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The best Mexican dishes you'll say yes to in Zapopan

The best Mexican dishes you'll say yes to in Zapopan

by Olga Kee

Mexican food is as rich as its history, and Zapopan is where you can be on top of everything. Mexico is one of the world’s most popular holiday destinations. It attracts sun seekers, sports fans, and food lovers. If you’re lucky enough to be planning a trip, make sure you include Zapopan city in your route – it has many surprises for you. 

Zapopan is located in the Mexican state of Jalisco, and its name means “among the sapote trees.” This city is a mix of modern and traditional architecture, and it is best known for its Virgin of Zapopan – an image of the Virgin Mary, which was made in the 16th century. Zapopan has a rich history and offers a great variety of cultural and sports events like the Zapopum Festival, October parties, and a professional tennis tournament known as Abierto Akron Zapopan. Besides, this city has tons of restaurants, and Mexico is famous for its colourful and delicious food, so this guide will help you get the real taste of the Mexican cuisine in Zapopan.

1. Chilaquiles for authentic Mexican breakfast
Chilaquiles for authentic Mexican breakfast
Chilaquiles

Chilaquiles is a dish made of corn tortillas chips simmered in salsa or red enchilada sauce. It is traditionally served for breakfast in Mexico.

#102 of 2546 cafes in Zapopan
Mexican
Av. Niño Obrero 654 A, Zapopan, Jalisco, Mexico
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Look no further than chilaquiles for a genuinely fantastic breakfast meal in Zapopan. It may be a modern Mexican delicacy, but chilaquiles actually dates back to the Aztecs. The word “chilaquiles” originated from the ancient Aztec Nahuatl language and was translated to “chilis and greens.” While it’s hard to say if the modern version is the same as the Aztecs’, either way, it’s delicious. 

Chilaquiles are made by simmering corn tortilla chips in spicy salsa and then garnishing them with a wide variety of toppings. Depending on which restaurant you visit, your chilaquiles toppings may include onions, crema, refried beans, avocado, and even a fried egg or two. But, no matter how they’re served, chilaquiles are a flavourful and filling way to start the day. 

La Peltrería offers some amazing chilaquiles.

2. Aguachile – a tangy and spicy appetizer
Aguachile – a tangy and spicy appetizer
Aguachile

Aguachile is a one of Mexico's most delicious seafood dishes. It is made with shrimp marinated with a sauce made of cucumber, red onion, lime juice, herbs and chilies.

#2 of 10243 restaurants in Zapopan #7 of 16670 restaurants in Guadalajara
Seafood
Av. México 3388, Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico
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Aguachile is the ultimate appetizer to help beat the Mexican heat. Aguachile, or “chile water,” is a concoction made from fresh shrimp in a seasoned liquid of chili peppers, lime juice, cilantro, diced cucumber, and diced onion. The dish is traditionally served cold to fully showcase the seafood flavors, similar to the Peruvian dish of Ceviche.

Mexican aguachile originates from the Sinaloa region on the western coast of Mexico. Although it’s Sinaloan, aguachile is still an essential dish to try in Zapopan. The blended flavours of aguachile create a spicy yet cooling taste. This, combined with the dish’s cool temperature, make it a refreshing appetizer for any lunch or dinner.

Restaurante Save Av. México is a great choice here.

3. Octopus – a marvellous gift of the sea
Octopus – a marvellous gift of the sea
Octopus

A part of numerous Mediterranean dishes, octopus is a delicious meal with tender and buttery flavor that melts in the mouth. Octopus can be enjoyed grilled, with pasta, in a stew or a salad.

#149 of 16670 restaurants in Guadalajara
Mexican, Seafood
San Dionisio 33, Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico
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Octopus is surprisingly delectable seafood that can be prepared in various dishes. Although the octopus is enjoyed throughout Latin America and the Mediterranean, Mexico has made the octopus an essential treat for all diners.

