The best local restaurants in Guadalajara are a joy for visitors looking for an authentic culinary experience in Mexico. Restaurants include decades-old, family-run eateries that serve traditional dishes, such as meat stew, seafood tacos, and pre-Hispanic soup. Most of the restaurants also have meat-free options on their menus.

    A common thing at restaurants in Guadalajara is that lines can be long, and service can be relatively slow. So it's best just to relax, be patient, and order another round of beers. In our curated list below, you'll find some of Guadalajara's most popular local restaurants where you can tuck into delicious Mexican flavors.

    1

    Karne Garibaldi Santa Tere

    A popular spot for traditional meat stew

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    Since 1970, Karne Garibaldi has been serving only a single main course: carne en su jugo. This traditional “meat in its juices” dish from Jalisco comprises sliced beef cooked in a flavorful broth, then mixed with bacon and beans. You can choose from 3 bowl sizes as well as some sides of guacamole, quesadillas, or queso fundido – melted cheese with chorizo or mushrooms.

    While Karne Garibaldi is famous for its consistently delicious single-pot stew, the restaurant is renowned for its speedy service. And when we say quick service, we’re talking about 13.5 seconds from the time you order to the food arriving at your table. That’s an official Guinness World Record.

    Location: Calle Garibaldi 1306, Villaseñor, 44600 Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico

    Open: Daily from 10 am to 10 pm

    Phone: +52 334 737 4884

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    2

    La Chata

    Serving authentic dishes from Jalisco since 1942

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    La Chata is a Mexican restaurant in Guadalajara that has attracted locals and visitors in the know to its hefty portions of home-style food for 80 years. Affordably priced, they’re served in a homey, welcoming atmosphere. Dishes are made from generations-old recipes and secret ingredients and include enchiladas, flautas and platillo jalisciense – fried chicken and 5 sides. 

    There are 2 locations in Guadalajara. One restaurant is in the city centre, and another is 4 km west of the center in the neighbourhood of Terranova.

    Location: Av. Ramón Corona 126, Zona Centro, 44100 Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico

    Open: Daily from 7 am to midnight

    Phone: +52 333 613 1315

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    3

    Taco Fish La Paz

    Seafood tacos worth the wait

    Taco Fish La Paz is the spot to visit in Guadalajara if you have a craving for fish tacos or burritos. The restaurant serves generous portions of seafood tacos packed with delicious fillings of fish, shrimp, or octopus. After you’ve chosen your selection, you head to the long salad bar with chili, coleslaw, pickled onions, cucumbers, spicy green salsa, and much more. 

    You can sit inside or at one of the tables outside on the sidewalk. There are 2 locations in Guadalajara. One is located in the city centre, and the other is a few blocks from the Guadalajara Metropolitan Park in the west of the city.

    Location: Avenida, Av. de la Paz 494, Mexicaltzingo, 44100 Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico

    Open: Daily from 9 am to 5 pm

    Phone: +52 331 653 8934

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    4

    Tomate Taqueria

    A casual spot for traditional tacos

    Tomate Taqueria is a popular taquería set on the lively Chapultepec Avenue less than 4 km from the city centre. The restaurant is known for its perfectly cooked tacos al Pastor – a traditional Mexican dish consisting of pork cooked on a vertical spit. The cooking style was brought over to Mexico by Lebanese immigrants in the 1900s.

    The tacos are then served with chunks of pineapple, cilantro, and minced onions. Vegetarians and vegans can opt for tacos with cactus, tomatoes, bell peppers, broiled onions, mushrooms and pineapple. There is usually a queue in the evenings, but the line moves fast.

    Location: Av. Chapultepec Sur 361, Col Americana, Americana, 45681 Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico

    Open: Daily from 1.30 pm to midnight

    Phone: +52 333 825 3331

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    photo by Eduardo López López (CC BY-SA 2.0) modified

    5

    Birriería las Nueve Esquinas

    For a quintessential taste of Guadalajara

    Birriería las Nueve Esquinas is a restaurant known for serving birria, a hearty lamb or goat stew and a culinary specialty in Guadalajara. Although you’ll find it served all over the city, Birriería las Nueve Esquinas is commonly considered one of the top places to try this quintessential local dish. The menu includes other dishes from around Mexico, such as chicken with mole poblano from Puebla and cochinita pibil, a slow-roasted pork dish from Yucatán. 

    Birriería las Nueve Esquinas is located in the charming Las Nueve Esquinas (“The 9 Corners”) neighbourhood and overlooks a small picturesque plaza. Sit outside under the shade of umbrellas and people-watch while tucking into the spicy, slow-cooked meat stew. If you’re lucky, a mariachi band will serenade you. 

