Welcome to Guadalajara, Mexico! Known as the capital of Jalisco and Mexico’s second-largest city, Guadalajara is a beautiful place filled with rich culture, history, and delicious food. With a population of over five million people, Guadalajara has a food scene that’s diverse and exciting, with lots of great restaurants serving up traditional Mexican cuisine and more.
In this article, we’re going to be taking a look at the 10 best restaurants in Guadalajara. We’ll cover everything from traditional dishes to fine dining experiences and street food. So no matter what you’re in the mood for, you’re sure to find something to love.
La Chata – A Local Favorite
La Chata is a must-visit restaurant in Guadalajara. Especially if you’re looking for a local favorite that serves traditional Mexican cuisine. This restaurant has been serving the best of local dishes for over 50 years and is a favorite of locals and tourists alike.
Located in the historic center of Guadalajara, La Chata is housed in a colonial-style building that exudes an old-world charm. The restaurant has a long table that runs through the center of the dining room. A perfect for large groups and families.
One of the restaurant’s specialties is the “torta ahogada,” a traditional dish from Guadalajara that translates to “drowned sandwich.” It’s messy, delicious, and a must-try when you visit La Chata.
Apart from the torta ahogada, La Chata is also known for its “carne en su jugo,” which literally means “meat in its juices.” It’s a hearty and comforting dish made with beef, bacon, and beans. It is served with corn tortillas, avocado, and lime wedges.
Another great thing about La Chata is that it offers live music every day, adding to the overall festive atmosphere. You can enjoy traditional mariachi music while savoring the restaurant’s delicious food. Despite being a popular restaurant, La Chata manages to keep its prices reasonable.
Karne Garibaldi – A Guinness World Record Holder
Karne Garibaldi is a restaurant that holds a Guinness World Record for the fastest service in the world. The restaurant is located in the Colonia Americana neighborhood. One of the most vibrant areas of Guadalajara, and is a favorite among locals and tourists alike.
The restaurant is named after the Mexican revolutionary General Garibaldi. The specialty here is the “torta ahogada,” a local dish.
What makes Karne Garibaldi unique is the speed of their service. The restaurant’s waiters, dressed in traditional white uniforms and black bow ties, are known for their lightning-fast service. They can serve up to 1500 customers a day, with each order taking less than a minute to prepare and serve. This has earned the restaurant a Guinness World Record for the fastest service in the world.
Apart from the speedy service, Karne Garibaldi is also known for its excellent food. The pork served here is cooked to perfection, and the refried beans are made with care, giving them a unique flavor. You can enjoy your food with a refreshing glass of lime juice, a common accompaniment to torta ahogada.
Tortas Toño – Street Food at Its Best
If you’re looking for some of the best street food in Guadalajara, look no further than Tortas Toño. This small, unassuming food stall has become a local institution. Serving up some of the most delicious tortas ahogadas in the city.
Tortas ahogadas are a traditional dish from Guadalajara. At Tortas Toño, they take this dish to the next level, using high-quality ingredients and a secret family recipe to create a taste sensation that’s hard to beat.
What makes Tortas Toño unique is its open kitchen. You can watch as the cooks prepare your food right in front of you, adding to the experience.
Despite being a street food stall, Tortas Toño is known for its great service. The staff is friendly and attentive, making sure that every customer feels welcome and satisfied.
And the best part? Tortas Toño is incredibly affordable. You can enjoy a delicious torta ahogada and a refreshing glass of lime juice for around $5-7. Making it a great choice for anyone on a budget.
Tortas Toño has become so popular that they now have multiple locations throughout Guadalajara. As well as in other cities such as Puerto Vallarta and Mexico City. But despite their success, they have managed to maintain the same level of quality and authenticity that has made them a local favorite for over 20 years.
Lula Bistro – Fine Dining in Colonia Americana
For a more upscale dining experience in Guadalajara, head to Lula Bistro in the trendy neighborhood of Colonia Americana. This restaurant is known for its contemporary take on traditional Mexican cuisine. It has earned a reputation as one of the best fine-dining restaurants in the city.
The restaurant is helmed by chef Darren Walsh. Who combines his international experience with a deep knowledge and love of Mexican cuisine to create a truly unique menu. The dishes at Lula Bistro are not only beautifully presented, but bursting with flavor and creativity.
