LOOKING FOR THE BEST RESTAURANTS IN GUADALAJARA, MEXICO?
This is my specialty. I have lived in Guadalajara since 2009 and spent many years in the local hospitality industry. I want to help you make the most of your travels and find the best Guadalajara restaurants and bars for the occasion.
This article is a comprehensive list of the essential restaurants in Guadalajara across an array of cuisines, neighborhoods, and price points.
The Best Guadalajara Restaurants: Overview
Guadalajara is a world-class destination for food that is still under the radar. Mexico City gets all the hype but we have better birria, seafood, and tequila bars.
What makes Guadalajara such a cool place to hang out is the balance of modern and traditional schools of thought, that you encounter every day. You see it in the architecture, how people think, but most importantly, you see it in the food.
Some of the best food I have ever tasted comes from a family that has spent 3 generations preparing one, single dish. Then, for your next meal, you eat with a chef that has worked in the top kitchens in Europe and applies those techniques to rare Mexican ingredients.
Guadalajara has spellbinding traditional foods, restaurants representing most of Mexico, and a booming international scene. All of a sudden there is world-class sushi, lots of Korean BBQ, regional seafood, casual Venezuelan, and a uniquely Mexican natural food movement, among many more.
I want to help you find your next great meal and I am trying to throw dozens of options at the wall to see if anything sticks. These are my favorite Guadalajara restaurants to eat and be entertained, and I hope you find one or two that you absolutely love.
Best Guadalajara Restaurants & Bars Map
All of the Guadalajara restaurant recommendations have been placed on a Google Map for your convenience. I invite you to play with the map and see if there are some hidden gems around the corner from your hotel. There is an element of cultural identity in each of them and the food is guaranteed to be spectacular.
I have been writing this list since 2018 and updating it quarterly. Several of the best restaurants in Guadalajara have had to close. If you find any errors in my list, I would love to hear about them in the comments section so that I may keep it up to date. If you have some recommendations, I’d love to hear about them too.
A Note About the Pandemic
We have lost a lot of great restaurants during the pandemic. Ofelia Bistro and Lula Bistro were two of the highest-rated restaurants in Guadalajara year after year. Atomic Thai had barely opened its doors when the rug was pulled out from underneath. Il Diavolo Terranova was an integral part of the Providencia community for over a decade and one of the first restaurants to serve pizzas in a wood-fired oven. Punto Sao Paulo looks a little different without Nativo Taller Gastronómico. Even the humble juice bar in Mercado de Abastos went out of business. All of these great restaurants will be greatly missed.
Paul’s Top 5 Guadalajara Restaurants
1. Café palReal
Calle Lope de Vega 113, Arcos Vallarta, Guadalajara // Instagram
Telephone: 33 1983 7254
It would be a shame to only eat at palReal once. The breakfasts get all the hype but the lunch menu is just as delectable. The real treats are the special events that Chef Fabian Delgado plans with his friends who also happen to be celebrity chefs. It is a chance for people who really love hospitality to get together to throw parties with spectacular food.
There is so much to taste at palReal it is going to take you a few visits to wrap your head around the whole menu. Most people start with breakfast, come back later in the week for lunch and if they are lucky, can reserve an event while they are in town.
palReal is a wonderful place to learn about Mexico and rare Mexican ingredients. You will have to learn to pronounce the names of ingredients that are not in Spanish but in the languages of the native peoples like xoconostle, chilacayota, and encacahuatadas.
I particularly enjoy the different mole sauces that are prepared as specials. Many of them are made gluten-free. Recently, I have been ordering the ceviche specials because I am always delightfully surprised by new flavors of a dish I thought I knew really well.
The coffee is some of the best in Mexico. Two of the founding partners have a coffee roasting company that won the best roaster in Mexico award. They serve small-batch coffees from all over Mexico and the servers can describe the characteristics of each coffee like it was a fine wine.
2. Xokol Tortilleria, Molino y Antojería
Calle Ignacio Herrera y Cairo 1392, Santa Teresita, Guadalajara // Instagram
Telephone: 33 1289 4233
There is a building movement of traditional foods and ingredients in Mexico. Small farmers and heirloom ingredients are fighting back against industrialized farming. Xokol prepares heirloom varietal corn tortillas in the morning and operates a world-renowned restaurant in the evening. Both chefs have been lauded as some of the best young chefs in Latin America by the San Pellegrino Young Chef Award.
I used to think about Xokol as the place with the heirloom corn tortillas and that does them a disservice. Yes, these are some of the best tortillas you will ever taste but that is just the beginning of the adventure. Xokol is one of the world’s great restaurants that will introduce you to a number of ingredients you thought you knew but taste way different in the heirloom varietal form.
Chefs Oscar Segundo and Xrysw Ruelas have an ancestral connection with food and agriculture but they have also trained in some of the top kitchens in Mexico. Both of them have an incredibly broad view of what can be done. Plus, they have access to ingredients that most people have never heard of or tasted.
Xokol is kind of a cult favorite in Guadalajara that isn’t in many tourist guides. The restaurant seats less than 25 people in the open space. The kitchen is right in front of you. You will feel the heat from the comal. You will also be talking about the meal for weeks to come.
