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ABOUT FONDA SAN MIGUEL

Our Story

In a bold move rarely seen in the culinary world, Fonda San Miguel is proud to introduce co-chefs whose individual skills combine to solidify Fonda San Miguel’s reputation for serving the finest in authentic interior and coastal Mexican cuisine.

Bienvenido a nuestros co-cocineros Blanca Zesati and Carlos Monroy! Side-by-side, Zesati and Monroy enhance Fonda San Miguel’s impeccable reputation by curating the De la Tierra menu which premiered in the spring of 2022. The selections consist of 100% plant-based, vegan, gluten-free and dairy-free dishes.  All are dishes rooted in the traditional recipes of interior and coastal regions of Mexico while returning to what the earth provides, thus the name De la Tierra.

OUR CO-CHEFS

Chef Blanca Zesati

A sourcing expert, Blanca’s focus is on researching, sourcing, and incorporating De La Tierra dishes into Fonda San Miguel’s menu. Zesati comes to the restaurant from Austin’s renowned Miraval Resort & Spa, where she spent eight years creating inventive menus for guests with dietary restrictions. Blanca honed her sourcing skills as Executive Sous Chef, spearheading a fully organic menu program that changed nightly and provided complete nutritional information to guests. Her extensive experience procuring unique ingredients has made her an expert ingredient curator, and a frequent partner of niche producers throughout the city. Zesati comes from a Mexican family, although she was born and raised in Chicago, “My dad is from Mexico, so we visited often growing up. I want to see how I can incorporate what I’ve learned over the course of my career with what I know about my family’s heritage and culture. Hopefully I can bring Austin some healthier, plant-based Mexican food along the way.”

Chef Carlos Monroy

Carlos hails from Mexico City formally trained at the Colegio Superior de Gastronomia. There, he earned a bachelor’s degree in culinary arts with a specialization in regional Mexican cuisine. Monroy’s passion for cooking started as a child. He vividly recalls following his grandmother around the kitchen as she made traditional Mexican dishes from memory, eager to see what she’d create. Before coming to Fonda San Miguel, Monroy worked as Executive Chef of Servido, a Mexico City catering company known for servicing prominent actors, musicians, and celebrity clients. Monroy is proud to be Mexican and hopes to showcase the rich, complex, and delicious culinary traditions of his country. “I try to give our customers more than a meal, I want to let Mexico feed their soul. Our customers are already familiar with the beauty of Mexican cooking, and I am humbled to carry on the tradition,” said Monroy.

OUR BEGINNING

When it first opened in Austin in 1975, Fonda San Miguel became the first restaurant in Texas to focus exclusively on authentic regional cuisine from Mexico’s interior and coastal culinary epicenters: Oaxaca, Puebla, Veracruz, and Yucatan. In addition to offering patrons authentic Mexican cuisine, it also features a carefully curated collection of museum-quality artwork, exotic plants, and Mexican decor. 

OUR OWNER

Tom Gilliland

One of its many strengths is the impeccable people who are the heart of Fonda San Miguel beginning with co-founder and sole owner, Tom Gilliland, whose appreciation for authentic Mexican cuisine, art, culture, and customs have led to the creation of a unique dining experience for each and every customer. 

Gilliland’s business partner and close friend was also its co-founder, the late Chef Miguel Ravago. Ravago touched the hearts and taste buds of thousands of patrons during his time in the kitchen. Together he and Gilliland enjoyed a special friendship with Mexican culinary expert Diana Kennedy, who would go on to mentor the pair for decades. 

OUR TEAM

The Fonda San Miguel team consists of a core of longtime kitchen staff, some who have worked at the restaurant for over 30 years. They are devoted to the founders’ commitment of authenticity and excellence in interior and coastal Mexican cuisine. Setting a standard that’s hard to beat, Fonda’s front-of-house staff is exemplary in their presentation. Loyal patrons are greeted by name, new diners become good friends, and the customer experience is thoughtful and swift. 

Today, the Fonda team continues to take culinary excursions throughout Mexico ensuring the vibrant spirit, classic traditions and ever-evolving restaurant culture continue to thrive. In fact, co-chefs Zesati and Monroy, along with Gilliland, traveled to Merida and Oaxaca, Mexico in the spring of 2022 to collaborate with several renowned chefs. 

OUR FUTURE

Two best-selling cookbooks and thousands of devoted patrons later, the restaurant is preparing for its 50th anniversary in 2025 with plans for a bold and beautiful fiesta!! Gilliland hinted at what the public can expect stating, “Many exciting events will be taking place as we count down to our 50th celebration!” He adds, “A half-century of creating unique dining experiences for every person who walks through our door proves what we’ve strived for since the day we opened, and that is to create an enduring legacy by continuing to evolve, continue to push the envelope and consistently making everyone feel welcome, seen, and loved.”

