9 of the Best Places to Eat in Guadalajara


Guadalajara is a city known for its rich cultural heritage and vibrant food scenes. With food stalls lining many streets and countless restaurants scattered throughout the city, it can be tricky to pick where to eat. So, we narrowed it down to nine restaurants with mouthwatering dishes worthy of a try to make it easier for you to select where to eat.

9 of the Best Places to Eat in Guadalajara

Guadalajara is home to dozens of restaurants that offer outstanding food. However, a few stand out among the swirling pool of options. Here are our top ten picks for the best places to eat in Guadalajara:

1. Pig’s Pearls

If you’re not an adventurous eater, you may find yourself searching for familiar favorites. If that sounds like you, this cozy restaurant, nestled in the heart of Guadalajara, is a must-visit. The menu offers a blend of familiar dishes with more innovative dishes inspired by Mexican and international cuisines.

Keep it simple with a perfectly cooked hamburger or chicken burger atop a homemade bun with a side of fries. Or, if you’re feeling adventurous, try the bone marrow or jaiba croquettes. Quench your thirst with a refreshing cocktail, craft beer, or kombucha.

2. Restaurante Alcalde

For a taste of elevated Mexican cuisine with a contemporary twist, look no further than Restaurante Alcalde. The well-balanced menu offers an assortment of dishes that incorporate the staples of traditional Mexican flavors.

If you want to sample it all, we loved the tasting menu, which offers nearly a dozen courses, each with something different to offer. From sweet and spicy coconut ceviche to the delectable truffle dessert, there’s something for nearly every palette here.

Wash it all down with cocktails, wine, or your favorite spirits. If you’re not sure what to sip on with your chosen entre, ask your server for recommendations – they’re known for suggesting excellent pairings!

3. La Chata de Guadalajara

While there’s almost always a line stretching out the door at La Chata de Guadalajara, the food is well worth the wait. We’ve found that the wait is typically 45 minutes or less, so it’s not too bad. The line moves pretty quickly, and once you get inside, the wait time after ordering your food is usually fairly short.

The menu boasts an assortment of traditional, mouthwatering Mexican dishes, from “La Chata” style eggs served at breakfast to Pozole Blanco, a soup made with hominy and meat simmered in a flavorful broth. Sip on horchata, fresh orange juice, coffee, or beer while you enjoy your meal.

4. El Terrible Juan Cafe

Don’t let the “terrible” in the name fool you–this cafe has delicious food! If you go for brunch, the salmon toast and chilaquiles breakfast are delicious, out-of-the-box options. Or, if you visit later in the day, the Terrible burger, roast beef sandwich, and bacon cheese sandwich are delicious options.

The coffee is excellent, adding a finishing touch to whatever meal you choose. Choose from an assortment of coffee options, such as Chemex honey coffee or mazapan lattes, to complete your meal. You can even buy the coffee beans by the bag if you decide you want to try your hand at making a cup at home!

5. Karne Garibaldi

No culinary journey through Guadalajara would be complete without a visit to Karne Garibaldi, home to the world’s fastest waiters to the renowned dish, carne en su jugo. This restaurant has multiple locations throughout the city, so you can pick the one closest to the day’s activities or your accommodations.

It’s known for its carne en su jugo, or meat in its juices, which comes out quickly. The menu isn’t long, but the options are done well, from the quesadillas al patron to the refried beans and corn you’ll receive upon arrival. Rapid service is a staple at this restaurant, so you won’t have to wait long, even for your entrees.

6. Birrieria las 9 Esquinas

For a taste of Jalisco’s iconic dish, birria, look no further than Birrieria las 9 Esquinas. This humble eatery specializes in slow-cooked goat or beef stew, both simmered to perfection with an assortment of spices. The house-made tortillas and condiments are the perfect finishing touch, creating a deliciously spicy dish that is sure to satisfy your birria craving (and then some!).

Pair your meal with a delicious agua fresca or horchata, which balances the seasonings in the entrees via a refreshing hint of sweetness. If you have room for dessert, be sure to try jericalla, a Mexican custard dessert with a texture similar to flan, and a burned sugar top similar to creme brulee.

