Searching for the best tacos in Guadalajara is one of my favorite activities. Rumors about a good taco are able to persuade an enthusiast to drive to the other side of town. I probably wouldn’t know Guadalajara as well as I do if didn’t spend so much time looking for new food. A big part of getting to know Guadalajara is getting to know the food scene.
This is a list of tacos that are found around the Guadalajara Metropolitan Region and are located in neighborhoods that are centrally located. It was updated on 3/12/2021 and reflects some of the changes that COVID has made to the Guadalajara food scene.
Table of Contents: The Best Tacos in Guadalajara
- El Palomar de Santa Rita (Las Choreadas)
- Los Alteños
- La Choza
- Happy Fish
- Fish Taco La Paz
- Tacos Juan
- Carne Asadas Alfonso
- Don José
- Estadio Jalisco and Plaza de Toros Nuevo Progreso
- El Rojo Tripas
- Barbacoa Gamero
- Birrieria La Victoria
- Tacos de Barbacoa Omar Carlos
- El Profe Jimenez Pork Belly
- Doroteo Tacos de Lechon
- Puerco Espada
- Don Danny Tacos de Vapor
- Tacos Moy
- La Panga del Impostor
- Tacos Alvarez
- Restaurante Alcalde
El Palomar de Santa Rita (Las Chorreadas)
I love everything about El Palomar de Santa Rita. The taco stand is located in an alley way behind a supermarket with a tiny green light that reads, “Tacos”. You can see the smoke from the charcoal grill from a block away and the smell of the carne asada permeates the neighborhood.
The people who operate this taco stand are originally from the State of Sinaloa and they serve chorreadas in addition to tacos. A chorreada is a large sope (like a small corn masa pizza) with cheese and asiento. You choose the type of grilled meat that you prefer. I think the cabrería is the most tender and highest quality cut they offer.
The other thing about this taco stand is the salsa bar is top notch. They really care about their salsas. Besides refilling and cleaning, they constantly garnish the salsa with a dash of cilantro in the middle.
One of my favorite tacos of all time is the chile relleno taco. It is a sometimes spicy/sometimes not chile California (anaheim) filled with cheese, wrapped in a double tortilla and stacked high with cabrería. When you drown it in salsa it is divine.
Taqueía Los Alteños
Tacos los Alteños is one of Guadalajara’s favorite taco shops. If you come on the weekends you will see why they are affectionately called Los Parados because there is standing room only. The tacos del pastor are their most popular tacos and they will easily sell over 100 lbs of pastor meat on a busy weekend.
To order your tacos head to the cashier and ask for a ticket and tell him how many people are in your party. You take the ticket to the taquero and tell him how many tacos you want and if you want onion and cilantro on your tacos. You can go back as many times as you would like but remember how many tacos you ate because it is on the honor system. When you finish, head back up to the cashier and tell him how many tacos you ate and what you ordered to drink. They serve all the usual sodas and the aguas frescas especially tasty. When you are done, there is a fantastic ice cream shop right next door called Nieves de Garrafa Chapalita.
La Choza serves fancy tacos in flour or corn tortillas. Their most popular tacos are nice cuts of beef like rib eye an picanha cooked on the grill. However, they have a ton of exotic meats like duck, rabbit, and deer. The shrimp taco is made with tomatoes and basil in a sauce that will make you want to order a second.
The original location is a tin shack (puesto) across the street from a culinary arts institute. Their biggest market are people who know how to cook and eat well. La Choza also happens to be one of the highest rates options on Uber Eats. They are definitely worth a try.
The Happy Fish
It is tough to compare The Happy Fish and Fish Taco La Paz because they are both excellent. I like The Happy Fish just a little bit more but I eat at both restaurants regularly. The fish tacos are excellent but you can compliment them with seafood cocktails, quesadillas and tostadas. They have sting ray, marlin and shrimp quesadillas but the real specialty is the mixed seafood cheesy tostada with octopus, scallops and shrimp.
You will be overwhelmed by the salsa bar. There is more than you could ever try in just one visit but the chipotle sauce is the bomb.
