To make sense of this, I have to start from the beginning I think. I lived, studied and worked in the beautiful city of San Pedro/ Monterrey (the bigger neighboring town) for almost one and a half years. I lived there until this Spring of 2019, when I decided to return back to Munich.
Why I decided to move to Mexico is a very long story which I have to tell you another time. The only thing I would like to mention in this post because its part of the fundament of where I am today, is that you should always follow your gut feeling. I truly believe that there is nothing more enriching to one's personal growth than getting out of your comfort zone, no matter what other people might think or say!
San Pedro/ Monterrey Mexico is a particularly uncommon tourist spot I have to admit. Actually the only tourists whichever strand in Monterrey are international business travelers visiting a production site in the city. Yet, little do people know about the excellent food culture if this beautiful city surrounded by huge mountains. The density of exquisite restaurants which are worth being "spoken about" is incredible. I discovered one excellent restaurant after the other. And when it comes to eating Chilaquiles in the city, I would definitely consider myself a culinary expert now.
Let's get started with my endless list of MUST-VISITS in San Pedro when it comes to food:
Bardot is one of my favorite Brunch Spots in San Pedro. The French-Mexican cuisine is magical. On Sunday's they offer a special Brunch Menu including Chilaquiles, fresh Bakery products and even serve a drink to it. My favorite dish is the French Toast, which is a huge slice of European Sourdough bread fried in a milky cream and topped with vanilla mousse and caramelized peaches and walnuts - HEAVEN!
Habita MTY is a beautiful hotel located near the old town of San Pedro. What many people don't know is that their restaurant is open for any breakfast lover as well. When I was there, we ordered two types of Chilaquiles (Rojos & Verde). They both tasted super deli. Plus, the location is beautifully decorated!
3. Antilope Cafe
Antilope Cafe is the perfect Insta-Food Spot in San Pedro. I've wanted to go to this place since day one of my stay as their storefront just looks so welcoming. (at least to a girl who likes pink :)). And the same applies to the food. Not the best quality but definitely a 10 out of 10 when it comes to decoration. If you are looking for a cozy place for a cafe, Antilope Cafe is your spot.
4. Pan Benell
One of my favorite breakfast places and definitely a MUST-visit for Chilaquiles is Pan Benell. The salsas they use taste brilliant and they really understand on how to create a breakfast experience. All of their plates are beautifully decorated. Their French Toast for example is a true highlight, just like their Chilaquiles. I know from my own experience how difficult it is to combine a perfect taste with the art of decorating a plate. That they really understand (even though the meals are not the healthiest). A place which is definitely worth visiting on a cheat day.
5. Frida Chilaquiles
Frida Chilaquiles is one of the best and actually even cheapest Chilaquiles places in town. The restaurant is set-up on a super low-budget concept creating a very unique flair and coziness. As soon as you are seated, you receive a wax crayon and a mini piece of cardboard and you are invited to start your masterpiece while waiting for your food. And their Chilaquiles are absolutely worth waiting for. They are fantastic.
PS: You don't have to dress up to go for breakfast at Frida. Even with your workout clothes, you are invited to enjoy a delicious breakfast there.
Another great breakfast location is Macadam. They have a beautiful brunch menu and their ambiance is lovely, inside and out. I was only there ones and got to try, of course, their Chilaquiles and their coffee. Both excellent and worth trying.
The best Mexican Street Food Tacos in Monterrey are from "Taqueria Orinoco", 100% sure! Taqueria Orinoco is a super "hip" / low-budget Taco stand with super high-quality food. Definitely not the healthiest spot and very meat-heavy but for the experience, I highly recommend a visit.
The classic dish is called "Carne Campechana", which is a flour tortilla filled with a delicious interpretation of the classic meat mix "al pastor". The meat comes with "Cheese de Aguascalientes", avocado, cilantro, onion and a few smashed potatoes. Topped with homemade salsa, the Taco is a food experience you will never forget - even if you aren't a big meat eater like I am.
If you feel like a very good coffee and you may still have a few emails pending, [bread] is your go-to spot. My favorite is their coffee. But they offer basically everything you can imagine from almond croissants to brioche sandwiches. You name it, they have it. Plus, everything they offer always seems super fresh.
