A diverse and buzzing cosmopolitan destination, Guadalajara
can be overwhelming for the first-time visitor, especially given its size: it’s both the capital of Jalisco and the second largest city in Mexico. Don’t be deterred, as this beautiful city has so much to offer. Read our guide to the best restaurants in Guadalajara, whether it’s your first visit or your 20th.
Located just a few blocks from one of Guadalajara’s principal avenues, the famed Chapultepec, El Cargol is the perfect spot to enjoy some Catalonian cuisine before a night of bar hopping and visiting the cultural tianguis (street markets). Not the cheapest of places, El Cargol offers some truly authentic Catalan dining and is located in a quaint and cozy restaurant with a handful of outdoor table options. Try the paella for the complete Spanish experience.
Address & telephone number: Lopéz Cotilla 1513, Guadalajara, Mexico, +52 33 3616 6035
It’s easy to understand why I Latina is routinely named one of the best restaurants in Guadalajara. The food, service and atmosphere are excellent, consistently offering top quality dining in the heart of Guadalajara. The range of dishes, including Asian dishes, traditional Mexican tacos, ceviches, hamburgers and Mediterranean meals, mean that all tastes are catered for. Don’t forget to order a craft beer as the perfect accompaniment to your meal.
Address & telephone number: Avenida Inglaterra 3128, Guadalajara, Mexico, +52 33 3647 7774
A veritable Guadalajara institution, and one that the locals love to recommend, is Karne Garibaldi. Famous for having broken the Guinness World Record with their service time of 13.5 seconds, this restaurant is one you have to try while in the capital of Jalisco. Speed is not the only selling point here though: the delicious carne en su jugo (a form of meat stew) is a traditional Jalisco dish which comes highly recommended. Make sure to visit in the day and explore Santa Tere (the neighborhood in which it’s located), an up-and-coming area of Guadalajara.
Address & telephone number: Garibaldi 1306, Guadalajara, Mexico, +52 33 3826 1286
La Noche Azul
La Noche Azul is a fondue restaurant that will transport you to the Swiss Alps, albeit with a Mexican twist. Work your way through the menu, starting with a cheese fondue, moving on to a meat one, and then finishing off your meal with the fondue that’s best stood the test of time – the chocolate fondue. If the fondue trifecta doesn’t take your fancy, you can try a soup starter before moving on to the main.
Address & telephone number: Avenida López Mateos Norte 800, Guadalajara, Mexico, +52 33 3630 0337
An award-winning restaurant run by an award-winning chef, Lula Bistro is the place to be if you can never decide quite what you want to eat for dinner. They offer a spectacular up-to-twelve-plates tapas meal which satisfies even the fussiest of eaters. Add this to the exquisite presentation and flavors and you can’t go wrong. Not the place to visit if you’re running low on cash but a worthy experience in Guadalajara.
Address & telephone number: San Gabriel 3030, Guadalajara, Mexico, +52 33 3647 6423
Tortas Ahogadas Beto’s
Tortas ahogadas are a Guadalajara classic, given that the city is home to the birote style of bread which is based on the French baguette. Crispy outside and soft inside, tortas ahogadas are sandwiches full of carnitas (cuts of pork), prawns, or sometimes even panela cheese, then bathed in a spicy tomato sauce. Do not underestimate the spice of a torta ahogada but definitely give them a go. Tortas Ahogadas Beto’s is a messy dining experience but an essential one.
Address & telephone number: Gante 247 on the corner of 5 de Mayo, Guadalajara, Mexico, +52 33 1677 5868
Tacos El Güero
Anyone who’s visited Guadalajara will have heard rumors of the taquiquesos dished up by the Tacos El Güero taco stand just one block away from night-life central, Avenida Chapultepec. This is not a fine dining experience: you’ll be seated on plastic chairs on the pavement (if you manage to find an unoccupied one). The undoubted standout is their taquiqueso, a 35 peso (about $2 US) double tortilla, meat and cheese extravaganza. Make the most of your money and pile it high with the excellent selection of spicy salsas, guacamole, onions, cilantro and beans they offer.
Address & telephone number: Calle Mexicaltzingo esquina con Marsella, Guadalajara, Mexico
A small, pretty restaurant, Pachuco has a street side patio area, lined with trendy wooden pallet and plant fences, which make for a laid-back feel. This continues inside the restaurant, which is highly recommendable for a midweek lunch if you fancy street food in an indoor location. Deceptively simple, the menu offers experimental Mexican cuisine, with dishes like marlin and octopus tostadas and fish dishes topped with grasshopper salads. Accompany your meal with one of the craft beer options.
Address & telephone number: Morelos 1743, Guadalajara, Mexico, +52 33 3615 6191
Pig’s Pearls is a restaurant committed to community as well as personal growth, sourcing as much as possible from local producers and only offering a menu of Mexican craft beers. Their menu is dominated by a selection of hamburgers, including the classic vegetarian option of the portabella mushroom and the ever popular maple syrup burger. There are also a few kebabs if you don’t like delicious burgers.
Address & telephone number: General Coronado 79, Guadalajara, Mexico, +52 33 3825 5933