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Xokol Tortilleria, Molino y Antojería: Go Now
The hottest thing in seafood these days is Nayarit-style cooking.
Campomar Restaurant is ample but there is always a wait. The concept hails from Ixtlán del Río, Nayarit, just outside the State of Jalisco.
Our server 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 are 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.
Also featured in:
Mariscos Campomar: Cocina Nayarita
4. Menudería y Carnes Asadas Alfonso
Avenida Mandarina L1, Comercial Abastos, Guadalajara, Jalisco // Facebook
Telephone: 33 1662 5207
I used to live a couple of blocks away from Mercado de Abastos when I first moved to Guadalajara in 2009. The market is an excellent place to eat with a wide variety of options and Carnes Asadas and Menuderia Alfonso is a local favorite.
When I first started exploring the market, I would always skip Alfonso’s place because it was consistently full and I was kind of timid. One day the host recognized that I was lurking and found me a seat right in front of the tortilla lady and it changed my life. 12 years later the same waitresses are still working there teaching me about Mexico.
The menudo is exceptional. I started out ordering just the broth while I warmed up to the texture of the intestinal cuts of meat. The carnes asadas are very good. I prefer the lamb but that is a special occasion. Nowadays, I almost always order the machaca con huevos but the lengua en salsa verda, and chiles rellenos are all exceptional. If you don’t want to get a full order of carne asada you can just order a taco or quesadilla.
Mercado de Abastos is the wholesale market and has some of the best produce in this part of Mexico. The recipes are not complex but homestyle made with the finest ingredients available.
5. Birriería La Victoria – As seen on Netflix
Calle Manuel Acuña 1511, Santa Teresita, Guadalajara, Jalisco // Facebook
Telephone: 33 3825 4221
La Victoria is a small piece of Guadalajara’s history. This place has been serving food since 1948 making one dish and trying to perfect the craft. This particular birria is a favorite of local celebrity chefs like Paco Ruano, Fabian Delgado, and Nico Mejia, and was featured on the birria episode of Las Cronicas del Taco.
This birriería is a local institution and a testament to what Guadalajara was like back in the day. The walls are covered with commemorative editions of the local newspaper as the owners remember what Guadalajara was like when they opened the restaurant.
The most common way to order a birria is in a bowl with broth. You can select the cuts you like or choose a mixed bowl. The most popular cuts are probably the spine and the ribs. If you like a little less fat you can choose a loin cut. The machito is a piece of liver wrapped in tripe and it is absolutely delicious.
These guys catered my son’s baptism and I was blown away by the family’s reaction. The Chilangos all went for seconds saying they had never tasted a birria as delicious as La Victoria.
This simple establishment is easily one of the best restaurants in Guadalajara.
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The Best Birria in Guadalajara
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What is Jalisco Food?
The traditional food in Jalisco can be divided into two parts: the city and the country. There are tortas, tacos, and birrias sold in every neighborhood in the capital and in all 125 municipalities of the state. However, when you venture into the countryside it is evident that Jalisco has vast gastronomical diversity. From tropical jungles to arid deserts and maple forests, the regional foods are a reflection of the geography.
Jalisco is a very diverse place and the regional cuisine is a reflection of its people and agriculture. It is hard to find better seafood or distilled agave spirits in any other part of the country, or the world for that matter.
Jalisco food is about exploration. It is about driving to the other side of the city to try some new tacos or taking the free road to Puerto Vallarta to visit a raicilla distillery along the way.
If you get the chance, visit Maru Toledo’s ranch near Ahualulco de Mercado. Eating in her kitchen and listening to her stories about the people who prepare the traditional foods of Jalisco is a lovely experience. Her enthusiasm is persuasive.
10 Traditional Jalisco Foods You Have To Try
- Birria: One of the most famous and popular dished in Mexican cuisine at this moment. There are regional styles but the original comes from Nueva Galicia, what is today known as Jalisco. Braised goat meat with a chile adobo and consumé made with the roasting juices.
- Torta Ahogada: Tough sourdough birote bread filled with pork and bathed in a combination of tomato sauce and chile sauce.
- Carne en su Jugo: Thinly sliced beef cooked in its own juices with tomatillo, beans, and bacon. Served in specialty restaurants but a dish that mom makes best.
- Tacos de Barbacoa: Guadalajara-style barbacoa is stewed beef with chiles and spices served in a double tortilla and crisped on a stove. Nothing to do with the Hidalgo-style barbacoa but very similar to Los Angeles-style birria tacos.
- Pozole Rojo: Cacahuazintle (hominy), large grain corn cooked in an alkaline solution and later added to pork stew. The Jalisco-style pozole is red because of a chile guajillo.
- Menudo: breakfast soup made of different cuts of the beef intestine.
- Tejuino con Nieve de Limón: beverage made of lightly fermented nixtamal corn masa and served with a scoop of lime ice.
- Agave Spirits: Mezcal, tequila, and raicilla are spirits made from different agave plants.
