Restaurants here are okay but not great. I usually try to get by on simple local fare. In the evenings at the Plaza Chica, you can get a meal of chicken with simple enchiladas and heaps of fried potatoes and carrots. Look for a stand called Don Emilio. You can also get buñuelos, giant cornflakes that drip with cane syrup.
Tip: In the same market area, you can sometimes find good tamales. But if you want tamales in a relaxing setting, have them for breakfast at the restaurant of the Gran Hotel, Plaza Bocanegra 6-B (tel. 434/345-0659), under the arches on the south side of the Plaza Chica. As a rule in Mexico, you don't find fresh tamales in restaurants, but this place is the exception. The other breakfast items, mostly antojitos, are good, too.
Another place to eat well and for little money is at a little fonda called Mamá Lupe (no phone). It serves food in a small patio off Calle Benito Mendoza. Look for a doorway opposite the Bancomer bank offices. It opens around 9am and closes around 6:30pm. In the early afternoon, it offers a good comida corrida with three courses and a drink for around 50 pesos.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.