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Gretel Chazaro of Rancho Los Labradores – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
San Miguel de Allende, Mexico – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingThe markets in San Miguel de Allende have everything for everyone. We have three main stores here where you can buy your groceries, Mega Comercial Mexicana, Soriana, and Bodega Aurrera. Bodega Aurrera is more for the working class while Mega Comercial Mexicana and Soriana are more for the middle class and expats, but Soriana is located in a different region of San Miguel.
 
There are also lots of small markets in the centro or downtown San Miguel de Allende that we call tienditas. Tienditas are very common in Mexico, and you can find one on every corner. You can buy food, a Coke, or ice cream. There is a popular tiendita in centro called Bonanza and they have everything. Tienditas are small grocery stores but Bonanza is a big one, although it is not as big as a Walmart. It’s a house that they converted into a grocery store. They have things that you will never find in other places. In small towns there are open markets that sell different products. There are meat stores, a tortilleria (tortilla bakery), a dairy store, etc.  
 
Compared to the shopping in Southern Germany where I used to live, the shopping style here in San Miguel de Allende is very different. Mexicans are more similar to the Americans when it comes to shopping. We don’t have a Sam’s Club or a Costco nearby but the nearest one is in Celaya, which is about 40 minutes away from San Miguel de Allende by car. Or you could go to Queretaro, which is also about 40 minutes away and you could shop at Costco and buy in big quantities. In Germany and Europe, they have small markets. Germany is a small country that has small towns around the big city. There are no big markets in the little towns and even in the big cities of Germany. There are no stores like Target. They have medium sized grocery stores and they buy from local producers. The biggest shopping centers in Southern Germany are more like Bodega Aurrera, which in Mexico and in the US, is not really big. Also, Germans don’t shop in volume because they shop every day. If you go to a German house, you will notice that their refrigerators are really small. They have 3 cubic feet refrigerators because they don’t need the big ones anyway as they shop every day. They buy fresh everyday so they don’t need a fridge to store their food. They go to the bakery, the meat shop, dairy store, etc. They go to one store for each product unlike in the US and in some places in Mexico where we have places where you can get everything you need. The lower class and some places in Mexico where there are no big stores, they shop like the Germans. Most of the middle class in Mexico shop like in they do in the States, where they buy in bulk from stores like Costco or Sam’s Club and store them. I personally go once a week to the grocery store and buy everything I need for that week.
 
(San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, pictured.)
Kelly Pisarzewski – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Chiles en Nogada  – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingThe Tuesday Tianguis is THE place in San Miguel de Allende to shop for anything you may desire. Pots and pans, food, fresh made cheeses, fresh honey, fresh made food, dried herbs, many oddball things that you may not have thought of.

Take your time, savor the smells, buy some fresh tuna (fruit), plants, fresh meats of all types.                             
 
There is also a Saturday Organic Marker on Ancha San Antonio. Local fresh fruit, veggies, mushrooms, honey, Limoncello, tinctures. And don't forget the fresh made foods! Eat at the communal tables and get to know visitors, expats and locals!  
 
If you go to Mexico in September, TRY THE CHILE EN NOGADA; OMG is all I can say. It's the National dish. Chiles with a pork or meat filling, white sauce and pomegranate seeds on top.  
 
One other note, I would try literally anything I could find, but with fresh fruits and veggies, do get the fruit washed in the little stores. I have heard of many people getting sick otherwise.
 
Enjoy!
 
(Pictured: Chiles en Nogada)
Maria Mazarro of Kika's Botique – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Mega supermarket, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingIf you go to the grocery stores in San Miguel de Allende like Mega, which is a North American style supermarket, food would cost exactly the same as how much you would pay for it in the States. By Mexican standards, it’s not cheap.
 
But if you go to the Mexican market where they sell everything such as vegetables, chicken, etc. it would cost less or about half of what you would pay in the supermarkets in the US. The quality is also good.
 
Personally, I shop at Mega. I prefer going there because I like being able to get everything from one place. In other markets, you might not find things like soap, plates, etc. They only have food. Shopping at Mega is more convenient.  
 