7. El Pilon de Los Arrieros

Nestled in the historic center of Guadalajara, El Pilon de Los Arrerios offers a glimpse into Jalisco’s culinary heritage with its array of regional dishes and hearty meals. Like many restaurants in the area, this one offers delectable birria, complete with ready-made tortillas and fresh toppings.

Or, if you’re in the mood for something else, try the Mole Poblano, tortilla soup, or caldo de tlalpeno! There’s something for everyone!

Beyond the food, the ambiance is lovely. You can pick where you sit, whether you want a seat by the fountain or one on the back patio.

8. Restaurante Allium

If you’re in the mood for a sophisticated fine dining experience, Restaurante Allium is a good place to go. This restaurant offers Mediterranean-inspired cuisine with a Mexican flair, each dish boasting the culinary creativity of the head chef.

From bold flavors that catch your attention to milder flavors that blend in a delectable harmony, the options at this restaurant can suit nearly any taste. Savor the catch of the day, served with varying sauces and toppings, or go with the out-of-the-box roasted octopus, complete with smoked cambray potatoes, crispy chorizo, and delicious sauces.

Or, skip the seafood and opt for a braised leg of lamb served with smoked mashed potatoes or Black Angus rib stew served with creamy sweet corn polenta. It’s important to note that since the restaurant works with small producers, the menu can change without notice, so you might find a few unique dishes on the menu during your visit.

9. La Tequila Cocina de Mexico Av Mexico

This authentic restaurant is a favorite among visitors and locals alike. The atmosphere is excellent, with a welcoming ambiance that sets the stage for an outstanding experience. If you’re a tequila connoisseur, this restaurant is a must-visit while you’re in Guadalajara.

Enjoy freshly-made salsa curated to your spice preferences, sip on sweet, refreshing cocktails, and savor the restaurant’s unbelievable collection of tequilas. From soups and salads to fish, meat, and poultry, the menu is diverse enough to satisfy many palettes.

If you have room after your meal, be sure to try the Neopolitan flan, which has a sweet, creamy texture paired with a smooth caramel. Or, sample the fried ice cream, which is coated in coconut and fried to creamy perfection.


Historical churc in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico

Traditional Mexican Cuisine in Guadelajara

As you eat your way through Guadalajara, you might come across a few dishes you’re unfamiliar with. Here are a few traditional staples you might encounter during your vacation:

  • Birria: A hearty stew made with a blend of spices and slow-cooked goat or beef, often served with fresh tortillas, onions, cilantro, and lime.
  • Carne en su jugo: Tender strips of beef simmered in a flavor-packed broth, often made with onions and cilantro and served with beans and tortillas.
  • Pozole: A traditional Mexican soup made with hominy and meat simmered in a richly seasoned broth. It’s usually garnished with shredded lettuce, onions, radishes, cilantro, and lime.
  • Tacos al Pastor: Thinly sliced marinated pork cooked on a vertical rotisserie, often served on corn tortillas with onions, cilantro, salsa, and pineapples.
  • Enchiladas tapatias: Corn tortillas bursting with shredded beef or chicken, rolled, and smothered in a rich and spicy tomato-based sauce. Generally, they’re topped with crumbled cheese, sour cream, avocado slices, and onions.
  • Sopes: Thick, handmade tortillas filled with refried beans, shredded meat, lettuce, sour cream, crumbled cheese, and salsa.
  • Tamales: Steamed corn husks lined with masa dough and filled with various sweet or savory fillings, such as chicken, pork, cheese, or fruits.


Enjoy the Best Mexican Cuisine With Caravan

From Michelin-starred fine dining establishments to humble, family-owned food stalls and restaurants, Guadalajara’s culinary landscape is as diverse as it is delicious. Whether you’re craving traditional Mexican fare or contemporary fusion, there’s something for everyone within the city limits.

If you’re ready to visit the city and embark on a culinary adventure, we’re here to help!

Our Mexico’s Colonial Cities tour will take you to the streets of Guadalajara, giving you the opportunity to sample the city’s delectable cuisine. But if you prefer the fascinating history of Mexico’s Ancient Civilizations or an exhilarating ride on Mexico’s Copper Canyon train, we have tours for that, too.

Each trip takes you to the best sights and activities in different parts of Mexico, leaving ample opportunity for you to sample the best of Mexico’s cuisine. Ready to book a trip? Call 1-800-CARAVAN or 1-312-321-9800 today.