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The Guadalajara restaurant scene is representative of Mexico’s second city’s diverse culture, history and traditions.
Home to Mariachi, tequila and the iconic birria dish, Guadalajara is a city with many facets.
From fine dining to casual venues, there are restaurants in Guadalajara for every style and budget, to suit any taste or preference.
While Jalisco cuisine isn’t the most acclaimed Mexican specialty, it is worth seeking out while in Guadalajara.
After a delicious three month stay in the city, we’ve compiled this list of 10 best Guadalajara restaurants to savor Jalisco cuisine.
These top restaurants are in different areas of Guadalajara including Americana, Providencia, Tlaquepaque, and Centro.
Get ready to explore the top Guadalajara restaurants for a unique Mexican experience that will not disappoint.
Fine Dining Guadalajara Restaurants
Guadalajara has a surprising number of fine dining restaurants. We didn’t expect to find so many options. Many are trendy and best known as “places to be seen.”
Given our keen focus on authentic food and specifically the use of local products, these two restaurants stand out.
1 – Alcalde Restaurant – Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants
Alcalde Restaurant in Guadalajara is one of the best restaurants in the city.
In 2020, the restaurant was ranked #15 amongst the top amongst Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants.
Looking for a restaurant to celebrate a special occasion, Alcalde came highly recommended.
What appealed to us the most about the restaurant was their commitment to the use of local produce.
We later learned at the restaurant that most of the ingredients sourced from the state of Jalisco.
While you can order from the a la carte menu, we choose the 14-course tasting menu for the occasion.
We were intrigued and excited about taking a culinary adventure with creative interpretations of local ingredients.
Beautifully plated food, each dish was as tasty as it was appealing. The tasting menu included four appetizers and four snacks, making the seemingly overwhelming number of dishes more manageable.
Fresh local oysters in their own juices with chili was one of my favorite dishes. And, we enjoyed fish tartare tostados, prepared in a traditional manner, with avocado.
The beautifully presented food in a contemporary and comfortable atmosphere makes this restaurant in Guadalajara worth visiting.
Best Rated Restaurant in Guadalajara
Address: Avenida Mexico 2903
Hours: Mon – Saturday, 1:30 pm – 11:00 pm; Sunday, 1:30 pm – 5:00 pm
Prices: Tasting Menu 1,500 pesos per person (approx $80); Main dishes 350 pesos (approx $17.50)
2 – Allium – Gourmet Farm-to-Table
Owned by professional chefs, husband and wife, Maria Ortega and Adolfo Galnares, Allium is another outstanding Guadalajara restaurant.
Also featured among the best restaurants in Guadalajara, Allium offers a limited menu based on seasonal ingredients from artisanal producers.
The food is exquisite with much of the produce coming from their rooftop garden. The name, we learned from Maria is inspired by a traditional Mexican plant in the garlic family.
Our culinary voyage was guided by the 5-course tasting menu for our dinner. Interestingly, we selected two different tasting menus, an option we have not seen at other fine dining restaurants.
Our first two plates of different salads were both exceptional and very fresh. The second fish and seafood course was notable as well.
Rosemary’s black aguachile with clams was particularly memorable. While my shrimp ceviche was prepared to perfection with the freshest ingredients from the coastal town of Ensenada, Mexico.
One remarkably stand out dish was smoked duck cooked in a mole sauce. The sauce made in the Puebla style had 30 different ingredients. A wonderful combination of flavors, though rich and a little heavy.
The minimalist restaurant is inviting and the service top-notch. A great Guadalajara restaurant for farm fresh flavors.
Best Restaurant in Guadalajara For Gourmet Farm-To-Table Mexican Cuisine
Address: López Cotilla 1752, Colonia Americana
Hours: Tue – Saturday, 1:30 pm – 5:00 pm; 7:00 pm – 11:00 pm. Sunday, 1:30 pm – 5:00 pm, Closed Monday
Prices: Tasting Menu, 1,200 pesos per person (approx $60), Main dishes, 315 pesos (approx $16)
3- Tikkun Comedor Local – Creative Mexican Dishes
On our way to De La O Cantina bar for an afternoon drink, we stumbled upon Tikkun Comedor Local.
