It’s hard to compete with Mexico City for great food and drink, and no one would hazard to say that Guadalajara does. But the second-biggest city in Mexico is not to be overlooked. Not only is it the departure point for tequila country, but Guadalajara has a gritty edge to it that attracts both visitors and displaced creative types from the capital.

It’s not uncommon to meet artists and academics who have decamped from the chaos of Distrito Federal (that’s Mexico City to the uninitiated) for the comparative calm of Guadalajara. Not that the 1.5-million-person city is exactly sleepy. It buzzes with a rebellious energy, fueled by the desire of the throngs of students and artists here to improve the state of Jalisco and that of the country. And with a still-tangible Aztec influence, it has a rich culinary culture. Here are 10 reasons to eat and drink in Guadalajara now.