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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Conklinwh asked for my thoughts on Guanajuato restaurants in another thread and I figured it would be better to put it in a new thread.

This is a list with comments that I made for the folks that came down for our wedding last month (for that reason the prices are in USD). Some of the comments are intended for first time visitors to Mexico so ignore them if you live here or are a seasoned Mexico traveler. If anyone has anything to add or any disagreements, by all means chime in! (These are just our personal opinions.)

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Guanajuato isn’t famous for its food. The restaurants listed below are ones we have discovered in 2 ½ years of living here and they are quite good. Many of them are not ones tourists would ever find and that’s probably how Guanajuato got its bad rap for food. However, there are good places here if you seek them out.

Note:
You’ll see many outdoor restaurants in the various plazas. They are all very average. The food is not bad at these outdoor restaurants but it’s not great either. You won’t exactly suffer eating there and the ambiance is great but the food, at best, is mediocre. Consider sitting and having a beer and a snack at these places – they make for great people watching spots.

The prices below are for two people without alcohol since each person’s imbibing habits would affect the price differently.

Taqueria El Paisa – A great classic Mexican taco joint across from the Mercado Hidalgo. This is one for the night you throw your diet out the window. This ain’t health food and Jenny Craig would definitely not approve but it’s really darn good. Their “tacos al pastor” are among the best I’ve tried in all Mexico. The salsas are really good too. In fact, everything is good! Try their horchata (rice milk). It’s as tasty as you can find anywhere and combines well with the tacos.
2 people stuffed to the gills - $8.

Mariscos “El Guerro” – It’s a little out of the way and you’ll need to go in a taxi but it’s worth the trip of 10 minutes. Not a lot of people know about it so no need for reservations but it has great shrimp and fish fillets at great prices. You can order any of their dishes with either shrimp or a tasty white fish fillet. Our favorites: ”Filete a la diabla”. It means “filet in the style of the she-devil” (a great name) and it has a truly diabolical hot sauce and it is excellent with shrimp too. “Filete con Hierbas Finas”. It has a mild but tasty herb sauce that we like to order when we don’t want to scorch our insides with ”Filete a la diabla”.
2 people - $16

Carnes en Su Jugo "El Charro" – The house specialty is a kind of Mexican dish that’s a little different from what you might know. It consists of very thin sliced roast beef swimming in a sort of Au Ju sauce with Mexican style kidney beans stirred in. They give you garnishes of onion, radish, cilantro and lime – a little like pozole, if you are familiar with that dish. It’s delicious. We have heard that the rest of the menu is good too but when we go there we always get the house specialty so we don’t know firsthand!
2 people - $16

El Truco 7 – A quality three course meal including a beer for less than four bucks per person? Yup. If you go here during the afternoon “comida” they offer a “menu del día” that consists of three courses – a soup course, a pasta or rice plate and a main course. You get 2 options for the first 2 courses and three options for the main course. Always good. The ambience is eclectic/funky but very Mexican. The service sucks but that’s just part of the Truco 7 vibe. Highly recommended but you may have to wait to get in, especially on weekends.
2 people (3 course menu del día) - $7 (seriously!)
2 people (any other time) - $9 -$10

Casa Ofelia – Next door to El Truco 7, it isn’t quite so famous and so there are no lines to get in. Similar 3 course concept for “menu del dia” but costs a tiny bit more. If the line is too long at Truco 7, we go here. The décor is excellent, classic Mexican folk art.
2 people (3 course menu del día) - $9
2 people (any other time) - $11 -$14

Posada Santa Fe – This is a hotel right on the central jardín. The restaurant is outdoors and has a pleasant view of the garden and the food is very good. They put me up here one time when I came to play a concert and the hotel didn’t impress me but the restaurant did. It is in the same price range as Valedez (see below) but much better if you ask me.
2 people - $25-$30

Delica Mitsu – This is a hidden gem. It is in the corner of Plaza San Fernado. Entering the plaza from the walkway that leads from Avenida Juarez you will see a stone courtyard to your right. In the back left corner there is an antique cart. Behind the cart is a callejon that heads off to the left and some 10 yards up that little street is a great little Japanese restaurant. If you burn out on Mexican food, this is a great change of pace. They have various combo packages and the menu is in both English and Spanish. The owner is a nice guy and the service is very good (unusual for Mexico).
2 people - $16

Las Mercedes – If you want to go out for some fine cuisine and can splurge a little, this is the place. Famous chef Rick Bayless comes down here to get ideas for his TV show and his Frontera Grill restaurant. It’s Mexican gourmet and there are only 7 tables in the place so a reservation is advised. I know the family that owns and runs it and they are great and treat their guests like kings.
2 people - $35-$45 and up

Valadez – This restaurant is right in front of the Teatro Juarez. It has an outdoor section and an indoor one. The food is good and the ambience is nice especially if you get a table by the windows that are open onto the central plaza. It gives the impression of being “upscale” but the food varies in quality. In general it is pretty good. The location is awesome and because of that it is very popular and frequently filled to capacity. Any place that popular can’t be all bad, right? It’s just not my favorite but lots of folks love it. 2 people - $25 - $30
 

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Thanks, I appreciate the list. I have eaten at Truco 7 and very good. Valadez is a great location but as you said, food spotty. We've had cafe/postre at Posada Santa Fe but not a meal so must try. Also people talk here about an Italian restaurant across from the Jardin.
Have you tried Ik Etznab?
 

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Also people talk here about an Italian restaurant across from the Jardin.
Have you tried Ik Etznab?
That would be Frascati. Right on the corner across from the Jardin. Very good Italian and view of the Jardin and the Teatro Juarez.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
No, we haven't been to Ik Etznab. We'll have to try it.

Coming from Chicago, which has some mighty fine Italian restaurants, Frascati struck me as overpriced mediocre Italian food (again, just my opinion). But it does have excellent views!
 

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Thanks for this! We live in Iripuato but go to Guanajuato frequently to eat on the weekends or whenever my husband has coworkers here from the U.S. Mostly we've stuck to eating at Valadez because our kids love people watching from there while we eat. We've never been super impressed with the food though, I mean it's ok, just not "great". We've actually had a horrible time finding anywhere really yummy to eat at. I'll have to see if we can find some of these other places.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Truco 7 isn't gourmet food but good food and probably funky enough to keep your kids attention.
What I like about Truco 7 is that it doesn't pretend to be anything more than it is -- just a funky place with pretty good food and great prices.
 

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Delica Mitsu is the one that really interests me. Tripadvisor rates it #2 in Guanajuato after Las Mercedes. What types of Japanese food does it serve?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Gosh, I'm not sure how to answer that because I'm not that well versed in Japanese food.

It's not a true sushi place but has various sushi like rice roll options as well as a variety of dishes in a display case that are different every day. We usually get a combo with a rice roll and two choices from the display case.
 

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I spent a lot of time in Japan late '70's & early '80's. Typically restaurants there specialize in one style of cooking-sushi, shabu-shabu, yakitori, tempura, teppanaki, tonkatsu, etc. so I'm sort of used to asking.
 
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