Querétaro’s gastronomy is a mix of pre-Hispanic and colonial ancestry. Tasting delicacies such as enchiladas Queretanas or gorditas made with broken bits of corn, is an essential culinary experience when visiting the city. Learn what dishes you shouldn’t miss and the perfect places to taste them.
Las Monjas Clarisas
Situated in an old house in the center of town sits a restaurant—open from breakfast time—of great local tradition. Many of the dishes have peculiar names and although visitors would hardly choose to order caca de zorra (female fox poop), the truth is it’s a delicious corn and chili soup—a true delight to the palette.
Ask the waiters to give you a tour of the place. They’ll tell you why it’s called Las Monjas Clarisas (The Nuns Clarisas) and about the legend of Pío Quinto—a boy who supposedly lived there and would return at night to play with his toys.
El Mesón de Chucho el Roto and Restaurante 1810
These two restaurants neighbor the Plaza de Armas in the heart of the Centro Histórico (Historic Center). Both are a meeting point for locals and visitors alike and their menus offer typical dishes like enchiladas Queretanas;tortillas stuffed with a stew made of chicken, carrots, potatoes and dipped in a guajillo chile salsa.
As the sun goes down, the terraces of Restaurante 1810 and El Mesón de Chucho el Roto are infected with the merry atmosphere of the square. In the evenings, outside of one or the other, musicians merge to entertain.
Querétaro is a national leader in the production of artisanal cheeses and there are even routes to visit farms where they are produced. One such farm, Quesos VAI, has a small shop in the city center where it is possible to taste and acquire their emblematic creations.
For authentic Mexican flavors, try Oaxaca, panela or ranchero cheeses,though their interpretation of provolone is also marvelous.
Mercado “La Cruz”
Officially called Mercado Josefa Ortíz de Domínguez but known to all as “La Cruz”, this market is the definitive place to taste the most popular flavors of Querétaro. Inside are two unmissable locales.
Gorditas El Güero y Lupita is the most famous place to try traditional gorditas de maíz quebrado. There are only three varieties; cheese, crumbs or a combination of both. The “crumbs” refer to the scraps that remain in the pan when carnitas (pork fried in its own sauce) are cooked.
Boasting two decades of tradition and a couple of chain restaurants, Don Chamorro is the perfect place to try a taco de chamorro, which is nothing more than seasoned pork knuckles fried in lard. Add a few drops of lemon and salsa for impeccable results.
To leave a sweet taste in your mouth there’s nothing like a malteada de mantecado (butter shortening milkshake) at La Mariposa, an eatery that has been delighting Queretanos for 78 years.
It started as a candy shop but is now a restaurant that aside from desserts serves typical Mexican dishes. Do not leave the city without visiting but be prepared, it gets so crowded the wait can be long.
Shall We Close With a Few Nun Farts?
Pedos de monja (nun farts) is the silly and disturbing name of arguably the most famous chocolates in Querétaro. They are elaborated in the artisanal boutique shop El Palacio del Chocolate although it is possible to find them in all the candy shops in the city.
The name was copied from a type of Catalan cookies that have little to do with these chocolate truffles but what’s true is the taste is pleasant. Above all, they are a good souvenir to take home and “translate” to friends.