Usually, octopus is either grilled or boiled, depending on the dish. When grilled, octopus is often served over rice with a mouthwatering sauce for a buttery flavour and texture. However, when boiled, octopus is usually served in a stew or broth bursting with flavours. If you have the chance, try octopus both ways in Zapopan to see which method you prefer. Either way, you’ll have a delectable dish. 

Check out Campomar for great octopus and more.

4. Grilled Corn as an amazing summer taste
Grilled Corn as an amazing summer taste
Grilled corn

Grilled corn cobs with a savory creamy sauce is a Mexican dish that has become widespread in many countries.

#135 of 10243 restaurants in Zapopan
Mexican, Grill, Steakhouses
Av Naciones Unidas 4762, Zapopan, Jalisco, Mexico
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Elote, or grilled corn, is a traditional Mexican street food bursting with flavour. Slight variations on elote can be found across Mexico, but Zapopan offers an incredible version.

Fresh, sweet corn is charred on a grill and then covered in a savory combination of spices and chile powder. Finally, the entire dish is slathered in a creamy sauce of Mexican crema and crumbled Cotija cheese. Altogether, these ingredients create a delicious sweet, salty, and spicy treat. Since corn is the centerpiece of this food, it’s best enjoyed with fresh, in-season corn. Try to find elote during the summer when corn is in its peak season. 

Incredible grilled corn or elote can be found at Restaurante Qué Pachó.

5. Menudo – for a big appetite
Menudo – for a big appetite
Menudo

Menudo is a spicy tomato-based Mexican soup made with pork meat, vegetables, garbanzo beans and green. It is served with chopped onion, celery and a dash of oregano.

#47 of 10243 restaurants in Zapopan
Mexican
Av Guadalupe #5085, Zapopan, Jalisco, Mexico
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If your hunger gets the best of you in Zapopan, then menudo is your best choice. Menudo is a Mexican soup or stew that’s perfect for anyone with a big appetite.

To make menudo, cow meat is simmered for hours in a broth of spicy red chiles, onions, oregano, lime juice, and hominy. Hominy is a Mexican specialty made from the dried kernels of field corn and also forms the base of cornmeal and corn tortillas. When added to menudo though, hominy becomes a sweet accent to the stew’s bold flavor. Traditionally, menudo is made with a tripe or cow’s stomach, but other meat options can be found around Zapopan. 

Try menudo at Menudería y Cenaduria La Estancia.

6. Tacos as something crunchy and fun to eat
Tacos as something crunchy and fun to eat
Tacos

Сrispy and tasty, tacos are a popular street food in Mexico and other parts of the world. The dish consists of small tortillas topped with meat, beans, cheese, and vegetables.

#109 of 10243 restaurants in Zapopan
Vegetarian, Fast food
Av Sierra de Mazamitla 5249, Zapopan, Jalisco, Mexico
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Nothing says delicious Mexican cuisine quite like tacos. Served initially as street food, tacos have become a popular dish found in restaurants throughout Mexico.

Tacos date back to pre-Spanish Mexico, with the indigenous Mexican people serving small fish tacos to the Spanish Conquistadors. Now tacos have evolved to include beef, pork, chicken, seafood, and even vegetarian options. Your main filling of choice is then topped with various condiments, including chile peppers, guacamole, lettuce, cheese, salsa, and different vegetables. Needless to say, there are hundreds of crispy, crunchy taco combinations to feast on throughout Zapopan. 

Calabacitas Tiernas Bistro is a great place to start sampling tacos.

7. Guacamole – fresh, colourful, and authentic
Guacamole – fresh, colourful, and authentic
Guacamole

Traditional guacamole is prepared by mashing avocado with lime, red onion, chili, garlic, coriander, and red onions. Then it all is seasoned with salt and pepper and immediately served.

#1 of 3364 seafood restaurants in Zapopan
Mexican
Av. Mariano Otero 3019, Zapopan, Jalisco, Mexico
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Guacamole is a delicious dip made of smashed avocados, tangy lime juice, diced onions, cilantro, salt, and occasionally slices of jalapeños. It’s incredibly fresh and comforting food that can be added to virtually any dish in Zapopan or enjoyed as a dip with crunchy tortilla chips.

