Great guacamole Recipe

How to make great guacamole? Start with avocados. Plus, restaurants in Sonoma County making great guacamole.

great guacamole recipe
A great guacamole recipe starts with avocados

Less is more when it comes to perfect guacamole. Meaning that if you’re using more than ten ingredients (serious purists say more than four), you’ve run your dip ship aground.

But exactly which ingredients, other than avocados, is a matter of intense debate. Some sniff indignantly at the addition of lime, while others outrightly reject garlic or tomatoes as dance partners. Even mention sour cream in certain circles, and a brawl is likely to break out. Cream cheese? Please.

Guacamole Recipe adapted from Chef Manuel
3 ripe California Hass Avocados
Juice of one lime
1/2 tsp salt
Pinch freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons chopped, fresh cilantro
2 small, ripe Roma tomatoes, chopped and seeded
1/4 cup chopped white onionCut avocados in half, remove pit and scoop into a bowl. Coat with lime juice to prevent browning. Using a fork, mash the avocados. Lumpy is okay here. Add onion, cilantro, salt, pepper and tomatoes and mix gently. Serve immediately with tortilla chips or fresh tortillas.

What makes the perfect guacamole recipe is simple: Starting with ripe, tasty avocados. “The secret ingredient is California Hass avocados,” says Chef Manuel Arjona of Maya Restaurant in Sonoma, one of BiteClub’s favorite guac haunts. Along with lime, salt and pepper, cilantro and pico de gallo (a combination of tomatoes, chiles and onions), he fork mashes each order on the spot. “No garlic, no oil, no cream,” says Arjona. “That’s the Yucatan style.”
Where you go from there is a matter of taste: A dash of cumin, serrano chiles, garlic, fresh tomatoes and red or white onions. Leave the blender unplugged and employ a little wrist power to roughly smash the mixture rather than pureeing it. Traditionalists insist on using a moljacete — a black lava stone mortar and pestle — to get the best flavor.
Just promise to leave the sour cream and mayo north of the border. Add a hand-shaken margarita for best results.
Some best bets for local guacamole
A lot of restaurants really cheap out when it comes to guacamole. Avocados can be expensive, so if you’re planning to get the good stuff, expect to pay $5 to $8 for an order. Otherwise, you’re probably getting a lot of filler, and not a lot of actual avocado – which is what I find at a lot of inexpensive taquerias. Don’t waste your time on that stuff.
* Restaurant El Michoacano
Plus: Chunky, simple, authentic un-gringoed guac and some of the area’s best regional Mexican cuisine. If you can figure out the menu. Minus: No margaritas. 500 Sebastopol Road, Santa Rosa.
Tres Hombres Longbar and Grill
Super-garlicky guac, made fresh daily. Addictive warm chips. Top shelf margaritas.151 Petaluma Blvd S., Petaluma, (707) 773-4500
Maya Restaurant
Made to order guacamole. Authentic, fresh Mexican cuisine. And by cuisine, we don’t mean chimichangas. Serious tequila collection. What more does one need? 101 E Napa St., Sonoma, (707) 935-3500

Old Mexico

The secret to this guacamole is cumin. Pair with a coma-inducing bolle. 4501 Montgomery Dr, Santa Rosa, (707) 539-2599
I’m rarely a fan of chains, but in this case, I have to make exceptions for El Torito and Chevy’s Fresh Mexican, which both do tableside guacamole, mashing and mixing to order.

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23 thoughts on “Great guacamole Recipe

  1. Less than two days left to send in your original guacamole recipe to in our first ever Guac-Off! 4 finalists will be chosen to present their finished guacamoles at a live broadcast this Saturday. Winner gets a pair of tickets to see Smokey Robinson at Konocti plus $200 in Konocti Kash! Oh, and bragging rights. Get your recipe in by Wednesday, June 3rd at 5pm. Details at

  2. Restaurant El Michoacano we visited this restaurant after hearing everyone on KZST. The guac was good but I won’t go there just to get it. The food was very very salty. I would much rather go to Old Mexico, El Patio, or Jaliscos. I read the menu just fine but the girl could not understand I wanted green sauce on my enchiladas. so I received red (got home with this item wrong). The little salsa in the containers was very good. The super burrito with pork was about a 5, the chili relano was a 6, and the enchiladas a 5. We most likely won’t go back.

  3. Cilantro in guacamole is not a Mexican tradition. I was raised on the Texas-Juarez border. Cilantro is a contrived addition by Americans. It’s over-used in every AmerMex recipe.

