The Best of San Cristóbal de las Casas

Situated just a few hours from the border of Guatemala, San Cristóbal de las Casas is a hugely popular town for domestic travelers and backpackers. I visited here about a year and a half ago when I was living in Quetzaltenango, and I loved it. I spent my 9 days here taking advantage of all the restaurant options, cafes, and just wandering around enjoying the relaxed vibe.

If you’re planning to check out the city, check out some of my favorite spots here.

parade San Cristóbal de las Casas

a street celebration

Best Vegetarian Restaurant: Naturalissimo

While I usually avoid going to the same restaurant twice, I ate at Naturalissimo pretty much every other day. The gigantic portions, reasonable prices, and meat substitutes make it irresistible. The tables are set in a large covered patio in the center of the building with lots of light. There’s a large selection of fruit juices too. I recommend the veggie club sandwich with soy ham and an agua de mango.

Address: Avenida 20 de Noviembre 4

Best Café with Buena Onda: Casa Luz

As soon as you step into this café, you’ll feel the good vibes washing all over you. On the top floor is a collection of offices dedicated to spiritual and new age healing. There’s a yoga space, NPL classes, and massage rooms. The bottom floor offers a modest-sized bookstore in the front, and a café towards the back.

Address: Niño’s Héroes No. 2

Best Café Overall: Sante Caffe

This is another café that I holed up in several times on my trip here. The coffee is strong, they have a good selection of food, salsa music, and a great location with lots of windows to stare at passersby. The only thing wrong with the place is the strong smell of chemicals they use to clean what seems like every five minutes. Try to get a seat near the open door to avoid the fumes.

San Cristobal de las Casas Mexico

Best Breakfast: Namandi

I checked out this place for an afternoon Americano, but didn’t gain a full appreciation for it until I had breakfast there on Sunday morning. The yogurt and granola fruit cup here is the best I’ve ever had. They also have lots of window space to people watch while you write your novel… or whatever else you might be doing.

Address: Diego de Mazariegos 16/C

Best Bookstore: Abuelita Books

Abuelita Books has the best selection of English language books that I’ve seen in Latin America. From classic novels to biographies, psychology books to regional and political commentary, I am so impressed by this bookstore. The best part is that they offer used books and will accept your books to get a discount on theirs.

Address: Calle Cristóbal Colon #2

San Cristobal de las Casas Mexico

Best International Food: Falafel

I know I’m in Mexico, and you think I should be eating Mexican food all the time, but who can pass up falafels? For about 45 pesos I got a huge pita stuffed with fresh hummus and an amazing falafel filling. Seating is limited, so be prepared to sit with strangers or go during off-peak times.

Address: 4 Avenida Maria Flores

Best Indian Style Food: Párvati

This is another vegetarian restaurant that offers a cheap set menu. On the day I ate there, I had curried rice, potato empanadas, and a salad that was super filling and tasty.

Address: On Francisco Madero halfway up the street from the zocalo.

Where are your favorite places to eat/drink/hang out in San Cristóbal de las Casas? Share your advice here.

4 Comments
  • -j.
    September 6, 2011

    I’m totally with you on Falafel. I think I ate there just about every day (that I was eating) when I was in San Cris. The bit I like the best? The huuuuge plate with extras–salsa, jalapenos, and (my fave) pickles. ZOMG, yummy. 

    I’m terrible with addresses, but.. There was a really good coffee shop, hung out there for a couple hours waiting for the bus, called Revolution, I think. It was on a corner of one of the walk-streets, out past the BK, I think.

    And the coffee shop on the corner of the Zocalo. Can’t remember the name, but they had capuchino for like $12mex, mocha for $14, and hot chocolate, too. No free WiFi, though.

    Oh, and I have to say, Hostelito, on the same street as Falafel, a couple blocks further down (pretty much next to the Buddhist center) is a great place to stay. Warm, friendly, small, and almost even cheap. Pretty sure I’m staying there when I go back in a couple weeks (helloooo visa run).

  • -j.
    September 6, 2011

    I’m totally with you on Falafel. I think I ate there just about every day (that I was eating) when I was in San Cris. The bit I like the best? The huuuuge plate with extras–salsa, jalapenos, and (my fave) pickles. ZOMG, yummy. 

    I’m terrible with addresses, but.. There was a really good coffee shop, hung out there for a couple hours waiting for the bus, called Revolution, I think. It was on a corner of one of the walk-streets, out past the BK, I think.

    And the coffee shop on the corner of the Zocalo. Can’t remember the name, but they had capuchino for like $12mex, mocha for $14, and hot chocolate, too. No free WiFi, though.

    Oh, and I have to say, Hostelito, on the same street as Falafel, a couple blocks further down (pretty much next to the Buddhist center) is a great place to stay. Warm, friendly, small, and almost even cheap. Pretty sure I’m staying there when I go back in a couple weeks (helloooo visa run).

  • Jasmine Stephenson
    September 7, 2011

    Thanks for the suggestions, J. I went to Revolution a couple of times the first time I was there, but I didn’t go back this trip.

    I thought the pickles at Falafel were a great touch too! I think I ate all of them in the bowl :)

  • Jasmine Stephenson
    September 7, 2011

    Thanks for the suggestions, J. I went to Revolution a couple of times the first time I was there, but I didn’t go back this trip.

    I thought the pickles at Falafel were a great touch too! I think I ate all of them in the bowl :)

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