In a city of over 820,000 people you know that you’ll find amazing places to eat. You can grab a street-side snack, or sit down along a historic city square and dine in style at your leisure. In order to help you find the best of the best in Morelia, we’ll show you where to get a bit of it all.
We offer you a local market dining experience, restaurants in the historic center, a Cuban spot for brunch, and a taste of Michoacan specialties that highlight the best of local ingredients and culinary traditions. We don’t want you to miss out on drinks and dessert either, so we’ve included delectable choices for that as well. Morelia is a city where you will eat as incredibly well, just as you gorge on food in Merida.
When you come to Morelia you cannot miss the historic colonial architecture of the city center. The area is grounded by the pink limestone towers of the city’s cathedral. Many of the restaurants in the area have outdoor or rooftop dining in order to capitalize on a view of the building that dominates the city skyline.
Many experienced travelers will hold up their noses at dining near significant landmarks assuming, often rightly so, that they are catering to a typical tourist’s tastes. But Morelia is a happy exception. As a frequent visitor to this city, I’ve spent a lot of quality time enjoying several of the restaurants in the historic district, so I’m happy to share with you some of my favorites.
Starting The Day in Morelia with Breakfast or Brunch!
Cross the Plaza de Armas in the early morning and watch the city wake up from a sidewalk table at Panoli. The manicured trees surrounding the plaza filter the sun as the cathedral bells announce early morning mass. And with just a bit of eye contact and a nod, musicians will come play table side while the waiter brings you a basket of freshly baked pastries. Take your pick to complement your hot chocolate or coffee. It is generally expected that if you enjoy the music you provide a small tip at the end of the song. If you don’t wish to participate just shake your head and they will understand.
If you prefer a later start, catch brunch or lunch at Hotel Casino Morelia’s restaurant. Its outdoor patio dining allows for archway views of the cathedral and surrounding squares. The food is fresh and highlights local growers and ingredients.
To learn more about the local growers and the history of the surrounding area, discover the Don Vasco Route. From this article, you can learn about easy day trips from Morelia that provide a deeper dive into the history of the area and how local people are currently honoring their cultural heritage.
Keeping to the same area, you can enjoy evening drinks at Onix or cap off the night with a classic dessert of hot chocolate and churros in delicious combination at Las Ramblas.
- Panoli – Portal Matamoros 98 A, Centro Histórico
- Hotel Casino Morelia – Portal Hidalgo 229 Centro Histórico
- Onix Restaurant and Bar – Av Francisco I. Madero Pte 261, Centro Histórico
- Las Ramblas – Av. Francisco I. Madero Ote 619
Centro Historico: Much More Than Historic Buildings
With more than 100 city blocks, Morelia’s historic city center is the place to stay to see beautiful architecture that takes you back in time. If you would like to explore more colonial beauty, just a short flight from Morelia lands you in Guanajuato. Take advantage of the many restaurants and bars that surround the open city squares.
While staying in Michoacan, you absolutely cannot visit Michoacan without having gaspacho. El Guerro de la Merced is the best. As soon as you enter you know you’re in the right place. The diced fruits are piled high and fresh juices line the back counter. You can customize your cup, which is big enough for two, with various melons, pineapple, and just-picked oranges. Then create your own level of sweet and savory with the various sauces and sprinkles of cheese that can adorn your cup.
Experienced travelers to Michoacan will often think of Quiroga when they think of carnitas. That flavorful, moist unctuous meat is a filling, and when done right, unforgettable meal. Morelia is putting itself on the map with butcher shop Diana Carnes Selectas. Known already for their high-quality fresh meats, this surprise spot has delicious carnitas right in the heart of Morelia that rival Quiroga’s best without a doubt. Their fan base is growing now because of their fantastic carnitas tacos. Once you smell the homemade warm tortilla you cannot have just one. It’s so good you’ll be sad when you are full.
When I’m craving tacos al pastor, the marinated pork cooked on a rotating spit over an open flame, there is only one place I want to go. Taquería Pepe Le Pew. Quick friendly service is the norm and comes alongside rich flavors which create an overall mouth-watering experience.
- Gaspachos El Guerro de la Merced – Andrés Quintana Roo 192, Centro Histórico
- Diana Carnes Selectas – Gob. Aristeo Mercado 481, Nueva Chapultepec, 58280 Morelia
- Taqueria Pepe Le Pew – C. P.º de Las Jacarandas 15C, Prados Verdes, 58110 Morelia
Going Global: Where To Find International Food in Morelia
Finally, if you are looking for something other than tacos, not a problem. You should not leave Morelia without trying a burger at Hamburguesas de Peter. Our favorite street-side stand is in the Obrera neighborhood. This street food is a delicious take on burgers. Dress it up with cheese and bacon or go for the full stack that tops your burger with a grilled hot dog. Don’t forget the grilled peppers and onions for a one-of-a-kind taste.
Mercado de San Juan, an open-air market that is just a five-minute taxi ride from the historic center, sells everything from fresh fruit to flowers to necessary kitchen gear. This is where most of the neighborhood does its shopping. Tucked in the back are stalls populated with local cooks who serve up authentic Michoacan specialites. The market itself is a feast for the eyes but you can also take care of your hunger! Here you can get enchiladas, posole, or corundas, a regional dish of masa wrapped in long green corn leaves and steamed. I highly recommend you have it served with a rich crema. Follow the lines or look for the most populated counters and enjoy amazing dishes. If you leave hungry you did something wrong.
Branch out to try something out-of-country with the Cuban spot La Plazuela. Here you can enjoy a unique and tasty meal whether you want a classic brunch, lunch, or even dinner. This authentic dining experience takes you back to Cuba with each bite. Have a mojito while you wait for your food. They are preparing it fresh to order so be patient and with the wait will come great reward.
- Hamburguesas de Peter– Av Manuel Buendía 88E, Obrera, 58130 Morelia
- Mercado San Juan – Revolución, Centro Histórico
- La Plazuela – Sor Juana Inés de La Cruz #126, Centro histórico de Morelia, Morelia
To see more of all that Mexico has to offer check out our other articles on everything from amazing beachside retreats to a unique horseback ride to ruins of a town buried by lava. There is truly an adventure for every type of traveler. You’ll find your days are not long enough when you visit this beautiful country.
About the Silvas Tribe
Hi, we’re the Silvas Tribe. We are a multicultural family that believes travel is a tool that helps us navigate the different traditions and values that people connect to their identity. Becoming familiar with multiple languages, traditions, cooking styles, and customs helps us build empathy, learn how to talk about differences as well as recognize similarities. We hope readers can join us in our project: to help teens not only become better travelers but also better reflect on what they experience while out in the world. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter.
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