No matter where I am living, one of my favorite things to do is go to a cute coffee shop and work on creative pursuits. Whether I am brainstorming in my sketchbook or editing photos on my laptop, a good cup of coffee and a relaxing ambiance goes a long way.
After living in Guadalajara for 8 months, I’ve just barely scratched the surface of its cool cafes and coffee shops. You could probably live here your whole life and still never have time to try them all. I must admit that I loved my neighborhood, Americana, so much that I hardly left. Guadalajara is pretty big and has a lot of great areas that I didn’t get around to checking out…this time. I encourage you to go farther in your search for artsy coffee shops, but in the meantime, here are my favorite cafes & coffee shops to “art in”.
La Cafeteria is probably my favorite place in Guadalajara. It’s not necessarily what comes to mind when you think of classic Mexico, but it’s classic Colonia Americana for sure. My favorite part of this cafe is the atmosphere. The outdoor seating area feels tranquil and open with lots of surrounding trees and if you come at night they have white string lights and a candle on every table. It’s the kind of place that feels elegant, yet casual. You could go there on a date, or just by your self to read a book and drink coffee.
My favorite coffee here is the Moka Lechero. To me, it tastes like a darker chocolate with maybe even a hint of cherry? Though the menu says a hint of almond, so maybe I am just making that up! The Cardamomo, coffee infused with cardamom and milk, is great as well. Also, you MUST try the Enchiladas LICHA! These enchiladas do not taste traditional at all but they may just be my favorite thing in Mexico. Imagine enchiladas that are trying to be Italian and you pretty much have it.
This cafe is dog friendly, has better prices than most places of its caliber and has great menu del días. The only thing is that the wifi can be slow or even non-existent when it’s busy, so if you are working on a blog post like me…load WordPress before leaving the house!
If there is one cafe that screams “ART!” louder than any other, it is Rico’s Jugos. Just around the corner from La Cafeteria, this is another place that makes Colonia Americana so cool. Ricos Jugos sells art prints, zines, creative t-shirts and more. Not only do they distribute art but they get the community involved too. Every table is covered with paper and comes with markers and color pencils. This cafe also hosts art events which you can find on their facebook page. They’ve hosted everything from zine workshops to silly-themed drawing contests.
Ricos Jugos has an amazing list of juices, as well as coffee and some snacks. It’s a great place to come when you need to brainstorm. You can doodle on the table while sipping on a juice and if you need inspiration you have about a million pieces of work at your access to flip through. Seeing all the awesome zines here actually inspired me to make my first ever zine which you can view here.
Just beyond Americana’s borders lies Casa Granada; Cafe, wine bar and art gallery. One day while exploring the Santa Teresita / Ladron de Guevara area, I stumbled upon this place and couldn’t help but go in. Casa Granada is FULL of art, from paintings to sculptures. They also display a lot of vintage objects like an antique bar and cash register. There is an open area in the middle where you can look at art in the sunlight.
Unlike some other places I have experience here, the paninis at Casa Granada are true paninis. (They are not made with some random hot dog bun-
Head on over to Santa Teresita and check out the rusticly hip, Caligary Cafe. This place is decorated with all sorts of art and quirky objects. The walls are literally covered with cool prints. The coffee is great and they have a lot of mouth-watering food options too. It’s a great place for brunch. You have your choice of sitting in different rooms offering up slightly different ambiances. Its the perfect cafe to find a quiet little spot near art you admire and draw away.
Darjeeling Tea Room
Also near the Americana / Santa Teresita border lies the Darjeeling Tea Room. They may not have coffee but they have an extensive list of teas as well as beer and food. The reason why I love this cafe is it has an indoor-outdoor feeling with a great variety of seating. Along with an open roof, plants and bohemian murals, the main room has sizeable tables perfect for making art. This cafe is really chill and seems like the kind of place where you could set yourself up with some watercolors and sip on some tea while you paint. Off to the side, there are a couple smaller rooms that offer ground seating on futon type furniture.
(Heads up, get sea food at Boca del Cielo just a block away, it’s great!)
This cozy cafe offers a dimly lit interior with larger shared tables, as well as a smaller outside area with 1-2 people tables. I sat inside and found the atmosphere to be really calm, some other people were quietly working on stuff and there were some books you can look at. The moka was on the bitter side, but in a good way, it’s made for people who really like the taste of coffee and don’t want a whole bunch of sugar. They have a small food menu but I was very happy with the sandwich I got. The desserts look really good too.
