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A Specialty Coffee Shop Tour of Guadalajara, México

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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inside a coffee shop in guadalajaraThe 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.

 

customers enjoying specialty coffeeInside 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.

a pile of bikes in front of a coffee shopCaligari 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 brews an amazing single origen coffeeA 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 locationPalReal 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

 

a coffee machine ready to work for making delicious coffeeBehind 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.

 

two baristas making coffee for customersBaristas 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 a specialty coffee shop in mexicoInside 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 coffee menu next to a cappuccinoA 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.

 

a beautiful spot to work and drink coffeeMatraz 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.

 

nice coffee bar with two frindly baristasBaristas 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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Written by Leonel Ortiz.

All views within this opinion piece belong to the guest writer, who is a local of Guadalajara, and do not reflect Perfect Daily Grind’s stance.

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