- Jericalla: Often described as a Jalisciense creme burlé, it is a custard dessert with a burnt top.
- Buñuelos: Wheat flour dough flattened into the shape of a disc, fried crispy, and bathed in fruit sugar syrup. I like the orange/guava syrup but there are many variations.
My best advice is to explore as much as possible and ask for restaurant recommendations from everyone you talk with. Eat at humble restaurants as well as fancy restaurants. I run into Chef Paco Ruano and Chef Adolfo Galnares eating in Mercado de Abastos all the time.
6. Menuderia Chela
The sign reads, “Traveler who came to Guadalajara and didn’t come to Chela, didn’t come to Guadalajara”. This humble restaurant hidden inside Mercado de Abastos is iconic and has served some of Mexico’s most famous people.
It is decorated with pictures of the matriarch with presidents, musicians, and pillars of industry. And not just your average run-of-the-mill musicians. I’m talking about the one and only Don Vicente Fernandez. Not only is that man one of Mexico’s most treasured recording artists but he knows how to eat.
Then there is Emilio Azcárraga, owner of Televisa and backer of one of San Diego’s favorite restaurant groups. These people, pillars of society, know good food and Doña Chela is the godmother of menudo in Guadalajara.
Also featured in:
Mercado de Abastos: Guadalajara´s Wholesale Market and Neighborhood
7. Cenaduria Doña Guille
Calle Jaime Nunó 1032, Mezquitan Country, Guadalajara // Instagram
Telephone: 33 3825 6676
Let’s get past the absolutely fabulous retro decor with pink walls and wavy recessed mood lighting. This place is an absolute classic and the food just happens to be some of the best in the city.
I’m kind of a nut about enchiladas and these are like the ones you get in the pueblos. You can watch the ladies frying them up to order. They aren’t made in advance and reheated. The chicken ones are good but I absolutely love the cheese with chopped onion enchiladas.
They also happen to serve the best pozole that I know in Guadalajara. I like eating green pozole in Mexico City or white pozole in San Ysidro. The Guadalajara red pozole is a close third.
You can’t leave without getting a tostada with a pickled pig’s foot. Ask them to take it off the bone if you are new to eating patita.
The aguas frescas are excellent and you will want the liter. Order the big one.
8. Birriería las 9 Esquinas
The Plaza de las Nueva Esquinas is not a restaurant but a plaza surrounded by a number of traditional restaurants and cantinas. The plaza is famous for excellent birria and pitayas (cactus fruit).
Before there was a fountain in the plaza, there was a watering hole for mules and cantinas for mule drivers. This is where they would both come to drink before and after traveling.
Birrieria de las 9 Esquinas is probably the most photogenic of the restaurants with an art deco exterior and an open kitchen with Talavera tiles on the inside.
Next to the Birrieria de la 9 Esquinas is the Pilon de los Arrieros Restaurant. The name is a reference to the history of the plaza. The food at the Pilón de los Arrieros is excellent and the atmosphere is beautifully decorated with local artwork that looks like it was taken from Tlaquepaque.
9. Birriería Chololo
Chololo is easily one of the best Guadalajara restaurants that all travelers must experience to understand Jalisco food. We have been celebrating fathers’s day at Chololo for the last few years which makes me a little nostalgic.
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.
This is the most expensive birria that I know of. The mixed kilo to-go costs $750 pesos and the special kilo (all carnaza) costs $850 but is worth every centavo.
10. Carne en su Jugo del Calle Garibaldi
Calle José Clemente Orozco 333, Santa Teresita, Guadalajara, Jalisco // Facebook
Telephone: 33 3825 7869
Carne en su jugo is a simple dish that is oftentimes included in travel guides as a must-see. I think it is a little overrated because of the Guinness Book of World Records thing. It is satisfying but not life-changing.
The dish is a beef soup with thinly sliced beefsteak that is cooked to retain the braising liquid. The liquid is mixed with a tomatillo (tomate verde) to make the broth. They add bacon, beans, cilantro, and onion just before it is served. The bacon is usually crispy when it hits the table. It is a heavy soup. People from other parts of Mexico joke that Jalisco loves sauce. They drown everything in sauce. Carne en su jugo is more carne than soup. It is heavy. It is like meat drowned in sauce.
In The Santa Teresita neighborhood, there is a street called Calle Garibaldi. On Garibaldi Street, there are three or four of the best carne en su jugo restaurants all on the same block. One is a little more corporate, one is a little more country, and the third is humble. They all serve tasty meals but be careful not to eat too much.
11. El Abajeño
Spending a Sunday in Tlaquepaque, dining at El Abajeño, and listening to mariachi is a uniquely Jaliscan experience. The outdoor patio is lush, the tequila flows and all is right in the world. The name Abajeño comes from the people who inhabit the lowlands, as opposed to the highlands of Jalisco.
12. Los Yuntaites
Chef Fabian Delgado of palReal fame opened Los Yunaites in the Centenario Market just blocks from where he grew up. A close personal friend and business partner is from the town of San José de Gracia on the far side of Lake Chapala right where the State of Michoacan begins.