  4. I actually like the chips at La Bufa – lots of places don’t even fry their own chips, they buy them in big bags. They are thicker than other places, kind of like the thick Casa Sanchez chips you can get at upscale markets. They don’t put a ton of salt on their chips, but some people might like that because they can add more salt if they want more flavor. But I know tastes vary when it comes to what one thinks is bland, what one considers “great” guac, burritos etc. For example, my sister LOVES the chicken super burritos at Las Palmas because the chicken is grilled, and they use white and dark meat, they put all ingredients on the inside, and they tend to be garlicky – but I prefer shredded, less spicy chicken, thick, homemade tasting tortillas, and guac/other toppings on the outside, so my favorite burritos are at La Bufa. But if I want a carnitas taco, I’ll head to Las Palmas over La Bufa any day, because the carnitas at Las Palmas is the BOMB.

  5. My husband and I headed over to Restaurant El Michoacano. We could read the menus just fine, not sure why the comment was put in the article on this website. It was as English as English gets. The chips were great and the guac was yummy. The food was good but man was it packed with salt. Even the chips were a little on the salty side.. we probably won’t go there to much as we like El Patio for food and it is not as salty.

  6. Guacamole is only as good as the chip you eat it on. Try lightly fried triangles of flour tortillas. The chilled guac and warm, salty chip make a great pair. Add a cold beer or margarita and make it a threesome!

  7. Tried La Bufa yesterday for lunch & sorry, but their guac was some of the most bland, tastless mashed avacado ever! The fresh salsa could have used some flavor help too – like some peppers,onion, & cilantro. And the chips were all cooked earlier in the day, kept in a huge bowl that the table bowls were filled from – very hard & tasteless. Needless to say, we were disappointed & won’t be going back

  8. Lola’s has really good guacamole too.
    I’m a purist as well. Just a little lime juice to keep it from browning, a tiny bit of minced onion and maybe some salt a pepper. Ok, maybe a little minced serrano as well if I want something spicy. Some cilantro or diced tomato to garnish.

  9. My guac is the best by far. You must have cilantro in your guac for it to be really tasty. I think Old Mexico is great.
    Guacamole should have lime, cilantro, garlic, onion, tomato, salt and pepper. Nothing else, no sour cream, no cream cheese and no packaged spices……

  10. My favorite recipe is from Reed Hearon’s recipe in Las Parillas Cookbook
    just avocadoes, serranos and kosher salt in a molcajete–maybe a little diced white onion. Cilantro for garnish. I also like the guac at Las Palmas on Santa Rosa Avenue. Surprisingly, Trader Joe’s has a really good FROZEN guac in a 2 pack–I forget the name but it is pretty simple and very good–and I am a total guac snob who rarely buys packaged foods. I used to take my molcajete horse camping and provide the appetizers campfire side.

  11. La Bufa has the BEST burritos too! Are their tortillas homemade? They are SO good. And they put yummy enchilada sauce on top and then generously pile on the guacamole, queso fresco, tomatos, etc. I’ve been on a burrito kick lately and have been trying lots of other taquerias but nobody does them like La Bufa.

  12. The BEST guac in town (besides mine hee hee) is La Bufa on 4th Street. I could live on it. I agree with the article, the less ingredients the better, they have very few in theirs, I’m a big fan of their salsa too – super fresh. Give it a try!

  13. Perfect timing for this discussion! If you think your recipe for gucamole is fantastic, why not enter it into the Guac-Off Contest at Finalists will be in the running for a pair of tickets to see Smokey Robinson at Konocti Harbor Resort and Spa. The guacs will be judged by Chef John Ash. Deadline for entry is 5pm on June 35rd. Head to for details.

  14. The last time my husband and I were at El Torito – we enjoyed the tableside guacamole. You can add as much or as little as you want of the goodies. We don’t like too much tomato or too much spice – they are always accommodating. And the taste has always been good.

  15. Hmmm. That’s weird. I guess I like my guacamole to taste like avocados rather than all the other stuff. With tableside service (regardless of whether you dig Chevy’s) it’s guaranteed to be fresh and how you like it. Plus they put just a sprinkle of queso fresco, which i like.

  16. Chevy’s? Seriously? I don’t care if it’s done tableside…their quac was bland, tasteless garbage the last time I had it and I wouldn’t go back there to try again…IMHO…

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