The gluten-free options in Guadalajara have grown exponentially in the last ten years. From restaurants to natural food stores, the gluten-free movement is even taking root in Walmart. Most people associate Guadalajara with bread because of the birote salado and that emblematic torta ahogada. That’s ok because beneath the surface there is a world of gluten-free options that are way better than a sandwich drowned in tomato sauce. This is my guide to a gluten-free Guadalajara.
If you haven’t had a chance, have a look at my Gluten Free Mexico article with the gluten free Spanish lesson. There is a bunch of information about how to avoid gluten cross contamination.
Before we go out to eat we need to stock up on the gluten free essentials. I like to keep a bottle of gluten free tamari soy sauce in the car just in case we decide to go for sushi. These are the retailers that stock gluten free products like noodles, soy sauce, bread, tortillas, flours and snacks. We don’t quite have a Whole Foods/Trader Joe’s style selection just yet but the supply has dramatically improved and is getting better everyday.
Mercado de Abastos is where I do most of my shopping. I like to get a juice and grab breakfast before I start my shopping. Abastos Gourmet is right next to my fruit and vegetable purveyor and has become a staple. They have a good selection of imported products from Italy, Japan, California, Vietnam, Thailand and India. This is where I buy gluten free soy sauce, pasta, rice noodles and paper and endlessly brouse the tiny stall. Mercado de Abastos should be your first stop for food shopping. Skip the Soriana.
I pretty much come here to buy gluten free soy sauce. They carry a brand that I love that I can’t find anywhere else. There is a generous selection of gluten free flours that come from local producers and some tasty cookies and snacks.
This tiny shop in the heart of Chapalita has a great selection of frozen gluten free breads and a decent selection of gluten free flours. They also have a little deli but the last time I was there they were not serving gluten free bread with their sandwiches. I will check in again the next time I am there.
Found in the mall at Plaza Andares and Plaza Galerias, Liverpool is a luxury department store that also happens to have a decent gourmet food section. Inside that gourmet foods section is a better than average selection of gluten free foods like soy sauce, pasta and bread crumbs. The cool thing about Liverpool is that they have different brands than I see in the organic stores. The prices tend to be a little higher but everything in Liverpool is that way.
The gluten free section at my local Walmart continues to grow. I am thrilled to see a gluten free bread made by my favorite local tostada company, Salmas. They have continued to add more gluten free snacks but the best part of Walmart is the selection of Bob’s Red Mill products. These are the same gluten free flours that I have been using for years. Thumbs up on the gluten free pizza dough mix.
The thing with Costco is that their selection is always changing but they always have something. For a while they had my favorite gluten free crackers. From time to time they have an unreal sweet corn cake that is bomb. I love the gluten free bread they stock but the last time I was there they were out. You will find something but be bummed when you go back and can’t find your favorite brand.
The specialty here is heirloom varietal corn grown on family farms. They just moved into a new space in the Santa Teresita neighborhood and mainly prepare corn and masa for local restaurants. They also have limited hours where they serve traditional Mexican City style street food like tlacoyos and tetelas with fresh hoja santa. You will be hard pressed to find better tortillas in Guadalajara. These are the tortillas that I take home to my family in the United States to blow their minds. This place is really special.
Gluten Free Guadalajara Restaurant Guide
Guadalajara is a great place to eat gluten free. There are lots of traditional foods that are naturally gluten free and the natural foods movement is blowing up. People are asking for more gluten free options and the top restaurants are coming through with great responses. These restaurants are not dedicated gluten free facilities but the wait staff and the kitchen staff all know what’s up. These are the restaurants where I have had the best experiences eating gluten free in terms of excitement and not getting sick.
The three best waiters at El Sacromonte have each been there for over 20 years. They know that menu inside and out and take real pride in excellent service. The menu is old school Mexican with dishes names after Golden Age movie stars, heroes of the fight for independence and famous geography. They have some of the best examples of regional cuisine that I have found in Mexico. This place is pure class.