The area is famous for cheeses and migrant farmworkers who would seasonally travel to the United States. They are affectionately called Los Yunaites.
The name of the restaurant roughly translates to concoctions from the villages. They are looking for unique, gourmet experiences that are common in the country but rare in the city.
Eating at Los Yunaites is like taking a trip to the pueblos without leaving the city. There are country-style, artisanal ingredients, and recipes that people in the city don’t see very often.
The cumin-flavored mole is a family recipe from Tequila, Jalisco. The tortillas come from a Mazahua community that grows heirloom varietals. The encotijada with huitlacoche is like an enchilada but with a salty and creamy Cotija cheese sauce rather than a chile sauce. It is typical of the pueblos around, you guessed it, Cotija, Michoacán, the place that’s famous for cheese.
Los Yuntaites is an absolutely quintessential Mexican culinary experience that you have to check out while in the area.
13. Maru Toledo’s Rancho El Teuchiteco
Maru Toledo is a cultural anthropologist and author who travels Mexico documenting oral traditions related to culinary history. She has events at her ranch, El Teuchiteco, where she prepares food with a specific theme and gives a talk about the history and cultural significance of the recipes they are serving.
THIS IS NOT A RESTAURANT. Do not drive out here unless you have RSVP’d and paid for the event in advance. You can find more information on her events on the Facebook Page.
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14. RinTinTin Café
Calle Morelos 1196, Colonia Americana, Guadalajara // Intragram
Telephone: 33 1653 1141
RinTinTin is a cult favorite that is kind of under the radar. The owner has one of the best social media presences in Guadalajara and I constantly run into publications of major celebrities like Gael Garcia Bernal and Alan Estrada (Alan X El Mundo) raving about the place. Besides the design and marketing, the food is designed for foodies.
Everything is delicious and there is a level of nostalgia in the homemade pop-tarts. The cinnamon rolls are some of the best in the city and the chilaquiles are one of my staples. Oh yeah, and there is seriously good coffee.
Enora is one of the best additions to the Seattle neighborhood in a long time. The concept is from some of the finest minds in local coffee, and international coffee for that matter.
Even if you don’t live anywhere near Enora, it is worth driving over there to spend the day. Avenida Aurelio Ortega is one of the most beautiful streets in the metro region with a huge park down the middle and mature shade trees. It is quick to walk to downtown Zapopan and the transit center.
I guarantee that you will enjoy getting coffee and breakfast at Enora. There is excellent service and excellent food but the coffee is out of this world. There is a reason they win so many awards for great coffee.
Best Fine Dining Restaurants in Guadalajara
16. Restaurante Alcalde
I like to think about the Guadalajara food scene before Alcalde and after Alcalde. Chef Paco Ruano put Guadalajara on the map as a destination for Haute Mexican cuisine. He has convinced the locals to try new things and paved the way for a modern foods movement.
For a long time, the fancy restaurants were all international. There were nice Mexican concepts but they were more traditional than modern.
I love sitting at the kitchen bar to watch all the action.
Chef Francisco Ruano has been making the world take notice of Guadalajara since opening Alcalde in 2013. After training in Puerto Vallarta with Thierry Blouet and later in Denmark with renowned NOMA chef René Redzepi he is back in his hometown winning awards and blowing minds.
Ruano describes his food as simple but this couldn’t be farther from the truth. The guy is methodical and each dish has multiple layers; visually stunning, multiple textures, and lingering subtle nuances. Alcalde is a must-see when in Guadalajara. The frijoles puercos appetizer, the duck entree, and the rice pudding dessert are especially decadent. Full bar and reservations are highly recommended.
Calle Manuel López Cotilla 1752, Colonia Americana, Guadalajara // Instagram
Telephone: 33 3615 6401
Allium is a little ahead of the times in Guadalajara. Chef Adolfo Galnares is originally from Mexico City but he studied at the Culinary Institute of America in New York City and has brought the farm-to-table movement with him to Guadalajara. He is sourcing and growing ingredients that nobody else has, and you can taste the difference.
You can’t find heirloom tomatoes in Mercado de Abastos but Chef Adolfo has friends that are growing the best tomatoes in Jalisco. The cheese platter is a treasure trove of high-end goat, sheep, and cow’s milk cheeses made in Atotonilco, Jalisco. The salads change with the season and are worth the trip alone.
I highly recommend the pork belly in chile poblano sauce and the duck breast in two types of cherry sauce. We also loved the flan de elote dessert. Full bar with a creative cocktail menu.
Also featured in:
Allium Restaurant: Mexican Farm to Table
18. Tikuun Comedor Local
Calle Emeterio Robles Gil 50, Colonia Americana, Guadalajara // Instagram
Telephone: 33 3825 0117
It is refreshing to see young chefs looking at Mexico for their inspiration. Carlos Espinosa is one of Mexico’s most exciting young chefs who just happens to be working in Guadalajara. Tikuun is the sort of place that the chefs love to eat. The food is exciting and adventurous.
