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Food/beer in Guadalajara

Hi all, we are heading to GDL for a week in November and I’m already starting to salivate. We are looking forward to tortas ahogadas and churros and of course all the lovely Mexican beers not imported to Canada.
I’ve read that many craft beers are brewed in Jalisco, does anyone know of a beer store or restaurant where we can sample some of them? Keep in mind we’ll be traveling with a 5 year old – so a raucous bar won’t do.

Part two of my post is around street stalls in GDL. I found it quite easy to research and find recommended street stalls in DF, but I can’t seem to find anything in GDL. Street stalls aren’t likely to have much of a web presence! Does anyone have any recommendations for street food in GDL? A good place to grab some tortas ahogadas? Or another food items that might be unique to the region?


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  1. I lived in Guadalajara (currently in Morelia, Michoacán) and have some ideas for you.

    You can read here: http://mexicocooks.typepad.com/mexico... and the two articles that follow it (June 28 and July 5, 2008) for great places to eat in Guadalajara. I know the articles are more than two years old, but time does not change the quality of offerings in these three places.

    You might also enjoy the *Torta Loca* stand at Mercado Libertad, in downtown Guadalajara. It's absolutely fabulous.

    I'm not a beer-drinker and don't know where you'll find a beer store or restaurant/microbrewery, but you will enjoy the street food scene (and other off-the-beaten-path choices) in the city. If you want further information about places to eat and things you might do with a 5-year-old, feel free to email me: patalarga@baddog.com.

    Link: http://www.mexicocooks.typepad.com

    2 Replies
    1. re: cristina

      cristina, I've actually subscribed to the rss feed of your blog since I planned my trip the DF in January of this year. Very informative and mouth watering!

    2. Tortas Toño is somewhat of a legend for tortas ahogadas - they have locations all over town. Be careful with the thin hot sauce. It does not look substantial, but it's HOT. My relatives also love Mariscos El Negro, close to the centro. Try the plato chingadera and a new one they have with all shrimp.

      i Latina and Anita Li are fun restaurants that have a bit of hipster atmosphere and fun food. They are probably more likely than others to have a microbrew if it exists and I think you'd be fine with your child at lunch time.

      As far as the beers, I think you will love most of the Mexican beers and many will seem new to you - they don't even get imported as far as Arizona or Texas. As far as ones specific to Jalisco, the big companies make a few - Minerva and Estrella come to mind - but they are not microbrews in the strict sense of the word. If there is a local brewpub or what we'd think of as a microbrewery i don't know of it. Here in Mexico City there aren't, for sure. The closest thing I've found is Tempus, a delicious line of beers from Baja. They have types that are very untraditional for Mexican beers - bocks, stouts and wheat beers. Mexican beers are mostly variations on Czech-style pilsners.

      1 Reply
      1. re: gueraaven

        ¡Gracias! I'll definitely check out some of your recommendations. I've only ever had Mexican big brewery beers, so I'm quite excited at the possibility of trying something new and unfamiliar.

      2. If you are looking for tortas ahogadas and street stalls - I would recommend the ahogadas behind Sears in the Centro. I think the puesto has a name, something about a principe, but if you ask people about the ahogadas atras de Sears, someone should be able to point you in the right direction. They are my favorite (also serving my favorite tacos dorados).

        As far as beer, I don't think "many craft beers" are brewed around here, but you can occasionally find Minerva - which is pretty good. I've heard rumors about a woman brewer in Tlaquepaque, but don't have any first hand info.

        If you want to try the Minerva with the 5 yo in tow, I would go to the Rincon del Alfil - the best soup in town (IMHO). They have two kinds of Minerva. Lunch Only.

        Good luck with the search!

        4 Replies
        1. re: deeb

          Gosh, I looked at the Rincón del Alfil website--I wish this restaurant had been there when I lived just a block away on Prisciliano Sánchez! I would have gone for sure.

          The menu does say 'microbrewery', so maybe there is some hope for the OP.

          And by all means 'las tortas atrás de Sears'. Everyone says they are the best in town.

          Link: http://www.mexicocooks.typepad.com

          1. re: deeb

            Gracias, deeb. I've been trying to locate the Sears in the Centro on a map to no avail. I'll keep looking and of course I'll ask when I'm there - but do you have a more specific address or cross street? I did hear about Minerva beer and I think it's brewed in Jalisco, so hopefully I'll get a taste. I'll definitely have a look at Rincon del Alfil - the website makes it look very appealing. Thanks everyone, I'm very excited about the trip!

            1. re: growlycat

              The downtown Sears store in Guadalajara is on Av. 16 de septiembre just at the corner of Av. La Paz. The address is Av. 16 de septiembre #650.

          2. Hello

            For the widest selection of beer/tequila in Guadalajara you must visit the largest cantina in the world. If you visit the small town of Tlaqupaque, they have the largest outdoor bar in the world. There you will be able to eat drink and listen to live music. It's the best. While you are there, you must also visit the art galleries and the fine Mexican cuisine.


            1. This isn't street food, but I hope you eat at least one meal downtown at La Chata, with a menu of typical food of Jalisco, a charming Mexican ambiance, and so popular that the locals are lined up on the side walk.


