Welcome to my third and final Guanajuato post. I already shared about my recent visit and outlined things you should see when you go. Read on to discover where to stay, eat, and drink in beautiful, historic Guanajuato, Mexico!
Where to Stay
Airbnb is a great option; and there are tons of them in the city. Many people are still wary of using Airbnb internationally, especially as (unusual) crazy stories occasionally pop up in the news. I’m super on board though; it’s a great way to stay like a local while saving money.
Just to be on the safe side, I always turn on the filter for “superhosts” which denotes users who receive consistently high ratings from a large number of guests. They also undergo additional layers of identity verification. By using superhosts, I’ve never had a bad experience.
If you’re traveling with your crew like we did, consider a big house like Classy Home in Historic Center. This Airbnb has 3 bedrooms and accommodates 6 people. I’m drawn to the colorful folk art and the eclectic old-world furnishings.
Casa Moyas stands out thanks to its great location near the Alhóndiga. In this central part of town, you’ll find cute shops and restaurants. This listing is for a private room in someone’s home… the price is right; good for a solo traveler.
Departamento Trasgallo caught my eye for its minimal interior with cute attention to detail and excellent location near the Alhóndiga. I think this booking would be good for a couple exploring central Mexico on a budget.
If you haven’t used Airbnb before, sign up through my link to get a discount on your first booking ($75 or higher).
There are a lot of great hotels in the area, too. While the city’s tourism ranking is still climbing with the English-speaking world, Mexicans have been visiting the area for years. Every fall Guanajuato hosts a huge festival called the Cervantino. This festival celebrates food, art and culture, and partners with another country each year—so it’s different every time.
Hotel San Diego caught my eye as I walked by many times. It is very highly rated and is in the heart of the city.
Also in the city center: Hotel Posada Santa Fe (good) and Hotel Boutique 1850 (great). All three of these hotels are located right on Jardín de la Unión, a triangular garden adjacent to the beautiful Teatro Juarez. I’d book either of these in a heartbeat!
Note: Booking one of those three hotels on Booking.com will result in a commission for me. Thank you for helping me keep The Voyageer running!
Where to Eat
I had so many great meals in Guanajuato I’m not sure where to begin, so I guess I’ll start with the first meal we had in town, El Potro Loco, where you can get cheap mulas (like a quesadilla, for my gringo friends). This place is open LATE! How late? Their hours are 6pm to 4am. Wild, right?
Street food is huge in Mexico and the city of Guanajuato is a great example of this. You can get almost anything you want for just a few pesos. Tacos, dorilocos, juice, you name it. We had elote (corn) and tamales on a couple occasions.
Breakfast: In my prior post I pointed out La Purisima and Cafe Conquistador for yummy pastries and coffee, respectively. La Purisima is conveniently located a couple of store fronts to the left of Mercado Hidalgo. Cafe Conquistador is located up near the Alhóndiga.
We were lucky enough to eat meals cooked at home by my friends’ family members at least once a day. As a result, I missed a few highly-rated restaurants like La Taberna de Diego y Frida (Diego Rivera was born in Guanajuato). If you want something a little fancier, check out Mestizo.
I need to point out one more place I was tickled to find: 100 Montaditos, which is a Spanish chain selling tiny snack-sized sandwiches. We ate at 100 Montaditos several times in Madrid so it was fun to have some familiar bites. I’ll point out that while the chain is relatively cheap in Europe, compared to local Guanajuato restaurants the price came off as slightly above average.
Where to Drink
Coming from San Diego (capitol of craft beer) it’s always a bit of a shock for me when I go abroad and find bars that offer one, maybe two types of beer. Nevertheless, I discovered a few great places to recommend in Guanajuato.
La Inundación de 1905 is a small bar located off of the Plaza San Fernando, my favorite plaza in Guanajuato. They have good mezcal and craft beer from the area (Allende is a popular brand). The server will probably even deliver your drinks accompanied with orange slices and chapulines: spiced crickets!
La Clave Azul is also located just off the Plaza San Fernando, but you’ll take a tight winding corridor to the left of Cafe Bossanova to get there. The interior is eclectic and you’ll feel like you stepped into a world where people still discuss philosophy and ideals, instead of TV and memes.
My favorite bar in town was Cantinita la Suerte. The interior is hand-painted with funny phrases and decorated with papier-mache dolls. They had the best selection of mezcal out of all the places we visited.
Golem is another one-of-a-kind place. It is a four-level bar including the rooftop, and each section has its own personality and ambiance. Climb winding staircases to discover small restaurants and bars occupying different corners.
Basically, regardless of what corner your turn down Guanajuato’s narrow, twisting streets, you will find something delicious to delight your senses. I just wanted to provide you with some starting off points.
Have you been to Guanajuato? What did I miss?
Photos by Staci Jackson for The Voyageer, unless noted.