Monday, August 10, 2015

Eat Vegetarian/Vegan in Queretaro

  • Queretaro has lots and lots of Sushi places, cheap ones, expensive ones, and most of them are really good. The vegan range may not be that broad, but you can get cucumber and avocado rolls everywhere. Alternatively, you could order a miso soup. Here are some Sushi places: Nuriko, Sushito, Oriental Grill and Flor de Loto
  • A really cool place with a lot of vegetarian meals is ‘Maco’ in Guerrero street. You can ask them to leave out the cheese in all of their vegetarian dishes and voila, a really tasty vegan sandwich with grilled vegies and green salad. Ask them how they make their sauces, because they might contain egg or cream and just switch it out for vegan salsa or something alike.
  • Zandunga: This place offers regional food from the State of Oaxaca and it is absolutely delicious. I always get the vegetarian Tlayuda without cheese there and Chocolate Oaxaqueno with water. It is in Francisco I. Madero No. 99. 
  • Blume and Peace and Love: Soya lattes are not that easy to find here. There are a number of Starbucks' in the city center and around it, but 2 other Cafés that have good soya lattes are Blume (also almond and rice lattes) in Boulevard Jardines de la Hacienda 402 and Peace and Love right opposite it. A good alternative is Café de Olla (in Maria y Su Bici or La Biznaga) for the places that do not have soya milk; it is coffee with cinnamon and piloncillo (unrefined whole cane sugar); hands down the best coffee I have ever tasted. 
  • Another cool place is ‘La Biznaga’ in Gutierrez Najera. It is really colorful, has a hippy theme going on and the food is amazing. They have a lot of vegetarian options, and you can easily modify your order into a vegan dish. If you are looking for good food in a unique place, La Biznaga is a must. 
  • Don Banano: Right now, this is my go to place, because the owner really modifies my food the way I want it and even asks whether he can use Maggie seasoning for people that are Gluten intolerant. They have soy tamales, baked potato with vegan/vegetarian toppings, soy hamburgers, salads and everything for a very fair price.

Tip: when you get Mexican food that typically has meat or cheese on it, explicitly tell them without cheese and meat, because they will put it on without having ordered it. 

Tip: If you are visiting places that are not vegetarian or vegan and simply ordering a veggie option, be aware that they might be using chicken flavored condiments or animal fat in their food as it is very common in Mexico. It doesn't hurt to ask. 


Monday, July 6, 2015

What you should know about buses in Querétaro

When you first get here having to figure out a bus route is going to be more difficult than flying to Mexico. Back in Switzerland I was used to perfectly timed buses, tables with routes and bus stops and screens that project the remaining waiting time until the bus or tram arrival. Well, in Querétaro none of this exists; waiting at the bus stop you won’t find any tables showing you the bus routes. If you want to take the bus and arrive at the desired arrival point you will have to prepare and study the routes first.

With the following tips you will make your way through Querétaro faster than you’ll know it.

  • There are fixed routes but the bus stops are not 100% fixed or named. if they see someone along the route stopping the bus, they will pick the person up, even if they are not waiting at a bus stop. You can’t find the names of the bus stops online, you will have to orientate yourself according to Colonias and learn the names of places little by little by asking, chatting and exploring. 
  • On the window of the buses the main stops that it passes by are listed i.e. the big plazas and streets. 
  • I would not just stand on the side of the rode hoping that the bus will stop for me, because very often they don’t, even if you are stading at the bus stop. To stop the bus you need to lift up your arm and signal clearly to the driver that you need to get on the bus. It’s happened a few times that I stood at the bus stop pulling out my arm and the bus just kept driving. Coversely, I’ve also stopped a bus once or twice from the road where there wasn’t an actual stop. But as a rule of thumb, always wait at the bus stop and if you need to be somewhere take 2 buses earlier. 
  • Most buses come every 10 minutes. 
  • QRutas: On that webpage or, if you have an android, with the app, you can choose your point of origin and your point of arrival and the system will generate the nearest stations and all buses that pass the route that you need. You can see the whole route of the bus and how much time it will take. 
  • Sometimes you’ll see people counting the time between bus routes called checadores. If the bus drivers are running late they tell them to hurry up. Checadores stand at the bus stops and know all the bus routes and numbers, so you can ask them if you need to know which bus to take to get to a certain place.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Places to go in Querétaro

 Filulas Juz en Reto Rock  

Queretaro has a lot of cool local bands and bars with ive music.

Last Thursday the 28th of May I went to Reto Rock a club situated on the street Universidad. The band I listened to was called Filulas Juz, a Jazz band with rock and fusion elements. The band was really great, playing material off of their first album “Astralopithecus”. You can find the album on itunes or have a listen on youtube. The concert lasted for about an hour and the club had arranged great stage lights. Another concert followed, but unfirtunately I wasn’t able to stay for the second one.

The club is a big and open place with low or high tables and chairs as well as sofa sections that are more comfortable. There are also two pool tables. Every Friday a band called Venus plays at around 11 pm Spanish songs by different groups. Every Saturday another group called Karma covers English songs from different rock bands. Spanish and English rock are the bar’s main theme. The entrance for the concerts on Thursday cost 50 pesos and Fridays and Saturdays the entrance cover varies from 20-30 pesos. In summary, Reto Rock is worth checking out for its atmosphere and rock music. You should also folow Filulas Juz on social media and check out their album if you are into Jazz. They are a real breath of fresh air between all the electronic, pop and indie that is currently ruling my music world. 

Thursday, May 7, 2015

How to stay hydrated in dusty dry Querétaro

I love Querétaro and I love the sun, but the semi-desertic climate really dries out my eyes as well as the rest of the body. Here are some tips on how you can stay hydrated all day long for your whole body.


