The mariachi and tequila is not the only thing that distinguishes Guadalajara. Its gastronomy is also a source of pride for its locals.
The cuisine of this city has remained intact since its first settlers. To the spicy of the famous tacos is added an extensive menu of special dishes from the Tapatia cuisine.
I invite you to discover the 30 typical foods of Guadalajara. A tour of flavor and taste.
Read our guide on the 15 best tourist places in Guadalajara
1. Pozole with peanut corn
Boiled with cacahuazintle corn, a larger cob with whiter grains.
The broth is accompanied by chicken or pork meat and is served in clay cups. It has lettuce, radishes, onions and lots and lots of lemon.
The hot sauce comes on another plate along with the toast.
One of its characteristics is that the grains are precooked in a mixture of water and lime, so that they lose their shell and thus advance in the preparation.
2. Flying saucepans for warmth
They became popular in Tlaquepaque, part of the city’s metropolitan area where these irresistible appetizers are prepared on the palate.
They carry a fantastic combination of tequila and citrus.
In a clay pot, slices of orange, grapefruit and lemon are submerged in a mixture of mineral water, tequila and grapefruit soda. Salt is to taste and abundant ice.
Tourists take it to cool off while walking through the streets of this community in Guadalajara.
3. Drowned cakes
They are perhaps the most typical dish of Guadalajara. So much so that locals can eat breakfast, lunch and dinner with this meat-filled bread.
It is a savory birote bread (baked until golden brown) with a baguette-like shape and a slightly tart flavor. It is stuffed with meat in strips, cubes or pieces and is submerged in spicy Yahualica tree chili sauce, (hence drowned) that makes it special for its aroma and itchiness. It is generally accompanied by defleshed onion bathed in lemon.
Although without losing its essence, locals have changed their recipe by filling them with shrimp, other meats and sauces.
4. Jericallas, the nun’s recipe
Dessert 100% Guadalajara, as people born in Guadalajara are called, is prepared with milk, beaten eggs, vanilla, cinnamon and sugar.
The mixture is boiled and then allowed to cool until lukewarm. It is then baked until the surface is golden. The result? A rich, firm and creamy sweet.
The best thing is that you get the jericallas in all food sales, from the cheapest to the most expensive.
Its history dates back to the 19th century when the nun Jérica created a delicious dessert for the children of a shelter in the center of Guadalajara.
5. Meats in their juice are a tradition
One of the most traditional dishes of Guadalajara, soup accompanied by the flavor of beans.
The meat is fried in the same pan where the bacon was previously cooked. Once ready, it is bathed in a succulent sauce of coriander, onion, tomatoes, serrano peppers and garlic. The beans are poured along with a chicken broth. It is accompanied with radishes, chopped onion and the always popular toast.
6. The popular Menudo for a hangover
To recover energy after a hangover, nothing better than the menudo, an exquisite dish based on beef belly in red broth.
The guajillo chili sauce, garlic and salt, covers the diced belly and cooked with onion, mint and oregano.
7. Chaplin’s fresh waters
Drinks to beat the heat abound throughout Guadalajara, but like Chaplin’s Aguas Frescas you will get few.
There is one for every taste. Added to the traditional Mexican ones like horchata are plum, mango, guava and strawberry. Jamaican and tamarind classics are the most refreshing of all.
This custom of more than 40 years is still in force because fresh artisanal fruit has not been included in the elaboration of the waters.
8. The quesadillas of the Tianguis del Sol
They are hardly absent from the Guadalajara table. They are a delicious dish, especially if you eat them at the Tianguis del Sol, on Copernico Avenue.
They are corn tortillas that can also be obtained from wheat that, when folded in half, look like a half moon.
The original recipe is filled with melted cheese, but over time this has changed a bit.
Huitlacoche, an edible fungus that lives on the ears of corn, mushrooms and meat, are some of the new ingredients that give flavor to this 100% Mexican dish.
9. Refreshing shaved ice
If you are in Guadalajara you will have to find a way to beat the heat and the refreshing raspados are one of them.
It is one of the freshest and easiest to prepare snacks found on street corners. You just have to scrape the ice and combine it with cola, tamarind, strawberry juices, among many other flavors.
El Diablito is one of the special raspados, an extraordinary combination of tamarind, ice, chili and chamoy, a condiment based on dehydrated fruit sauce with a sweet, spicy and acid flavor.
They are ideal for thirst after strolling through Morelos Park.
10. The traditional birria
The birria is one of the dishes that makes Jalisco proud, although it can be served with beef, pork or lamb, the original is with goat.
First, they mix the chiles with oregano, pulque (a drink obtained from the fermentation of maguey) and salt. Then they pour it into a pot with the goat pieces and it goes in the fridge for a day.
