A Specialty Coffee Shop Tour of Guadalajara, México

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The state capital of Jalisco, Guadalajara is Mexico’s second-biggest city and is known for mariachi music and tequila. A hub of arts and culture, it also has a strong educational community and business presence. Guadalajara is a charming mixture of old and new with more than its fair share of public plazas and cultural festivals.

Among the colonial architecture in the historical center are a growing number of specialty coffee shops. Let’s take a look at where to go for a great coffee in Guadalajara.

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The interior of Matraz Providencia. Credit: Ana Valencia

Why These Five?

A city of Guadalajara’s size has many cafés to choose from, but I chose these five because I feel that they offer excellent customer service, strive to improve their quality, and aim to educate their customers. These are the coffee shops where you’ll not only get a great cup of coffee, but it will come with a smile and a chat about how it was prepared.

 

Inside Caligari Café. Credit: Caligari Café

1. Caligari Café

The bold mural on the front of the building gives the impression of fun, but the staff members at Caligari Café take the quality of their coffee very seriously.

Here, you’ll find an experimental workshop of flavors, exceptional brews, and daring drinks. Founded in 2006 by Isaac Padilla and Fabián Delgado, this was one of the first specialty coffee shops in the city.

Caligari Café from the street. Credit: Caligari Café

Where
Juan Manuel 1406, 44600

Atmosphere
Friendly and welcoming

Espresso Machine
Dalla Corte Evo2

Grinder
Dalla Corte DC Two

Coffee Offerings
Espresso-based drinks, pour over

Must-Try Drink
Rompopino, a custom drink based on the traditional eggnog-like rompope

Retail Offerings
Roasted beans

Food & Other Drinks
House-made food including desserts, tea, local beer

Nearby Sights
Local market, Chapultepec commercial district

 

A barista prepares a drink at Caligari Café. Credit: Caligari Café

2. PalReal

This is a place where you can whip out your tasting notebook and make notes. The owners Fabrizio Sención and Jorge Sotomayor also own roastery Estelar, and the café serves its beans.

There are three locations in the city, including a bar in Mercado Andares, a trendy food market. Here, you’ll find state-of-the-art technology and innovative techniques used to get the best out of the beans. Make sure to try the custom cocktails, many of which are based on cold brew coffee. It’s also a great place to come for lunch or dinner, with a menu that attracts foodies.

 

PalReal Mercado Andares location. Credit: PalReal

Where
Mercado Andares, Paseo Andares y Blvd

Atmosphere
Bustling

Espresso Machine
Dalla Corte XT

Grinder
Dalla Corte DC One, Two and Max

Coffee Offerings
Espresso-based drinks, pour over

Must-Try Drink
Parriba, a nitro cold brew coffee drink

Retail Offerings
Roasted coffee

Food & Other Drinks
Impressive full food menu, tea, beer

Nearby Sights
Luxury shopping mall, food market

 

Behind the bar at PalReal. Credit: PalReal

3. Taller de Espresso

You can smell coffee before you see the café. Behind a tiny bar, the owners of Taller de Espresso roast ten kinds of coffee beans and a couple of blends.

Founded in 2008 by barista Pedro Gómez, two times Mexican champion Arturo García, and Gilberto Pérez, this is a place dedicated to roasting rather than a full-service café. It’s a purist’s coffee bar, where you will only find specialty coffee.

Come here to be surrounded by other passionate customers enjoying an espresso on the terrace while they wait for their bags of whole beans or ground coffee.

 

Baristas behind the bar at Taller de Espresso. Credit: Taller de Espresso

Where
Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla 1586

Atmosphere
Casual

Espresso Machine
Marzoco Strada / GB5

Grinder
Mazzer Major / Malkhonig K30, EK43 y Kenia.

Coffee Offerings
Espresso-based drinks, pour over

Must-Try Drink
Espresso

Retail Offerings
Roasted beans

Food & Other Drinks
Baked goods

Nearby Sights
Historical center

4. El Terrible Juan

There are now two locations, but the original is in a space that was originally a small garage. This local favorite was opened by a guy everyone knows as just as Juan. Despite competition from more than 45 other coffee shops in the area, El Terrible Juan is thriving and regarded as a local treasure.

Come here to drink high-end Mexican coffee beans with a documented path from cultivation to roasting. You’ll find attentive staff members describing flavors and explaining interesting brewing methods to customers.

This is a versatile coffee bar where you’ll see office workers, groups of friends, and dedicated coffee lovers come together for the friendly atmosphere and dedication to the drinks.

 

Inside El Terrible Juan. Credit: El Terrible Juan

Where
Jose Guadalupe Montenegro 1871, Colonia Americana

Atmosphere
Relaxed

Espresso Machine
Rancilio Classe 5

Grinder
Anfim Caimano, Malkhonig K30

Coffee Offerings
Espresso-based drinks, pour over, bottled cold brew

Must-Try Drink
Juamilton, the official house drink made with espresso

Retail Offerings
Roasted coffee

Food & Other Drinks
Full menu including the infamous Terrible Bacon Cheese Sandwich, a four cheese sandwich with bacon bathed in maple syrup.

Nearby Sights
The cosmopolitan atmosphere of Colonia Americana, Chapultepec commercial district.

 

A cappuccino at El Terrible Juan. Credit: Ana Valencia

5. Matraz Café

Matraz is one of the best-regarded roasters in the city and they honor their coffee with quality brews. Everything offered here is served with focus and dedication. They also make their own baked goods.

There are two locations and both are great spots to escape from the city. Come here for a welcoming place to work from or to relax and read a book.

 

Matraz Café Homero location. Credit: Matraz Café

Where
Buenos Aires 2679, Providencia

Atmosphere
Friendly

Espresso Machine
Rancilio

Grinder
Rancilio

Coffee Offerings
Espresso, pour over

Must-Try Drink
Cappuccino

Retail Offerings
Roasted coffee, local products including honey

Food & Other Drinks
Affogato, matcha latte, chai latte, sandwiches, salads, and baked goods

Nearby Sights
Bosque Colomos, a pastoral forest park in the city, and Pablo Nerudas, a charming road of restaurants and bars.

 

Baristas behind the bar at Matraz Providencia. Credit: Matraz Café

Guadalajara is a vibrant and energetic city with no shortage of great cafés. But these five are dedicated to their craft and offer something special. If you’re in Jalisco for work, travel, or are lucky enough to live here, make sure to stop by these coffee shops.

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