There’s a forest in Guadalajara where the mud tastes like white chocolate and matcha. Crumbled pistachios climb over the mire like neon green moss, making a bed for fuzzy sprouts of spearmint and peppermint and ripe blueberries as fat and glossy as sapphires.
Red-capped meringue mushrooms shade the miniature woodland like beach umbrellas. They taste like pine.
The scoop of ice cream alongside them, like eucalyptus. It’s ivory, speckled, and egg-shaped, like something about to hatch.
Alexandra Farias From left: A seating area inside La Postrería café; the whimsical “El Bosque” dessert at La Postrería.
“El Bosque” and the other bewitching desserts from Fernanda Covarrubias and Jesús Escalera, the pastry chefs at La Postrería, are among the many reasons to go to Guadalajara.
The city is Mexico’s second-largest in population and in business traffic, thanks to the vital tech industry that has turned it into the nation’s answer to Silicon Valley. It’s also the capital of Jalisco, the state famous for mariachi and tequila and the coastal resorts of Puerto Vallarta.
Alexandra Farias The bandstand at Plaza de Armas
Despite all those distinctions, Guadalajara hasn’t gotten its star turn with American visitors yet. Mexico’s nearness, affordability, and cultural wealth invite constant discovery, but sometimes, chasing the next unsung winter surf colony. My wife and I wound up there, checking in to the chic Casa Habita in the leafy Lafayette neighborhood, because of a canceled flight.
Alexandra Farias The lobby at Casa Habita.
“Can you believe you would have missed this?” asked my guide, Germán Salas, the next day as we walked through the neighboring city of Tlaquepaque, 15 minutes from downtown Guadalajara.
Sweeping his arm, he gestured to the breezy rooftop terrace of 1910 Cocina de México, then to the other colorful restaurants and shops along cobblestoned Calle Independencia, a pedestrian-only arts haven.
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