Violins, guitars, Mexican vihuela
(“big guitar”) trumpets, and of course voice are the basic elements of mariachi
music. But listening to mariachi also means having a good time with your friends, and drinking tequila. Here’s our pick of the best places to visit if you want to experience an authentic fiesta, Jalisco style.
El Parián de Tlaquepaque
This restaurant could be considered to be the largest canteen in the world. It’s really just a large square flanked by columns and surrounded by restaurants and bars. During the Mexican Revolution it was a downscale and dirty place to eat and drink; now it’s one of the city’s main attractions, and mariachi bands frequently approach the tables to ask visitors if they would like a song. We recommend that you agree a price in advance.
Calle Juárez, Centro, 45500 San Pedro Tlaquepaque, Jalisco, México, +52 3336960488
Restaurant, Mexican, $$$
In this restaurant, which has been going for more than 20 years, you’re always guaranteed to find some mariachi music, as well as colorful folklore, regional dancing, typical cuisine, and an authentic Mexican atmosphere. You’ll hear classic songs as well as modern hits.
Av. Ignacio Luis Vallarta 2221, Arcos Vallarta, 44130 Guadalajara, Jalisco, México, +52 3336169900
Plaza de los Mariachis
This place, in the heart of downtown, is a favorite of locals looking for a mariachi band to get them in the party mood, or a classical serenade at midnight. It’s also a popular tourist destination, and although it’s not the most elegant or sophisticated place in the city, it’s one of the most original. You do need to keep a careful eye on your belongings, though.
Álvaro Obregón, Lic. Verdad 23, San Juan de Dios, 44360 Guadalajara, Jalisco, México, +52 3336174421
Restaurante el Patio
El Patio is a restaurant in the center of Tlaquepaque, a few minutes from downtown Guadalajara. It has a number of small rooms and estancias around a central courtyard, a very classic Mexican architectural style. There’s almost always some live music playing, whether it’s a trio, or one of their main attractions, female mariachi.
Calle Independencia 186, Centro, 45500 San Pedro Tlaquepaque, Jalisco, México, +52 3336351108
It’s almost impossible to listen to mariachi and not want to get closer to the music, it’s that captivating. Restaurant owners know this, and hire mariachi bands to play while people enjoy their food. El Adobe is a great example of this, offering great food and excellent live mariachi music, not to mention an art gallery.
Del Ejército 42, Centro, 45500 San Pedro Tlaquepaque, Jalisco, Mexico, +52 3336572792
El Alazán y el Rosillo
Guadalajara is well known in the rest of Mexico for its charros or cowboy culture, and there are a few restaurants around the city that reflect this. One of them is El Alazán y el Rosillo; the name refers to the names of the two horses that belonged to the original owner. Tequila, horses and grilled food are all perfect with mariachi music, and if you’re looking for that kind of experience, this is one of the best places to go.
Carretera Libre A Zapotlanejo #317, Santa Paula, 45400 Tonalá, Jalisco, México, 01 3336901686