Eating Guadalajara: What + Where to Eat + Drink in Guadalajara, Mexico
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If you came here from my things to do in Guadalajara, Mexico post, hi! Welcome to part two of my mega Guadalajara city guide which just so happens to be all about my favourite Guadalajara activities—eating and drinking!
If you didn’t come from my things to do post, feel free to get that bad boy open ready to read later. You’ll thank yourself, I promise.
Anyway, as I mentioned in that post, I literally only go back to Guadalajara to eat everything in sight at this point and so this comprehensive where to eat in Guadalajara, Mexico guide is made up of a ton of personally curated favourites that range from street food to fine dining, covering everything in between.
While there are a couple of places I haven’t personally been to myself (yet), I have it on good authority that they warranted an inclusion in this eating Guadalajara guide. Either way, I know you’re probably not even reading this intro and are only here for the food and drink recommendations, so let’s crack on. Here are my 38 places to eat and drink in Guadalajara, Mexico.
*Please note that if you’re here for bar and nightclub drinking recommendations, that’s all covered in this Nightlife in Guadalajara post (COMING SOON) instead*
Before I even get started on listing the best places to eat in Guadalajara, I feel obliged to run through a few tapatío foods you must try when you visit Guadalajara.
The obvious is the torta ahogada, the ‘drowned sandwich’ of your hungover dreams but clean freak nightmares, which is a spicy tomato sauce doused bugger to eat but so worth it. Then you’ve got carne en su jugo (a kind of meaty, brothy stew), birria (I especially like it served in crispy tacos dorados of a Sunday morning) and lonches (sandwiches served in Guadalajara’s traditional birote bread).
For dessert, the jericalla is a must (and basically the Guadalajara riff on the more widely-known Mexican flan), and biónicos (fruit, granola and condensed milk, served for breakfast but kind of dessert-esque) are pretty good too.
Moving onto drinks, tequila is an obvious entry, but there is also a fermented corn drink called tejuino that you should at least try (I can’t say I’m personally a fan). If you happen to find yourself on a ranch early in the morning, grab a pajarete (I wrote about those for Munchies!)
And here ends my blissfully brief introduction to some traditional Mexican foods and drinks from Guadalajara. Let’s move on to where to try them!
Related Post: 33 Popular Mexican Foods to Try in Puebla, Mexico
MERCADO DE SANTA TERE | Andrés Terán 524, Santa Tere
People who’ve read anything I’ve written about Guadalajara before (both on this blog or elsewhere) are probably sick of hearing me talk about the bloody Santa Tere market and how it’s one of the best places to visit in Guadalajara, Mexico by now. Honestly though, I can’t find it in me to care because I think this is up there as perhaps the best breakfast in Guadalajara. While there are a few stalls to choose from, serving up basically anything masa-based you can think of, as well as plenty of main dishes and sides you can order to take home with you, I’m a filthy creature of habit and always beeline for the Fonda La Mariquita puesto to order their deep-fried quesadillas with chicken and mushroom, plus an agua de Jamaica. (Name a more iconic duo, I’ll wait.)
If you’re wondering why I’m so attached to this market, it’s because it’s just down the road from where I used to live in Guadalajara and I’m an overwhelmingly lazy person who doesn’t like to travel more than is necessary for food.
CAFÉ MADOKA | Enrique González Martínez 78, Centro
I haven’t been here personally, and this recommendation comes courtesy of my friend Mel (@mmmontalvs), who describes the 60-year-old Café Madoka as a great place for a ‘large, low key breakfast’ accompanied by old Mexican men playing dominoes. Sounds pretty fucking cool, if you ask me.
PALREAL | Lope de Vega 113, Arcos Vallarta
Moving away from La Americana neighbourhood and over to Los Arcos, there’s also Café Palreal, another spot highly recommended to me but one I didn’t have chance to visit myself last time round. As usual, if you do drop by, let me know how it is?
PIGGY BACK | Justo Sierra 1821, Centro
I wanted to revisit Piggy Back on my last trip to Guadalajara mainly because I had very fond memories of how goddamn cute this little Guadalajara café was and how delicious their giant plates of chilaquiles were (assertions which still stand, btw). While I didn’t end up going back though (just because I thought branching out to somewhere new was probably a decent idea if I wanted to write a good guide), I still think this is my favourite café-breakfast spot in Guadalajara.
CACHEMIRA CAFÉ | Nuño de Guzmán 322, Americana
The day I skipped Piggy Back to try somewhere new was the day I met Mel to get brunch at Cachemira Café and it was honestly pretty good. I ordered chilaquiles (because I am a creature of habit, we’ve been over this!!) and we sat outside. I actually particularly liked this spot as it was surrounded by a few other cool looking cafés, so you could just head to another spot if there wasn’t space available at Cachemira.