Taco Fish La Paz
Taco Fish La Paz is a Guadalajara institution running for more than 25 years. The original shop is on Av. de la Paz in Mexicaltzingo but the newer locations on Av. Vallarta and Av. Rafael Sanzio are also consistently packed full at lunch time. The tacos are served simply because the salsa bar is packed with dozens of salsas and accompaniments. The combination of smoked marlin and chipotle mayonnaise is divine!
Google Maps Av La Paz, Av Vallarta, and Av Rafeal Sanzio
Tacos Juan (Tacos de Barbacoa)
Tacos Juan is an excellent option for Jalisco-style tacos de barbacoa. The taco carts are parked in the street but they have some indoor seating. They have opened new locations in Providencia and Chapalita, as well as offering service on Uber Eats.
There are locations popping up in Providencia and Chapalita but the originals are in Santa Teresita.
Menudería & Carnes Asadas Alfonso
Located on the corner of Mercado de Abastos’ retail section, the perpetually full restaurant is a local favorite. Alfonso grew up in the downtown Mercado Corona but has been serving up Menudo and Carne Asada in Abastos for more than 15 years. I am a sucker for the grilled lamb plate with a side of sausage. Tacos de asada, chorizo and arrachera cost between 25 and 45 pesos. Don’t forget to tip the tortilla lady. These are some of the best tortillas in Mexico.
Tacos Don José
Tacos Don Jose make great carne asada and birria tacos but everybody knows them for the panela cheese. They have a huge wheel of panela and throw a piece on every taco. The grill and taco stand are in the street and there is always a huge crowd standing around because they have seating for like five people.
Plaza de Toros El Nuevo Progreso and Estadio Jalisco
On game day there are dozens of food vendors outside of the Estadio Jalisco and of the Plaza de Toros. One of the specialties that you don’t see everywhere is liver and onion tacos. There are games most weekends becasue Atland and the Leones Negros share the stadium. The same vendors are also at the Bull Fights across the street during that short season.
Tacos el Rojo Tripas
The street cart taco stand is emblematic of Mexico. Humble yet delicious food at a fair price. If you are cruising around Santa Teresita it is worth a visit to Tacos Rojo. They serve more than just tripe but the people in the know are there for one thing only. Crispy fried tripe tastes a lot like crispy bacon. Getting the pieces straight out of the hot oil is key to a good crunch after they have been drowned in salsa.
I am a huge fan of everything that Chef Fabian Delgado does but his tacos might be my favorite. These are not your average tacos. Fabian likes to eat well and he knows the best food from across the country. I would kill for one of his lengua in salsa verde tacos right about now. The mollejas (sweetbread/beef cheeks) are amazing. The oyster mushroom tacos are so meaty you will have a hard time believing they are vegetarian. And if you haven’t tried quelites before make sure to order a taco. You will not see these on a lot of menus.
You might be surprised to find tacos pair so well with coffee but I recommnd the Finca el Cuarenteño, Nayarit. But this is palReal and they never cease to amaze.
Barbacoa Gamero is Hidalgo style lamb barbacoa done right. As you walk in the door you are greeted with a little taco to sample the good. You order by the plate which is stacked with tortillas and get to work making tacos. You can choose from any cuts of the animal that you like. The meat has been slow roasting all night and everything is ridiculously tender. They also make a great blood sausage (moronga). I recommend starting with a bowl of lamb broth with garbanzo beans and spice it up with some chile and onion.
Birrieria La Victoria
One of Guadalajara’s iconic restaurants and a favorite of the local epicurean set. Birrieria La Victoria has been serving up gout soup since 1948 in front of the Santa Teresita market. As you walk in you tell the guy working the oven what kind of cuts your like; leg, loin, ribs, tripe, liver, they have it all. The best way to do this is to get an order of birria and a plate of beans. You spread some beans on a tortilla and then add the meat that you like. Add a little salt, cilantro and onion, and you are ready to go.
