The Mexican state of Jalisco is far better known for tequila than coffee. But the state capital of Guadalajara still has plenty of options if you’re searching for a caffeine hit.
In recent years, numerous stylish cafés have sprung up across the city, and the majority offer better taste and price than you’ll find at the international chains. Here are the top coffee spots in this vibrant Mexican metropolis.
Cafe, Mexican, $$$
Courtesy of La Tetería
This cozy café in the Americana neighborhood offers both tea and coffee. With its pastel-colored walls and soothing patio, it has a calm and refined feel. The frappé options, which include chai and mint chocolate flavors, are highly recommended. Complement your drink with one of the delicious and inexpensive desserts.
This charming coffee shop stocks an extensive selection. Alongside meticulously crafted espressos and flat whites, Neretta Café boasts a brew bar for manually preparing coffees in a variety of styles. It’s a cozy space with exposed-brick walls, a wooden coffee bar and outdoor seating. The café also specializes in top-quality gelato. The french toast with a gelato scoop of your choice is recommended.
This popular establishment in the Americana neighborhood boasts an impressive selection of coffees. Its signature espresso is fragrant and flavorsome, and the chocolate mocha is a highlight, blending espresso with white chocolate and steamed milk. More adventurous coffee lovers should try a juamilton, an iced double espresso sitting on top of a serving of rompope, an eggnog-like local liqueur.
Just two blocks from Guadalajara’s stunning Templo Expiatorio del Santísimo Sacramento, Amablecafé is an unpretentious place with an impressive range of coffees. The espressos are outstanding, while the cold brew is perfect. The brew bar offers different pour-over methods and beans sourced from across Mexico, Latin America, Africa and Asia. The welcoming and knowledgeable staff will happily guide you through the options.
A paradise for coffee purists, Taller de Espresso boasts two locations in Guadalajara. It’s a serious operation, with a team that includes two-time national barista champion, Pedro Gómez. Founded nearly a decade ago, the company works tirelessly to promote coffee culture in Mexico. Taller de Espresso selects, roasts and sells the best Mexican coffees while also offering courses for baristas.
A stone’s throw from the Juarez Market is Cachemira Cafetería, which offers a small but meticulously brewed selection of coffees. One standout is the café de olla – a traditional Mexican beverage prepared in a clay pot and flavored with cinnamon. Cachemira also has a decent menu focused on regional cuisine.
Located on Guadalajara’s trendy Chapultepec Avenue, this elegant café features two floors connected by a winding staircase. True coffee connoisseurs will appreciate the variety on offer, as The Coffee Legacy employs a range of different brewing devices, including French press, AeroPress and Clever coffee drippers. The café also has a decent menu, offering chilaquiles (fried corn tortillas), enchiladas (stuffed tortillas) and a variety of delicious desserts.
Situated just a few feet from The Coffee Legacy, El Sorbo de Café has a loyal base of regulars. It has a distinctly Mediterranean feel with its bright walls, round marble tables and chandeliers. Alongside a range of coffees, it serves a delicious selection of baked goods, including mouthwatering cakes, croissants and cheesecakes. For more substantial snacks, you can take your coffee with you to Boca 21, the neighboring deli.
Tucked away in the colorful Coronilla neighborhood in Guadalajara’s historic center, Café Finca Riveroll is a great pit stop for tourists on a sightseeing mission. The menu is both extensive and affordable, but the real highlight is the coffee, which comes from the coastal state of Veracruz. Try a rich, aromatic coatepecano coffee.
Organic coffee from the southern state of Chiapas anchors the menu of this laid-back café. Indigenous families living in the mountains grow and hand roast the coffee beans, which Café Chapultepec brews into a range of delicious beverages. The venue has indoor and outdoor seating, while the service is reliably friendly and efficient.
Coltrane Café is a café, music club and restaurant rolled into one. Named after the freestyle jazz icon John Coltrane, this homey spot is the perfect haven for weary travelers. The menu offers casual fare, such as hamburgers, salads and breakfast pancakes. But you’d be hard-pressed to find friendlier service or better value for money in the city. Serious jazz lovers should ask the waiting staff about upcoming live-music events.
This legendary Guadalajara institution serves some of the best chilaquiles in western Mexico. But the café’s true specialty is lonche de pancita, a pork belly torta that has inspired countless admiring articles, in both Spanish and English. Café P’al Real also serves top-quality espressos and long blacks. One unique offering is the agavatte, a latte laced with agave nectar and served on the rocks with a sprinkling of cacao nibs.
This colorful café was once the home of the legendary Mexican actress María Félix. It’s not a palatial complex – Félix lived here before she became a cultural icon in the 1940s. But you will find a cheery building marked with a mural in her honor. The café also offers great coffee and tisanas (herbal infusions made with fresh or dried flowers, leaves and seeds.)
This esteemed roaster offers great espressos, drip coffees and lattes. Coffee aficionados can choose from a variety of extraction methods, including Chemex, V60, French press and AeroPress. With its stylish and uncluttered interior, Matraz is an excellent place to work while enjoying an expertly crafted coffee.
Situated in El Teatro Degollado, Guadalajara’s famous Neoclassical theatre, this café is a beautiful place to refuel on a visit to the city’s historic center. The menu offers more conventional beverages – you won’t find a variety of pour-over methods or nitro cold brews here. But it makes great espressos and cappuccinos while offering an impressive selection of food. With vistas looking out on the Plaza de la Liberacion and Guadalajara Cathedral, you won’t find a better-located cup of coffee in the city.