TORTAS DE LA BICI | Mexicaltzingo 27, Centro
Everyone has their own recommendation for the best tortas ahogadas in Guadalajara that’ll see off a hangover and Tortas de la Bici is my friend Mel’s. My boyfriend likes the ones at Tortas Ahogadas Osvaldo, while food and travel writer Duncan Tucker prefers those at Santa Tere’s Ahogadas Betos. Others will swear that those served by the Estadio Jalisco are the BEST EVER. What I’m saying is, there is no best place for torta ahogadas, there are several.
Basically, as long as your sandwich is served up with well fried pork carnitas, doused in disturbingly cool sauce and encased in a crusty birote, you’re pretty much good to go.
EL MONO SILABO | Miguel Blanco 1405, Americana
For whatever reason I kept calling this place El Mono Silbado (Whistled Monkey?) instead of its actual name, El Mono Silabo (The Monosyllable, literally, but also punning on the fact that mono means monkey). Either way, I eventually went there after seeing a cute af picture of a coffee mug covered in bananas on Instagram to meet up with an old friend from university now based in Guadalajara (shout out to her blog Hello Miss Marie!)
Alas, I didn’t get given the banana mug when I ordered my café de olla, but I did get one with a monkey for a handle. I’ll take it.
I also broke my chilaquiles habit by going for molletes instead, and I’d definitely recommend them if you stop by this spacious yellow-and-white themed café for brunch.
PASTES LA MINERÍA | Ámericas 136, Ladrón de Guevara
I firmly believe pasties are an all-day food, and while it might seem weird to recommend buying pasties while in Guadalajara (the paste in and of itself is far more typical of Hidalgo state, where Cornish miners introduced them a couple of centuries back), you can’t leave without trying one of La Minería’s potato and tuna pasties. I also love the spicier cheese and mushroom ones, as well as the classic meat and potato versions. OK, I’m hungry just writing this.
Also, there’s really no excuse for not picking one up, because pasties are quite literally the best portable snack going.
BURRO ASTRAL | Morelos 1725, Americana
I was wandering aimlessly around Guadalajara looking for something to eat when the clean white tiles and minimal exterior of this burrito place called to the hipster deep(ish) within me. I thought I’d just pop in to Burro Astral to take a look around and ended up leaving with an (I think) meat and potato burrito, complete with spicy sauce, rice and beans. While burritos like that are definitely more Tex than Mex, for roughly 70 pesos you can’t really go wrong. (I think they also do delivery.)
MIL CAGUAMAS | López Cotilla 1753, Lafayette
I went to Mil Caguamas a couple of years ago with another friend of mine who used to live in Guadalajara, and we succeeded in getting day drunk and enchilada-ing ourselves on the super spicy aguachiles we ordered. I remember her mentioning at the time that for each caguama you buy (litre bottle of beer), they donate money to save turtles (caguama is also a type of sea turtle) and I believe that’s still the case. So…for guilt-free beer drinking and great seafood served on a really cute terrace then this is the place to go!
If you’re in the market for more seafood in Guadalajara, then let me also throw out a recommendation for Boca del Cielo. I’ve wanted to visit this restaurant since I lived in Guadalajara, but literally every time I actually tried to drop by it was either closed or absolutely rammed. Even so, I’d go there in a heartbeat if I was in Guadalajara right now.
KARNE GARIBALDI | Garibaldi 1306, Santa Tere
One of the most famous restaurants in Guadalajara, I think Karne Garibaldi is what you’d call an ‘institution’. They once won the Guinness World Record for speediest service and it wasn’t for nothing—literally minutes after ordering, you’ll have your food, guaranteed. But WHAT DO THEY SERVE, LAUREN?! Well, there’s literally one dish on the menu, carne en su jugo (a.k.a. meat in it’s juice), which sounds totally unappealing but is actually a delicious meaty broth/stew hybrid laced with crispy bacon bits and served with fresh onion, cilantro and roasted baby onions which I highly recommend adding, along with a squeeze of lime. I’m not a frijoles fan, but the refried beans at Karne Garibaldi have something of a cult following too.
While we’re on the subject of carne en su jugo, I have to throw in a recommendation courtesy of a Guadalajara born-and-raised, mariachi musician Uber driver I had in Puerto Vallarta though, which is that if you feel Karne Garibaldi is a little too commercial (a fair critique), just around the corner you can enjoy some equally good, if not better, carne en su jugo at Kamilos 333.
BIRRIERÍA LAS NUEVE ESQUINAS | Galeana 388, Centro Histórico
As Karne Garibaldi is the carne en su jugo ‘institution’ of choice in Guadalajara, the Birriería Las Nueve Esquinas is the birria ‘institution’ of choice in Guadalajara downtown. I’ve never been but ask anyone, and it’s likely to be their recommendation for where to try birria in Guadalajara too.
