Where to find the Best Mexican food in Guadalajara and what to order
Guadalajara is Mexico’s second City and has a world of international cuisine to be explored. However, when my family is visiting from other parts of the world I want to show them the depth and diversity of the local Mexican restaurants. I want to take my mom out of her comfort zone and have her try the best goat birria in town. All the sudden my stepdad is a fan of crispy tripe tacos and asking what the next adventure is going to be. These are the Mexican restaurants that I rely on to impress family and friends.
Travel is all about stepping out of your comfort zone and trying new things. Each of these Mexican restaurants are authentic. Some represent Guadalajara and the State of Jalisco while others are meticulously researched recipes from another moment in time. Some are humble, others haut but each restaurant deals in experience and not just food.
This is my favorite place to eat in Guadalajara. So much culinary culture flows through this particular market. It is immense and has a number of the best examples of regional Jalisciense dishes. Birrieria Aceves, Menuderia Chela and Carne Asadas Alfonso need to be on your list.
Calle 4, Comercial Abastos, Guadalajara
One of Guadalajara’s most treasured restaurants. The original brick and mortar location is in Tlaquepaque and the Hacienda is just past the airport on the highway to Chapala. All goat meat, nothing modern. It is awesome to see those huge clay ovens still churning out my favorite local food. Here is a list of some other great birria restaurants.
Carretera Chapala Km 17, El Capulín
Gamero Barbacoa de Borrego
This is Hidalgo style lamb wrapped in agave leaves and slow roasted in an underground oven. Not to be confused with Guadalajara style barbacoa tacos. Make sure to get a soup and an order of blood sausage. This place is legit but get there early because they have been running out around noon from time to time.
Av Rafael Sanzio 405, La Estancia, Zapopan
This a simple chain of restaurants serving flautas and soups. The crispy rolled tacos are great but the real specialty is the pozolillo soup. Everyone knows pozole but the Jalisco style green pozolillo is not as well known. Everything is absolutely delicious and super affordable.
Av Guadalupe 1571A, Chapalita Oriente, Zapopan
La Morenita del Santuario
This classic cenaduria is located next to Santuario de Nuestra Señora church in downtown Guadalajara. This church is where they have been selling buñuelos for centuries. Besides the pozole, flautas and enchiladas, make sure to save room for dessert and order a buñuelo to see what old-time Guadalajara tastes like.
Calle Pedro Loza 527B, Zona Centro, Guadalajara
Sacromonte is all class. From the piano player, to the classic menu, to the wait staff that has been there for 25 years; the experience is refined. This is where I head for chile en nogada season but I also love the duck in rose petals sauce.
Calle Pedro Moreno 1398, Colonia Americana, Guadalajara
Tikuun Comedor Local
This is kind of a hidden treasure. The young chef garnered national attention while finishing school and he is doing all he can to stay in the spotlight. Expect lots of regional moles paired with exotic proteins: quail, rabbit, pork belly and ribs. They also have a well curated wine list with hard to find Mexican labels.
Calle Emeterio Robles Gil 50, Colonia Americana, Guadalajara
Paco Ruano is my favorite local chef precisely because he opened this restaurant. Alcalde Restaurante is spectacular, recognized as one of Latin America’s best, but the techniques tend to be modern European. Trasfonda is a love letter written to Mexico by a hometown hero. Lots of specialty ingredients and recipes from across the country.
Calle Miguel Lerdo de Tejada 2031, Lafayette, Guadalajara
palReal has more than just Mexican food but there are a couple of dishes that you absolutely have to try. The lonche de pancita is famous in these parts and the encacahuatadas are divine. Plus they are the experts on Mexican coffee. You will try coffees from regions you didn’t know produce world class coffee.
Calle Lope de Vega 113, Arcos Vallarta, Guadalajara
La Tequila Cocina Mexicana
May be considered a touristy restaurant but that shouldn’t affect your ability to enjoy this place. Besides the vast collection of rare tequilas, the menu includes exotic dishes from across the country. The tlayudas are excellent. On the weekends they sell lamb barbacoa out of a shack behind the restaurant that is top notch.
Av México 2830, Terranova, Guadalajara
Spending a Sunday in Tlaquepaque, dining at El Abajeño and listening to mariachi is uniquely Jaliscan experience. The outdoor patio is lush, the tequila flows and all is right in the world. The name Abajeño come from the people who inhabit the lowlands, as opposed to the highlands or Los Altos de Jalisco.
Calle Juárez 231, Centro, San Pedro Tlaquepaque
You can choose Carne Garibaldi, De La Torre or Kamilos 333, they are all great. But make sure to head down to Calle Garibaldi in the Santa Teresita Neighborhood where these three carne en su jugo restaurants are all located on the same block. My personal favorite is Kamilos but you should decide for yourself.
Calle José Clemente Orozco 333, Santa Teresita, Guadalajara
Let me know what your thought of my list of Mexican Restaurants in Guadalajara. If you think that I missed anything let me know in the comments below.