Tacos de Barbacoa Omar Carlos
Tesistán is a little pueblo about 45 minutes northwest of Guadalajara and they apparently have their own style of barbacoa tacos that people around here love. Omar Carlos seats like 400 people and if you come on the weekend the place is going to be packed. Tacos de barbacoa from this part of Jalisco means stewed beef and crispy tacos with double tortilla. The juices from the beef fat kind of soak into the first tortilla while they are getting crispy making for a decadent experience. Make sure to get a little cup of beef broth to dip your tacos in.
El Profe Jimenez Pork Belly Tacos
El Profe Jimenez is more famous for their Torta Ahogada than they are for the tacos so you should try one of everything. They even do these broken tostadas called destrozados that are insanely good.
What makes El Proje Jimenez so much better than everyone else is the meats that they use. The pork belly, chicharon prensado and carnitas are juicier than everyone else. I also love the onion, cilantro and cabbage mixture they use to garnish the tortas and tacos. It really kicks it up a notch.
Doroteo Tacos de Lechon
Doroteo is a longtime favorite in the neighborhood of Providencia in Guadalajara. They have a few more locations around the Guadalajara Metro Region in Chapalita and by Santa Margarita.
Chancho cooks whole pigs in a Chinese style caja china and makes wonderful pork belly tacos with korean gochujong spice rub, a homemade fruit vinager and avocado.
A great play on the traditional taco dorado, Puerco Espada lets you pick your taco and then pick the style of ceviche you want to put on top. Options like traditional fish ceviche, green shrimp ceviche and smoked marlin are all excellent.
Tacos de vapor don dany
Tacos de vapor come in a lot of different styles but what they all have in common is the steam table. The steam lets the filling and the tortilla fuse together.
These are spectacular breakfast tacos! Carne, chicharon, picadillo, papa o frijol.
Tacos Moy Tacos de Guisados
Tacos Moy are tacos de vapor but with a wider range of fillings. They use a lot of stewed meats called guisados as well as some excellent vegetarian options like poblano peppers and cheese. The highlight of Tacos Moy is the salsa bar. They have a collection of salsas that few tacos shops have like the peanut sauce.
La Panga del impostor
Fantastic modern Mexican seafood with excellent salsas. The taco de pulpo y chicharon is a modern interpretation of a classic Mexican dish.
This is another tacos stand that I go to for tacos de tripa. They have a habit of selling out quick and you really want to get them while they are fresh out of the fryer. Usually, you stand in line and pay first. But if you tip well the taqueros will remember you and they will let your cut the line for your second round. When they are getting low on tripe tacos you don’t want to wait in line to put your order in or you might lose out. Plus, they have a spectacular salsa bar.
They are located on a side street of the huge glorieta where Av Mariano Otero and Av Lopez Mateos meet. There are usually mariachis waiting outside of the liquor store across the street looking for work serenading people late at night.
Dining at Xokol you will learn a lot about the corn tortilla and it’s importance to the culture of Mexico. Nowadays, most people eat industrial tortillas that don’t have a lot of flavor. Xokol is rescuing the legacy of corn by growing exotic varieties and making tortillas out of them. You will understand how important a good tortilla is to the taco experience eating at Xokol.
The menu is always changing but the tacos de quelites are often found. I have enjoyed porkbelly, suckling pig, chicken in mole de olla and many more. When you visit Guadalajara, Xokol needs to be on your list.
Restaurante Alcalde is not your typical taco shop. In fact it is one of the most highly acclaimed restaurants in Latin America but they also happen to have one of the best tacos in the Guadalajara. The frijoles puercos appetizer is an absolute gem. The beans are cooked with pork neck and served with chorizo powder and burnt chile powder. It has been on the menu since they opened and is one of their best selling dishes.
Open 1:30pm to 11PM Monday to Saturday, 1:30pm to 5:30pm Sundays
Av. México 2903, Vallarta Norte, Guadalajara
$$$$ Reservations recommended
If you enjoyed this article you will probably enjoy my article on the best restaurants in Guadalajara as well.