This quaint and cozy Mexican restaurant is located in a charming house in Americana, Guadalajara’s most trendy neighborhood.
We were intrigued by the beautiful patio with the elegant décor and high-quality furniture.
The menu looked very appetizing with some creative dishes listed. Tikkun Comedor Local serves contemporary Mexican cuisine with an emphasis on fresh and locally grown ingredients.
The dishes come from different parts of the country and the surprising flavors and textures reflect the creativity of the kitchen.
While we didn’t have the chance to experience their cuisine, this is one restaurant in Guadalajara we can’t wait to try.
If you want creative Mexican gourmet food at a reasonable price, Tikkun Comedor Local comes highly recommended.
Best Restaurant in Guadalajara For Creative Mexican Dishes
Address: Calle Emeterio Robles Gil 50, Colonia Americana, 44160 Guadalajara, Jalisco
Hours: Open Monday to Saturday 2:00 pm – 11:00 pm; Sunday 2:00 – 7:00pm
Prices: Main dishes about 300 pesos per serving (approx. $15.00)
Pro Tip: Leave some room for the desserts as they are rated as one of the best parts of the dining experience.
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Seafood in Guadalajara
Fish and seafood from the Pacific Ocean makes its way to Guadalajara restaurants via the main seafood market.
Mercado del Mar or sea market is located in Zapopan, the municipality that surrounds Guadalajara.
The market provides fresh food and seafood for the delicious seafood tacos, aquachile, ceviche or fresh fish that you’ll find at the local restaurants.
4- Ponte Trucha Negro – Seafood Mecca
This popular Guadalajara restaurant was recommended to us by our Airbnb host during our stay in the city.
Located a few blocks from the bustling Mercado Santa Tere, Ponte Trucha Negro attracts large crowds at lunch time.
It is not uncommon to see a long line on the sidewalk with people waiting to get seated, especially on Fridays.
Renown for its seafood platters and fish specialties, this casual restaurant has built a long standing reputation for friendly service and quality food.
Overwhelmed by the extensive menu, we decided to get the best experience by sharing the seafood platter.
It included shrimps with tamarind flavor, octopus simply prepared with a delightful garlic and barbecue sauce. Cheese and mushrooms completed the platter.
The service was friendly and responsive and the platter copious, tasty and fresh.
Overall, this is an excellent option for a seafood restaurant in Guadalajara.
We recommend trying their version of the pozole, a local Guadalajara food. Made with shrimps, octopus, calamari, sea snail, and oysters. It is said to be quite a feast.
Best Guadalajara Restaurant To Eat Mexican Seafood
Address: Calle Ignacio Ramírez 646, Santa Teresita, 44600 Guadalajara
Hours: Open everyday 10:30 am – 6:00 pm
Price: Main dishes about 200 pesos per serving (approx. $10.00)
Pro Tip: To make sure you skip the line and get seated right away, plan to get there early before 12:00 pm for lunch.
Meat Specialty Restaurant
Meat dishes are quite popular in Guadalajara. The preparation of meat is taken quite seriously with many butchers grilling meat for sale on Saturdays.
Pork, goat, lamb or mutton feature prominently in tacos, stews and sandwiches.
Some of the preferred meat dishes we had in Mexico were from Guadalajara. Indulge in naturally flavorful and tender meats in the dishes below.
5- Kamilos 333 – Carne En Su Jugo Specialist
Kamilos 333 is one of the best Guadalajara restaurants for carne en su jugo, Jalisco’s celebrated meat dish.
Founded in 1975, this family owned restaurant has a cozy atmosphere and rustic decor.
While Karne Garibaldi has built its popularity on fast service, Kamilos 333 is known for its meat quality.
The menu is focused on one dish that makes its reputation. Carne en su jugo, which translates to “meat in its juices.” This is a tasty beef stew served with bacon pieces.
The dish is served on rustic clay plates with beans, cilantro and spiced up with salsas, lime, and onions. The quintessential corn tortillas come along to soak up the beef juice.
This popular restaurant with locals has a family friendly atmosphere and outstanding service.
A must try restaurant while in Guadalajara.