Expect lots of exotic meats, sauces, and ingredients. The presentation is an Instagrammer’s dream as every last leaf and pedal has been placed exactly where it needs to be. This is independent Mexico. No Corona, no Cuervo, just recipes that may be skipped a generation and got a fancy new presentation. This needs to be on your list of restaurants to visit soon!
19. El Fogón Del Pibe
I worked with the manager of el Fogón del Pibe back in 2014 at another restaurant in Guadalajara. I have seen his transformation from an individual contributor to an experienced restaurant manager. He and his family are from Argentina with ties to both Buenos Aires and Mar de Ajó. Besides food and besides service, this restaurant understands people.
This is my favorite Argentine-style steak in Guadalajara at a fair price. Some of the other local steak restaurants can be outrageously expensive for just average quality products.
El Fogón del Pibe has excellent steaks, a superb wine list, and educated service.
One of the most important parts of this restaurant is the kids’ play area. There is a supervisor to make sure everyone is having fun and nobody is fighting. Parents can eat a meal in peace while the kids climb and play in a safe environment. They are packed to the brim on Sundays as parents order one more Fernet and Coke.
20. Brick SteakHouse
The meat at Brick SteakHouse is excellent but we had some of the best service that I can remember while eating here. Our server has exceptional recommendations and an encyclopedic knowledge of the menu. I love that they bring out the different cuts of meat to explain what each cut is and which ones have bones and which ones do not.
Brick was named one of the top 100 steakhouses in the world with good reason. They serve one of the best steaks in Mexico.
Best Seafood Restaurants In Guadalajara
I am going to go out on a limb and say that Guadalajara has some of the best seafood restaurants in Mexico. I love Mexico City and all but Guadalajara edges out the capital in my opinion.
I want you to explore the Guadalajara seafood restaurants and see for yourself. Leave me a comment to let me know what you think.
21. La Panga del Impostor
Calle Miguel Lerdo de Tejada 2189, Colonia Americana, Guadalajara // Instagram
Telephone: 33 3826 2000
This is where the cool kids and the foodies in the know like to hang out. La Panga del Impostor is one part nostalgic trip to a sleepy fishing village and one part chef-driven menu. Chef Antonio De Livier is one of Mexico’s most beloved TV personalities, leading the show Cocineros Mexicanos. He has been all over the country and combines regional cooking with innovative recipes.
The birria de almeja is a seafood lover’s take on a classic Tapatio dish. The dried shrimp aguachile with cecina is one of the best dishes that I tried in 2017. And the taco de chicharron prensado with octopus is reason enough to get to know the Panga. The selection of ice cream flavors they have for dessert is a gourmet version of a Mexican childhood.
Blvrd Puerta de Hierro 4965, Paseo Andares, Zapopan, Jalisco // Instagram
Telephone: 33 3611 4445
This closet turned sushi bar is one of the hottest tickets in the Guadalajara restaurant scene right now. This is not your typical Mexican sushi but the real deal, high-end Japanese-style sushi like you would find in Los Angeles or Mexico City.
Nobody in Guadalajara has a selection of exquisite fish that Chef Daisuke Maeda has brought in specifically for this sushi bar. I tend to judge a sushi bar on the quality of its sea urchin and I can say, without a doubt, that is the best sea urchin I have tasted three hours away from the beach.
There are only 15 seats at the sushi bar and reservations for more than two people can be hard to get. It is expensive but that is to be expected for the quality and selection.
Old school, Japanese-owned Guadalajara restaurant that is the real deal. It’s 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.
24. Mariscos Don Vergas
Avenida Providencia 2880, Providencia, Guadalajara // Instagram
Telephone: 33 3822 8885
I have never actually eaten in the restaurant but I got in the habit of ordering food to go.
The name may be vulgar but the seafood is spectacular. The owner and chef is a protege of famed Pujol chef Enrique Olvera.
One of their specialties is the callo de hacha scallops that are the size of your hand. It is hard to find better scallops outside of Sinaloa or Sonora. Don Vergas gets the best of the best.
25. Ponte Trucha Negro
Calle Ignacio Ramírez 646, Santa Teresita, Guadalajara, Jalisco // Facebook
Telephone: 33 3826 0316
Ponte Trucha Negro is another classic Guadalajara restaurant serving a unique style of local seafood.
26. La Docena
Mexicans love seafood but La Docena is taking that love to a whole new level. Chef Tomas Bermudez is well-traveled and has fused his travels into a new type of Mexican seafood restaurant. With a little bit of Baja California, a little bit of Louisiana, and a touch of molecular gastronomy, La Docena has broken the mold of traditional Mexican seafood joints.
Recently listed as one of the best restaurants in Latin America, La Docena has expanded into Mexico City and opened a high-end sushi bar that is unlike anything else in the city.
Make sure to try the grilled oysters in clarified butter, grilled young octopus, and something from their live seafood bar. Full bar available with some special wines from Baja California.
Best Regional Mexican Food in Guadalajara
27. El Sacromonte
Calle Pedro Moreno 1398, Colonia Americana, Guadalajara // Facebook
Telephone: 33 3825 5447
El Sacromonte is a nostalgic trip through old Mexico. The early 20th-century house that has been converted into a restaurant, and launched a very successful restaurant group, is a time capsule of a foregone era.