The restaurant itself is a cozy and intimate space, with only a few tables and an open kitchen. This makes it a great choice for a special occasion or romantic dinner.
One of the standout dishes at Lula Bistro is the tasting menu. Which allows diners to try a variety of the restaurant’s signature dishes. Each course is carefully crafted to highlight the flavors and textures of different ingredients and is paired with a perfectly matched wine.
While Lula Bistro is definitely on the pricier side, the quality of the food and the overall experience make it well worth the cost. It’s also worth noting that the restaurant has a seasonal menu, which means that you’ll always be able to try something new and exciting.
La Tequila – A Unique Experience
If you’re looking for a unique dining experience in Guadalajara, La Tequila is definitely worth checking out. This restaurant is all about celebrating the spirit that Mexico is famous for tequila.
As soon as you enter La Tequila, you’ll be struck by the impressive selection of tequila bottles lining the walls. This restaurant takes its tequila seriously. And the knowledgeable staff is more than happy to help you navigate the extensive menu.
But it’s not just about the tequila at La Tequila – the food is also top-notch. The menu features a variety of traditional Mexican dishes. Each of these has been carefully crafted to pair perfectly with tequila.
One of the standout dishes at La Tequila is pork belly tacos. Which are served with delicious tequila-infused salsa. And of course, you can’t visit La Tequila without trying one of their signature margaritas – they’re some of the best in the city.
But what really sets La Tequila apart is the atmosphere. The restaurant is housed in a beautiful old building in downtown Guadalajara, and the decor is a mix of traditional and modern elements. The overall effect is a unique and stylish space that’s perfect for a fun night out.
Santo Coyote – Great Food and Live Music
If you’re looking for a great night out in Guadalajara, Santo Coyote is definitely worth checking out. This restaurant is known for its lively atmosphere, great food, and live music.
Santo Coyote specializes in traditional Mexican cuisine. With a menu that features all your favorites, from tacos and enchiladas to more adventurous dishes like the chiles en nogada. And of course, there’s plenty of tequila and other drinks on offer to help you get into the party mood.
But what really sets Santo Coyote apart is the live music. There’s a stage in the center of the restaurant where local bands perform, and the energy and excitement are infectious. Whether you’re there with a group of friends or on a date, you’re sure to have a great time.
The atmosphere at Santo Coyote is lively and fun, with a mix of locals and tourists all there to enjoy the food and music. The decor is stylish and modern, with plenty of traditional Mexican elements to create a unique and vibrant space.
Santo Coyote is located in downtown Guadalajara, just a short walk from the historic José Clemente Orozco mural museum. It’s a popular spot for both locals and visitors, so it’s worth making a reservation if you’re planning on dining there on a busy night.
Santa Teresita – A Hidden Gem
If you’re looking for a hidden gem in Guadalajara’s food scene, Santa Teresita is definitely worth checking out.
Santa Teresita specializes in traditional Mexican dishes, with a menu that features everything from tacos and enchiladas to more complex regional dishes like mole and pozole. The ingredients are fresh and flavorful, and the portions are generous, making it a great value for the price.
What really sets Santa Teresita apart, though, is the cozy and welcoming atmosphere. The restaurant is located in a converted house, with each room serving as a different dining area. The decor is eclectic and charming, with bright colors and interesting art on the walls.
The staff at Santa Teresita are friendly and attentive. It’s the kind of place where you can relax and enjoy a leisurely meal with friends or family, without feeling rushed or pressured.
One of the most popular dishes at Santa Teresita is the chile relleno. Which is stuffed with cheese and coated in a light, crispy batter. It’s a perfect example of the restaurant’s focus on traditional Mexican cuisine, and it’s sure to leave you feeling satisfied and happy.
Santa Teresita is located in the C. Miguel Lerdo de Tejada neighborhood, just a short drive from the historic center of Guadalajara. It’s a bit off the beaten path, but that just adds to its charm and appeal.
Birrieria Las 9 Esquinas – The Best Birria in Town
Birrieria Las 9 Esquinas is a must-visit restaurant for anyone looking to experience the best birria in town. This small, unassuming spot is located in the C. Ignacio Herrera y Cairo neighborhood, but don’t let its humble exterior fool you. The food here is outstanding.
