During the planning stages of this trip, I’d made sure to keep my third day open so I could take the bus to Chapala for the charreada, the Mexican rodeo. No one in Guadalajara could confirm that the event was actually happening though, and given all the changes in the local events schedule due to the mariachi festival, I decided to play it safe and spend the day in the city instead.
I had a leisurely breakfast at El Globo, a coffee shop near our hotel where instead of choosing from a menu, you take a tray and pick what sweets you please and get charged based on the items on your tray. My coffee didn’t come with fresh cream (only powdered!)and the frosting on my doughnut was sickly sweet:
Afterwards, I walked around Plaza de la Liberacion, people watching and taking snapshots. Like all the other plazas in the neighborhood, this one had no shortage of impressive statues and fountains either:
Teatro Degollado faces the plaza, which is where I was supposed to have watched a folkloric dance performance that morning, except that it had been canceled due to the ongoing festival:
I admired the view from outside instead, and began exploring outwards past the historical district until we came across a new market.
Mercado Corona may not be as big as Mercado Libertad, but it makes up for it with the best taco stand ever. I followed the golden rule of going where the line is, and twenty minutes later had four of the best (and tiniest) steak, potato, and bean tacos I’d ever tasted. My only regret is that I didn’t order more!
Encouraged by finding Tacos Don Jose, I looped around to Plaza Tapatia in search of more good street food. About an hour later, I hit gold again with a tamarind paleta:
I spent the rest of the day taking it easy, but all that searching for good food makes one hungry, so I headed over to La Chata for an early dinner. I’d seen long lines in front of the restaurant the day before, so I figured it’d be a safe bet.
The tortillas at La Chata come with a trio of fresh salsas: avocado, tomato-onion-cilantro, and a mystery one that had strong tamarind and chili overtones.
I started with the queso fundido, which was mediocre and too heavy.
My main course, the Platillo Jalisciense, made up for it. It came with pan-fried chicken leg and thigh, pan-fried potatoes, an enchilada, flauta, and a sope. The sope was easily the standout:
It takes a few days to get situated in a new city and find where the good eats are, but it was worth the wait.