A piano player at the entrance is the first clue that you are in for something special.
The menu reads like a greatest hits album of Mexico’s most famous and historic personalities: Salads named after Dolores del Rio and María Felix, and entrees named after my favorite neighborhoods in Puerto Vallarta and Mexico City.
Service is impeccable and much of the waitstaff have been there for decades. During chile enogada season this is my go-to restaurant. Full bar available.
28. 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.
29. Casa Luna
Calle Independencia 211, Centro, San Pedro Tlaquepaque, Jalisco // Facebook
Telephone: 33 1592 2061
Casa Luna is easily one of the most beautiful restaurants in the Guadalajara Metropolitan Region. The restaurant is located in Tlaquepaque but you would have a hard time knowing where Guadalajara ends and Tlaquepaque begins. You know this is Tlaquepaque because of the folk art decorations in the historic mansion. The entire place is very Instagram friendly.
Classic Mexican fare is served. This is one of my favorite places to enjoy chile en nogada.
30. Habanero Negro
Calle Manuel López Cotilla 1228, Colonia Americana, Guadalajara, Jalisco // Instagram
Telephone: 33 2715 8899
I hate to call Habanero Negro hipster but the place is located in the heart of the Colonia Americana and stacked with bicycles on Sunday’s Via Recreactive. I think the only reason I say it is hipster is that they have an agave-nerd selection of artisanal Mexican spirits. The food could easily be taken from a roadside restaurant in the Yucatan.
The partners of Habanero Negro are real foodies. They have several other highly successful restaurants and bars like Salon Candela in Downtown Zapopan and are active on social media. I learn about where to eat all over Mexico from these people. They know about great culinary experiences and you should eat at their restaurants.
Mochomos is a high-end Mexican steak house from the northern state of Sonora. The restaurant opened in the ultra-luxurious Landmark shopping mall to huge crowds and long waits even though the place is huge. Besides a great steak, this is the place to be seen by the social elite on the weekends. There is a lot of social capital inside the beautifully decorated restaurant.
Grupo Costeño is responsible for the Mochomos concept. They also have an even higher-end concept in Plaza Andares called Cuerno that I have not had the opportunity to visit yet. It is really high on my list but it is pricy. I have heard excellent things about the steaks and the service.
Avenida Providencia 2920, Providencia, Guadalajara, Jalisco // Facebook
Telephone: 33 1134 2979
Oaxaca is a long way away from Guadalajara both geographically and culturally. Dainzu makes it feel a little bit closer. It is a longtime favorite local restaurant in an upper-middle class neighborhood.
I am a creature of habit and I dream about tlayudas. The tlayuda with tasajo is very good. The chapulines are fresh and crispy and for the most part whole. Don’t forget to order a horchata rice water that is garnished with cantaloupe and nuts.
Avenida de las Américas 1254, Country Club, Guadalajara // Instagram
Telephone: 33 2589 4135
Veneno is a restaurant in the Panoramo food court in the Mil500 tower on Avenida Americas. There are a lot of great restaurants in the building but Veneno combines an award-winning design concept with a satisfying menu. This a really fun place to have dinner.
In 2020, Veneno won best design in the Americas by the Restaurant & Bar Design Awards just in time for the pandemic to ravage the restaurant industry. Thankfully, they survived and today they are absolutely packed. The design feel like a cross between the Star Wars cantina and the archeological sites in the north of Mexico like Paquimé, Chihuahua.
The menu is high-end, seasonal Mexican that feels like it has been influenced by the Valle de Guadalupe and the Valle de Parras wine regions in the north.
Best International Restaurants in Guadalajara
34. Il Duomo
Avenida de las Américas, Ladrón de Guevara, Guadalajara // Instgram
Telephone: 33 3615 4952
Il Duomo is one of the best restaurats in Guadalajara that tourists never hear about. This restaurant launched a hugely successful restaurant group that has spread to Querétaro, Leon, and Monterrey. The service and the food are both exceptional.
The menu is Italian and the Italian Chamber of Comerce recognized Il Duomo with an Ospitalitá Italiana certificate for promoting authentic Italian food and wine culture. You have got to see their wine seller. This is one of the best places in Guadalajara to drink good wine.
I have enjoyed excellent risottos, suckling pig, quail and a ribeye flamayeed in grappa and foie gras butter.
Blvd Puerta de Hierro 4965, Plaza Andares, Zapopan // Instagram
Telephone: 33 2001 6364
Loló is another concept by the iconic Guadalajara restaurant group responsible for the I Latina and Anita Li. The difference is that Loló is located in the Plaza Andares Mall which is a massive undertaking. The restaurant is swamped with people day and night.
I love everything that I have tried at Loló but both my wife and I dream about the dulce de coco dessert. It is one of the most simple items on their menu but it never ceases to amaze.
If you happen to be in San Francisco, CA you can find their sister restaurant in the Mission District.