Birria is a traditional Mexican dish that’s typically made with goat or beef, and it’s slow-cooked for hours until it’s tender and flavorful. At Birrieria Las 9 Esquinas, the birria is the star of the show. The meat is so tender that it practically melts in your mouth, and the spices and flavors are perfectly balanced.
One of the things that sets Birrieria Las 9 Esquinas apart is the way they serve their birria. Rather than being served in a bowl or on a plate, the meat is wrapped in a corn tortilla and served as a taco. It’s a unique and delicious twist on a classic dish.
One thing to keep in mind when visiting Birrieria Las 9 Esquinas is that it’s a popular spot, and there’s often a long line. But don’t let that discourage you. The wait is worth it for the delicious food you’ll enjoy once you’re seated.
Birrieria Las 9 Esquinas is located near the Mercado Libertad, which is a popular destination for tourists and locals alike. It’s a great spot to grab a meal after browsing the market stalls and soaking up the local culture.
Miguel Lerdo de Tejada – A Popular Choice
C. Miguel Lerdo de Tejada is a street in downtown Guadalajara that’s known for its fantastic restaurants and bustling atmosphere. It’s a popular choice for locals and tourists alike who are looking for a great meal and a lively atmosphere.
One of the standout restaurants on C. Miguel Lerdo de Tejada is Tortas Ahogadas “El Güero,” which is famous for its delicious tortas ahogadas. They’re a must-try for anyone visiting Guadalajara.
Another great restaurant on this street is El Sacromonte, which serves traditional Mexican dishes with a modern twist. Their carne en su jugo is particularly popular and is made with thinly sliced beef cooked in its own juices and served with beans, onions, and cilantro. It’s a hearty and delicious dish that’s perfect for a filling lunch or dinner.
But C. Miguel Lerdo de Tejada isn’t just about food. It’s also home to the historic Teatro Degollado, which is a beautiful neoclassical theater that was built in the mid-1800s. The theater is still in use today and is a popular destination for theater-goers and tourists who want to see a show or take a tour.
Another notable attraction on this street is the Instituto Cultural Cabañas, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This historic building was once a hospital, but it’s now home to a cultural center that features art exhibitions, concerts, and other cultural events.
Mercado Libertad – A Food Lover’s Paradise
Mercado Libertad, also known as the San Juan de Dios Market, is a massive indoor market located in downtown Guadalajara. It’s a food lover’s paradise, with hundreds of vendors selling everything from fresh produce and seafood to street food and traditional Mexican dishes.
One of the standout food options at Mercado Libertad is Tacos al Pastor “El Profe,” which serves up delicious tacos al pastor made with marinated pork cooked on a spit and served on fresh corn tortillas. These tacos are a local favorite and are sure to satisfy your cravings for authentic Mexican street food.
If you’re in the mood for seafood, head to Mariscos Progreso, which serves up some of the freshest and most delicious seafood in the market. From shrimp cocktails to ceviche to grilled octopus, there’s something for everyone at this popular seafood spot.
For a truly unique experience, be sure to visit Birria Chololo, which serves up some of the best birria in town. This traditional dish is made with goat or beef that’s slow-cooked with chilies and spices until it’s tender and flavorful. It’s served with fresh tortillas and a spicy broth that’s perfect for dipping.
But Mercado Libertad isn’t just about food. It’s also home to dozens of other vendors selling everything from clothing and jewelry to handicrafts and souvenirs. You can easily spend an entire afternoon exploring the market. Discovering all of the amazing things it has to offer.
Personal Experiences – The Best Way to Discover Guadalajara’s Restaurant Scene
While this list covers some of the best restaurants in Guadalajara, there are plenty of other great options out there. One of the best ways to discover new restaurants is to talk to locals and get recommendations based on personal experiences.
If you’re visiting Guadalajara, consider hiring a tour guide who can take you to some of the top restaurants in the area. They’ll be able to provide you with insider information. And help you discover hidden gems that you might not have found otherwise.
Whether you’re looking for traditional Mexican cuisine, fine dining experiences, or street food, Guadalajara has something for everyone. The restaurants on this list are just a small sampling of the amazing food you can find in this city.
So if you’re planning a trip to Guadalajara, make sure to put some of these restaurants on your list. And don’t forget to explore the city’s food scene on your own – you never know what amazing restaurants you might discover!