Latest update: 17 March 2023
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.
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.
Tip! Interested in specialty and craft beers? Go to La Internacional: a small beer tasting room with many beers.
Google Maps location
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
Belly full? Then you’re ready to explore. Read all about the fun things to do in and around San Cristóbal.
More Mexico inspiration?
Helpful links for your Mexico trip
- Travel guides. I love the practical travel guides from Lonely Planet, buy them at Bol.com, Amazon or Book Depository. The latter has longer delivery times but is often cheaper.
- Flights. Compare all your options! Definitely check out Momondo, Skyscanner, and Kiwi.
- Bus. Book bus trips in Mexico with Busbud or 12Go.
- Accommodation. All-time favorites: Booking.com and Airbnb. Find hostels via Hostelworld.
- Activities. You book the best tours and activities with GetYourGuide and Viator. For tours with locals, go to WithLocals. 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.
- Car rental. My go-to car rental companies are EasyTerra and Sunny Cars as they have all-inclusive / worry-free offers.
- Travel gear. Buy your gear at Bever or Decathlon, or simply at Bol.com.
- 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: try a yoga retreat in Mexico!
Some of the links on this site are affiliate links. If you buy something through these links, I might receive a small commission – at no extra costs to you of course!
First published: October 2018. The article has been updated since.