Sadly I didn’t make it to this area as much as I would have liked. Providencia is known as one of the more upscale neighborhoods of Guadalajara and is a great place to look for international food.
Another one of my favorite places in Americana is the tiny, but quality cafe; Brick Lane. If you are into bagels & lox, their “bagel con salmon” is possibly my favorite in Guadalajara. (As a member of the tribe I hereby declare it as decent, if not more than!) They also have a yummy breakfast burrito, great coffee and nice agua del días, (which are basically juice).
There are both indoor and outdoor seating, but indoor is my favorite because they consistently play great music! I end up shazaming the whole time I am there. The staff are really nice and treat you like a welcomed guest. They even bring you a mini plate of fruit while you wait for your order.
Literally around the corner from brick lane is the crowd favorite, Terible Juan. If you want to feel like you are outdoors but still in a cozy, secure setting, this is the pefect place to hang out. This cafe boasts a beautiful patio area with a blanket of tree leaves surving as a partial cieling. If it starts the rain, you can always go inside too. There always seems to be a decent amount of people catching up with their friends over coffee and food here, making it a great place to people watch and draw.
Honestly, I’d say their food is average, but the coffee is great. I enjoy ordering Americanos here as they are pretty big and not bitter at all. The mokas very chocolaty and the cappuccinos are nice too.
Fitzroy Espresso Bar
Just a few steps away from busy Chapultepec is the laid-back and artsy Fitzroy Espresso Bar. Inside there are spacious high top tables with outlets perfect for working digitally, along with some cool art on the walls. Through the back, there is a little closed-in courtyard giving you the opportunity to draw in the sun. Last time I went I ordered an iced latte and the waitress asked if I would like a scoop of honey flavored ice cream on top. It was really good, I highly recommend it! I haven’t tried the food but I do hear the cookies are delicious. If you feel like changing it up, you can check out the tequila bar just up the stairs too.
Los Arrayanes Café
This cafe would be a great place to drink a coffee while drawing outside. The atmosphere is really tranquil including a fountain and lots of outdoor seating surrounded by leafy trees. The main reason I list this cafe is that they offer painting classes. I haven’t had the chance to try them out but if that’s something you’re after I’m sure you could find out more information on their facebook page. I saw they offer yoga classes and other cultural events too. To be honest, the food here is mediocre…(the paninis are not paninis haha). I would just come for coffee and art in a serene spot.
Right around the corner from Los Arrayanes Cafe is Pal Real, the real place to go for a fantastic sandwich. I got a lonche with pancita, (which ended up being a baguette type sandwich with shreded pork, black bean and avocado), and it was amazing! This place is also widely known for having some of the highest quality coffee in Guadalajara. Pal Real has indoor seating as well as spacious outdoor seating with lots of plants. It’s a great place to sip on coffee while working on a project or to get brunch with some friends.
Neretta Café & Gelato
After jogging past this cute, little place for months I finally decided to try it out. I hear it can get packed for brunch on the weekends but when I went during the middle of the week it was pretty quiet. It has a charming outdoor seating area with lots of plants. It’s a great place to sit and get some creative work done while getting to enjoy the afternoon outside. I got the Latte Neretta, which I believe is an iced latte with a little ice cream, agave, and toasted cacao…it did not disappoint. The tartas are great, and I’m sure the gelato is too.
The Sorcerer’s Corner gets my honorable mention because I heard about it just before leaving Guadalajara and did not get the chance to go. I can’t tell you from my experience, but I can tell you from Google pictures and reviews, that it looks like a great place to go and work in a sketchbook while sipping on a drink. This sorcery themed cafe seems to offer all sorts of desserts and dessert-like drinks. They offer a variety of seating, from table and chairs to comfy couches. It also looks like they have books you can read too. This place may just be the coziest coffee shop in Guadalajara and I regret not having the chance to go.
I got the idea for this post pretty close to the end of my time in Guadalajara. I didn’t have enough time to make it back to every one of my favorite places with my camera, which is why I had to take some images from the internet. If you get a chance to visit Guadalajara, I hope you get to check out some of these cool cafes and coffee shops. If you do, let me know what you think!