If you go to this part of Guadalajara between roughly May and June, you can also pick up some pitaya fruits in an array of colours.
MANGLAR | Justo Sierra 1825, Centro
Manglar is the sister restaurant of Piggy Back café and while I haven’t been there (it only opened recently and isn’t even officially on Google Maps yet), if it’s anything like Piggy Back I can only imagine it’s worth the visit. From what I gather, it deals in healthy brunch and lunch foods like fancy avocado or mushroom toast, omelettes and superfood smoothies. I feel like my skin’s improving just writing about this fucking place.
CHAI | Gálvez 45A, Centro
For a chain café that does pretty decent lunches, offers and drinks, I have to recommend la vieja confiable, a.k.a. the old faithful, Chai. While there are tons of branches across Guadalajara, I was always partial to the scenic(ish) Chai Ex Convento, near the historic centre.
SUPER TORTAS LA BENDICIÓN | Federalismo Sur 85, Centro
I remember sheltering from a particularly heavy (and typically Guadalajara) rainstorm one night in Super Tortas La Bendición with my mate Amy. I think we were on our way to a party and ended up there. That or I’m muddling two stories into one, but anyway. All I know about this place is that the sandwiches are huge, affordable and tasty.
Basically Guadalajara’s only Indian restaurant (as far as I know), I went to Goa once during my time in Guadalajara and it was decent…as far as Indian food in Mexico goes. Not too pricey, with good curries and a really nice mango lassi. I’d go back. (It’s worth adding that last time I walked past this place they seemed to be offering some kind of deal that involved tacos, so perhaps they’ve branched into Mexican cuisine of late too!)
POLO NORTE | Avenida México 2200, Ladrón de Guevara
Aside from banging on about the Mercado Santa Tere, I never shut up about the sopa azteca (tortilla soup) from El Polo Norte. Let me start off by saying that it took me an embarrassingly long time to realise this restaurant was named the North Pole, because it has an attached ice cream shop, and let me finish by saying that if you order anything accept the 60 peso bowl of tortilla soup there, you’re doing it wrong. It might look a bit mediocre and old school from outside, but I go there every time I’m in Guadalajara without fail.
CERDOS SALVAJES | Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla 1413, Ladrón de Guevara
I went here after a night out, weirdly, the last time I was in Guadalajara and even though it’s a pretty huge restaurant, it was full. Their specialty is meat—anything and everything that ban be barbecued and doused in sticky sauce is on the menu here. I think I ate one rib. I wasn’t hungry and also, I’ve never really understood the appeal of ribs that much but if you’re into that kind of thing, Cerdos Salvajes is your best bet for BBQ in Guadalajara.
PIG’S PEARLS | Coronado 79, Villa Señor
Full disclosure: I’ve never been to Pig’s Pearls, but my god if people don’t bang on about this hamburger place in Guadalajara like it’s one of the best restaurants in Guadalajara, Mexico.
For some fancier Guadalajara dining options, let it be known that Guadalajara had no fewer than two restaurants on the Top 50 Restaurants in Latin America list in 2017—Alcalde and La Docena Oyster Bar. I haven’t been but they must be good, mustn’t they?
KICH WINGS + BEER | Ámericas 131, Ladrón de Guevara
There’s not much that’s outwardly special about this place beyond the fact that it’s one of Guadalajara’s few wing places that isn’t a chain, and it was literally across the road from my former home. Having said that though, it does serve good wings and makes for a good, out of the way spot that may look unassuming from outside but is actually pretty good once you get in. KICH also sometimes serves the best soda known to man—Tonicol—on tap.
PAPA CABAÑA | Mexicaltzingo 2018, Obrera
My boyfriend says Papa Cabaña is meh, and, well, it’s certainly not one of the top restaurants in Guadalajara, Mexico, but I do love a good baked potato covered in copious amounts of guac, chipotle sauce and ranch. (As an aside, if you go to somewhere called ‘Potato Cabin’ and order anything beyond a potato, you’re a fool.)
Given that this place is just off Chapu and stays open late, it’s popular for those spilling out of bars on weekends, although it also delivers through the Uber Eats app. I usually go for a mixed, large potato that has chorizo, beef and mushrooms along with some other good stuff thrown into the mix.
TOMATE TAQUERÍA | Chapultepec Sur 361, Americana
The first week I was in Guadalajara, a friend took me to Tomate Taquería after a night out and I didn’t think much of it. Decent tacos, a little overpriced, I prefer street stalls—you know the drill. Cue to three years later and apparently people refer fucking tables at this place and queue quite literally out of the door to get their filthy mitts on Tomate Taquería tacos. Personally I don’t see the appeal, but maybe this is the top Guadalajara taquería and I’m just out of the loop?