(Mega supermarket, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, pictured.)
Daniel Ortiz of Coldwell Banker SMART – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
American style supermarket, Mexico – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingThe food in the markets of San Miguel de Allende is Mexican food. As most people know, Mexican food is delicious, rich in flavor, and you have the whole spectrum. Mexicans have the ability in their hands to cook amazing food. Even if you go to the markets and get the authentic, traditional Mexican food, it’s going to be great.
 
The center of town of San Miguel has a huge market. Traditionally, all Mexican towns have a market for fruits and vegetables and other items for people who live in and around town, who come to the markets to buy their goods. Then, there is another section of town that is geared more towards the tourists. The tourists buy artisan crafts. Artisan crafts here in San Miguel have a huge variation of different disciplines. We have everything from pottery to jewelry to paintings, and so on. The food market of San Miguel sort of blends into the artisan market and through it all, there is food. Food is very much embedded into the Mexican culture. We have rich flavors of mole and enchiladas, and every single Mexican food that you can think of.
 
Going to the market here in San Miguel is not the same as going to a market in the US. The market here is a cultural part of the community, so it is not like going to a Walmart in the US. We have supermarkets that are Mexican equivalents of Walmart like Sorianas, Comercial Mexicana, or Aurrera. If I were to compare these markets here, which are extensions of the Mexican culture, to the ones in the US, I would have to go to an American historic center of town that was the place to do commerce and where people sell crafts, food, and raw products; something that was not developed recently. I am pretty sure that there are still cities in the US that have old town centers that have something similar to what we have here now.
 
San Miguel has two markets. The one that is on the center of town is a big combination of a food market and an artisan market, which is what a lot of expats and even Mexicans here look for. They come to San Miguel and they buy what the artists create here.
 
(American style supermarket, Mexico, pictured.)
Alexandra del Villar of Mon Bistro Canadien Cuisine – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Fruit and vegetable stall in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingThere is always a lot of fresh food here in San Miguel de Allende. There is a lot of fruits, vegetables, and they’re not that expensive. It’s actually very cheap. You could buy a wide variety of fruits and vegetables here without spending too much money.
 
Buying food in Philadelphia, where I used to live, and buying food in San Miguel is completely different. I had a really had a hard time in Philly because I am born Mexican so I am used to having a lot of fruits and a lot of vegetables all year round and for a very reasonable price. When I went to Philly, I had to look for a farmer’s market, which was about an hour away from my house and it was very expensive. The fruits and vegetables that they sell were not as fresh, and not as sweet. They were totally different. In Mexico, some of our fruits and vegetables are also seasonal but we have the basic fruits and vegetables that you could find year round. 
 
In San Miguel, we have both supermarket chains and farmer’s markets. We do have a couple of chains but the government does not let them come in very much because they don’t want to lose the sustainability of the locals. So we have three supermarket chains and everything else is very local. We have markets, some of which are outdoors and some of which are in an enclosed space. People in San Miguel like to support the locals more than the big chains. You can go to the markets every day if you like but if you are busy or if you’re working, you can go once a week, get what you need, and cook it at home.
 
The markets in San Miguel are much cheaper than in Philadelphia, where I used to live. The markets also have all the basic foods that Mexicans eat. With regard to the quality of meat, you will find a wide variety. You will find processed meat like in the States. You could also find organic meat, which you could definitely find easier here. Meat here in San Miguel won’t be as expensive as it is in the US because meat and chicken are being bred in places that are very close to San Miguel.
 
I researched a lot for the meat that I buy for my restaurant. The butcher shops have grass-fed chicken and grass-fed beef. That is the only place where I buy my filet mignon and it is excellent; top notch. The same goes for the chicken meat. For me, the filet mignon that you would get here in San Miguel is better than the meat that you will get in the supermarkets in the US. You would expect that the filet mignon here is really expensive but it’s not. It is substantially less than in the US. The meat here has very good quality and it is very affordable for most of the population of San Miguel.  
 
(Fruit and vegetable stall in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, pictured.)

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