In addition to the restaurants liste, you might want to try the restaurant at the Mesón de Santa Rosa (in the Santa Rosa Hotel), on the Plaza de Armas. One local dish I can't recommend is the enchiladas queretanas. The problem is that the enchiladas typically come buried in a mountain of salty fresh cheese that completely overpowers the mild sauce. For fancy baked goods, try Panadería El Globo (tel. 442/212-8883), at Corregidora Sur 41. Tip: Late breakfasts are popular on weekends. If you're not eating breakfast at your hotel, you can beat the crowds by showing up at a restaurant by 9am.

Hot Tamales -- Tamales are a Mexican comfort food that just doesn't taste the same outside Mexico. Restaurants don't usually offer them, and when they do, the tamales are disappointing. Of course, tamales vary a great deal from region to region, but I have a special fondness for those of central Mexico. There are a couple of shops on the same block of Arteaga Street between Allende and Guerrero. Look for a bare white light (the universal sign of tamal vendors). These places offer two styles: I like the traditional ones better than the Oaxacan style because the masa tends to be lighter. They usually come with a choice of filling (pork, chicken, or cheese) and kind of sauce (red or green) and there might be cheese with slices of poblano chile (rajas con queso). Two make for a nice breakfast or supper and would run you 20 pesos. These shops also serve flavored atole, a hot corn-based beverage.

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