When you first arrive in Guanajuato you may feel overwhelmed by the beauty of the city and the vast amount of options you have for eating, drinking and site seeing. Although one of the best parts of visiting Guanajuato is exploring the city by foot, if you are in the mood for something specific this blog post may direct you to exactly what you’re looking for. Guanajuato has a variety of restaurants for every type of cuisine you may desire. I have yet to try all of the restaurants downtown, but here are a few of my favorites.
Truco 7 is a traditional Mexican restaurant with good food and very reasonable prices. It is located off of Plaza de la Paz on Calle Truco. If you would like to eat in el Jardín but you don’t want to spend too much, La Bohemia has a varied menu of international cuisine, and a beautiful view of la Jardín. If you are in the mood for some excellent rotisserie chicken, you will find the best in town across the street from KFC in a restaurant called Pollo Loco near El Callejón del Beso. But be sure to come early as the chicken runs out after about 4pm every day. If your tastes desire something more gourmet, you may want to try Mestizo. Located up the street from Diego Rivera’s birth home and museum, this is by far the best food that I have eaten in Guanajuato and surprisingly it won’t break your budget. Mestizo offers a tranquil and artistic ambiance that compliments their exceptional food. If a view of beautiful Guanajuato is what you are searching for, you should definitely visit Luna Danáe. Located on Calle Constancia behind Teatro Juárez, Luna Dánae offers good food with a spectacular view of the city.
In addition to its vast number of restaurants, Guanajuato also has some great cafes. Don’t worry, we also have a Starbucks. My favorite café is Santo Café, located on a small, charming bridge over Campanero street leading up to Callejón Tecolote. They have an extensive menu and a variety of drinks including coffee, tea and some of the best smoothies in town. Café Tal is also one of the best known coffee shops in GTO. Located on Sangre de Cristo, Café Tal has excellent coffee and great wifi. They also have an adorable cat that will come and snuggle with you while you sip tea and read a book. The most interesting café that I have encountered in my time here is El Lechón Ilustrado. El Lechón is known for its excellent assortment of teas. The manner in which the tea is served is also quite interesting. The tea is brought to you in a dispenser that is then placed on top of your cup. The tea trickles out and fills your cup while the dispenser captures all of the unwanted tea leaves, leaving you with the perfect cup of tea!
One of the best parts of visiting Guanajuato is its night life. Whether you are of drinking age, 18 here in Mexico, or not, you will not run out of things to do at night. Each night in the center of town there are multiple performances from the estudiantiles, called Callejóneadas. Las callejonadas are a sort of singing tour in which a renowned group of singers take you around the center of town and serenade you with traditional Mexican songs. They stop along the callejones (narrow alleys that Guanajuato is famous for) to give short renditions of historical events that took place here in Guanajuato. The performance is informative, funny and a great way to learn your way around the winding streets of the city. In general music is a huge part of this city´s charm and there is no shortage of performances to attend. With two famous theaters in the center of town, Teatro Juárez and Teatro Principal, you will have the option to see dance, theater or music almost every night of the week.
If its bars you are looking for you won’t have to travel far before you run into about 20 or 30 of them. Guanajuato has bars for every type of ambiance or drink you may desire. For a more upbeat, dancing environment I would suggest going to Why Not, El Bar, Bar Fly, or El Grill. El Grill is by far the biggest dance party in GTO, however they do charge a cover and have a strict dress code. You can also find fun dancing of all types in Why Not. Located off of Calle Alonso, Why Not plays a wide variety of music and there is always a lively crowd ready to dance along. You can find anything from beer to liquor and if you so desire they will pour your mixed drink in a cup that holds a liter. Bar Fly has a very distinct reggae themed atmosphere. It is also known for its famous drink called El Burro, which is a mixture of beer, tequila and orange juice. I promise it’s not as bad as it sounds and will definitely do the trick. For all those salsa fanatics, El Bar is the place to be. Located down the street from Café Conquistador, El Bar plays every type of salsa, bachata, or meringue.
If you are looking for a more laidback environment to hang out and chat with your friends I would suggest visiting Oveja Negra, Vanilla, Golem, or Guanajuato Viejo. Each bar has a different vibe and drink specialty. Guanajuato Viejo is known for their variety of micheladas. For those of you who are unfamiliar with this drink a michelada is a beer mixed with salt, tomato juice, lime juice, chile, and other sauces (Maggi and/or Worcestershire sauce) and sometimes clam juice (if you order a clamato). However, GTO Viejo offers all types of micheladas in different flavors. My personal favorite is the mango michelada. Vanilla is a very fun and upbeat rooftop bar that plays different movies and music videos projected from the roof. However, be sure to bring your jacket as it can get windy on the roof, but the view is worth the chill. If its mezcal you are looking for, Oveja Negra offers many different flavors and tastes, one of my favorites being the pistachio mezcal. Finally, Golem is one of your standard go to bars. They play all types of music and have a very fun, yet relaxed environment in which to enjoy the beverage of your choice.
As you can tell there is no shortage of food, activities or bars in Guanajuato. I hope this blog entry helps you find what you are looking for. Enjoy your travels!
By Ashley Leonhard
Ashley Leonhard is from Fort Collins, Colorado and is currently teaching English here at Escuela Falcon. She first encountered Guanajuato during a summer program at the university in 2010 but just couldn´t get enough of the city so is back for Round two! In her free time she enjoys salsa dancing, shopping, reading, exploring the hidden corners of the city, following her latest obsession on Netflix, drinking tea, and going to the movies.