Guadalajara is a city filled to the brim with tequila and you don’t have to travel far to find it. With cantinas found on nearly every street, here are five places to start your tequila tasting experience.
One of the oldest cantinas in Guadalajara is in the Centro Historico. With no sign or doorway, this is an authentic, no frills bar with a rich history. One of the most recognizable aspects of this cantina is a bike mounted on one of the walls. Mention this to your bartender and he’ll gladly share the story. Perfect for a drink after a day of sightseeing, they offer a variety of tequilas, all served straight up, and often have live music.
EL GALLO ALTANERO
When it comes to craft cocktails, El Gallo Altanero is the place to go. With trendy decor and a revolving array of tequilas, visitors rave about their modern take on the Mexican Paloma. Feeling adventurous? Try the "Eres Mi Gallo", made with Tequila Tromba Reposado, Pedro Ximenez Sherry, Limón amarillo, orange bitters and garnished with a lemon twist.
At El Parian, you come for the atmosphere and stay for the tequila. Located in the colorful arts town of Tlaquepaque, mariachis make their way around the seated tables as guests dine in the shade drinking from brightly-colored glasses. Here you can order your tequila ‘derecho’ meaning straight in Spanish or ask for a traditional ‘cazuela’ which means crockpot, a giant tequila drink mixed with lemon, orange, and grapefruit juice, and soda.
Just 15-20 minutes from central Guadalajara is La Tequila. If you’re a tequila lover looking for a traditional and upscale experience, you’re in luck. Serving over 200 different types of tequila, each tasting is accompanied by a salt, lime, a housemade tomato drink, and colorful description. La Tequila offers a full menu and upstairs lounge, making it a great place to meet with friends or celebrate.
Located in El Centro, La Occidental is both a local and visitor favorite. Like some traditional cantinas, La Occidental makes you feel right at home and as long as you drink, they’ll continue to serve you bar snacks like chips, popcorn or cucumber until you ask them not to. But what sets it apart is the mix of these traditions along with live music, a sleek bar, and scenic outdoor patio.