The Best Italian Restaurants in Guadalajara, Mexico

Find your way to the best Italian food in Guadalajara
Find your way to the best Italian food in Guadalajara | © roberto galan / Alamy Stock Photo
Lauren Cocking

Italian food may well be the most revered in the world, and Guadalajara’s restaurants serve up the real deal. A lot of the city’s hotspots are owned by Italians who have brought age-old family recipes from the motherland. These gastronomic go-tos will make even the most diehard Mexican-food fan think twice about ordering their next enchilada.

1. Antica Venezia

Restaurant, Italian

Spaghetti alla puttanesca Italian food
© Simon Reddy / Alamy Stock Photo
Located on the aptly named Calle Pompeya, Antica Venezia is a great little find for those seeking a cosy, familial restaurant that serves generous portions of pizza and pasta. The owner is Italian, and it shows in the authentic menu; the food prepared the way it would have been centuries ago, with ebullient chefs in the kitchen serving up octopus carpaccio, Neapolitan-style spaghetti puttanesca and pesce mare nostrum (fish cooked with shrimp and mushrooms in a creamy sauce).

2. Pinta Negra

Bar, Mexican

Foodies with an eye for a bargain flock to Pinta Negra for the speciality stone-baked pizzas. Hang out with friends from afternoon to evening, taking advantage of great offers on drinks, with beer sometimes as little as 20 Mexican pesos ($1). The mood is relaxed and casual (DJs and musicians sometimes play here), making it perfect for lunch or a light dinner on the terrace, surrounded by garland lights and hanging baskets of homegrown herbs. Views take in leafy Chapultepec, known for its large forest and park.

3. Funicula

Restaurant, Italian, Fast Food, Vegetarian, Vegan

Funicula is located on López Cotilla (a celebrated gastronomic stretch of the city) and earns its place with its homemade wood-fired pizzas – some of the best in Guadalajara. The crusts are thin and crispy and would even pass the test for Neapolitans; originators and guardians of Italy’s most famous export. Try the calzone piccantewith ham, mozzarella, mushrooms and chillies, or pizza with traditional tomato sauce, artichokes and sun-dried tomatoes.

4. La Mitotera

Restaurant, Italian, Mexican, Fast Food, Vegetarian

Pink-hued La Mitotera skilfully strikes a chord between Italian and Mexican cuisine. The restaurant’s decor is eclectic, adorned with potted plants, art on every wall, beanbags and fairy lights strung from the ceiling; the atmosphere is cosy yet bohemian. Diners need not get dressed up to fit in with the restaurant’s laid-back ambience and enjoy a chilled night with lasagne or spaghetti bolognese. It does a sideline in weddings, should you be in the market for one.

5. Barolo 71

Restaurant, Italian

This smart spot specialises in food from Italy’s south and is worth the trip out to Tlaquepaque, a popular day-trip destination known for its galleries and ceramics shops. Its signature dish is wild pork: marinated for 48 hours, slow-cooked for another eight and served with parmesan polenta and confit onion. Hungry? We thought so. That’s not to overlook the whole package: from the moment you step through the brick-fronted, vine-draped exterior and clap eyes on the artful plates and on-point interiors, you know this is a restaurant that rises to the occasion.

6. Fatto con Amore

Restaurant, Italian

A pepperoni pizza cooks in a wood fired pizza oven.
© David Buzzard / Alamy Stock Photo

Well known in the city for its great staff and on-the-pulse chefs, Fatto con Amore prides itself on bona fide Italian fare. The name means “made with love”, and it’s a fitting one. The restaurant features homely red-checked tablecloths and a wood-fired pizza oven. You can explore the menu, but we’ll save you the bother and tell you that the lasagna is the one to go for. Grab a table on the front or back terrace on warm evenings.

7. Osteria 10

Restaurant, Italian

Fans of slow food and Tuscan cuisine should head for Osteria 10, based on López Cotilla, which places an emphasis on traditional dishes, even going to the extent of importing the most authentic ingredients from Italy. Stellar dishes include fettuccine manuele (with parmesan, goat’s cheese and toasted pine nuts in a creamy sauce) and ravioli amore mio (three types of mushrooms in ravioli with rocket). Worn-in furniture, wooden beams and wine bottles lining the walls add to the ambience.

8. Recco

Restaurant, Restaurant with Rooms, Italian, European

The owner of Recco was born in Recco, near Genoa, and moved to England in 1956. From there, he relocated to Mexico to work in a hotel in the capital before being asked to run a restaurant in Guadalajara. Two years later, he married a local, and the rest is history. Arrive here early for breakfast, or wait for the sun to go down and get stuck into the ossobuco milanesa (braised veal shank with soupy saffron risotto).

9. Ristorante Angelo

Restaurant, Italian

Established more than 25 years ago, Angelo is located on bustling Calle Santa Mónica, adjacent to Parque Alcalde (go for a walk before dinner if you get here early). The restaurant’s motto is “good conversation always opens with a corkscrew”, so wine lovers are well served here. The interiors are moody and romantic: dimmed lighting, flickering candles, musicians to set the tone… Dress up for the occasion and order a Black Angel – the signature cocktail, concocted from limoncello, orange juice, curaçao and soda water.

10. Pomodoro

Restaurant, Italian

All of the 20 varieties of pizza at this vine-wrapped, palatial restaurant – from traditional capricciosa to less-typical fico e prosciutto (with figs, prosciutto and goat’s cheese) – are must-trys, because let’s face it: you can put anything on wood-fired pizza and it will taste good (pineapple excepted). There’s a decent selection of imported and local wines, too, and the location in the smart Minerva Roundabout area (topped by fountains and a statue of Minerva, the Roman god of wisdom), makes it a wise choice for special occasions.

Additional reporting by Joe Varley.

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