The streets of San Miguel are straight-up magic. Make sure to hang in the Jardin—the central garden—a great place to people-watch or meditate amid the beautiful chaos of the bustling crowd. Pop into shops and boutiques, get lost in the Mercado de Artesanias, or stop by my favorite boutique, Mixta, for exquisite souvenirs like hand-loomed robes and kaftans, jewelry, and wall hangings sourced from all across the country.
At Mercado Sano, stock up on seasonal produce, snack-board essentials (fresh cheeses, meats, olives), gluten-free baked goods, cold-pressed green juices, and smoothies. On Saturdays, the market expands with vendors from all over the countryside who offer tasty local delicacies—like gorditas (Mexican pita pockets stuffed with meat, cheese, and toppings), tamales (a corn-based dough steamed and wrapped in corn husk), pozole (like a Mexican chicken noodle soup with tortilla in lieu of noodles)—all with a side of live music. Be sure to visit the Les Quiches de Madame la Lune stand, which isrun by a Parisian expat who makes the best quiche and cake in town.
For a real, literal taste of Mexico, the Tuesday market, El Tienguis, should be at the top of your list. If you look hard enough, you can find just about anything here (including motorcycle parts and pirated DVDs), but special mentions go to the roasted-pork tortas from La Casa de Las Carnitas, the tripe or pastor tacos at Taco Toro El Buffet, and juice from Energia Salud y Rico Sabor Frutal (try the alfalfa/piña blend). And when in doubt, simply wander and try new things. Pro tip:
This is also a great place to replace the iPhone charger you left on the plane, try crickets sprinkled with chili powder (naturally paleo and gluten-free), and pick up pounds upon pounds of delicious ripe and sweet fruit or vegetables.