Take a walk around downtown and visit several interesting and very different churches. While not as breathtaking as the architecture found in Guanajuato or Zacatecas, the center of Irapuato is still (from a foreigner's standpoint) worth a visit if you're in town. Recent efforts at rescuing the center have focused on clearing eyesore buildings and creating open public spaces (Plaza de los Fundadores) and addressing parking shortages. Only recently, a new underground parking garage was completed underneath one of the large central squares, Plaza Hidalgo.
I would suggest starting in the Jardin, located in front of the Presidencia. A large clock houses the tourist info. office (although the brochures they have there are rather skimpy). Check out the Hospitalito, La Soledad, El Convento, Tercer Ordine, the Cathedral and S. Jose.
Enter the Presidencia and walk straight ahead to the stairwell. Decorating the walls and ceiling of the stairwell is a fine example of recent (1953) Mexican muralism. As most of the City Halls and Municipal Palaces feature this style of decorative program, it is worth noting that what stands out here is the quality of the execution. The artist, Salvador Almaraz (1930 - ) has done a superior job of packing the 35 scenes, done in oil, acrylic and fresco, with historic figures and themes.
Noteworthy too is the decision to include a guide to the pictures - at the top of the stairs, and in the middle of the railing you'll find a break-down of what the individual scenes mean. Well done - and well worth checking oout!
This is a great place to eat a hearty breakfast of quesadillas - something I'd never done before moving to Irapuato. It's casual, located next to the main road heading north out of town and featuring little more than plastic tables under a large tarp -- but the food is the real thing. Many choices of how to load your quesadilla, and you have the benefit of watching them make the tortillas and quesadillas in front of you as you wait. It doesn't get fresher than this.
Favorite Dish: Quesadillas with one (or two) of the toppings set out in large ceramic pots -- fresh orange juice, cafe de olla . . .
Fresa is the Spanish word for strawberry. In Mexican slang it also has another meaning: snob person (opposed to 'naco', person without manners or without good taste)