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Melanie Lansing of Mexico Insurance Advisors – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Dining room at the public library in San Miguel Allende, Mexico – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingAn average meal in a mid-level restaurant in San Miguel de Allende will probably cost 150 pesos (US $8) per person. With a couple of cocktails, the same meal would cost around 300 pesos  ($18) per person.
 
The restaurants that most Americans and Canadians frequent here in San Miguel are mostly mid-scale restaurants that offer a combination of American and Mexican food. For 100 pesos ($6), you could order chicken enchilada with red or green sauce. The side dish would either be rice or beans. You could also get a Caesar Salad with chicken for 120 pesos ($7). If you want eat at a white tablecloth restaurant, it would probably cost between 220 to 250 pesos ($12 to $14) per meal per person.
 
Here in San Miguel de Allende, chain restaurants are not allowed in the historical district. Individual business owners own all the restaurants here and each restaurant is unique.  Most of the restaurants cater to both the Mexican and the American crowds because along with our snowbirds, and American, Canadian, and other English-speaking expats, we do get a lot of Mexican tourists, who come to San Miguel for long weekends. That’s why most of the restaurants have a combination of different foods.
 
Overall, the cost to eat at restaurants here in San Miguel de Allende is about half the price compared to restaurants in California.
 
(Dining room at the public library in San Miguel Allende, Mexico, pictured.)
Greg Gunter of Dream Pro Homes – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
San Miguel de Allende rooftop dining – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingReaders, meal prices vary widely! I can get my favorite three carnita taco lunch for 30 pesos ($1.60 USD), but I can also spend about 1,350 pesos ($70 USD) for a ten course wine paired tasting menu wih views like this rooftop restaurant shown here. Plan on restaurant pricing to be about 1/3 of your U.S. prices…it’s the reason many expats eat out daily!
 
(Pictured: rooftop dining overlooking the famous Parroquia in San Miguel de Allende.)
Suzie Osman – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Here in San Miguel de Allende, we basically only go out for lunch.  The average lunch for the two of us is around 500 pesos (US $25), which would be for a nice meal, for example, shrimp wrapped in bacon stuffed with cheese, some side dishes, and a glass of wine. At the café, here in Los Labradores (a planned community about 15 minutes from San Miguel de Allende) it costs 300 pesos (US $15) for the two of us, even with wine. I’ve tried some of the other restaurants around San Miguel de Allende, and I find that the costs are about the same.
 
We haven’t been to any of the really upscale restaurants in San Miguel de Allende yet. We usually meet friends in town and have main course, drinks, and dessert- this is our big meal of the day because we usually have light dinner.
 
(Suzie and Barry Osman at the cafe in Rancho Los Labradores, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, pictured.)
 
Jim Castro of Agave Rentals – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Luna's Tapas Bar at the Rosewood Hotel, San Miguel de Allende with Jet Metier of Best Places in the World to Retire – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingYou will find a very large variety of restaurants here in San Miguel de Allende consisting from taco stands to higher end Mexican and other types of food. You can get a decent lunch for around US $5 or you can also go to a nice restaurant in Centro (the center part of town) and pay $25, which might include a glass of wine. The cost to eat at restaurants here in San Miguel de Allende depends on where you eat.
 
Every once in a while, we go to a nice dinner. Recently we went to a nice chef’s table restaurant that offers a seven-course meal for $140 per person. This is very unusual but you can find it here in San Miguel.
 
An average restaurant here in San Miguel de Allende would cost about the same as in San Jose, California. As an example, you can go to Hecho en Mexico and eat hamburger, fries, and a coke for around $7. On the least expensive side of the scale, I have some friends who go down to the taco stand and spend 25 pesos ($1.25) on three tacos and a glass of water.  
 
(Luna's Tapas Bar at the Rosewood Hotel, San Miguel de Allende with Jet Metier of Best Places in the World to Retire, pictured.)
Judy Newell of Perfect Journeys – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Tio Lucas restaurant, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingThe cost for restaurants in San Miguel de Allende depends on the type of restaurant you visit. We have some very high-end restaurants here now where you can pay US $70 for two people for lunch or $150 for two people for dinner. Of course these prices would include a bottle of Chilean or Argentinean wine.
 
As an alternative, you can go to one of our favorite restaurants, a little gyro place my husband Jim and I enjoy going to that serves meat cooked on a big skewer like they do in Greece.  When we go there, they serve us on a wooden board about the size of a laptop computer with sliced meat, sautéed onions and peppers and you get big stacks of tortillas and different salsas, all for about $2 or $3 a person for lunch or dinner; whenever you go, it’s the same price. And you have enough food that you can take home for the next day also.
 