Our Story

In a bold move rarely seen in the culinary world, Fonda San Miguel is proud to introduce co-chefs whose individual skills combine to solidify Fonda San Miguel’s reputation for serving the finest in authentic interior and coastal Mexican cuisine.

Bienvenido a nuestros co-cocineros Blanca Zesati and Carlos Monroy! Side-by-side, Zesati and Monroy enhance Fonda San Miguel’s impeccable reputation by curating the De la Tierra menu which premiered in the spring of 2022. The selections consist of 100% plant-based, vegan, gluten-free and dairy-free dishes.  All are dishes rooted in the traditional recipes of interior and coastal regions of Mexico while returning to what the earth provides, thus the name De la Tierra.

OUR CO-CHEFS

Chef Blanca Zesati

A sourcing expert, Blanca’s focus is on researching, sourcing, and incorporating De La Tierra dishes into Fonda San Miguel’s menu. Zesati comes to the restaurant from Austin’s renowned Miraval Resort & Spa, where she spent eight years creating inventive menus for guests with dietary restrictions. Blanca honed her sourcing skills as Executive Sous Chef, spearheading a fully organic menu program that changed nightly and provided complete nutritional information to guests. Her extensive experience procuring unique ingredients has made her an expert ingredient curator, and a frequent partner of niche producers throughout the city. Zesati comes from a Mexican family, although she was born and raised in Chicago, “My dad is from Mexico, so we visited often growing up. I want to see how I can incorporate what I’ve learned over the course of my career with what I know about my family’s heritage and culture. Hopefully I can bring Austin some healthier, plant-based Mexican food along the way.”

Chef Carlos Monroy

Carlos hails from Mexico City formally trained at the Colegio Superior de Gastronomia. There, he earned a bachelor’s degree in culinary arts with a specialization in regional Mexican cuisine. Monroy’s passion for cooking started as a child. He vividly recalls following his grandmother around the kitchen as she made traditional Mexican dishes from memory, eager to see what she’d create. Before coming to Fonda San Miguel, Monroy worked as Executive Chef of Servido, a Mexico City catering company known for servicing prominent actors, musicians, and celebrity clients. Monroy is proud to be Mexican and hopes to showcase the rich, complex, and delicious culinary traditions of his country. “I try to give our customers more than a meal, I want to let Mexico feed their soul. Our customers are already familiar with the beauty of Mexican cooking, and I am humbled to carry on the tradition,” said Monroy.

OUR BEGINNING

When it first opened in Austin in 1975, Fonda San Miguel became the first restaurant in Texas to focus exclusively on authentic regional cuisine from Mexico’s interior and coastal culinary epicenters: Oaxaca, Puebla, Veracruz, and Yucatan. In addition to offering patrons authentic Mexican cuisine, it also features a carefully curated collection of museum-quality artwork, exotic plants, and Mexican decor. 

OUR OWNER

Tom Gilliland

One of its many strengths is the impeccable people who are the heart of Fonda San Miguel beginning with co-founder and sole owner, Tom Gilliland, whose appreciation for authentic Mexican cuisine, art, culture, and customs have led to the creation of a unique dining experience for each and every customer. 

Gilliland’s business partner and close friend was also its co-founder, the late Chef Miguel Ravago. Ravago touched the hearts and taste buds of thousands of patrons during his time in the kitchen. Together he and Gilliland enjoyed a special friendship with Mexican culinary expert Diana Kennedy, who would go on to mentor the pair for decades. 

OUR TEAM

The Fonda San Miguel team consists of a core of longtime kitchen staff, some who have worked at the restaurant for over 30 years. They are devoted to the founders’ commitment of authenticity and excellence in interior and coastal Mexican cuisine. Setting a standard that’s hard to beat, Fonda’s front-of-house staff is exemplary in their presentation. Loyal patrons are greeted by name, new diners become good friends, and the customer experience is thoughtful and swift. 

Today, the Fonda team continues to take culinary excursions throughout Mexico ensuring the vibrant spirit, classic traditions and ever-evolving restaurant culture continue to thrive. In fact, co-chefs Zesati and Monroy, along with Gilliland, traveled to Merida and Oaxaca, Mexico in the spring of 2022 to collaborate with several renowned chefs. 

OUR FUTURE

Two best-selling cookbooks and thousands of devoted patrons later, the restaurant is preparing for its 50th anniversary in 2025 with plans for a bold and beautiful fiesta!! Gilliland hinted at what the public can expect stating, “Many exciting events will be taking place as we count down to our 50th celebration!” He adds, “A half-century of creating unique dining experiences for every person who walks through our door proves what we’ve strived for since the day we opened, and that is to create an enduring legacy by continuing to evolve, continue to push the envelope and consistently making everyone feel welcome, seen, and loved.”

