Working and living in San Cristobal is an easy transition. The wifi speeds aren’t the greatest, but I was able to stream, have video chats and do pretty much all the work I needed without much difficulties.
I travel in and out of Mexico quite frequently. The ease of transition and the culture make it an easy place to move in and out of. I recently (finally) got back to SCDLC for a visit. I’d traveled to San Cristobal before and was excited to get back.
During this trip, I didn’t do a lot of ‘touristing’. Instead, I spent most of my time engaging with both the locals and the local expats & travelers…and a bit of work too! In the short month that I was there, I made some great friends and look forward to returning.
Eat and Drink
From local fare, to Italian, Vegetarian, and assorted western options, San Cristobal doesn’t lack in options available for a tasty meal.
Important: Don’t drink the water & Clean your Vegetables
The last time I was in SCDLC, I ate at the market stalls nearly every day and loved it. This trip (April ’19), I ate there once and was sick for days…there is rumor that spring brings lots of intestinal issues/illness. I can’t attest to the truth of this but I was sick twice during my stay…and I rarely get sick and frequently eat street food.
CAFE’S AND RESTAURANTS
- Panaderia Doña Isabel – several locations around town. Has GREAT pizza and pastries as well as fresh baked breads. It’s a cheap quick snack.
- My all time favorite Chicken Ranch pollos a la leña has the BEST rotisserie chicken. You can eat in or take-away. It’s the one place that I’d remembered from my first trip to SCDLC and I was excited to see it was still operating and just as excellent.
- Looking for Indian Food? Cardamomo Cocina Hindu has it covered.
- For non-touristy Beer & Barbacoa, check out BARBACOAS YESSI. Quick, cheap, and delicious!
- Feeling a little chilled (it’s common in SCDLC), head down for a toasty bowl of soup at El Caldero. It’s a small place and packs in the local crowds.
- El Cipres Restaurante cooks everything from scratch and offers local fare as well as European dishes all at a great price. The Chef is very welcoming and will most likely greet you at your table. Additionally, it’s a great chill spot to watch the sunset from the rooftop.
- Madama do Ré has the most quaint garden and offers the BEST Italian dishes in town. They also have live music nights, just stop in and ask. The owner is a pleasure to chat with, her energy is unparalleled.
- EL PALIACATE Espacio Cultural has live music and performance nights.
- Casa La Frida has comedic Frida Kahlo performances. Check their FB page for details. You MUST have some basic Spanish to get the full experience. Additionally, the set menu lunch is amazing! So much food…
- La Vina de Bacco: Always packed. It seems they keep customers returning for the super friendly service, cheap prices, great live music, complimentary tapas, and the huge drink menu of not only wine but unique Chiapan spirits and craft beer too.
- All along the main tourist strip is live music to be found on any night of the week.
Groceries & Shopping
- Super Más was where I did most of my shopping for everyday items.
- The local bakeries for breads, pastries, etc.
- There is a great Cheese Shop, Quesos Chiapas with great prices and free tastings.
- For larger grocery needs, CHEDRAUI has it covered. It’s a quick, easy taxi there and back.
Get Shit Done
Knowing who has decent WiFi and where to work from is the crux of the nomadic professional (digital nomad) life. Here are the places that I’ll go back to.
- New Co-working Place – TBA
- Libre Cafe was one of my go-to spots. With outlets available and a quiet courtyard, it’s a great place to spend several hours working. The coffee here is also a perk. Libre Cafe also offers language exchange – check their bulletin board for details.
- La Casa del Pan: Offering a great menu good coffee and pleasant space to work. I didn’t find any good spots with outlets, so plan accordingly. Additionally, my friend Alberto plays classical guitar there many evenings. If you see him, say hello for me (and don’t forget to drop a tip)!!
- Espacio Permanente para el Diseño Mexicano touts itself as a co-working space. They have a nice area with outlets but this was a hard NO on both occasions that I attempted to work from here. The first time, the internet was in/out and very low speeds, the second attempt came to a quick halt due to a screaming child (it’s a public space). If you find different results…let me know. I really had high hopes for this spot.
- Frontera Artisan Food and Coffee has good WiFi and a few spaces with outlets. They get quite busy and there is a tour group that passes through in the afternoons. Would be good for a morning worker. Prices are a bit high based on local standards.
- Black Dragon Coffee Center was recommended as a place to work and although they have great coffee, there aren’t tables that are comfortable for working from. My advice – Go for coffee and work somewhere else.
- Hotel Bo offers a classy spot. A high quality hotel with restaurant (expensive), I spent a few hours here over great drinks. I’m not sure how long they will tolerate occupying space, but it’s a calm and classy atmosphere for a day of spoiling. It’s not for the budget-minded. Drinks and food are all quite expensive.
Resources & Events
San Cristobal lacks severely on a central resource to find activities and event happening. Most places post their events to their individual FB pages and/or post paper fliers in their establishments. My best suggestion is to wander, ask the locals and expats. A few recurring events that I’m aware of, as well as places to check for event postings:
- Libre Cafe has language exchange weekly. Polygot Club on Tuesday from 5-7pm (all languages). They also tend to post other event on the door.
- Kinoki has movie nights and you can find the schedule near the door. Additionally, you can select a movie and rent out a small theatre all to yourself or you and a few friends. It’s also a great place to catch a sunset or live music.
- El baúl also has movie nights and will show just about anything if you ask. It’s a great little local library to check out as well.
- Casa Na Bolom offers cultural talks, music and a variety of other events. Again, stop in to see their current schedule of events.
- Sometimes events get posted to the San Cristóbal de las Casas Expat Community. If you find a more central place to see current events, PLEASE post it in the comments!
- Check out my other blogs on San Cristobal de Las Casas.