colonia americana guadalajara

MUSA houses national and international contemporary art exhibitions. (Photo: Alamy)

Tips + Trends

Get to Know Colonia Americana, Guadalajara’s Trendiest Neighborhood

Very close to the center of Guadalajara you’ll find one of the most iconic neighborhoods in the city, Colonia Americana. Walking her streets is an experience like no other; it’s common to find ancient homes that architecturally preserve their original style, but have since been transformed into bars and restaurants—an obligatory and chic stop for locals and travelers alike. Tempted to get to know her?

Avenida Chapultepec

Originally called Lafayette, Chapultepec Avenue is the heart and soul of the area. It’s a meeting point to see and be seen at one of the many bars and restaurants that inhabit it.

colonia americana guadalajara
Chapultepec Avenue is the heart and soul of the area. (Photo: Guadalajara Tourism Board)

On Saturdays, it also welcomes artisans and vendors who offer their products—from six in the afternoon—on the wide strip spruced up by seven stone fountains. There are even massage therapists that offer their services to the stressed-out passerby who consents to be pampered and spoiled.

Beer and Tacos for a Dollar

Chapu, as this avenue is affectionally called, comes alive with musicians who liven up the evenings in exchange for a few coins and groups of people that gather to practice their best dance steps.

One of the most representative and unmissable spots is Cervecería Chapultepec, a place which has successfully implemented its unique concept; drinks and food, everything—absolutely everything—costs the same: 19.90 pesos (approximately 1 dollar).

A temple for electronic and techno music lovers, Bar Américas is one of the busiest venues on this avenue and famous for the parties organized there. Soccer fanatics gather to support their favorite team and follow the games on one of many screens hanging from the ceiling of La Insurgente.

Museums, Galleries and More

In addition to having a party atmosphere, it is also possible to experience a cultural day out in Colonia Americana, visiting places such as the Templo Expiatorio del Santísimo Sacramento (Expiatory Temple of the Blessed Sacrament), whose construction took more than 75 years. Conceptualized by the Italian architect Adamo Boari, responsible for the Palacio de Bellas Artes de la Ciudad de México (Palace of Fine Arts of Mexico City), this church is the ultimate expression of Neo-gothic style in the country.

The MUSA (University of Guadalajara Art Museum) is situated across the street. Since opening in 1994, both national and international contemporary art exposition programs have been carried out inside its nearly 10,764 square feet.

Art collectors can find their next painting at Gamma and Páramo, two galleries that promote emerging contemporary art voices.

Where to Eat in Colonia Americana

If you find yourself hungry but without a specific craving in mind, there’s nothing like letting yourself be seduced by the menu at any of the venues of the Mercado México (Mexico Market). Skewered morsels, ceviches, gourmet hot dogs or traditional meat in its own juices are but a few of the dishes you can choose from. There is a shop dedicated to wine, another that offers pulque (fermented local drink) and still another that claims to be the best juice bar in the city.

It is also possible to try something typical by visiting La Menudería, a restaurant that, as its name implies, specializes in menudo; a stew elaborated with beef belly, chile and spices.

colonia americana guadalajara
Casa Habita offers comfort food made with ingredients harvested from the hotel gardens. (Photos: Undine Pröhl)

A good option to try dishes made with local products is the Casa Habita restaurant. Chef Leobardo Solano, who worked with Enrique Olvera at Cosme in New York City, is in charge of the menu which offers comfort food made with ingredients harvested from the hotel gardens. The selection of Ajijic cheeses and artisanal cold cuts is an ideal place to start.

If you visit Guadalajara and don’t walk the streets of Colonia Americana, you’re missing out on one of the neighborhoods with the most personality.