I was in Guadalajara in early October for a few days and didn't manage to eat everything I intended to indulge on during my stay. I missed El Polo Norte for their ice cream and tejuinos and a little place in Providencia for "lonchecitos" (little rolls filled with all sorts of meats drenched in sauce that I still remember from 5 years ago - so good!).
Here are the places I did visit:
Tacos Providencia - this is a famous taco joint, not a hole in the wall, where the tacos are supposedly some of the best. Well, I was not impressed, so maybe the place lives off of its reputation. The al pastor was decent, but the cecina (sp?) was probably the best. We ordered grilled onions - cebollitas - to go with our tacos. I was disappointed that they don't make their own horchata - I don't like the version from concentrate.
Los Otates - I had never heard of this place on Ave. Mexico, but this was probably the best meal I had. It is an authentic "antojito" place. The restaurant itself was fairly large and it was quite packed by the time we left at around 9pm on a Friday. We ordered a huge platter with the following: sopes, enchiladas, rice, tostadas, tacos, pig's feet, little tortitas ahogadas, and a ton of other stuff I don't recall. Everything at Los Otates was good. The cochinita pibil tacos were excellent, and my cousin ordered tacos al guajillo (I forget the meat used in them) that were delicious. The platter was about US$12 and it was enough to feed 3-4 adults.
El Gordo Steak - I think this is in the Colinas San Javier neighborhood, but I could be wrong about the neighborhood. I went to El Gordo about 5 years ago and still remembered their food - so I had to go back. Well, they added so many tables since my last visit that the place was cramped and dark and loud on my Sunday afternoon visit. Upon your arrival, they will bring you several appetizers on the house. We had paella (quite good for free paella), guacamole, chips and salsa, and small steak sandwiches that were probably the best thing I had that day, aside from their flan. The meat is served on a wooden board and is accompanied by plantains, beans, and fresh tortillas. I didnt think that the meat was on par with what I had last time, so I was a bit disappointed. Their alcoholic drinks are always 2 for 1, so if you order a tequila theyll bring you 2 - not a bad deal.
Tequila Express We took the Tequila Express train into the Herradura site in Amatitan. It sounded like a terribly touristy thing to do, but it was worth every penny (US$70). Included in the train ride is a buffet in the Herradura hacienda. I expected mediocre food, but it was actually tasty. The offerings were varied and good (except the tortas ahogadas that were accompanied by a very salty sauce): pozole, flautas, sopes, a salad bar, chicken in a green mole, freshly made quesadillas, beef tips in a mushroom sauce, rice, and enchiladas. For dessert they offered rice pudding.
Sanborns we ate breakfast there one day and my chilaquiles (green and red sauces) were quite good. Arrive early if you head there for breakfast since they had run out of their famous bread by the time we got there at around 11 a.m.
El Globo I discovered this chain in Mexico City when I was 13 and was hooked on their bread and cookies. They have now expanded to other cities in Mexico, but the bread is not quite as good as I remember. Nevertheless, I liked their iced chocolate and vanilla cupcakes.