I love eating, I love drinking wine, and we’re all well aware of my love for a good cup of coffee.

I’ve been working in the food industry since I was 16-years-old. In college, I worked as a waitress to help pay my bills and finance my fun. My life with food only continued as I worked for nearly five years in public relations with natural food companies, restaurants, chefs, and wineries.

For the last two years, as I figure out who I am and what I’m doing, I’ve once again, been waiting tables at one of the best restaurants in my hometown of Sun Valley, Idaho.

I love food, and I like to think I know it well.

Good Food on a Small Budget is in San Cristóbal

Traveling the world on a budget means that finding good food, and I mean good food made from fresh ingredients to create a dish made with love, can be difficult to find sometimes.

During my time in San Cristóbal, Mexico, I was overjoyed by the amount of great food available in the small magic town, and all within the means for a budget-friendly Wanderer.

So, I’ve provided for you here a list of 15 (!!) different places that will help you eat and drink your way through San Cristóbal. This list is just a jumping off point, my friends, so loosen your pants and undo the belt because you’re in for some tasty treats.

1. Natura

This local café serves sandwiches, burritos, quesadillas, coffee, and tea, all made with local ingredients. Located on Real de Guadalupe and open late, the entire menu is under $100MXP making it a great spot to eat if you’re hungry (and alone) and can’t figure out what to eat. I went here two different nights after a yoga class because one time just wasn’t enough.

2. La Vina de Bacco

It had been months since I sipped a glass of wine until I found this amazing place, also located on Real de Guadalupe. The small and cozy space has both indoor and outdoor patio seating, and each glass of wine comes with a small tapa. A glass of wine starts at a reasonable $25MXP each, and there’s always a lively crowd, making it a fun place to meet people.

3. Frontera

My favorite coffee place in San Cristóbal, it’s expensive for the area but cheap in the grand scheme of life. I came here a few times with my laptop and posted up at a table for a few hours to do some work while enjoying their delicious coffee. A latte will run you about $30MXP, but it’s quiet, cute, has good wifi, and great sandwiches and pastries.

4. El Caldero

I looove this place. I’d read about this restaurant online and then ended up going on my free walking tour. Then, I came here again after my Temezcal ceremony, which is the perfect way to refuel after a crazy sweat session like that, FYI.

The entire menu is a variety of different soups; we’re talking like 20 different soups all made fresh and ranging in spice level. A giant bowl of soup the size of your head will cost you between $70-110MXP.

5. Mercado de Dulces

Do you have a sweet tooth? Great. Me too. This market is rows and rows of vendors selling traditional Mexican candies and sweet treats. There are also artisanal crafts here, but I recommend going to the bigger market at the church for a wider selection.

Personally, Mexican candies are a little too sweet for me, but this place has an insane variety of Conchas (a Mexican sweet bread), candies, cookies, and treats for real cheap, too. You can buy a bag of goodies for around $20MXP.

Conchas are my favorite because, you know, I love bread and sugar, but I suggest you ask to try anything that looks good so you can pick your favorite.

6. Local Comedors

Outside of the Mercado de Dulces are small, family-run comedors with insanely delicious dishes of tacos, tamales, enchiladas, soups and more. If you want a traditional, cheap lunch, go here. A giant meal will run you around $40MXP. I suggest the mole enchiladas.

7. Belil Sabores de Chiapas Interconexion Social

Sometimes, we need to treat ourselves. After all, we can’t eat beans, rice, and tacos forever. My dinner here was a treat yo’self moment, and it was worth every penny. I went here one night for dinner with another fellow solo traveler, and it was fantastic. The restaurant is adorable and also serves as a cute boutique with locally-made clothing and jewelry.

My dinner was a perfectly cooked chicken dish with a house-made mushroom sauce and a real side salad with homemade dressing (a rare sight in Latin America). We split a bottle of wine, and the whole thing cost us around $300MXP.

8. Casa del Pan

Image courtesy of Google Images

I have such a love affair with this place. So much more than a restaurant, Casa del Pan is more of a community center with a restaurant. The building houses a Spanish school, yoga and Reiki healing, a cinema, a shop or two, and a vegetarian restaurant. For $100MXP you can feast on some the best vegetarian Mexican food, and even if you don’t eat here, I recommend walking through and checking the space out.

9. Todo Vegano

So we’re clear, I’m not vegetarian or vegan. I like all of the food and will pretty much eat anything, so when I say that this vegan restaurant is up there with some of the best food I ate San Cristóbal, I promise it’s delicious. From vegan lasagna to spicy, vegan “chicken wings,” to vegan dumplings to “hamburgers,” Todo Vegano offers your favorite dishes completely vegan and all at a budget-friendly price.

10. El Horno Mágico

Image courtesy of Google Images

I swear, I ate more pastries in San Cristóbal than I have in years, and El Horno Mágico is partially to blame. I’d heard about it before I even arrived in San Cristóbal because people were raving about the croissants. It’s a simple little shop with no seating offering freshly made pastries and bread. While it’s expensive for the area, all of their food is very budget-friendly with chocolate croissants and breakfast bread rolls costing between $18-$24MXP each.

PS- They do not have coffee.

11. KukulPan

Another delicious bakery with fluffy, chewy, buttery pastries, KukulPan has indoor and outdoor seating, and coffee, and is in a quieter location than El Horno Mágico. It’s another great place to read your book, catch up on work, or simply people watch as you soak in the magic of the city.

12. Bar Revolución

Image courtesy of Google Images

I’ll admit, I only went here once for about 20 minutes because a) I just can’t party anymore and b) I was exhausted when I went and probably never should’ve gone out in the first place. That said, if you’re looking for nightlife, this is where everyone, and I mean everyone, starts their night. Decently priced drinks with nightly live music, I guarantee this is not the last time you will hear about Bar Revolución if nightlife adventures in San Cristóbal are your jam.

13. Falafel

Image courtesy of Indefinite Adventure

This little hole in the wall restaurant has some of the best hummus and falafel I’ve had in a long time. Dishes are made to order with daily fresh ingredients, and the restaurant has a small menu of hummus, salads, pita, and… yes, falafel! Oh, and did I mention the owners are the nicest people? Dinner prices range from $70-100MXP per dish, and the portions are gigantic. The restaurant does not serve alcohol, but their lemonades are delicious!

14. Oh La La! Pastelería

This place is another “treat yo’self” destination, and it’s absolutely worth the price. I went here one day with a friend just to look, or so we told ourselves. The pastries and cakes were so beautiful we simply couldn’t resist, and the food is delicious as it is beautiful. If you’re looking for a little afternoon special something, stop by this small café and enjoy one of their sweet treats.

15. Poxna Tasting Room

If you’re looking to try pox, the traditional liquor of Chiapas, look to the Poxna tasting room. I also came across this place on my walking tour and fell in love with the little shop, the liquors, and the owners. The brick and mortar serves as a tasting room for customers and visitors to taste the company’s various products, learn more about the liquor and the brand, and purchase products. Check out the Facebook page to find out when it’s open and after you’re finished tasting, go next door to Frontera for some coffee and a snack.

 

So, Wanderers, have I made you hungry? Is your mouth watering yet? Are you ready to go out and eat all of the food? Readdddy. Go.

 

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