft cocktail bar by night. It’s the sort of place that might feel a bit forced if it were in your home city, but that’s because whatever new establishment that opens up there is trying to copy what Silverio does, and does very well. That, and there’s something about San Miguel de Allende that makes the transition from casual coffee bar to lively night-time hotspot feel perfectly natural.
If you go during the day, try one of their delicious frozen coffees.
They even have a few small plate options available for lunch. If you go at night, well, everything is good. They offer frequent specials and craft cocktails from expert mixologists. You can’t go wrong with whatever they recommend. But
With or without the threat of a global pandemic, one of the best ways to experience San Miguel de Allende is through rooftop dining. There’s no shortage of options, whether your preference is to dine in style or experience authentic local cuisine. And I really cannot stress enough, the sight of a World Heritage city, full of preserved houses, cathedrals, and shops, is without equal.
To follow Nathan along on social media as he eats and drinks his way across the globe, click below