We just came back from a three-week stay in Los Angeles, where the cost varies from $35 to $40 for inexpensive places for lunch. In San Miguel, the cost would be less than $10. At a commercial chain restaurant or in an Italian restaurant for example in Los Angeles, you would probably pay $50 to $60 for 2 people for dinner. In contrast, if you go to a local restaurant in San Miguel, you would pay maybe $25 or $30, which is about half for the same type of meal.
 
Often times here in San Miguel de Allende, we go to Tio Lucas, which is one of our favorite restaurants to go to for birthdays or anniversaries. Tio Lucas is a beautiful restaurant straight across the street from the Angela Peralta Theater, the big opera house in San Miguel. The cost of dinner is probably $50 for the two of us with appetizers and a margarita before dinner. They have live jazz every night, they make Caesar salads at your table, they have Crêpe Suzettes, and they have excellent meat so you can’t beat that. Tio Lucas was the first place we had dinner out when we came to San Miguel ten years ago. We moved from Orange County in California, which is one of the most expensive states in the country, where it would cost us $200 for that same meal. After having dinner at Tio Lucas the first night in San Miguel de Allende, I looked at Jim and said, "We're moving here."  
 
(Tio Lucas restaurant, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, pictured.)
Ivy Del Pozzo of Coldwell Banker SMART – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Dining our with Ivy, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingI was starting to think that restaurants in San Miguel de Allende are expensive until I visited Los Angeles. When I go back to the United States, I realize that the restaurants here are much more reasonable. From an expat’s perspective, I am eating at more of the more highly “trafficked” restaurants than the Mexican restaurants and part of that is because I had an experience when I moved to Chiapas many years ago so I am now kind of cautious. But the restaurants that I would recommend to any tourist are places that I know in which they would not have any problem.
 
Here in San Miguel, you could eat breakfast for around 60 pesos (around $3.25). Lunch is around 75 to 120 pesos (around $4 to $6.50) or even up to 180 pesos ($10) depending on what you want to eat and where you are going to eat. San Miguel de Allende was named as one of the top restaurant dining destinations in all of Mexico. So you can eat dinner here as reasonably as 90 pesos ($5) all the way up to 350 to 650 pesos ($19 to $35.50) since there are all kinds of wonderful culinary experiences  here in San Miguel de Allende. 
 
For 90 pesos ($5), you can buy enchiladas for dinner or something similar to that at a regular sit-down restaurant. I don’t recommend anybody to eat on the street. I am hyper-cautious because I was in bed for 3 months with typhoid fever when I was in Chiapas when I did work in the jungle for Indian human rights and reforestation. I got very sick with typhoid, which is a disease that comes from contaminated food. I was medevaced out when that happened. In comparison to San Miguel, Chiapas was a much more rural area and that was about 25 years ago so things were quite different then. But it is still the same in many places.  You could still get salmonella and the people selling on carts on the side of the streets do not have the ability to have everything be sanitary. However, the food smells fabulous and I think it is probably some of the best tasting foods in Mexico but unless I am in a financial situation that I couldn’t afford to eat anywhere except on the street, I definitely wouldn’t because it is risky and our systems are not acclimated for it. My housekeeper does not eat on the carts on the streets and she is Mexican. It is just an extra cautionary measure.
 
In comparison with the cost of restaurants in Los Angeles, it is about 40% less to have a fine dinner at restaurants here in San Miguel de Allende. We have some restaurants here that equal some of the finest restaurants in Mexico City. We also have restaurants in San Miguel that have been opened by people from Mexico City, so consequently the prices get a little higher. That is why sometimes I say having lived in Mexico for 25 years now it is becoming expensive but when I go back to the United States, I realize that it is really not expensive here at all. 
 
In general, you get what you pay for here in San Miguel. The quality of food, the aesthetics of the food, and the food presentation is really four or five star dining in many restaurants.
 
(Dining out with Ivy del Pozzo, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, pictured.)
Maria Mazarro of Kika's Botique – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Beef with a chili sauced served from a food stall in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingRestaurants in San Miguel de Allende generally cost between 100 to 300 pesos (US $5.50 to $16). For 100 pesos ($5.50) you could get a plate of tamales, with milanesa (breaded beef), rice, and a salad. You could get the meal of the day with a drink and dessert. You could also get meat tacos, chicken tacos, or tortas (a type of sandwich).
 
If you go to the market, you could get the meal of the day for 60 pesos ($3.25). But when you are eating out in San Miguel de Allende, you have to be careful because some local places that are cheap are not very clean but some of the places I will not personally go.
 
You can also go to the organic market on Saturday mornings and you can eat really cheaply but very good and authentic Mexican food. You can get a good meal at the organic market for 40 pesos ($2). For 40 pesos ($2), you could get tacos, quesadillas, tostadas, a hamburger, etc. They are very clean and they taste really good.
 
(Beef with a chili sauced served from a food stall in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, pictured.)

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