Drink twice the amount of water that you drank in your hometown. If 1 liter a day felt like enough to keep me hydrated in Europe, I need at least 2 liters here in Querétaro.

Drink cucumber juice: provided I have cucumbers in my fridge, every morning I blend half a cucumber with half a glass of water and maybe some chia seeds. Cucumber consists of 96% water and contains lots vitamins and minerals.

If some days you feel like you are sweating a great deal walking outside or working out, you can buy alkaline water that has a PH of 9.5. It is going to give you that extra hydration that you need.


If you have dry eyes, use some hydrating eye drops. You can get eye drops for 30 pesos in the pharmacy. Be careful though, there are some patented ones that will cost you 10x more; I made the mistake and bought an expensive bottle, because my ophthalmologist recommended them to me, but the generic ones work just as well.


For my face, I use Aloe Vera. Aloe Vera is being used in plenty of cosmetics, because of its great hydrating and healing properties, but as this plant is endemic to Querétaro I don’t need to spend a lot of money on a hydrating cream (with chemicals that I might not want to put on my face). Just buy a pant, cut of a little piece and spread the juice all over your face. You can feel the cooling effect right away. In addition, if you have a sunburn it works miracles to take away

the inflammation. 

Monday, April 13, 2015

A Perfect Weekend Escape - San Miguel de Allende

Technically, San Miguel belongs to the State of Guanajuato, but it is so close to Santiago de Queretaro - we might see it as just another advantage of living in Queretaro. It is the perfect weekend escape to a more silent, charming, little town with enough exciting attractions and stops to keep you entertained for the whole weekend while it is relaxing enough to make you forget about the hectic day-to-day life.

You can start your day by visiting the church "La Parroquia de San Miguel"; it has a neo-gothic façade with two tall towers that can be seen from most parts of the town. Even though, it resembles a European church, it still owns a very Mexican architectural interpretation. Plaza Allende, or the Main Garden as locals call it, is a popular place to sit and relax right in front of the church, and of course, enjoy the indispensable kiosco. 

Next, you must visit the "Centro Cultural Ignacio Ramiez", also called the Escuela de Bellas Artes or El Nigromante, which is placed in the former Hermanas de la Concepcion Convent. It has a beautiful large courtyard with a large fountain in the middle and it houses art exhibitions, paintings, drawings, sculptures, textiles and other forms of art. From the building's top floor you can see the "Inmaculada Concepcion Church" (also called The Nuns). 

You should enjoy walking through the city center, because San Miguel de Allende is a walking city. The size allows you to take in all its colonial beauty and enjoy the architecture as you casually explore the vitality and flair of the place. Do not simply look into the shops, but go in and buy something, even if it is something small like a magnet, because the city is known for its skillful handcrafts. 

Have a nice meal as the town offers varied types of foods and price ranges from cheap over moderate to expensive. As a vegan, I did not have any problems finding a restaurant that served a number of possible and delicious dishes for me (Tip: Restaurant Cumpanio, moderate prices and variety with vegan and non-vegan dishes, it offers a bread, pastry and restaurant section). 

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Events in Queretaro - 57 Muestra Internacional de Cine in Querétaro

Not only is Queretaro a beautiful city, but it also is a culturally vibrant city. The city is often hosting interesting events and currently, a collaboration of different institutes is screening 10 free movies selected by the 57 Muestra International de Cine in the Cineteatro Rosalio Solano. Some movies rank among the winners of the Cannes International Film Festival, The Berlin International Film Festival, The Oscars as well as other awards. The best part is that the entrance is free and there are 4 screenings a day (13.00, 16.00, 18.30 y 21.00 hrs.). You have 8 days left until the 31st of March to go and see at least one great movie until the end of the week. I went to see "La Conducta" yesterday; the dramatic movie set in Cuba shows an aging teacher, Carmela, who has a special heart for pupils from broken families, but is challenged by the headmaster for this. The poor 12 year old Chala and Yeni, in which Chala is infatuated, have both severe troubles on home ground. When Carmela has a heart-attack, she leaves a more rule-bound rookie as a replacement teacher and things deteriorate for Chala and Yeni. Carmela is the only thing that stands between Chala and those seeking to send him to re-education school. The picture adds to the very emotional story line and the performance of the young actors is outstanding. Hurry and do not miss out on a free night at the movies in Centro Querétaro.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Trip to the pyramid in El Pueblito

Trip to the pyramid in El Pueblito

Anyone residing in Queretaro should take advantage of the Toltec pyramid "El Cerrito". It’s the perfect, laid-back weekend activity, as the pyramid is located only twenty minutes from the city center.  You can take several buses from the Alameda, some of which will drop you right in front of the pyramid. Entering the archaeological zone, there is a reception; entry is free, and if you are early enough, you can get a free tour around the pyramid (they are free from Tuesday to Friday 9 am to 2:30 pm and Saturday and Sunday from 9 am to 4:30 pm). The content of the tour is very informative and they also take interest in visitors’ opinions after the tour. To my disadvantage, it was in Spanish, so a lot of information on the pre-Hispanic settlement, culture, customs and recent excavations were lost to me, but I was happy to observe the beauty, colors and shapes of the structure. There are some interesting charts at the entrance with a timeline of the different indigenous settlements around that area, which is helpful.

You will notice the ruins of a house on top of the pyramid called "the Fort". It was built in 1876 by an influential family, and cannot be removed due to a law which states that all houses in Queretaro older than 100 years must be conserved. Due to vegetation, the pyramid now resembles a random hill covered with earth and stones from the back side, hence its name "El Cerrito".

After "El Cerrito", you can walk into Pueblito’s city center and buy ice cream in front of the sanctuary de Santa Maria or grab something to eat; there are plenty of restaurants and markets offering delicious Mexican dishes.