              1. Tejuino? After six months in GDL I finally tried some from the vendor outside my workplace... ummm... yuck? I had it with a bit of jericalla ("Guadalajaran creme caramel") which was equally unpleasant at the end of the afternoon from a push-cart on the sidewalk. I also had pulque from a roadside stand on the way down from Guachimontones (in Teuchitlan)... not exactly delish either (though available all over Mexico so not exactly a local specialty). I think you could take a five-year-old on the Tequila Express if you're in town over a weekend though- I actually really enjoyed the factory tour (more so than a later trip to Mundo Cuervo)- and the All-You-Can-Drink aspect didn't hurt either. There were VERY few foreign tourists on the train- the VAST majority of visitors were Mexican. I also loooove La Maestranza (the original one on Maestranza in the Centro Historico), if only for the decor. It's a bar-cum-bullfighting "museum" with an expansive tequila list and dirt-cheap snacks (hello two-dollar nacho platter). My parents STILL rave about it three (?) years later. Not sure if kids can enter though. Bar? Restaurant? Bar? Restaurant?

                1 Reply
                1. re: Jetgirly

                  Naturally everyone has different tastes, but I happen to love tejuino...especially when it's served (as it almost always is) with a scoop of lemon ice in it.

                  Jericalla is definitely not "Guadalajaran creme caramel". It's a very tender version of simple custard, with a hard-baked skin on top. It has no caramel at all; Mexican custard with caramel is called flan. Jericalla is similar to flan only in that it is also custard, but it's less sweet than flan, and is baked in small ramekins and always served IN the ramekins. Flan is baked either in a large *flanera* (special pan with a lid, made for baking flan in a baño maría) or in individual ramekins. In either case, flan is *always* unmolded so that the caramel syrup can run over the flan onto the serving plate.

                  Link: http://www.mexicocooks.typepad.com

                2. You have to go to Karne Garibaldi & have Carne en su Jugo, (meat in it's juice). It's a famous dish from Jalisco & the place to have it is http://www.karnegaribaldi.com.mx/.

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: seromaz

                    Yummy. Cristina took me to Karne Garibaldi on my first trip to Guadalajara. Meat in it's own juice sounds pretty dull, this is quite the opposite. Very satisfying meal. The accompanying beans with corn kernels and grilled knob onions are also very good. KG bills itself as the worlds fastest restaurant, they've got food on your table almost before your fanny hits the chair.

                    1. re: DiningDiva

                      Karne Garibaldi looks delicious, although I am always suspicious of too-fast service. Thanks for the photos, I get hungry just looking at them. La Chata is definitely on my list although I am not sure my 5-yr old will appreciate the long queue. I will be in GDL in 9 days. When I return I'll be sure to post an edible trip report. ¡Gracias por todo!

                      1. re: growlycat

                        Do not be suspicious of Karne Garibaldi and its instantaneous service. The restaurant set out to win the Guinness Book of World Records record for world's fastest service, and a number of years ago, they did it. You will order your main dish after you sit down, but plates of their addictive refried beans, totopos, caramelized onions, radishes, etc, will slide onto the table at about the same time your butt hits your chair. All of these things are brought to you endlessly--just nod to the waiter when your supply of anything is running low.

                        Their signature dish, carne en su jugo, is out of this world. Order your choice of small, medium, or large--with or without chile--and the drinks you want, and it will all be in front of you in a flash, just as fast as the kitchen can dish it up. Before you eat your carne en su jugo, put a spoonful of cilantro, another of minced raw onions (if you like), a pinch of sea salt, and a squeeze of limón into it. Wish I could be there to see your face light up at the party going on in your mouth.

                        Link: http://www.mexicocooks.typepad.com

                        1. re: cristina

                          I had stayed at this hotel, the food is excellent, the veiw, is a amazing in the moutains, plus, there is many more things to do. El Tapatio Guadalajara, Mexico.

                  2. Any recommendations for excellent birria? Specifically birria tatemada (dry style?), but wet recs also welcome.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: Joe MacBu

                      Birria El Chololo is the place to go! I've always gone to the one just south of the airport, but there two others in Las Juntitas. Here are the addresses:

                      Birriería Chololo
                      Carretera a Chapala Km. 17.5. Tel. 3688-0454. De tradición

                      Birriería Chololo
                      Mojonera #20. Las Juntas. Tel. 3670-7979. Ternera

                      Birriería Chololo
                      San Antonio #288. Las Juntas. Tel. 3670-0813. Chivo

                      The campestre (countryside) restaurant south of the airport is best on a lazy Sunday afternoon. All of Guadalajara eats there, accompanied by wandering mariachi. It's the best birria in the world, IMHO. Read more here:

                      Birriería El Chololo: http://mexicocooks.typepad.com/mexico...

                      Link: http://www.mexicocooks.typepad.com

                    2. I should have posted an update ages ago. I did find microbrews at Café André Breton at Juan Manuel 175 - I took a shot of the menu to show the selection: http://flic.kr/p/91pQca
                      We ate tortas ahogadas at Mercado Libertad: http://flic.kr/p/9fUkKa
                      We had birria at La Birriería Las 9 Esquinas. Really great, although I have nothing to compare it to aside from the fantastic birria tacos La Taqueria in Vancouver.

                      1. A woonderful place to find local mexican artesan beer is in TLAQUEPAQUE. It is kid friendly and has lots of trendy art stores, galleries, fine dining and bars...lots of bars. Torta places that I recoment is TORTAS LAS FAVORITAS for tortas ahogadas, and for the another traditional torta de lomo I recommend LAS TORTAS LOCAS from SAN JUAN DE DIOS. And lastly for a delicious array of tortas, or Torteria, I recoment a place called LA BENDICION, and they are located at Av. Federalismo sur 85 | esquina Av. Juarez, Guadalajara 44100, México...their shrimp torta is to die for. Good luck, be safe and enjoy your stay in beautiful GDL....blessings :).