TACOS EL GÜERO | Marsella con Vidrio, Obrera
My favourite Guadalajara taco stand ever, Tacos el Güero disappeared for a little bit and I was, to put it mildly, vaguely distraught given that they served up taquiquesos (basically a supersized taco with an added layer of melted cheese). While each one costs close to 40 pesos, you’ll likely only need one and they’re so worth it. Anyway, it turns out that they were just relocating from their spot on the corner of Marsella and Mexicaltzingo to a few blocks further down Marsella. (The address I’ve listed above is a fairly accurate guesstimate.)
Disclosure: There are about a million and one cafes I want to go to in Guadalajara, but there’s only so much caffeine I can knock back on a daily basis, so don’t get salty if your favourite spot isn’t mentioned. Instead, tell me why it’s so great in the comments and I can add it in!
CAFÉ NEGRITA MIA | Morelos 1049, Americana
I’ve never been here, but apparently Café Negrita Mia is a cute little spot for delicious coffee and Argentine alfajores (buttery, dulce de leche filled cookies that sometimes look similar to French macarons), according to Mel.
LLUVIA CAFÉ | Libertad 1748, Americana
I wasn’t blessed with great service the day I went to Lluvia Café, which has a spacious outdoor seating area and some cool wall murals. However, it may well have been an off day for the server and when my coffee did arrive it was pretty good, so forgive and forget and all that! I especially liked that there are plug sockets even outside and that the tables are nice and spread out.
COMALA CAFÉ | Manuel M. Dieguez 15, Ladrón de Guevara
Comala Café is tiny but very cute and they did a nice cappuccino. Definitely consider dropping by if you’re looking for a quiet place to read.
EL TERRIBLE JUAN CAFÉ | Montenegro 1871, Americana
I was literally staying right by this café when I last went to Guadalajara and yet…I didn’t go. I don’t know why not either because Mel had already told me about their bloody bacon wrapped sandwiches and Nutella cheesecake. I obviously have something fundamentally wrong with me, but I digress.
What I will say is that El Terrible Juan was always full when I walked past so maybe head there out of peak hours if you want it more to yourself.
LUNA CAFÉ | Enrique Díaz de León Sur 313, Americana
Luna Café is in kind of a weird spot but they do serve some impressive milkshakes and an interesting cherry coffee (or was it hot chocolate?) concoction. I wouldn’t recommend going out of your way to drink here (it’s right on one of Guadalajara’s main roads so it’s not a terribly scenic spot) but if you find yourself in the area, it’s a good option.
LA TETERIA | Libertad 1697, Americana
Tea shops. In theory, I love them, and in practice I’m overwhelmed by my options and really just want a Yorkshire Tea with a splash of milk. However, for more tea than your tiny brain can comprehend, La Tetería is pretty much the option for Guadalajara. I haven’t been there myself (and I do have a friend who experienced poor service there), but I’m still inclined to keep positive and live in hope that it’s a good tea shop. If you go, let me know?
BUBBLE POP | Enrique Díaz de León 361, Americana
If you prefer bubble tea to black tea, Bubble Pop (which is fairly new, I believe) looks really legit from the outside. I haven’t stopped by just yet though.
RINCÓN DEL MATE | Miguel Blanco 1419, Americana
If you prefer bitter tea to bubble tea, then Rincón del Mate is the place to be. I don’t drink mate though, so I welcome input from any Brazilian or Argentinian readers!
RICOS JUGOS | Prisciliano Sánchez 1045, Americana
OK, you can definitely get juice from basically any street vendor in Guadalajara, as well as the Mercado de Santa Tere that I mentioned waaay at the beginning, but I walked past this cool as heck looking juice bar when I was last in Guadalajara and basically wanted an excuse to talk about it. So welcome to my ‘juice’ section!
Ricos Jugos (I haven’t been myself) is not your average juice bar though, it’s also a fanzinería which promotes illustrations by Mexican and Latin American artists. I’m sorry, but if that doesn’t make you want to go and drink juice at this cool as fuck lil place I don’t know what will.
Related Post: An Introduction to 35 Traditional Mexican Drinks
WANT MORE GUADALAJARA TRAVEL INFORMATION?
I’ve already laced several of these links throughout this post, but if you just can’t get enough of my sweet, sweet Guadalajara travel guide info, here are the rest of the posts in this series:
Nightlife in Guadalajara, Mexico (COMING SOON)
Day Trips from Guadalajara, Mexico (COMING SOON)
Transport in Guadalajara, Mexico: Getting To, From + Around Guadalajara (COMING SOON)
What did you think to this part of my mega Guadalajara travel guide about where to eat and drink in Guadalajara? What am I missing? Let me know in the comments!