Just south of – and within a comfortable walk of – the central Plaza de la Liberation is an understated working class neighborhood dotted with very worthwhile sites… with inexpensive and very authentic local restaurants… and with great slice-of-life photo opps.

La Chata Restaurant, Guadalajara, Mexico

 

Restaurante La Chata, located on Ramón Corona between Avenidas Juárez and López Cotilla, serves throughout the day, but it’s is a great place for breakfast at the start  of a centro sur walk.

 

La Chata has been in business since 1942 and it’s now a city institution.

La Chata Restaurant, Guadalajara, Mexico

 

The kitchen fronts on the street, visible through a large picture window, and at lunchtime the waiting line stretches down the sidewalk.

 

It’s one of those places that leaves you with a sense that the waiters have worked there for their entire lives; the service is hospitable and efficient.

La Chata Restaurant, Guadalajara, Mexico

 

A stained glass tableau features images of Guadalajara’s iconic monuments:  Los Arcos, Minerva Fountain, the Catedral, and the Teatro Degollado…

Templo de Nuestra Senora de Aranzazu, Guadalajara

 

Only three blocks further south on Colon you’ll come to the Templo de Nuestra Senora de Aranzazu, built by the Franciscans and a marked contrast from the ostentatiously ornate central Catedral.

 

It’s surrounded by an urban pocket park where the benches are a great place to watch neighborhood comings and goings.

Birriera Los Compadres, Nueve Esquinas, Guadalajara, Mexico

 

Two more blocks south on Colon you’ll arrive at Las Nueve Esquinas – the Nine Corners – where you can enjoy great birria, Jalisco’s signature stew made with goat (del chivo) or lamb (del borrego).

Birriera Las Nueve Esquinas, Guadalajara, Mexico

 

The dish is served with corn tortillas, and seasoned by each diner to personal taste from a condiment plate of onion, cilantro, and lime.

Birriera Las Nueve Esquinas, Guadalajara, Mexico

 

 

There’s an abundant choice of birrierias here, but my favorite is the Birrieria de Las Nueve Esquinas.

Birriera Las Nueve Esquinas, Guadalajara, Mexico

 

 

As with La Chata, there can be a long wait here for lunch unless you avoid the rush which typically occurs early in the afternoon. (Note the goat’s head in the stained glass window!)

Birriera Las Nueve Esquinas, Guadalajara, Mexico

 

A kitchen open to the dining room makes for great entertainment.

 

One of the waitresses caught up with me a block after I’d departed to give me a small carving of a goat inscribed with the restaurant’s name.

Building facade, Guadalajara, Mexico

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Continue from the Nine Corners on Colon through a neighborhood dotted with vintage architecture and modest homes fronted by sidewalk workshops.

Building facade, Guadalajara, Mexico

Hotel Santiago, Guadalajara, Mexico

Butterfly House, Parque Agua Azul, Guadalajara, Mexico

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In less than ten blocks you’ll take a left on Niños Héroes and a block later a  right on Calzado Independencia Sur.

 

 

 

The Parque Agua Azul is one block further.

Parque Agua Azul, Guadalajara, Mexico

 

 

 

This is one of those great urban parks in which the the year-round floral display frames distinctive architecture and statues.

 

 

 

As I pass a yoga class, a nearby acrobat performs an airborne somersault.

Orozco bust, Parque Agua Azul, Guadalajara, Mexico

Parque Agua Azul, Guadalajara, Mexico

 

 

 

It’s a short walk from the park to Guadalajara’s Centrale Viejo bus station, where busses and arrive from and depart to Lake Chapala.

Parque Agua Azul, Guadalajara, Mexico

 

 

Hotel Plaza San Francisco, Guadalajara, Mexico

Hotel Plaza San Francisco, Guadalajara, Mexico

 

 

On the way back to el centro, drop by the restaurant in the Hotel Plaza San Francisco for drinks or snacks. It’s only a couple of blocks from the Aranzazu church on Degollado just south of Prisciliano Sánchez.

 

It occupies what looks to have once been three separate residences, and guest rooms front on each of its three courtyards. The place has a great Spanish colonial ambiance.

 

Take this walkabout and you’ll discover what I quickly learned on my first Guadalajara visit:  There’s more to see within easy walking distance of the city center than you can possibly cover in less than three or four days, so plan your Guadalajara visit accordingly… and watch for more posts on this great city, because there’s still more to see!

 

Check out my other Guadalajara destination posts:

Guadalajara’s Heartbeat

Guadalajara’s Mercado Libertad

Fishy in Guadalajara

To Mexico By Bus

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