Some of you might be familiar with the lovely city of Guadalajara (GDL), but some of you might have heard of a restaurant with that long name. So…that is why I am here today, to tell you all about this AMAZING city in the Pacific west coast of Mexico and to give you tips, so you can experience it like a true local.
Enjoy this mini clip 😉
Did you know that Guadalajara is the second largest city in Mexico and the capital of the state of Jalisco?… It is internationally known as the land of tequila and mariachi and it is rich in history and traditions.
Guadalajara is also a very special city to me, because that is where both of my parents are originally from and where I spent eight years of my childhood. Therefore, I have had many wonderful memories in this city and I cannot wait to share them with y’all!
Fun Fact: A Tapatio/a refers to a person who is originally from Guadalajara 😉
Since I am a true tapatia, I got the ULTIMATE inside scoop of how to experience GUADALAJARA:
Cathedral of Guadalajara – If you google GDL, the first image that comes up is this beautiful cathedral. This cathedral was completed in 1618 and combines neoclassical, baroque and Gothic styles.
If you don’t take a picture in front of it, you might as well not say you went to Guadalajara.
Palacio de Gobierno– This building houses the Jalisco state government offices and it was built in 1774. Here, you can admire two impressive murals by the famous Jalisco muralist José Clemente Orozco. The real head-turner is the mural on the main interior staircase. There is also a beautiful courtyard where you can see the cathedral bell towers.
Rotonda de los Jaliciences Ilustres: This landmark is located across to the left of the cathedral and it honors the memory of the people of Jalisco that have transcended through history, including the famous muralist Jose Clemente Orozco that is mentioned.
Teatro Degollado- This neoclassical theater, is home to the Guadalajara Philharmonic. Its construction begun in 1855 and was completed four decades later. It is also, one of the main GDL landmarks and it is conveniently located behind the cathedral.
Fun Fact- I danced in 2 Nutcracker performances in this theater when I was young!
Hospicio Cabañas- It was founded in 1791, in order to combine the functions of a workhouse, hospital, orphanage, and almshouse. This complex is best known for its dome with the “Man of Fire”, a mural that was also painted by muralist Jose Clemente Orozco.
Museo de las Artes – The museum of contemporary art is housed in a building from 1917, that once served as the administration building for the University of Guadalajara (my parents Alma Mater). The highlight is the Paraninfo (auditorium) on the 1st floor, whose stage backdrop and dome feature another large mural by Jose Clemente Orozco.
Expiatorio Temple- This neo-Gothic church, began construction in 1897 and was completed until 1972. It is known for its enormous stone columns, 15m-high mosaic stained-glass windows above the altar and kaleidoscopic steeple. This church also holds a special place in my heart, because 4 family members ashes are here.
Minerva: It is the largest fountain and roundabout and one of the main landmarks of GDL. It is inspired by the Roman goddess of knowledge Minerva, also known as the Greek goddess Athena. This landmark is also the celebratory spot if Chivas or the Mexican soccer team wins an important match.
Estadio Akron: is a multipurpose stadium that is used mostly for soccer games including home matches for Club Deportivo Guadalajara, best known as “Chivas”. Soccer is HUGE in Mexico, so it would be a very fun experience to attend a Chivas match. Check their schedule!
Fun Fact: Guadalajara is the only soccer club in Mexico to exclusively have Mexican players on the team and it its longstanding rival is Club América from Mexico City.
You can take a city hop-on, hop-off tour with Tapatio Tour for less than $8 and check out all these wonderful spots!
The following items on this list are typical foods from Guadalajara that you definitely have to experience!
Tortas Ahogadas (Drowned Sandwiches)- GDL most popular dish! You cannot leave without trying one.They are called “drowned” because the pork and bean sandwich is submerged totally or partially in a sauce made mainly of a dried chili pepper. Don’t worry, there are less spicy versions of the sandwich, made with non spicy salsa.
Tejuino– This one might sound a bit different, but it is definitely a MUST! It is a cold beverage made from fermented corn, the same kind used for tortillas and tamales. This liquid is served cold, with lime juice, a pinch of salt and a scoop of shaved ice or lime sorbet.
Jericalla– You can describe them as a cross between a flan and creme brulee. They have a custard like texture similar to flan, and a burned top like creme brulee. Sorry y’all, but my grandma makes the best! ❤
Guasanas- Probably one of my personal favorite snacks! They are baby chickpeas still in the shell that are steamed with salt. Think about them like edamame, you bite the shell to open, so you can get the beans out and enjoy. 😉
I hope you LOVE these treats as much as I do! ❤
Since 90% of my family lives in Guadalajara, I usually stay with them when I visit….However, this past December I had the pleasure to stay at the retro, chic Casa Fayette hotel. I could not have not asked for a better place to have stayed in GDL!
Casa Fayette is the newest hotel of Grupo Habita that opened in 2015. It is located in one of the trendiest areas of Guadalajara, in the Lafayette neighborhood where you can find many cool and hip restaurants and bars within walking distance.
Read all about my wonderful experience at Casa Fayette in this post! 🙂 I absolutely enjoyed every second of my stay, I am sure you will too! 😉
Hot spot for dinner? Go to Alcalde- This hip restaurant offers contemporary, regional Mexican cuisine and it’s #36 on the Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants!
If you want a different way to enjoy tacos try Taqueria “El Cuino” . They might look like your average taco spot, but at night you can find a secret door in the back that leads you to a speakeasy called “Fat Charlie”! You even need a pass code to get in. Enjoy gourmet tacos with a hipster cocktail!
For a lit night out, check out EVVA Club! This chic night club is located at the Aloft Hotel and it even has a pool!
I hope that after reading this post, you might consider visiting the beautiful city of Guadalajara! The best part about it all… it’s only a two-hour flight from Houston. Plus, there are MANY direct flight options from different airlines. 😉