Looking for the best specialty coffee in Guadalajara?
There is a ton of great coffee in Guadalajara. The metropolitan region has 5 million people and a lot of those people know good coffee and drink good coffee. The coffee purveyors are happy to oblige. There is a whole industry of baristas, roasters, growers, and teachers ready to help you find the best coffee in Guadalajara.
Much like Mexico City, there is one particular hipster neighborhood with a massive concentration of specialty coffee shops. Exceptional coffee is one of the reasons that the Colonia Americana was named the coolest neighborhood in the world by Time Out Magazine.
I have lived in Guadalajara since 2009 and attribute my passion for coffee to one particular coffee roaster. Guadalajara turned me into a true coffee connoisseur. Spend enough time here and you won’t go back to drinking bad coffee.
The Best Coffee In Guadalajara: An Overview
The beauty of the Guadalajara coffee scene is that it goes full cycle, from plant to cup, including all the different steps along the way. There are coffee shops and roasters with gardens in the country that experiment with harvesting processes and fermentations. Guadalajara is a really good place to learn about coffee.
The best coffee in Guadalajara is prepared by baristas who explain the flavor profiles of unique varietals harvested with different processes and prepared in a variety of methods.
Additionally, Mexico has a wonderful agricultural industry and specialty coffee is grown in many parts of the country. I am constantly on the hunt for a geisha variety of coffee with floral notes, at a reasonable price.
Because of the vast number of regional styles, Guadalajara is an excellent place to learn about coffee culture and the geography of the under-the-radar coffee-producing regions of Mexico.
Mexico may only produce a small fraction of the coffee that Brazil, Vietnam, and Colombia produce but they are still in the top ten list of coffee exporting countries.
Coffee was introduced to Mexico in the port of Veracruz in the 18th century but really didn’t take off until the 19th century.
Today there are a growing number of specialty coffee shops that are working directly with producers and highlighting little-known coffee regions that produce an incredible product. The baristas are focused on specialty coffee that highlights the subtle notes and regional differences that exist in this great coffee-producing country.
The Best Coffee Shops In Guadalajara
This article is focused exclusively on coffee. I don’t care about the wifi or the best coffee shops to work in. There are plenty of coworking spaces. This is about coffee, not real estate. Finding the best cafés in Guadalajara takes a little work but is worth the effort.
Without further ado here is the list of the best coffee shops in Guadalajara.
1. Café palReal
Calle Lope de Vega 113, Arcos Vallarta, Guadalajara // Instagram
Telephone: 33 1983 7254
palReal is the pinnacle of the Guadalajara coffee experience. Everything at palReal is gourmet from the coffee to the bar and the kitchen. Exceptional coffee complements an exceptional breakfast.
Expect well-educated baristas, a variety of coffees to try from all across Mexico, and a spectacular breakfast menu in a beautiful space.
Two of the founders of palReal also own a coffee roasting company called Cafe Estelar. They were voted the best coffee roasters in Mexico in 2020 and went on to represent Mexico in the world coffee roasting championships. They have their own experimental farm in Oaxaca but most of their coffee is sourced from small farmers across the country.
Buying bags of coffee from Cafe Estelar is a great way to learn about the geography of Mexico’s coffee-growing regions. Everybody knows that Veracruz, Chiapas, and Oaxaca have great coffee but Cafe Estelar will introduce you to lesser know regions in Nayarit, Hidalgo, Puebla, Michoacan, Jalisco, and Colima.
The reason that palReal comes first on this list is that they have trained many of the top baristas in Guadalajara. Many of their former employees have gone on to open excellent coffee shops across the city. palReal is one of the reasons that there is so much exceptional coffee in Guadalajara.
2. Tenango México
Tenango in one of the newest specialty coffee shops in Guadalajara. The owner that leads the coffee program is professionally trained by the Specialty Coffee Association AND he is a sommelier. He has chosen some beautiful coffees that really show off what Mexico is capable of producing.
I also love their rotating lunch menu. They serve home-style Mexican cuisine that is incredibly satisfying. I guarantee you will enjoy it. Just check out their reviews on Google Maps.
