Last Updated on June 3, 2023 by Ellen
Last Updated on June 3, 2023 by Ellen
San Cristobal de Las Casas is filled with restaurants, cafes, and bars and we tried many establishments in this small Mexican city in Chiapas.
While many of the restaurants in San Cristobal listed below are super, either for the food or the views, some rise to the level of fantastic.
11 restaurants in San Cristobal worth your money
One of my favorite restaurants in San Cristobal is La Maldita in Barrio de Guadalupe. It’s next to the church by the same name. The view is beautiful! If it rains there is a roof.
Get a good cup of coffee here and bring your laptop for some writing. It’s what I’ve done. One day I spent some hours there for just $6 for three coffees (my spouse Tedly came to visit for a cup while I was there), plus a good tip. The people who work here are great, too!
We also had a Sunday brunch at La Maldita and it was excellent. Tedly got a plate of eggs with the usual fixins that came with coffee. I had a mollette (open-faced sandwich) with beans and cheese and a scoop of guacamole and a coffee. With a tip, our bill was $12. I rate this place fantastic.
We liked El Bony – a seafood place with large servings. This is where the locals go for seafood. It’s a block away from one of the main tourist roads.
Also, this is one of the restaurants in San Cristobal on this list that’s really popular with locals. The waiters don’t speak English, which only adds to the fantastic-ness of the place.
Tedly enjoyed the shrimp ceviche, marlin toastadas, and shrimp tacos. I loved the guacamole. Tedly also liked that they served Bohemia beer, which he hadn’t had in awhile.
They close at 6:00 p.m., so don’t plan on dinner here. Our bill, with a good tip, was $17.
CHeBA is a bar-restaurant that serves chicken wings. Tedly went without me one evening when he wanted to chew meat off a bone (ick). He reports this was one of the few bars in Mexico that make great chicken wings. That says a lot, because we have been to many Mexican cities by now!
He also had a liter of beer, and a bottle of beer. After the tip, the bill was $14. Tedly rates this place fantastic. He says if you have a hankerin’ for chicken wings, this is one of the must-visit restaurants in San Cristobal.
On the same block as CHeBA is a place with out-of-this-world Mediterranean food. The restaurant is named Falafel and it’s known for – you guessed it – falafel. It’s excellent. And, the restaurant is 100% vegetarian – my kind of place!
We had salads, falafel, hummus, an order of green salty olives, and ordered a large tub of hummus to take home. Seriously, if you come to San Cristobal, go to this place. With sodas each (no beer here) and a tip, our bill was $18. I rate this place fantastic.
I love the drinking cocoa at Cacao Nativa. The drink with no sugar and 80% cacao called Carmelo is heaven in a cup. It’s. The. Bomb. If you love real chocolate, not sugary Hershey bars, this is one of the restaurants in San Cristobal you absolutely must visit.
A cup of Carmelo has a delicious, distinct and somewhat bitter flavor. It goes extremely well with a volcano cake slice – the sweet cake compliments the cup of real cocoa so well I’m in heaven with this combo. Oh – and the drink has many delightfully bitter cacao nibs. (I think I’m salivating… as I write…)
If Starbucks sold hot cocoa, instead of hot, sweet chocolate, they’d make a killing off of us true cacaoholics. Seriously.
Tedly had the house cocoa, which I tried and it was okay, but I’d call it hot chocolate because it was so sweet. In my opinion, it just cannot compare to the non-sugar stuff – the hot cocoa.
We also bought a pound of ground coffee here to take home (and it was good). With a tip, our bill was $15 for the treats and the package of coffee.
I wouldn’t call this place a bargain, but I can’t get over the Carmelo drink and it’s so worth it to me. The price of this drink varies based on the size – anywhere from $2 to $4. I had to reign in my cacao desires. You see, they also have giant, beautiful, flavored and plain big bars of beautiful chocolate, some with just a smidge of sugar… again: the real cacao deal.
Have you guessed: I rate this place incredibly fantastic?
OK. Moving on.
Yik had a good cup of coffee for each of us, mine with milk, for $2.50. We took it outside and sat on a bench on Avenida 20 de Noviembre and watched people stroll along the street while minstrels tried to sell them jewelry and odd things, like marijuana cream.
What was good about the coffee is that it tasted more like real American brewed coffee, instead of espresso with water, called ‘Americano’, that is served all over Mexico.
Don Mario Trattoria y Pizzeria
Don Mario Trattoria y Pizzeria had a giant pie, on Guadalupe Victoria, west of the La Merced church. We opted for the larger version so we could take some home.
TripAdvisor gives this place five stars, and while the dough was good, it was light on the veggie toppings. Tedly had two beers and I had my usual agua de minerale. With a tip, our bill was $17. This was not ‘fantastic’ … but it was pretty good, leftovers included.
We also think TierrAdentro is one of the restaurants in San Cristobal worth your money. It’s a different kind of restaurant: it has a lot of Zapatista art, pictures, and information about the movement.
There is a laid back vibe at TierrAdentro, and it appeared to be filled with mostly locals when we were there. The food was good – but cheap with large portions.
Tedly had a burger, which was huge, and I had veggie burritos. We shared bean nachos and guacamole. Way too much food – we had to force it down. We took our time, however, taking in the sights around us. We paid $20 for this feast, including the tip.
Since it was so much food for this amount of money, and it was tasty, and the vibe was cool, and it was packed with locals, we rate it as fantastic – but only for all things combined.
Panoptico is on Real de Guadalupe on the east end of the pedestrian-only street – right where the action starts. They served a good burger and fries for Tedly, and there was a tasty ‘veggie’ burger option for me. I really liked the veggie burger because it had a bit of eggplant, which I don’t find often in Mexico.
We sat on the patio and enjoyed the company of other expats we found through a Facebook group. With a couple more beers for Tedly and a tip, the bill came to $20.
We spent a good part of an afternoon at Maria Chamula. The restaurant is on the second level so if you can get a table by a window, you have a front row seat to look down and watch the world go by.
I had a good hot chocolate at Maria Chamula, and Tedly had a couple beers. We shared tortillas with queso fondido, which was just okay. We really came for the view when it looked like rain.
Tip for ladies: I found extremely clean bathrooms at Maria Chamula with soap and hot water.
Including a tip, we paid $14 for a few fun hours on a great people-watching perch.
If tlayudas (Mexican pizzas, open or closed) are your thing, they serve up tasty plates at Los Chapulines on Real de Guadalupe, about a block and a half to the west of the Guadalupe Chruch.
The tlayudas are less than $4 each and they’re huge at this family-run, small restaurant. The veggie option had a ton of nopal (Mexican cactus). Tedly said he liked his tlayuda, which was heavy with meat and left him stuffed. I took some home.
With a soda for me and beer for him, plus our tip, our bill was $13. Definitely one of the restaurants in San Cristobal we would visit again.
More restaurants in San Cristobal
There is even a vegan shop on Real de Guadalupe about a block out of the pedestrian zone. It came recommended by our Airbnb host, but we didn’t get to it.
There is so much more available in San Cristobal. If you find other fantastic places (or great) places to add to this list, drop a note!