In the second step, they mix maguey leaves with the goat and cook it. Finally, they pour a tomato sauce over the meat. The result: a delicious typical Jalisco birria.
One of the most famous foods in Mexico, burritos. Yes, in Guadalajara they are also highly demanded.
It is a wheat flour tortilla rolled up and stuffed with roast beef and beans. Over time and especially due to the influence of the United States, the combination of flavors has expanded.
You can also eat them with rice, sauces, vegetables, chicken, pork, among other ingredients. It is normally consumed as lunch or dinner.
The quintessential food that represents Mexican cuisine is the taco. Famous all over the world and in Guadalajara, it never fails.
The variety of fillings in this half-moon tortilla, toasted or soft, will make you never get tired of eating them. You can order them with roast beef, pork, Jalisco birria, beans, mole, vegetables and pork. If you prefer them more resolved you can combine them.
13. Amparito lunches
They are a special birote bread dish that can be enjoyed with different fillings and combinations; Ham, leg, panela, loin, chili, avocado and cheese. All tastes will be satisfied.
The sale of lunches abounds in Guadalajara, but the most traditional are in Amparito, in the historic center of the city. More than 50 years and long queues daily are the best example of the flavor of this dish.
14. The carafe ice cream
Snows or ice creams are sold in every corner of the city to beat the heat, but carafe ice creams have another type of preparation that will fascinate those who want to try them.
Its elaboration is handmade and implies a great effort because the ingredients are turned over and over inside a carafe. The ice has grain salt so it doesn’t melt and depending on the content, it can take 90 to 120 minutes to be ready.
The special thing is that they are always made with seasonal fruits, so freshness is their main attraction. The snow tends to be crystallized.
15. The taquitos of the Minerva
There are all the tacos in Guadalajara. They are the quintessential food of all of Mexico. Although you will find them with all the combinations, none like those of the Minerva restaurant.
You can order it as a drowned and drowned cake, in both they are very golden and they have potatoes and beans. The Gringas are with cheese and the meat of your choice. Steamed, it is served with potatoes, beans, leg and pork rinds.
If you are out for a family outing or partying with your friends, Minerva will always be waiting to offer the best tacos from its varied menu.
16. The snows of the North Pole
Guadalajara has a tradition of more than 100 years in the snows of the North Pole. This emblematic place became a space in the palate of the people of Guadalajara after several generations.
The variety of ice cream exceeds 40 flavors and you can order them in a tray, a glass and a carafe. The presentation is so good that you will not be able to avoid trying them.
17. Some bulldogs for the night
Dogos or hot dogs are also very popular in Guadalajara, especially if they are from the Oscarín restaurant. They are tasty and quick to prepare.
It is a soft bread to which a sausage is added in the middle. You can add chips, guacamole, chili, sauces, bananas, cheese, eggplant, corn, among other ingredients.
18. The famous “tacos standing” of Los Alteños
A mandatory stop to eat tacos is in Los Alteños. Its popularity is not a story, because the restaurant is always full.
Locals recommend it for the variety of fillings, including the delicious meat, chorizo and cheese fillings. The sauces cannot be missing to add more flavor to the sandwich.
A particularity of Los Alteños is that they do not keep track of how many tacos you have ordered or eaten. They trust the customer to pay.
19. Karlos’ lunches
If the lunches of Amparito are a tradition, those of Karlos are not far behind. A love that was born almost 40 years ago for the preparation of this dish that continues to be a reference in Guadalajara.
A family in Colonia Providencia began to prepare the perfect combination of the authentic birote, the secret sauce and the meat, a recipe that soon became known.
Birote bread with steak, avocado, onion, tomato and sauces is one of the delicacies that you cannot miss in Guadalajara.
20. Downtown Donuts
Flour, yeast, sugar, milk, butter and eggs. That is what is needed to prepare the famous candy, one that due to its flavor has become a traditional snack in Guadalajara.
The most fashionable ones are those of Nieves y Donas Fiestas, which for more than 70 years has conquered the palate of the people of Guadalajara, with the recipe of the great-grandmother who brought it as a novelty from California.
Although you will find donuts throughout the city, there are only three places with the originals and their secret ingredient. We have already told you two, your job will be to get the third.
21. An order of tacos
Tacos again. And yes, this wonder of Mexican gastronomy has to be on the table of all visitors to Guadalajara.
You already know that they are toasted or soft tortillas, but in El Ranchero they have a less common one: Ironing. This variety is specially prepared with melted cheese, but you can order it to your liking.
The barbecue tacos at El Ranchero have a special flavor. If you go to Guadalajara you will have to let yourself be seduced by its different styles.