3. Matraz Café
Maybe it was just the weather today but Matraz Café reminds me of a Seattle-style coffee shop. The staff knew nearly every patron by name and most of the patrons knew one another. Hidden on a lush residential street in Providencia with lots of trees and coffee plants the space if appealing to spend the morning. They make a very good espresso and have all the methods that you could ask for. Parking is difficult but they have some cool bike racks out front.
The Monraz location is where they do their roasting. Make sure to take a bag with you.
4. Comala Café
Comala Café is very representative of the neighborhood where it resides. It is a very simple space that has been decorated with lush plants and a retro style.
The name Comala is a reference to the pueblo mágico in the state of Colima but it also alludes to the setting of one of the greatest novels in Mexican literature, Pedro Páramo. Pedro Páramo set the stage for an era of magical realism influencing the likes of Gabriel García Márquez.
Comala Cafe tries to create a setting that is tropically surreal.
While they do not have a wide selection of coffees the several that they serve are very good. The espresso is sweet, not bitter, and mixes well with milk. They know how to steam the milk perfectly for a flat white.
Enora is a beautiful new coffee shop and restaurant on one of my favorite streets in the Guadalajara Metropolitan Region. Located in the municipality of Zapopan, Avenida Aurelio Ortega is turning into one of the best destinations for food and drink in Guadalajara.
The design of the coffee shop has some touches of art deco fabulousness but you are here for the coffee. The owners behind the coffee bar are two of the top coffee people in Mexico. One of them is also a partner of Cafe Estelar and the other is the manager of palReal. Seriously, the best of the best of Guadalajara coffee. And apart from that, they are really nice people who want to spread the gospel of great Mexican coffee.
Enora Cafe is worth getting in the car and driving across the Guadalajara Metropolitan Region for breakfast.
6. Contraste Café
Originally these guys were located in the Chapalita neighborhood but there were having too much fun at night with the craft beer bar and the neighborhood council asked them to find a new home. The new location in the Arcos Vallarta neighborhood is even better. They have more space and the neighbors are way cooler. But I miss them in Chapalita.
Great coffee, craft beer, and turntables. Check them out.
7. Café 5 PM
Café 5pm was one of the first specialty coffee shops in Guadalajara way back in the day. This is where Fabrizio Seed worked as a barista when he won the Mexican Barista Championship and came in second place in the World Barista Championship. They still have the magazine cover on the wall celebrating his win.
While most of the specialty coffee shops in Guadalajara are hipster, Cafe 5pm is a little more suburban and family oriented. They still have exceptional coffee but the neighborhood is more mature than the Colonia Americana.
And, as the name would suggest, this is an evening coffee shop. Monday and Tuesday they do not open in the morning but at, you guessed it, at 5 pm in the afternoon. Wednesday thru Sunday they also open for breakfast from 9 am until 2 pm. Then they open again at 5 pm.
Zenguele is a product of Guadalajara. It was opened by one of the partners of Cafe Estelar so they serve the best coffee in the area. What I really like about the coffee shop is the way they sell locally made artisanal products.
Guadalajara has a wonderful tradition of making high-quality and beautiful ceramics and Zenguele gathered some of their favorite artists to sell their pieces. I bought an incredible teapot set for a friend was just lovely.
You can find stationary, creams, and all sort of art that is made by friends of the owners and members of the community. It is likely that the artist could be eating at a table next to you.
Zenguele is located in the Casa Habita Hotel complex one one of the most beautiful streets in Guadalajara. It is a hidden treasure for sure.
9. Vago Imperial Café
El Vago Imperial Coffee Shop is somehow related to El Terrible Juan Coffee shot. they serve the same coffee that is roasted at Cafe Colonias, the roasting arm of Terrible Juan.
The biggest difference between Terrible Juan and el Vago Imperial is the setting. The front patio is open, green, and airy. It is an amazing place to take in the historic architecture of the Colonia Americana.
