Being from Monterrey, Mexico living in California can be very confusing as people assume I’m from Northern California when I say I’m from Monterrey. My home town Monterrey, with two Rs, is a long way from the golden California sun.
By Roberta Bárcena
Monterrey, Mexico is a very industrious city in the Northeast of Mexico, it is not very known internationally outside business circles or climbing aficionados. Even though it is a beautiful city in a valley surrounded by the Sierra Madre Mountain that goes all the way up to the Rockies. Another good reason to visit is food, but don’t go thinking food as in Mexican food like Oaxaca or Puebla, Monterrey doesn’t offer a great deal of traditional Mexican food restaurants, but it does offer the best meat in the country and exquisite innovative dishes.
As anyone with their hometown, I am a champion for Monterrey, maybe I am biased as I already love this city but maybe I can plant a seed of curiosity in you and have you visit sometime soon.
As soon as you fly in you can feel that you are held by its tall big mountains, its this city’s biggest beauty, you can see El Cerro de la Silla (the saddle, it really does look like one) marking the city´s limit. You might not get to climb that peak but there are two must visit locations. So when you are here the first thing you will want to do is get to live the magical experience these Mountains have to offer.
At the highest edge of San Pedro Garza Garcia you may find the Natural Park Reserva known as Chipinque, with easy to high intensity trails, picnic areas, and family fun, this little into the woods escape from the city invites you to breathe in fresh air and catch breathtaking views. You can trek your way up or drive, the choice is yours.
La Huasteca (lah-was-teh-cah)
This is my favorite place in all the city, this mountains are different and make you feel in outer space. The rock formations are horizontal, there is little vegetation and the sight is grey. La Huasteca is also known to be a sacred pilgrimage location by the indigenous Wirarika (huicholes), it is said it is part of an ancestral energy vortex. This is also were so many of the visiting rock climbers have their vertical fun. Just outside the gated natural reserve there is a corn stand you can’t miss, and try the best corn of the cob in town.
So now, food, I know this is what you want to talk about… who doesn’t love food? Ok, so if you have any Mexican friends who aren’t from Monterrey, and you talk about my city cabrito (goat) will come up, to be honest Ive only eaten cabrito once in my life and it wasn’t even here in Monterrey. So if you are curious you can try it but this local would consider that a more tourist attraction, even though we don’t even have that many tourists, than an actual staple attraction.
We have incredible restaurants, as I said, we do have the best meat in the country. Sunday BBQs is what we are made of. So you cant miss going out and trying a steak, and if you are not a carnivore, don’t be alarmed, even when we have no ocean in sight we have great seafood flown in on the daily. Also to back up what you may perceive as my biased opinion, Eater placed Monterrey as a top 20 places to eat for 2020.
This are some other places you should not miss:
This location is a little outside the usual restaurant circuit in San Pedro Garza Garcia. A formal dining restaurant precedes its sister restaurant Gallo 71 (another great option) and has incredible meat cuts and delicious bone marrow, I know it sounds awkward if you haven’t tried this dish before, it is an actual bone, I would suggest you take your adventurous spirit with you and try it. Their most famous dish is their grilled artichoke with their house dressing, also a must.
Let’s take a break from all the meat eating and try some delicious seafood. At the heart of San Pedro you can find Arboleda, a housing and commercial centre where you can spend your afternoon in shops and good food. Here you find Santo Mar, where you can savour delicious wonders of the sea. My favorite is grilled octopus tacos and popcorn shrimp and tuna tostada.
No matter where you go in Mexico there will always be tacos, this taqueria takes you to heaven and back, I would suggest trying the tacos al pastor, that is seasoned pork, and enjoy their variety of salsas that just top off their mouthwatering tacos.
Monterrey also has culture and places you can visit and walk around, you can find that downtown.
This is the city´s contemporary art museum, the museum itself is Arq. Luis
Barragan’s masterpiece and it holds an iconic place in the heart of the city. The best exhibitions and artists are displayed there.
Paseo Santa Lucia
Opened in 2007, this attraction revolves around the flowing canal, allowing its visitors to walk and enjoy 24 fountains, bridges, murals, in between museums and the historic Parque Fundidora, that originally was the city’s steel plant now also a museum.