    Location: Calle Galeana 379, Zona Centro, 44100 Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico

    Open: Daily from 8 am to 9 pm

    Phone: +52 333 327 2043

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    photo by vladimix (CC BY-SA 2.0) modified

    6

    Pig’s Pearls

    Tasty and popular maple syrup burgers

    Pig’s Pearls is a Guadalajara restaurant that started in 2011 and, over the past decade, has become a local institution for unique gourmet burgers and Mexican craft beer. The modern, laidback restaurant offers 11 different burgers to choose from, including beef, pork, and lamb options. The menu also includes a vegetarian-friendly portobello burger, plus salads and kebabs.

    Although the burger joint is housed in a repurposed warehouse, with lots of space, you may have to wait for a table to free up on weekend nights. Pig’s Pearls has another branch in Pannarama, a multi-use social hub home to offices, restaurants and bars.

    Location: Calle Gral Coronado 79, Col Americana, Zona Centro, 44100 Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico

    Open: Tuesday–Sunday from 1 pm to 11 pm

    Phone: +52 333 825 5933

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    7

    Ponte Trucha Negro

    A seafood mecca in Guadalajara

    Ponte Trucha Negro is a casual, family-friendly restaurant where welcoming staff speedily serve delicious, well-priced seafood platters and fish specialties. The extensive menu can be overwhelming, so take your time deciding what to order. The octopus, monkfish and shrimp are great options.

    The menu is in Spanish. So if your Spanish isn’t up to scratch, bring along a local or use a translation app to understand the menu. The eatery is located in a tranquil part of the city, a few blocks from the bustling Mercado Santa Tere. During lunch hours, it’s not uncommon to see a long queue. But it’s totally worth the wait!

    Location: Calle Ignacio Ramírez 646, Santa Teresita, 44600 Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico

    Open: Monday–Thursday from 10.30 am to 6 pm, Friday–Sunday from 10.30 am to 6.30 pm

    Phone: +52 333 826 0316

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    8

    Fonda Doña Gabina Escolastica

    A colorful dining spot with authentic local dishes

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    Fonda Doña Gabina Escolastica is a restaurant in Zapopan that serves authentic local cuisine, 7 km northwest from the center of Guadalajara. The welcoming, colorfully decorated restaurant is housed in an old traditional adobe house and specializes in pozole. Pozole is a pre-Hispanic soup or stew originally made from sacrificed human meat.  

    Cannibalism was banned in the 1500s, and human meat was replaced with pork. Today, pozole is made from hominy and pork and seasoned with lettuce, onion, chili, avocado, and salsa. The menu also features tostada de pollo, a generous portion of chicken and cabbage on a toasted tortilla.

    Location: Javier Mina 237, Centro, 45100 Zapopan, Jalisco, Mexico

    Open: Tuesday–Saturday from 2 pm to 11 pm, Sunday from 9 am to 8 pm

    Phone: +52 333 833 0883

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    9

    Los 7 Pozoles

    An inexpensive dining spot where you can mingle with locals

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    Los 7 Pozoles serves a variety of authentic Mexican pozoles at locations in Guadalajara’s historic center and the neighboring town of Tlaquepaque. Pozole is a spicy pre-Hispanic soup or stew made with hominy and pork. 

    Vegetarians and vegans can choose pozoles made from mushrooms, corn, and wheat served with avocado, radishes, and lettuce. Be sure to order some traditional Mexican appetizers, such as quesadillas, tacos de requesón (tacos and ricotta cheese), and flautas (rolled, fried tacos). Service can be slow, but the delicious dishes make up for it. 

    Location: Av. Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla 117, Zona Centro, 44100 Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico

    Open: Monday and Friday from 2 pm to 7 pm, Tuesday from 9 am to 7 pm, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday from 9 am to 8 pm.

    Phone: +52 333 613 6785

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    10

    Tortas Ahogadas El Chimbombo

    A bustling restaurant serving local sandwiches

    Tortas Ahogadas El Chimbombo, or Chimbombo's Broil, is a popular eatery near Jardín Hidalgo in the town of Tlaquepaque, 9 km from Guadalajara's historic center. This is the place to try Guadalajara's signature dish: spicy tortas ahogadas. The "drowned" sandwich is made with a crusty bun filled with meat and topped with onions, salsa, and some lime juice.

    You can choose to dine in and accompany your meal with a couple of ice-cold beers. Or order takeout and enjoy your sandwich in the picturesque gardens nearby.

    Location: Jardín Hidalgo, Centro, 45500 San Pedro Tlaquepaque, Jalisco, Mexico

    Open: Daily from 9 am to 10 pm

    Phone: +52 333 657 0952

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    Jacqui de Klerk | Contributing Writer

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