Our Story

In a bold move rarely seen in the culinary world, Fonda San Miguel is proud to introduce co-chefs whose individual skills combine to solidify Fonda San Miguel’s reputation for serving the finest in authentic interior and coastal Mexican cuisine.

Bienvenido a nuestros co-cocineros Blanca Zesati and Carlos Monroy! Side-by-side, Zesati and Monroy enhance Fonda San Miguel’s impeccable reputation by curating the De la Tierra menu which premiered in the spring of 2022. The selections consist of 100% plant-based, vegan, gluten-free and dairy-free dishes.  All are dishes rooted in the traditional recipes of interior and coastal regions of Mexico while returning to what the earth provides, thus the name De la Tierra.

OUR CO-CHEFS

Chef Blanca Zesati

A sourcing expert, Blanca’s focus is on researching, sourcing, and incorporating De La Tierra dishes into Fonda San Miguel’s menu. Zesati comes to the restaurant from Austin’s renowned Miraval Resort & Spa, where she spent eight years creating inventive menus for guests with dietary restrictions. Blanca honed her sourcing skills as Executive Sous Chef, spearheading a fully organic menu program that changed nightly and provided complete nutritional information to guests. Her extensive experience procuring unique ingredients has made her an expert ingredient curator, and a frequent partner of niche producers throughout the city. Zesati comes from a Mexican family, although she was born and raised in Chicago, “My dad is from Mexico, so we visited often growing up. I want to see how I can incorporate what I’ve learned over the course of my career with what I know about my family’s heritage and culture. Hopefully I can bring Austin some healthier, plant-based Mexican food along the way.”

Chef Carlos Monroy

Carlos hails from Mexico City formally trained at the Colegio Superior de Gastronomia. There, he earned a bachelor’s degree in culinary arts with a specialization in regional Mexican cuisine. Monroy’s passion for cooking started as a child. He vividly recalls following his grandmother around the kitchen as she made traditional Mexican dishes from memory, eager to see what she’d create. Before coming to Fonda San Miguel, Monroy worked as Executive Chef of Servido, a Mexico City catering company known for servicing prominent actors, musicians, and celebrity clients. Monroy is proud to be Mexican and hopes to showcase the rich, complex, and delicious culinary traditions of his country. “I try to give our customers more than a meal, I want to let Mexico feed their soul. Our customers are already familiar with the beauty of Mexican cooking, and I am humbled to carry on the tradition,” said Monroy.

OUR BEGINNING

When it first opened in Austin in 1975, Fonda San Miguel became the first restaurant in Texas to focus exclusively on authentic regional cuisine from Mexico’s interior and coastal culinary epicenters: Oaxaca, Puebla, Veracruz, and Yucatan. In addition to offering patrons authentic Mexican cuisine, it also features a carefully curated collection of museum-quality artwork, exotic plants, and Mexican decor. 

OUR OWNER

Tom Gilliland

One of its many strengths is the impeccable people who are the heart of Fonda San Miguel beginning with co-founder and sole owner, Tom Gilliland, whose appreciation for authentic Mexican cuisine, art, culture, and customs have led to the creation of a unique dining experience for each and every customer. 

Gilliland’s business partner and close friend was also its co-founder, the late Chef Miguel Ravago. Ravago touched the hearts and taste buds of thousands of patrons during his time in the kitchen. Together he and Gilliland enjoyed a special friendship with Mexican culinary expert Diana Kennedy, who would go on to mentor the pair for decades. 

OUR TEAM

The Fonda San Miguel team consists of a core of longtime kitchen staff, some who have worked at the restaurant for over 30 years. They are devoted to the founders’ commitment of authenticity and excellence in interior and coastal Mexican cuisine. Setting a standard that’s hard to beat, Fonda’s front-of-house staff is exemplary in their presentation. Loyal patrons are greeted by name, new diners become good friends, and the customer experience is thoughtful and swift. 

Today, the Fonda team continues to take culinary excursions throughout Mexico ensuring the vibrant spirit, classic traditions and ever-evolving restaurant culture continue to thrive. In fact, co-chefs Zesati and Monroy, along with Gilliland, traveled to Merida and Oaxaca, Mexico in the spring of 2022 to collaborate with several renowned chefs. 

OUR FUTURE

Two best-selling cookbooks and thousands of devoted patrons later, the restaurant is preparing for its 50th anniversary in 2025 with plans for a bold and beautiful fiesta!! Gilliland hinted at what the public can expect stating, “Many exciting events will be taking place as we count down to our 50th celebration!” He adds, “A half-century of creating unique dining experiences for every person who walks through our door proves what we’ve strived for since the day we opened, and that is to create an enduring legacy by continuing to evolve, continue to push the envelope and consistently making everyone feel welcome, seen, and loved.”