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Latest update: 16 February 2024

San Cristóbal de las Casas in Mexico has a lot of restaurants , from Mexican specialties to burgers, but also fine dining. I visit San Cristóbal on a smaller budget and have some budget-proof recommendations for you.

Compared to the coastal towns (such as Tulum, Isla Mujeres, Mahahual), San Cristóbal de las Casas is exceptionally cheap. You easily pay half the price for a room, and the food is much cheaper. The Chiapas region is known as one of the poorest regions in Mexico.


TierrAdentro is a café and cultural center in one. I eat in the covered courtyard, with regular live music. The breakfasts are large and hearty, and for lunch and in the evening, there are daily menus (up to 100 pesos, about 5 euros) and pizzas. However, the menu is much extensive: choice overload!

TierrAdentro is run by Zapatista supporters. Zapatistas fight non-violently for the equal rights of indigenous people (there is much more to the story!). The owners regularly organize meetings to discuss local issues. In San Cristóbal, you will find references to the Zapatistas in many places, which is why it is interesting to have lunch or a coffee in TierrAdentro.

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Covered courtyard of the TierrAdentro restaurant in San Cristóbal in Mexico.


Kinoki is also a cultural café. There are regular debates and almost daily films. The small cinema often shows movies about the Zapatista movement. During the day, Kinoki’s balcony is where I want to be. The sun is right on it. Ideal for catching the last rays of the day while enjoying a juice, a coffee, and a cake. The menu also includes different types of fries, pizza, and pasta.

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Tip! Interested in specialty and craft beers? Go to La Internacional: a small beer tasting room with many beers.
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This restaurant is especially nice for its atmosphere and appearance. The decor is bright and cheerful. The menu is just fine; it combines Mexican, Thai, and Italian. The dishes are simple but very filling. In the evening, there is usually live music in Cocoliche, so you can linger with a cocktail.

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Restaurant Cocoliche in San Cristóbal de las Casas in Mexico.

La Viña de Bacco

San Cristobal’s first wine bar is also San Cristóbal’s busiest. From the end of the afternoon, the terrace of La Viña de Bacco fills up in the blink of an eye. Even in the evening, when it cools considerably in San Cristóbal, people cannot seem to leave. The reason? Very affordable wine (starting at 25 pesos, a euro) and a free tapa with every glass. The bread topping ratio is entirely off, but when it’s free, I’m not complaining.

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La Tertulia

At La Tertulia, you are in for a surprise. The decor seems a bit messy initially but is a typical mix of colors, hippie, and ethnic items. The breakfasts are incredibly filling, and it feels like the cappuccino is served per half a liter. Later in the day, you can also enjoy salads and a pizza. For the menu of the day (starter, main course, and drink), you pay about 80 pesos, about €3.50. The wifi quality is variable, but the smiles of the staff are second to none.

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El Caldero

El Caldero is known for soup. Well-filled Mexican soups. Most soups are with meat, but they also serve a few vegetarian options. The soups are enormous, and choosing the right one is difficult because the menu is only available in Spanish. So take a guess. Or check with the neighbors what they have and order the same. El Caldero is popular among Mexicans and tourists alike. That makes it a very cozy and busy spot.

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Overnight stay with good breakfast

Do you want to be assured of a good FREE breakfast? Then I recommend the Puerta Vieja hostel. This is a large hostel (many, many beds) with a great breakfast. Every day there is a choice of three different breakfasts, including one vegan option. As soon as the kitchen opens, the sleepy heads gather in and around the kitchen. I give my name and choice of the day and then wait for my name (or something similar) to be called. Sometimes it takes a little longer because everything is freshly prepared. A perfect start to my day!

Extensive breakfast options in Puerta Vieja hostel in San Cristóbal de las Casas in Mexico.

Belly full? Then you’re ready to explore. Read all about the fun things to do in and around San Cristóbal.

More Mexico inspiration?

blog overview Mexico
  • Accommodation. All-time favorite: Booking.com. Find hostels via Hostelworld.
  • Activities. You book the best tours and activities with GetYourGuide and Viator. You could also try WithLocals. ‘Free’ walking tours are available at GuruWalk. And for bike tours, try Baja Bikes.
  • Attractions and museums. Get a 5% discount on museums and attractions at Tiqets with the coupon code KIMOPREIS22.
  • Bus. Book bus trips in Mexico with Busbud or 12Go.
  • Car rental. My go-to car rental companies are EasyTerra and Sunny Cars as they have all-inclusive / worry-free offers. If you want more options, compare prices at Discover Cars.
  • Flights. Compare all your options! Definitely check out Momondo, Skyscanner, and Kiwi.
  • Money. Your debit and credit cards may not get accepted everywhere. You could opt for a Revolut card as an additional card when you travel. 
  • Package deals. Rather go on a catered trip? You have many options! For the Dutch, try ANWB vakanties, Tui or Sawadee, or maybe you can find a sweet deal at Vakantie Discounter or D-reizen?
  • SIM card. Beware of unexpectedly high calling and internet costs. Buy a local SIM card when you arrive, or arrange one online via Airalo.
  • Travel gear. Buy your gear at Bever or Decathlon, or simply at Bol.com.
  • Travel guides. I love the practical travel guides from Lonely Planet, buy them at Bol.com or Amazon.
  • Visum. Make sure you have the right documentation to travel to Mexico. iVisa can help you out.
  • Yoga retreat. Or: try a yoga retreat in Mexico!

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First published: October 2018. The article has been updated since.

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