Calle Pedro Moreno 1398, Americana, Guadalajara
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Chef Paco Ruano is my favorite chef in Guadalajara. He is a local boy who went off to see the world, worked in some of the most prestigious kitchens on the planet and came home to shake things up. He marries a lot of high end European techniques with artisanal local ingredients. The menu is constantly changing but there are always plenty of gluten free options and knowledgeable servers to help you with the menu.
Av. México 2903, Vallarta Norte, Guadalajara
Tikuun Comedor Local
Another local chef that is making his name on the national stage is Carlos Espinosa. What I love about Tikuun is that there was more than one gluten free mole on the menu the nights that I have been there. I love mole but it usually has a wheat flour component. The moles that I tried were unusual, from other parts of Mexico and mixed with fruits. He has an adventurous menu that will delight the gluten free foodies. Make sure to check this place out.
Calle Robles Gil 50, Americana, Guadalajara
Chef Adolfo Galnares is originally from Mexico City but he studied at the Culinary Institute of America in New York City. He has brought the farm to table movement with him to Guadalajara, growing herbs that nobody else can get on a rooftop garden. They have done an excellent job training his staff on all things gluten free. The menu changes with the seasons so call ahead to see what the current gluten free options include, and make a reservation.
Calle López Cotilla 1752, Lafayette, Guadalajara
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Campomar is the hottest thing in seafood these days. The restaurant is ample but there is always a wait. The concept hails from Ixtlán del Río, Nayarit, just outside the State of Jalisco. The manager scoffed when I asked if they use Jugo Maggi or Salad Inglesa in the ceviche responding that their ceviche is all natural. The seafood options range from classic to exotic. The orange ceviche with shrimp and Bay scallops exceptional. Another test I have of seafood restaurants is the quality of their bean tacos. I want to see the ingredients and how well they prepare simple food. Campomar is excellent but beware that many of their salsas are professional level spicy.
Calle López Cotilla 1752, Lafayette, Guadalajara
The Pasteria Chapalita is rather new but becoming one of the favorite restaurants in Chapalita. The place is hopping in the weekends and the service is consistently good. What I like about the Pasteria is that they have gluten free pasta and know how to make it without making me sick. The pasta takes 20 minutes because they boil fresh water but it is worth the wait. The salmon is white wine, butter and capers is also an all time favorite.
Av de Las Rosas 730, Chapalita Oriente, Guadalajara
Mercado de Abastos
There are a number of great places to eat here but you no matter what you choose you are guaranteed a great meal (except for the sushi). Carne Asadas Alfonso, Birrieria Aceves or Menuderia Chela are all best in class. Plus you can pick up some great tortillas and gluten free products at Abastos Gourmet.
Calle 4, Comercial Abastos, Guadalajara
Naturally gluten free and my favorite traditional Mexican food. Here is a link to another article exclusively about Guadalajara style birria.
Yeah, yeah, I know. It’s a corporate chain from Arizona but they have a gluten free menu that has never made me sick and it’s comfort food that that is satisfying. There are two; one in Plaza Galerías and the other in Plaza Andares.
Old school, Japanese owned eatery that is the real deal. Its part sushi bar, part teppanyaki and part museum. The place is enormous and will be full on a Sunday afternoon. They have gluten free soy sauce and if you know your way around a Japanese food menu you will be able to find some great options. Suehiro has excellent service and is one of Guadalajara’s favorite restaurants.
Av. de la Paz 1701, Americana, Guadalajara
I am pretty excited to say that my first ramen was in Guadalajara of all places. Ramen is usually not gluten free so you can imagine how stoked I was to find out that Hato has one, and it’s excellent. The space is beautiful, the servers know what gluten is and I did not get sick. There is not much more that I can ask for. I did think the price was a little high. There is an upcharge for the gluten free version that is almost as much as the original bowl of ramen. It is going to be over $300 pesos for that bowl. It is a great bowl of ramen but now something that I am going to splurge on once a week.
Calle Efraín González Luna 2079, Americana, Guadalajara