36. Restaurante SSAM
Avenida José María Morelos 2122, Arcos Vallarta, Guadalajara // Instagram
Telephone: 33 3615 7478
All of a sudden Guadalajara has a solid repertoire of Korean restaurants. I am really starting to rethink my criticisms of the Asian food that is available in Guadalajara restaurants. There are casual options in the market, after-work beer swigging, and all-you-can-eat joints, and there are sophisticated yet casually elegant options to choose from.
Restaurante SSAM fits into that sophisticated yet casually elegant category. Inside and out the experience is absolutely enchanting. A beautiful space on tree-lined Calle Morelos, educated and attentive service, and one hell of a kitchen make Restaurante SSAM a name that you need to know.
37. Casa Morenos GDL
If you don’t know about Venezuelan-style arepas, you don’t know living. Just look at the reviews that this restaurant has on Google Maps. Casa Morenos has quickly grown into hub of the Venezuelan community in Guadalajara.
A Reina Pepiada is the classic chicken salad sandwich with avocado. My favorite is called the Influencer which has shredded beef, plantain, white cheese, and avocado. Make sure to order a passion fruit juice to go with it.
38. I Latina
Avenida Inglaterra 3128, Vallarta Poniente, Guadalajara \\ Instagram
Telephone: 33 3647 7774
From the time you walk in the door, you realize how important the music is to these people. Whether it is live music or a carefully crafted playlist you will catch yourself grooving all night long.
You can tell the owners are well-traveled and love to bring back the tackiest treasures from abroad. The ceramic pigs lining the bar, the throw rugs hung on the wall and the stuffed animals (fake?) playfully adorning different rooms makes the restaurant one of a kind.
When it comes to the kitchen, the chef is no-nonsense. These guys were some of the first people in Guadalajara to start using sous-vide and the consistency in their food is tireless.
The food is nouveau Mexican with some international flair. The shrimp in green curry is very good, the beef short rib entree is out of this world and I am still trying to find out who makes their desserts because the coconut and choco banana ice creams keep me up at night.
Full bar and reservations are highly recommended because everyone knows that these are some of the best Guadalajara restaurants.
Best Guadalajara Taco Restaurants
39. Tacos Los Alteños
Avenida Tepeyac 1207, Chapalita Sur, Zapopan, Jalisco // Facebook
Telephone: 33 3121 6712
Tacos los Alteños is one of the best tacos shops in Guadalajara. It is an absolute insititution and full all the time. Except for holidays. They are famous for closing shop on both government and Catholic holidays.
The count is on the honor system. Ask for what you want and tell the cashier how many you ate.
Tacos de pastor are some of the most popular tacos. There is bistek, chorizo, lengua, carnaza, cachete and a few of the exotics like ojo and sesos. They also operate an aguas frescas business or you can get coke products.
40. Tacos Providencia
Avenida Rubén Darío 534, Lomas de Guevara, Guadalajara, Jalisco // Facebook
Telephone: 33 3641 6049
An absolute Guadalajara classic restaurant. This place always comes up when I ask people what their favorite tacos are. A lot of people talk about how they have memories of coming here with their parents and grandparents.
Tacos Providencia is more of a high-end taco shop with waiters and decent sized tables. They spend a little extra money and buy good quality meat which they cook correctly.
I love that the beef rib tacos are served on the bone. It is a little extra work to take it off the bone but cooking it on the bone adds more flavor.
41. Happy Fish
While most of the attention goes to Taco Fish La Paz, and I agree they have a good taco, the award for the BEST fish taco goes to The Happy Fish.
The Happy Fish has a little bigger menu and I always seem to order those tacos/tostadas that they don’t have at Fish Taco La Paz.
The other difference is the salsa bar. At both restaurants, the tacos are served dry and you decide how you want to dress them. The salsa bar at The Happy Fish has more options and is in better condition.
Both Taco Fish La Paz and The Happy Fish are great options that have been around forever, but I recommend The Happy Fish just a little bit more.
42. Tomate Taqueria
By far the most famous taco shop in the Colonia Americana and right in the middle of the Avenida Chapultepec bar district. This place is wildly popular with the after-drinks crowd. They specialize in everything al pastor: tacos, quesatacos, and fortachones.
They sell some beers but the house favorites are the flavored lemonades.
Best Casual Dining Guadalajara Restaurants
43. Napoles Pizza
44. Pig’s Pearls
Calle General Coronado 79, Colonia Americana, Guadalajara // Instagram
Telephone: 33 3825 5933
Growing up in San Diego we are spoiled with great burgers. Finding a good hamburger in Guadalajara can be a challenge. Thankfully there’s Pig’s Pearls. The burgers are on the smaller side but that lets you order a salad and a bone marrow appetizer. I am partial to the lamb burger and the bacon maple syrup burger and can never decide which to order. Beer and wine only but they have a great selection of local microbreweries.
Best Guadalajara Dessert Restaurants
45. La Postrería
Chef Jesús Escalera Ciscares is kind of a big deal in the world of culinary arts. Originally hailing from Sevilla, Spain, he has worked as a pastry chef at three different Michelin Star restaurants (El Bulli, Casa Marcelo, and The Fat Duck) before relocating to Mexico and winning even more awards.