Peace & Love is another perfect place if you're looking for a cozy workspace where you can enjoy a healthy snack. Except of Saturday's, the place is pretty quiet offering tons of free comfy seats to work. Their lunch menu isn't exceptional but their smoothies are delicious. My favorite is called "Milan". I had it so many times during my stay.
Nectarworks is the perfect spot for a clean eating experience. They offer smoothies, snacks like energy balls, and delicious mid-day lunch boxes. My favorite smoothie was a date, cacao oat shake - super heavy but delicious!
Rating the overall food experience, I think CauCau is my favorite restaurant in Monterrey. The little turquoise-blue house located in San Pedro's old town is almost a magical place - perfect for a dinner date. Unfortunately, I didn't take any pictures from their interior but just like outside, they have put a lot of attention to detail. As a starter, we had red mini burgers, then tacos and for dessert a white chocolate mousse egg. Definitely worth the experience.
The traditional, yet super hip Cantina called "Botaneros Moritas" is a place that cannot be missed during a visit to San Pedro. They serve the best "Pay de Platano" I have ever tried (a very Mexican cake topped with Cajeta - Mexican Caramel and Pecan Nuts). I got so inspired by this heavy cake that I've been trying for a few months now on how to recreate this experience with healthy ingredients. Apart from the magical cake though, their menu is pretty spectacular. I went there at least 5 times and so far, I have loved everything they have served me. Therefore highly recommended.
Cara de Vaca is another restaurant designed with great attention to detail. Their wooden cozy ambiance differs greatly from the classic San Pedro restaurant style. Most of the restaurants there don't use light brown wood as an interior element. But let's get to the food - which was spectacular every time I went there. I haven't reached the end of their menu yet but the things I have tried were all highly recommendable. - Expectable as the founders who started with Taqueria Orinoco, the hip street food taco spot, are the masterminds behind this beautiful restaurant.
Señora Tanaka can be described as a high-end, highly mexicanized Asian Restaurant (in a positive way). I went there a few times for drinks and one time even for a birthday party and absolutely fell in love with the location and the food. If you're into modern Asian cuisine, I highly recommend the visit!
Another brilliant founder and concept developer is the one of Gallo 71, Skin Joint and La Nacional. Unfortunately, I don't know his name but I was told that he has created the concept for all three restaurants. While Skin Joint offers modern Mexican cuisine fused with the American Burger classics, Gallo 71 and La Nacional take a broader look at food culture and basically take the best from around the world, "mexican(ize)" it and serve as a delicious composition you will speak about days after your visit. I highly recommend you a visit to all three restaurants.
I feel I've been repeating myself, but another unique restaurant concept is the one of La Libertad. La Libertad actually shares its kitchen and terrace with Bardot (Brunch Spot mentioned above). If you're looking for a nice dinner location with a beautiful ambiance and some unique insights into the history of Monterrey, you're in the right spot. The entire restaurant is covered with newspaper articles from the local newspaper "El Norte".
If you're searching for the "Italian experience" in Monterrey/ San Pedro, there aren't that many options. Well to be honest, Mexican food just tastes amazing, I never really missed it. But if you feel like a Pizza, Milk Pizza Bar is a great option. The time we got our Pizza there, we ordered a huge Portobello Mushroom-Onion Pizza. I felt like I'm in Pizza heaven. Definitely recommendable.
Pinto.Bar is a tiny little bar in the middle of San Pedro's office district. It's the perfect location for a cocktail and a mini snack to kickstart a night with friends or finish off a long work week with your colleague. Try a cocktail, they are super original.
Two more restaurants right next to each other with different concepts and one business owner. La Felix and ChinoLatino are both great dinner options. Whereas La Felix focuses on modern Mexican cuisine, Chinolatino offers Chinese-Mexican fusion kitchen. I had my very first Mexican Valentine's date at Chinolatino - a date I will never forget. ;)
Last but not least Colmillo. Colmillo offers modern Mexican cuisine and in my opinion the best restaurant tacos in town. One day I will have to return to this place, only for their amazing tacos. Plus the store concept is also pretty fascinating. For example, their joke wedding cake dessert is hilarious. But I won't tell you more now, go see for yourself. ;)
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