The guacamole was believed to be invented somewhere in the 14th century. However, the indigenous Aztec people grew avocados as far back as 7000 BCE. Back then, the Aztec people would grind the avocados down in a stone bowl and spread them across corn tortillas. It was such a favorite of the Aztecs that they even served it to the Spanish Conquistadors, who helped spread the dip across Europe. In Zapopan, however, you can enjoy this bright, green dish in its native country and its authentic way. 

Stop into Karne Garibaldi Plaza Del Sol for some authentic guacamole. 

8. Enchiladas – a perfect shelter for your favourite filling
Enchiladas – a perfect shelter for your favourite filling
Enchiladas

Enchiladas are corn tortillas stuffed with pieces of chicken or other meat, cheese, beans, vegetables, and a savory sauce. The dish is often accompanied by refried beans, traditional red rice, fried potatoes, tangy cabbage, or radish slaw.

#16 of 3649 Mexican restaurants in Zapopan #5 of 773 Mexican restaurants in Nuevo México
Mexican
Real de Acueducto 405, Zapopan, Jalisco, Mexico
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Enchiladas are the perfect comfort food within Zapopan. Served across Mexico, enchiladas are a corn tortilla wrapped around a delicious filling and smothered in sauce. The internal filling can range from chicken, pork, beef, and seafood, or vegetarian options like beans, cheese, and vegetables. When it comes to the top sauce, the options are also numerous. Typically, the sauce will be savory salsa like salsa verde, but other establishments may opt for a mole sauce or cheese-based sauce. Don’t be afraid to try different combinations throughout the city. 

You can find some of the best enchiladas in the area at Los Otates Acueducto.

9. Pozole – a delightful nod to tradition
Pozole – a delightful nod to tradition
Pozole

Pozole is a spicy stew made with pork, hominy, onion, garlic, radishes, avocado, salsa and red chiles. This savory and hearty soup is a traditional Mexican dish.

#942 of 10243 restaurants in Zapopan
Mexican
Pedro Simón Laplace 5645, Zapopan, Jalisco, Mexico
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Pozole may be one of the oldest dishes in Mexican cuisine. Pozole dated all the way back to the ancient Aztecs and was made only for special occasions.

This traditional dish is a tasty stew formed from a base of hominy and pork simmered together. The concoction is then garnished with a variety of items like chile peppers, diced onions, garlic, cabbage, radishes, avocado, and salsa.

There are three main types of pozole: rojo, verde, and blanco. The rojo or red version is prepared with an additional sauce of red chiles such as ancho chiles. In contrast, the verde type opts for a secondary green sauce made with tomatillos, cilantro, and jalapeños. Finally, the blanco version is prepared without additional seasoning and served with the regular broth base. Each type of pozole is flavorsome and offers a unique look into Mexican culinary history. 

Restaurantes La Gorda - Arboledas is a great place to check out pozole. 

10. Chiles en nogada – a festive dish with a patriotic spirit
Chiles en nogada – a festive dish with a patriotic spirit
#161 of 10243 restaurants in Zapopan #315 of 16670 restaurants in Guadalajara
Mexican
Av. México 2455-2, Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico
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Chiles en nogada is a perfect dish for a party or big celebration. To prepare Chiles en nogada, poblano chiles are stuffed to the brim with a delightful mixture of meat, fruit, and spices. The stuffed chile is then topped with nogada - a cream sauce made from walnuts - alongside pomegranate seeds and parsley.

Not only does this dish taste like a party, but it also represents Mexico’s biggest party: Independence Day. Chiles en nogada was said to be served when the Treaty of Córdoba was signed, which granted Mexico its independence from Spain. So be sure to search out this dish in Zapopan in honor of that patriotic moment. 

Don’t miss the chiles en nogada at LOS OTATES Matriz Av. México.

Zapopan won’t disappoint you and promises a lot in terms of entertainment, history, and fun. There are many unique restaurants, and you’ll love every bite!

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The best Mexican dishes you'll say yes to in Zapopan