Eating at La Postrería is a surreal experience. It almost feels like something out of Alice in Wonderland where the desserts look like mushrooms and flowers but are in fact confections.
They started with a small location in Providencia but are expanding rapidly. The new location in the Colonia Americana is perfect for the hot days of summer. The newest location in Tijuana is attracting a lot of attention in San Diego.
46. Churros La Bombilla
Churros la Bombilla is a longstanding Guadalajara tradition. My wife has been coming here since she was a teenager. Guillermo Del Toro, the Academy Award-winning director from Guadalajara eats here whenever he is in town. The place really is a Guadalajara institution.
The churros and hot chocolate are delicious but I was surprised how good the coffee is.
There is often a line at the door but everyone is super excited to eat here and everyone is in a good mood. The wait goes quickly. Make sure to check this place out when you come to visit.
47. Momotabi Mochi Market
Avenida Vallarta 1090, Colonia Americana, Guadalajara, Jalisco // Facebook
Telephone: 33 1006 3622
I am in love with the mochi ice cream balls at Momotabi. I have never been to Japan but the fact that there are Japanese people working here makes me think these are authentic Japanese-style mochi. Even the descriptions are written in both Japanese and Spanish.
The true test is from my four-year-old son. He loves these things and suggests we get mochi every weekend. I suggest you give them a try.
The Best Guadalajara Bars
48. El Gallo Altanero
For the second year in a row, El Gallo Altanero was included in the Perrier list of the Best Bars in North America (2023). And with good reason. This is the best place in the world to learn about tequila and raicilla.
El Gallo Altanero has working relationships with all the best artisanal tequila makers in Mexico. Then, they bring the best bartenders in the world to Jalisco to teach them about agave spirits and put them to work behind the bar. The end result is an incredible selection of tequila and a world-class cocktail program.
I highly recommend making reservations because the place is small and very popular.
49. Farmacia Rita Pérez
50. Saloon Del Bosque
Guadalajara Restaurants FAQ
What are the best restaurants in Colonia Americana Guadalajara?
The Colonia Americana is home to many of the best restaurants in Guadalajara. The neighborhood is urban, hipster, and a little rough around the edges. The restaurants tend to be smaller and many of them are owned by individual proprietors as opposed to established restaurant groups.
RinTinTin Cafe, Fitzroy Espresso Bar, and El Terrible Juan are excellent cafes.
Tikuun, Pig’s Pearls, and El Sacromonte are awesome restaurants.
Casa Trapiche, El Gallo Altanero, and Rita Perez are fun bars with a good selection of drinks.
What are the best restaurants in Guadalajara Centro?
Downtown Guadalajara doesn’t have a great selection of great restaurants. The best restaurants are humble and long-running. There are three traditional markets with excellent food and drink. Mercado Alcalde has an incredible birria, Mercado San Juan de Dios has the tortas lokas and tripas doradas, and Mercado Corona was rebuilt with a hipster food court in mind.
Piso Siete, the restaurant on the seventh floor of the DoubleTree hotel has a great view of the Plaza de Armas and an enjoyable brunch.
I have always enjoyed the pozole at La Morenita del Santuario. On the street outside of the Santuario de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe, there are street vendors that sell buñuelos. This has been the place to sell buñuelos on the street for over a hundred years.
What are the best rooftop restaurants in Guadalajara?
Are there any Michelin Star restaurants in Guadalajara, Mexico?
Unfortunately, there are no Michelin Star restaurants in Guadalajara. Michelin does not make guidebooks for Mexico yet.
There are a number of chefs that have worked at Michelin Star restaurants in other countries before returning to Mexico to open their own restaurants. Paco Ruano, Adolfo Galnares, and Jesús Escalera Ciscares are just three of the chefs with Michelin Star work experience. I’m sure they are on the radar of the Michelin judges when they start reviewing restaurants in Mexico.
Relate Articles about Food in Guadalajara
- The Best Tacos in Guadalajara
- The Best Birria in Guadalajara
- The Best Coffee in Guadalajara
- The Nightlife and Bars in Guadalajara
- The Best Breakfast Restaurants in Guadalajara
- The Best Sushi Restaurants in Guadalajara
- The Best Food Courts in Guadalajara
- Eating Gluten-Free in Mexico
Final Thoughts: Best Guadalajara Restaurants
I feel uniquely qualified to write this article because I have been living here for so long. All of the top Google searches are bloggers who parachute in for a long weekend and try to summarize the Guadalajara restaurant scene having eaten at these restaurants only once. I have lived in Guadalajara for ten years of which I have spent five years working in Guadalajara restaurants. The contacts that I have made give me a unique perspective about restaurants that are opening and why others are closing.
Restaurateurs typically know how to eat well because that is their industry and they need to know the market. Their employees have gone on to work in other kitchens and dining rooms, their purveyors supply other restaurants and everybody talks.
This list is based on my personal experiences but it is highly influenced by the conversations that I have with people within the local industry as well as national and international guests. My wife and I love to eat out and try everything new. I am using this blog as a way to document the things that I love and think that you might like too. These are my favorite Guadalajara restaurants.