Going on ten years of roasting and brewing some of the best coffee in Guadalajara. Besides a great coffee, they are a hub of the cycling culture. I recommend getting a bag of the washed Guerrero and maybe some accessories for your bike.
11. Laboratorio Singular
This tiny coffee roaster is pumping out excellent coffee with a focus on Mexican producers. They also have a portfolio of coffees from some of the world’s prominent coffee-producing countries. Make sure to try the excellent espresso or one of the specialty methods like V60, Chemex and a couple of exotic brewing kits.
12. Neretta Café & Gelato
Tucked away on a beautiful side street in the Colonia Americana, Neretta is a micro-roaster, coffee shop, and café. Their lead coffee roaster has a ton of experience working in some of the top roasters in Guadalajara and has made some really nice coffees. Plus, they have a great breakfast and world-class gelato.
13. Taller de Espresso
One of Guadalajara’s favorite coffee roasters with a quaint espresso bar. Taller de Espresso has an impressive selection of great Mexican coffee that are harvested and processed in diverse styles. The Oaxaca red honey is REALLY good and very different from the natural from Colima.
14. Caligari Café
These guys really started to change the Guadalajara coffee scene in back in the day. The cafe has a vintage movie theme and a retro/mid-century design. It really is one of the coolest places to get a cup of coffee in Guadalajara. The place is small so on the weekends there is a huge line outside. Parking is difficult in this part of town but there is plenty of space to lock up your bike.
15. KONA Miscellaneous Corner
The founder, lead barista, and roaster of KONA Miscellaneous Corner was a long-time employee of palReal Café. He is a beloved figure in the Guadalajara coffee scene who has gone on to do great things.
KONA Miscellaneous Corner is a minimalist-style coffee shop that feels like it was taken out of Japan or Korea.
I love the quality of their value-based coffee. This is a great place to buy a bag of specialty coffee that isn’t too expensive.
16. El Terrible Juan
The original coffee shop is tucked into a beautiful corner of a tree-lined street two blocks from Avenida Chapultepec. However, they have launched a massive expansion opening shops in Chapalita, Providencia, La Estancia, and even have a coffee shop inside the Wizeline corporate campus.
El Terrible Juan has found some impressive farms to work with in Chiapas and have several different styles of espresso that will blow your mind. There is also a nice breakfast menu.
17. El Café de Terry
I was super excited to find Terry serving some of my favorite coffees from other parts of Mexico.
Terry has been working in the industry for years and has great relationships with some big-name producers. He is a true coffee enthusiast and just a fun guy to hang out and talk with.
On a recent trip, he was telling me about a bicycle trip that he had taken to Korea and what the coffee scene is like there.
If you are anywhere near Plaza Del Sol you need to check him out. This is a great place to get caffeinated.
18. Café Rin Tin Tin
One of the more exciting recent additions to the Guadalajara coffee scene is Café Rin Tin Tin. Bernie is an experienced restaurateur having opened the ever-popular Pasteria Terranova. Besides being a huge coffee connoisseur he is excited to be serving fair-trade coffee from a specialty roaster in Chiapas.
19. Xitzin Café
What an absolute pleasure to find these pockets of culture. This coffee shop was a recommendation from Kenta, another Guadalajara local and serious coffee enthusiast.
I don’t live near this part of town and parking is kind of difficult so it took me a while to actually make it over here. I am so glad that I finally did.
The baristas at Xitzin are young and super excited to share coffee with their guests. I didn’t meet the owner but the barista told me that they travel internationally quite often and bring back bags of specialty coffee from their trips to sell at the coffee shop.
Additionally, I got an amazing recommendation for a coffee roaster in Tijuana that was out of this world.
A+ for effort and a selection of coffee that you can’t find anywhere else in Guadalajara.
Final Thoughts On The Best Coffee In Guadalajara
I always love updating this list again. Readers give such great recommendations that I have like five more coffee shops that I want to try. I also really want to go to a coffee farm near Guadalajara. Not nearly enough attention is paid the coffee grown in Jalisco State itself. Colima, Nayarit, and Michoacan also have specialty coffee plantations. Here is to drinking more exceptional coffee in 2023.