By Catherine Marenghi
If you’re in town for the San Miguel Writers’ Conference, or just looking to enjoy a perfect day without leaving town, visit Colonia Guadalupe. Just a short walk north of Centro, Colonia Guadalupe offers food, art, and a feast for the eyes.
Begin your day with a walking tour of Guadalupe’s famous street murals led by Colleen Sorenson, an expert on the neighborhood’s designation as the Muros en Blanco Distrito de Arte. She was instrumental in securing municipal permission in 2013 to ensure artists could paint legal street murals. Now, in the project’s 8th year, this informative two-hour tour gives a fascinating history of the national, local, and visiting international artists behind this vibrant art district.
Mural tours start at 10am Monday, Thursday, and Friday at the street entrance to Fábrica la Aurora, the former textile factory restored with cafes, shops, and art galleries. The modest 300 pesos fee helps support local artists.
“The Muros en Blanco project decriminalized street art in San Miguel de Allende. The story continues to evolve as street art spreads throughout the city,” Sorenson says. The tour includes a stop at Sorenson’s studio where the entire project began and to view collections of her original mosaic-tiled graffiti art.
Stop for lunch at La Querencia, at Margarito Ledesma 6. Chef Esmeralda Brinn fuses her passion for Mexican ingredients with recipes from around the world. Favorites are the smoked salmon wrap, eggs Benedict on hojas santas (leaves of a Mexican herb), and fresh pulque and aguamiel.
Pick up quiche, falafel, roasted vegetables, lasagna, or a loaf of homemade bread to go at the adjacent Deli Q, and check out Chef Alicia Wilson Rivero’s cooking school at the same location.
Another option for a truly authentic Mexican lunch is El Comal de Doña Meche at Margarito Ledesma 1. The locals say the gorditas are the best in town.
Around the corner on Julian Carrillo there is a Little Free Library in a bright green wall-mounted cabinet. You can take a book, or leave a book, free of charge. It’s directly across from Gil’s Market, a favorite neighborhood grocer, in a building awash in murals.
A few doors down at Julian Carrillo 1, La Huipilista Art + Space offers unique textile art and other inspired items by artist and owner Lena Bartula and visiting artists. Open Thursday through Sunday, 1-5pm.
For dinner, the Pizzeria Neapolitan at Julian Carrillo 4B offers brick oven pizzas and a variety of salads, served on their rooftop terrace. Try the Mike’s Special loaded with sausage, prosciutto, and fresh vegetables and topped with fresh basil.
Across the street, Mio Bistrock serves an amazing array of dishes from a bright red food truck. Dine outdoors under a giant jacaranda tree. The lamb burger with caramelized onions and blue cheese is a favorite, along with the grilled salmon and roasted rosemary potatoes. The food truck is open for dinner Thursday through Sunday.