Francisco Ruano’s insider food and drink guide to Guadalajara, Mexico

Laura Price - 24/10/2016

Header image: Francisco Ruano and his blue crab and tiger's milk with hibiscus at Alcalde

Chef Francisco Ruano of Alcalde, winner of the One To Watch Award for Latin America 2016, sponsored by Glenmorangie, shares his favourite eating and drinking spots in his hometown of Guadalajara.

Check out these mouthwatering Instagram pics and see if you can resist booking a flight...



Lope de Vega 113, 44130 Guadalajara

This place serves the best locally roasted Mexican coffee alongside a menu of informal, flavoursome cooking based on regional products.  


""CHILAQUILES"" Usted lo pidió. #palreal #lapuracrema

A photo posted by PALREAL (@_palreal_) on



Juan Manuel 1406, Santa Teresita, 44600 Guadalajara

Inspired by the famous 1920 film directed by Robert Weine, this little café located in the old town of Santa Teresita is an oasis with excellent coffee and truly the best breakfast in the city. It’s an absolute gem.  


Hoy cumplimos 10 años. Vengan a festejar.

A photo posted by caligari (@_caligari_) on


La Docena

São Paulo 1491, Providencia, 44640 Guadalajara

La Docena uses the best ingredients in the country. As the name (meaning ‘a dozen’) suggests, the speciality is oysters – they always have four to six varieties on offer – but you’ll also find wagyu beef, whole fish, giant prawns and vegetables. Everything is lightly grilled and the atmosphere is so inviting it’ll make you want to stay for dessert. 


Rábano sandía y brotes orgánicos para nuestro Aguachile 💛🙌🏻 por @x_picy 🌿🌱 #CDMX #LaDocena 🌊

A photo posted by La Docena Oyster Bar (@ladocenaoysterbar) on


Tortas de la Bicicleta

Calle Mexicaltzingo 19, Mexicaltzingo, 44180 Guadalajara

Two of Guadalajara’s most iconic dishes are tortas ahogadas – literally sandwiches ‘drowned’ in spicy tomato sauce – and birria, a spicy stew. La Bicicleta does its own unique take on the torta, with fresh raw salsa that’s a bit like gazpacho. Be prepared to eat on foot in the middle of the road with a plastic bag for a plate. (Yes, you read that right.) 


. Lunch Time.... Ya Que!!! #Tortas #MexicanFood #Tacos #Coke #Soda #Chile #Salsa #Spice

A photo posted by O B E (@poyoone1) on


Tortas del Profe

Calle Andrés Terán 841, Villaseñor, 44600 Guadalajara

If you’re not into raw salsa packed with garlic, you should come to this little corner of Santa Teresita neighbourhood to try the best version of tortas ahogadas. On Saturdays they do a special that consists of a grilled taco filled with fresh cheese and the crunchy bits of the pork that have been accumulating over the course of the week. They call it ‘the special’ and it’s one of the best things you’ll eat in Guadalajara.


Majin Buu

A photo posted by Julio C Amador Rguez (@abgpowers) on

Grillo Ruidoso

Chapultepec 215, Guadalajara, Mexico

Artisanal beer, a tight space, wooden tables and noise, noise, noise – that’s why the name translates as ‘Noisy Cricket’. This is one of my favourite places to listen to alternative rock in a space with artists, designers and other locals.


Ya es viernes #cervezaramuri #craftbeer #yotomoartesanal #yavaliomadre

A photo posted by Grillo (@grilloruidoso) on


Birrieria Don David, Mercado Alcalde

Mercado Alcalde, Guadalajara

Set in Alcalde market (where my restaurant takes its name from), this is the place to go for the cleanest version of one of the region’s most emblematic dishes, the birria. They do an oven-baked, marinated goat stew served in its own juices. It’s also a chance to go to the market and try the seasonal produce. 


Cantina La Fuente

Calle Pino Suárez 78, Guadalajara

The oldest tavern in the city, located in the first block of the old town, it’s the spot where all the life from the centre comes together. Go in the afternoon when there’s live music and have a beer with a white tequila on the side. 


A photo posted by Oscar Mulero (@oscarmulerooficial) on



Calle Emeterio Robles Gil 137, Americana, Guadalajara

Red lights, a long wooden bar, animal skin-covered stools, low tables, a selection of classic cocktails – Pigalle is the place to go for a few serious drinks after midnight. Music-wise, you’ll hear everything from John Coltrane to Os Mutantes, then Erin Koray to the Budos Band.


Whiskey japonés de 17 años, un poema.

A photo posted by Pigalle (@pigallebar) on


Pare de Sufrir… Tome Mezcal

Calle Argentina 66, Guadalajara

Meaning ‘Stop suffering, drink mezcal,’ owner Pedro Jimenez handpicks a variety of mezcals for customers.. What’s unique is that the selection of distills come from the most unlikely states, like Zacatecas, Jalisco, Michoacan and Durango, so it’s pretty far from the cliché of mezcal being exclusively from Oaxaca. The vibe really picks up later in the night with an eclectic mix of cumbia music and other tunes to dance to while drunk.



A photo posted by ERENDIRA FARGA (@erendirafarga) on

Looking for more Mexico tips? Check out Guillermo González Beristaín’s guide to Monterrey and then work your way through our list of five essential Mexican food trips.

Now find out why Ruano is changing perceptions of Guadalajara and recreate his recipe for chocolate ganache with passionfruit juice.