22. The Dogos Menos
Simple for the common Tapatio, this is Dogos Meños, a traditional restaurant for its tasty hot dogs. Its owner, Manuel Arias, gives you special attention.
The combination of sizes and ingredients are part of the charm of these hot dogs. When hunger strikes, Dogos Meños will be a good option.
23. Croissant Alfredo
The tastiest croissants you can try are Alfredo’s. Although at sight they are very striking due to their bright touch, it is inside where the secret of flavor really hides.
There are those filled with chocolate, with strawberries and apples with cinnamon, croissants that will hardly be elusive to your palate. Tourists always want to eat and take away more and more.
Like many of the food businesses in Guadalajara, Croissants Alfredo comes from a long family tradition that hopes to continue attracting the most loyal customers with its flavors.
24. Juices and smoothies at Tita’s in Santa Tere
Trying the juices and smoothies of Tita’s will not save you. They are already part of the folklore of Guadalajara.
They offer 5 options to get better from the flu. If you have a stomach ache, a light drink that will cleanse your intestinal flora and if your defenses are low, there will also be a solution.
Among the menu of fresh fruit drinks, those that help raise iron and potassium stand out, those that reduce stress and cure love sickness, yes, you read that right, love sickness.
The best thing about Tita’s in Santa Tere is that you can create your shake combinations and if you like, they will add their special touch to perfect your own recipe.
It is one of the best-selling drinks in Guadalajara. If you are visiting, someone on a bicycle will surely offer it to you.
It is a juice based on corn and sweet sugar cane that was made by ethnic groups in Mexico.
It is prepared with lemon, salt and chili to taste. It is bittersweet and with low or no degree of alcohol. In addition, mixed with breast milk or diluted in water, it is consumed by infants and children, so it can be considered as a supplement to their diet.
26. La Chata’s pozole
Pozole is one of the most popular dishes at La Chata, a restaurant much visited by tourists due to its location: next to the Cathedral in the center of the city.
Although the pozole is varied, the chicken is the most requested for its flavor. This boil is a delight that mixes the flavors of onion, garlic, radish, chili and lemon. Of course, accompanied by toast.
La Chata also offers a variety of traditional dishes to please palates.
27. Tapas Enchiladas
Enchiladas are a variety of tortillas that you can find throughout Mexico, but in Guadalajara they have their special recipe.
The chiles are seeded and ground with onion, garlic and salt. Then they are fried and the sauce is ready.
The tortilla passes through the sauce and is fried. It is stuffed with cheese and rolled up. To serve, add more cheese, lettuce and sliced onions. You can vary the filling with meat and pork.
Fajitas type is another way to eat the typical tortillas. They come without filling, but they are accompanied by meat, beans, pork and any other so-called strong ingredient.
The good thing is that you can fill them yourself and mix them at your whim. Don’t forget the guacamole, it gives it the most traditional flavor.
29. Birria at the 9 Corners
In the past, they asked for goat but now the birria can be beef or pork. In Las 9 Esquinas it has become popular to eat this dish of Guadalajara’s haute cuisine.
They prepare it in a sauce with different spices and chilies that are cooked in the oven. It is so soft and juicy that it melts in your mouth. And of course, there is no lack of toast to accompany.
30. Rich Capitoradas
The capirotadas are prepared throughout Mexico, but each region gives them a special touch that makes them unique.
This dessert goes between the two layers of tortillas, in Guadalajara. Birote bread sliced and bathed in honey is placed. It has raisins, cheese, almonds. Cinnamon and cloves give it a special flavor.
The complex elaboration of this dish that goes through different phases so that its ingredients reach their point, has made it less frequent to find it in restaurants, but families and places with a greater tradition still preserve this recipe.
If you want the capirotada to have less fat, brown the sliced bread on a griddle over low heat and set aside half. Melt the butter in a container over low heat so it doesn’t burn, mix with the vegetable oil and fry the buns.
Before, the bread was fried, but in addition to causing a very heavy digestion, such an amount of fat was considered harmful. You can place the fried breads on absorbent paper to drain.
For honey you must put the water in a large container and heat over medium heat. Add the piloncillo, the onion and the tomatoes in large pieces. Add the cinnamon, cloves, pepper and anise. Let the mixture boil, dissolve the piloncillo and cook the tomatoes and onion. Do not let the liquid consume. Remove from heat and strain (you can crush the tomato in the strainer to extract as much pulp as possible).
How rich is Guadalajara!
Tapatia cuisine is one of the richest in tradition. Although it shouldn’t be a problem, its variety of dishes will make it difficult for you to decide which one to try first. My advice, start with anyone. None will disappoint you.
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