Where to Eat the Best Chiles en Nogada in Puebla, Mexico

Chiles en nogada is one of the most patriotic Mexican dishes
Chiles en nogada is one of the most patriotic Mexican dishes | © Martina Žoldoš
Martina Žoldoš

Don’t leave Puebla without a taste of the national dish.

In the first days of July, inhabitants of the city of Puebla get into a special state of anticipation, and their visits to restaurants always start with the same question: “When will you start serving chiles en nogada?” The traditional poblano specialty, also known as the most patriotic Mexican dish, is served only during summer months, so locals try to eat as many as they can while they are available. This traditional dish consists of a poblano chilli stuffed with a mixture of dried fruits and meat, covered in walnut sauce, and festooned with pomegranate seeds and parsley.

Years ago, cooking chiles en nogada was mainly done at home by the family, but because the process is so laborious—it takes six hours to prepare them – many locals prefer eating them out. Here’s a list of restaurants famous for serving the best chiles en nogada in town.

1. El Mural de los Poblanos

Restaurant, Mexican

This restaurant is one of the icons of poblano gastronomy, and a must if you’re visiting the city of angels. It’s decorated with huge murals of the most important characters in Mexican history, and it serves only typical meals from the state of Puebla. El Mural de los Poblanos is based on tradition and local quality; to ensure the freshness of the ingredients, more than half of them are bought from small growers from all over the state. All the recipes are decades old—many of them have been passed to the chef from families that have been living in the city for generations.

2. Meson Sacristia de la Compañia

Restaurant, Mexican

This restaurant (which forms part of a boutique hotel in the city center) is painted with traditional pink and blue colors and decorated with rustic-style antiques, hand-carved doors, and some statues of the Virgin of Guadalupe and other saints. Their delicious chiles en nogada is prepared with local ingredients grown in San Andres Calpan, a small community half an hour from the city, where the Feria de Chiles en Nogada takes place every August. This is among the very few restaurants that offer a vegetarian version as well, where meat is replaced by local goat cheese.

3. Casareyna

Restaurant, Mexican

This restaurant is situated in a beautiful colonial building in the city center, which has luxury suits, a talavera boutique, and a talavera workshop, where customers can witness the beautiful craft for free. Although it’s known for its traditional dishes, prepared according to recipes that have been passed from hand to hand for decades, it also offers some unique gastronomic experiences. For those who like to experiment, contemporary versions of some of the traditional foods are on the menu. However, when it comes to chiles en nogada, they prefer the classic old-style recipes—and their quality has been confirmed by a certificate of authenticity.

4. Restaurante Museo Barroco

Restaurant, Mexican

Museo Internacional del Barroco in Puebla
© Alejandro / Flickr

You can kill two birds with one stone by visiting Museo Barroco in Puebla. First, explore the complex baroque essence of the 17th and 18th centuries in this museum, with all the period’s drama, tension, and theatricality. After the extensive tour, visitors can feast on one of the best chiles en nogada in Puebla. All the ingredients are harvested in San Nicolas de los Ranchos (a small community on the outskirts of the Popocatepetl volcano) except for the chillies; these grow in the chef’s own organic garden in the nearby EcoParque Metropolitano Puebla.

5. Restaurante El Sombrero

Restaurant, Mexican

Chiles en nogada
© Martina Žoldoš

This restaurant is simpler than many others on this list. Nevertheless, it’s one of locals’ favorite places when it comes to chiles en nogada. Although it does serve other typical poblano dishes, like cecina, mixiote, and chalupas, chiles en nogada are the main stars in the months of July, August, and part of September. Keep in mind that it tends to get crowded, so if you decide to visit it on a weekend, be prepared to wait for a table.

6. Restaurante La Noria

Restaurant, Mexican

Walnuts are among the ingredients of chile en nogada
© Gobierno Cholula / Flickr

Three decades ago, after generations of disrepair, the property of the once-magnificent Ex Hacienda San Miguel La Noria was restored into a modern restaurant. The remodeling conserved much of the original construction, its essence and atmosphere. Today, visitors can enjoy the greenery of surrounding laurels, the architecture of the 16th century, and traditional poblano dishes, with chile poblano being one of them. Slightly sweet, covered with a thin layer of egg and light walnut sauce, it has a reputation among its most dedicated fans.

7. El Sueño

Restaurant, Mexican

Similarly to La Noria, this restaurant is located in an 18th-century colonial house that’s been remodeled while retaining the baroque characteristics typical of the buildings of the time. According to legend, San Miguel rested in this property when visiting the city. When he left, he wished “unforgettable dreams and good fortune for those who sleep in the house.” The culinary ventures fuse ingredients from all over the world, including those of Mexican and Poblano cuisine, to achieve a mixture of flavors, textures, and colors. Depending on the season and the products available from nearby local markets, the menu is constantly changing. The restaurant is also famous for its martini and gin cocktails—one of the most peculiar and popular ones is, without doubt, the chiles en nogada martini.

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