Best Restaurant in Guadalajara For Carne En Su Jugo
Address: Clemente Orozco 333 street in the Santa Teresita, Guadalajara
Hours: Open everyday 8:00 am – 10:00 pm
Price: Main dish 120 pesos (approx. $6 USD)
6- La Birria de Oro – Authentic Birria
This unpretentious local restaurant is worth a detour for its praised dish, birria, a local stew prepared with goat meat.
Located by Mercado Alcalde, the neighborhood is lively with a rustic atmosphere. We stumbled upon La Birria de Oro while shopping for local produce at the market.
Frequented by locals, La Birria de Oro serves a tasty birria made the traditional way.
You can choose to have it served with a side of refried beans or frijoles for an extra 35 pesos (about $1.75).
The stew is rich and flavorful and topped with onions. The goat meat is unbelievably tender and moist. For the best experience go at lunch time before it gets too busy.
The tables fill quickly and the birria stew runs out fast.
La Birria de Oro is a great experience for an immersive lunch into Guadalajara daily life.
READ MORE: Top 14 Restaurants You Want to Try in Oaxaca
Best Guadalajara Restaurant To Eat Birria
Address: Calle Belén 402, Centro Barranquitas, Guadalajara
Hours: Open everyday from 8:00 am – 4:30 pm, closes at 4:00 pm on Sundays.
Price: Main dish 120 pesos (approx. $6 USD)
Pro Tip: If you want to experience the local market Alcalde, go to La Birria de Oro on Saturdays. You get to shop local products when the market is the liveliest.
Local Speciality Restaurants
For a slice of Guadalajara’s daily life, experience the local eateries and sample the local Guadalajara food.
At these iconic venues, you’ll find a variety of traditional foods not to miss out.
7- Tortas Toño – Tortas Ahogadas Guadalajara Signature Food
Tortas ahogadas are an iconic and traditional dish from Guadalajara. Translated as “drowned sandwich” it is a pork sandwich doused in a special spicy sauce.
While carnitas or sliced pork is the typical stuffing, Tortas Toño also offers up a succulent version filled with shrimp.
The spicy sauce made with chile de arbol, is incredibly flavorful. When combined with the bread and pork, this sandwich is heavenly.
Trying tortas ahogadas cannot be missed in Guadalajara. It is a favorite dish of the locals and there are several places that offer it on their menu.
For the best tortas ahogadas look no further than Tortas Toño.
Described as one of the best restaurants in Guadalajara by our local friends, we were thrilled with the recommendation.
Best Local Restaurant in Guadalajara For Tortas Ahogadas
Address: Tierra de Fuego 3160-2, Providencia (see website for additional locations), Guadalajara
Hours: Open every day from 9:00 am – 4:00 pm
Price: 59 pesos for classic tortas or 70 pesos with shrimp (approx. $2.48 / $2.95 USD)
Pro Tip: When you get your tortas ahogadas sandwich be sure to douse it in sauce. At Tortas Toño, the sauces are on the counter next to the chili spices. Simply help yourself and spread the sauces liberally all over your sandwich.
8- Cenaduria Dona Guille – Iconic Pozole and Traditional Small Plates
Opened for more than 45 years, Cenaduria Doña Guille, is one of the best restaurants in Guadalajara for traditional Jalisco food.
The restaurant is very spacious on the inside with large open tables and lots of light. It is spotless, functional with a familial atmosphere.
Over the years our local Tapatio friends told us, the restaurant which started as a little eatery expanded to the current size.
Their growth has been driven by the popularity of their tasty antojitos or savory small plates.
This Guadalajara restaurant has the best reputation in town for flautas, tostadas, sopes, enchiladas and more.
The pozole, the iconic Guadalajara soup, is so well known that it is always in demand and often sells out. Locals are known to bring their own tupperware and order it for takeaway.
For tasty Mexican snacks and traditional food from Jalisco, Cenaduría Doña Guille is an experience not to miss.
From the energetic atmosphere to the fresh and flavorful food, taste why the tradition at this Guadalajara restaurant continues to endure.
