Down-to-earth regional Mexican cuisine


On the Pass

Francisco Ruano

In a nutshell: Meaning ‘mayor’ in Spanish, Alcalde’s fare is based on chef Francisco ‘Paco’ Ruano’s simple, ‘frank’ Mexican cooking. Set in a stylish, welcoming setting in Guadalajara, Alcalde makes diners want to return again and again.

What’s the food like? The menu has worldwide influences but is rooted in the Jalisco region. Local ingredients dominate across the board, with dishes such as green aguachile with prawn and apple, octopus with Japanese aubergine, habanero peppers and perilla rice. The restaurant has options for four- or seven-course tasting menus as well as a simple three-course à la carte, ending in desserts featuring local fruits.

Chef CV: Ruano honed his skills on cruise ships in Alaska and the Caribbean before enrolling at the Luis Irizar cooking school in Spain. He went on to work at esteemed restaurants such as Mugaritz and Best of the Best restaurants El Celler de Can Roca in Spain and Noma in Denmark.

Special recognition: Alcalde has long been a favourite in the Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants rankings and featured at No.51 on The World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2022 list.