A fantastic city for culinary enthusiasts, Guadalajara has a booming restaurant scene with new establishments opening all the time. So it’s not surprising restaurants are a popular choice for meetings where folks can talk business while enjoying a bountiful spread. Here are five classy yet inexpensive options ideal for taking clients on a business lunch.
Savora – Steak Sandwiches
This Argentine restaurant is rightly famed for its steak “pepitos.” The great-value baguettes stuffed with huge chunks of beef, melted cheese, salad and mouthwatering chimichurri sauce are the must-order dish, with empanadas a great choice as a starter. Malbec wine and Argentine Quilmers beer is available, along with the usual drinking options. Savora does not take reservations, and its popularity means diners often face a short wait for a table at dinner. This is rarely a problem at lunch time, however. The original Savora is located in the swanky Providencia neighborhood, at Avenida Terranova #1227. Due to its success, a second branch recently opened at Lopez Cotilla #1886. Price range for a meal: $10-15 U.S.
La Pasteria – Pasta Perfection
Just one block down from Savora on Terranova #1171, La Pasteria is arguably the finest Italian restaurant in Guadalajara. Although it does not serve pizza, La Pasteria more than makes up for it with its freshly made pasta. This writer recommends the wonderful bruschetta, followed by fusilli with spicy Arrabiata sauce. Choose from classic dishes like lasagna or spaghetti bolognese, or specialties such as ravioli stuffed with pine nuts and goat’s cheese. There are even gluten-free options, including fettuccine with portbello mushroom, asparagus and peppers. La Pasteria is one of the few places in Guadalajara to stock Italian beers Peroni and Moretti, and also offers sangria and an extensive wine list. For reservations call (33)3642-6797. Price range: $12-17 U.S.
Santo Coyote – Mexican Ambiance
One of Guadalajara’s best known restaurants, Santo Coyote is popular with tourists not only for its fine food but also for its very Mexican ambiance, with an exuberant décor and Mariachi musicians on hand to serenade guests. Forget the Tex-Mex joints back home; Santo Coyote serves traditional and authentic Mexican cuisine, as well as some more international options. The quality of the food makes it a popular choice for locals as well as tourists. Fine wines and of course tequila are available, while the adjacent bar Santo Cachorro can be hired out for events. Santo Coyote is located at Lerdo de Tejada #2379. For reservations call (33)3616-8472. Price range: $15-20 U.S.
Sagrantino – Italian or International
A stylish international restaurant with Italian influences, Sagrantino offers a diverse menu with many variations of seafood, meats, pizza, pasta and risotto. The breaded mozzarella balls with whisky and Arrabiata sauce are wonderful, as is the Cochinita Pibil, a typical Mexican dish of shredded pork, pineapple, avocado, habanero chile and red onion. The tamarindo margaritas are among the best you will find in Mexico. Sagrantino is located at Golfo de Cortes #4152. For reservations call (33)3813-1379. Price range: $23-35 U.S.
I Latina – East/West Fusion
The cream of the upper-scale eating options in Guadalajara, I Latina is a trendy place offering a fusion of Thai and Mexican food. The concise menu is supplemented with daily specials, often including new variations on steak and noodle dishes. The metal tables and plastic chairs may seem a bit incongruous given the high prices, but the food is worth it and the hipster clientele provides ample opportunities for people watching. I Latina is located at Avenida Inglaterra #3128. For reservations call (33)3647-7774. Price range: $25-100 U.S.
(Amex cardholders should note that many of these restaurants do not accept American Express, although most other major credit cards are accepted.)