Best Local Restaurant in Guadalajara To Eat Traditional Small Plates
Address: Calle Jaime Nunó 1032, Guadalajara
Hours: Monday to Saturday, 6:00 pm – 11:00 pm
Price: Ranges from 32 – 65 pesos (approx. $1.60 – 3.30 USD)
Pro Tip: Be sure to reserve room for dessert and order the homemade pan de elote dessert or Mexican sweet cornbread. This popular dessert runs out regularly and it is best to place your order for it at the start of your dinner.
9 – Tacos Providencia – Local’s Favorite for Tacos
Tacos Providencia is the local favorite joint for tapatios or Guadalajara locals.
This no frills restaurant serves up some of the best tacos you will ever taste.
Incredibly popular, there is often a wait despite the ample seating area at the restaurant.
The tacos selection includes traditional tacos most will be familiar with, as well as unique cuts of meat, like tongue.
The tacos are smaller than typical ones found in the US and are served on two small tacos instead of one.
In this case, plan to order at least four tacos per person to feel satiated. The sauces on the table are fresh and make the flavors of the tacos shine.
For tasty and quality tacos, this is one of the best restaurants in Guadalajara to get your tacos fix.
Best Local Restaurant in Guadalajara For Tacos
Address: Av. Rubén Darío 534, Lomas de Guevara, 44657, Guadalajara
Hours: Open Tuesday to Sunday 1:30pm – 11:30 pm, closes at 11:00 pm Sunday
Price: Ranges from 20 – 33 pesos per tacos (approx $1.0 – $1.70 USD per taco)
Pro Tip: Don’t be turned away by the queue or line of people waiting outside the restaurant. Although there might be a wait, the line moves fast and you will be quickly seated.
Outskirts of Guadalajara – Tlaquepaque
Tlaquepaque is a quaint little town near Guadalajara. It’s known as the “Pueblo Mágico” or the magic village and it is a popular tourist destination.
Rich in history, the town is filled with cobblestone streets and brightly colored buildings. You’ll find an array of restaurants with many serving up Mexican cuisine catered for tourists.
With so many options to choose from, we relied on recommendations from locals to weed out the tourist traps.
Casa Fuerte was recommended for great Mexican food and live music. An experience that did not disappoint.
10- Casa Fuerte – Tlaquepaque
Located very close to the main square in town, Casa Fuerte is located in a historic mansion that’s been around for over 100 years.
The oversize garden patio with ample space and live music playing in the background makes this a great restaurant option.
Casa Fuerte specializes in tasty and traditional Mexican food. Rosemary’s chile relleno de picadillo or stuffed chili pepper with minced beef was incredibly tasty.
The accompanying rice and beans were also well flavored.
The menu also features a number of regional dishes and indigeneous ingredients like huitlacoche or corn fungus.
The staff is friendly and the portion sizes to be on the generous side. With the live music and relaxed atmosphere, this is a great place to unwind as you visit the stores in Tlaquepaque.
Best Restaurant in Guadalajara Neighborhood of Tlaquepaque
Address: Calle Independencia 224, Centro, 45500 San Pedro Tlaquepaque, Jalisco
Hours: Open everyday 12:30 pm – 8:00 pm
Price: Main dishes about 100 pesos (approx. $5 USD)
Map of Guadalajara Restaurants
The Guadalajara restaurant scene is quite diverse. From fine dining Michelin-starred restaurants to street tacos and more, there is plenty to choose from.
While this list of Guadalajara restaurants is not exhaustive, we’ve put a spotlight on the restaurants celebrating local food.
Each one of these Guadalajara restaurants celebrates the local heritage in their cuisine.
Allow yourself to be surprised by Jalisco flavors at any of these Guadalajara restaurants.
In the comments below, please tell us which of these Guadalajara restaurants you would like to try.
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Claire, ex-engineer, is a digital nomad and content creator at Authentic Food Quest. Since 2015, with her partner, Rosemary, they travel the world in search of the best local food experiences. Their mission is to help you enjoy the best local specialties on your travels or via recipes in your home kitchen. Favorite country for food: Vietnam. Favorite local dish: Hainanese Chicken Rice. Favorite way to keep fit: Cycling. Claire is responsible for the website and the fun food & travel videos on Youtube. She is also co-author of Authentic Food Quest Argentina and Authentic Food Quest Peru, available on Amazon.