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Guadalajara - Part 2 - Tonala, Tlaquepaque, and A Night On The Town

Updated: May 8, 2020

Just joining us? Please check out part 1 of our journey through Guadalajara here.


The Dallas Weekender traveling in Tonola, Mexico
Tonola Mexico Streets

After our lunch we piled into a local taxi and headed south east of the city to a small town named Tonalá. Tonalá had a quaint Centro Historico with a beautiful cathedral surrounded by small shops, restaurants and hotels. We got out of our taxi and started to explore.

We found the local tourist market, which we perused briefly before continuing down the narrow streets, adorned with hundred of power lines strung out above. We weaved in and out of the shops, chatting with shop owners and checking out their items. We even stumbled onto a pet shop at one point.

Tequila Graffiti in Tonola, Mexico
Tequila in Tonola, Mexico

This small town was known for its 'Tianguis;’ Open air street markets for vegetables, meats, crafts and home goods. Sadly, the Tianguis were not going on today. Having been before, I can attest to the excitement that these offer the otherwise sleepy little town. They are a sight to see.

Hopping in another taxi, we headed back towards Guadalajara, stopping at a slightly larger suburb named Tlaquepaque. Tlaquepaque was hopping; dozens of people in the city center, shopping, eating and listening to music. The vibe was happening so we decided to stop for a sit and a drink.

Near the central plaza of Tlaquepaque, Jardin Hidalgo, was something call El Parian. El Parian de Talquepaque was a beautiful courtyard surrounded by small boutique-ie restaurants, with local bites to eat. We picked 'El Torro' for our drink, but honestly any of the multiple restaurants will do.

Michal ordered a Michelob Ultra, which we laughed in amusement as our server called it a 'Mike - a- lobe' and I ordered the specialty of the house: a Casuela.

This drink is not for the faint of heart. It consisted of multiple, ahem, multiple shots of tequila and soaked with a mix of local citrus fruits and their juices. Possibly there was some squirt in there as well. Anyway, this drink was served in something my mother would put plants in on the front porch and it was freaking delicious. So delicious in fact, I downed it faster than I should have. I mean, it was hot out. We also had chips and salsa.

After getting a few bottles of water to go, we continued to shop around the place. We got shirts which shrunk horribly later, but they were cute while they lasted.

Eventually we stumbled into the large open air market. This was very similar to the massive market we visited in Guadalajara, so we were old pros and quickly walked through. On the wall in a staircase toward the side of the building we see a hand painted sign that says 'Artesanias Touristicas.’ Arts & crafts for tourists? We should check that out!

So we did. And we funded at least 3 families’ bills for the next few months in the process. We purchased shot glasses, pottery and gifts, everything you could image.


The Dallas Weekender Drinks at Que Mona Esta La Mona in Guadalajara, Mexico
Drinks in Guadalajara, Mexico

We hailed our taxi and headed back to the hotel. It was still pretty early in the afternoon so Michal crashed for a nap and I ventured out to 'Que Mona Esta La Mona,’a quaint Italian restaurant next door to the hotel for a Michelada. The drink was on point and a good way to kill some time before it was time to get ready for dinner. Once returning to the room, we got cleaned up for the evening because tonight was date night.

We had reservations across town at a place called 'La Casa de los Platos'. It was spectacular! The place was classy, elegant with great cocktails and food, some of which was prepared table side. We took our time and tried to truly savor the evening. If you are ever in the area… make sure this place is on your list. It was romantic, delicious and a beautiful location.


The Dallas Weekender travels to Guadalajara, Mexico for Dinner and Drinks at La Casa De Los Platos.
La Casa De Los Platos in Guadalajara, Mexico

After dinner, we decided (I mandated) we have one more drink before we returned to the hotel for the evening. That's because La Casa de Los Platos happened to be next to a brewery, La Cervezaria Union. La Cervezaria Union had an equally exciting atmosphere; just as crowded, but much more casual. We struggled to find a place to sit, but after some rustling about, we managed to get a spot by the bar. The Red IPA was good, not as hoppy as you would typically find, but still drinkable. The star of the show was the Coatepec Brown Ale. A fantastically smooth Brown Ale, heavy in flavor, yet still easily drinkable. Great way to end the evening.



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