The city of Puebla is not only home to beautiful colonial architecture, decorated with hand-painted Talavera tiles, but it’s also the birthplace of popular Mexican dish mole. From partying at vibrant fiestas to exploring beautiful libraries, here’s why you need to visit Puebla.
While millions of tourists pour into Mexico City every year, the smaller city of Puebla to the southeast is still a popular getaway – and one worth putting on your bucket list. Its wide streets are home to one of the biggest antique markets in Mexico, Poblano treats like raisin liqueur and rich mole, as well as handmade artisan wares – so you’ll definitely want to bring a piece of Puebla home with you.
La Pasita has been part of Puebla City since 1916 and was originally a local grocery store called El Gallo de Oro. This bar and liquor store specializes in making homemade liqueurs, particularly the one it’s named after — La Pasita, a raisin-flavored sweet liqueur served with a hunk of aged, salty cheese on a toothpick. We know it sounds odd, but trust us on this one. On most afternoons, the cantina is packed, with guests crowding around its few tables. If you can’t find a seat, you can always take a bottle to go.
Although many will argue the claim that mole was created in Puebla, there is no doubt that Mexico’s creamy, rich sauce made of numerous ingredients is now one of Puebla’s biggest exports. Mole can be found in most traditional restaurants throughout the state, including tiny mom-and-pop fondas, each with its own personal recipe. In Puebla City, you can also visit the mole grinders where folks come to get large quantities of the sauce. Just the smell in the air will make you hungry.
Puebla’s colonial nuns had a lot of time on their hands and, apparently, a flair for cooking. They are said to have created some of Mexico’s most well-known dishes, including mole, chiles en nogada and Puebla’s famous traditional candies made of pumpkin seeds, candied nuts, marzipan and sesame. If you have a craving for something sweet, head down to Calle Santa Clara in Puebla’s Centro Histórico to visit some of the city’s oldest candy manufacturers and shops – where you’ll also find plenty of free samples.
You might not see it, but located under a grass-covered mound topped like a wedding cake by a canary yellow Catholic church is the world’s widest pyramid. Measuring 1,300 by 1,300ft (400 by 400m), Tlachihualtepetl – its native Maya name – is thought to have been socially and economically connected to the nearby Teotihuacan people. It was dedicated to Quetzalcoatl, the feather-serpent god worshiped by the ancient indigenous natives of the Valley of Mexico.
Looking for more? Don’t miss the best bars in Puebla. You’ll be less than a two-hour drive from the Mexican capital, so why not extend your stay with one of the best hotels in Mexico City? Or treat yourself to a luxurious stay at a boutique hotel in the capital – bookable with Culture Trip. While you’re there, don’t miss the must-visit attractions, including the coolest neighbourhoods in Mexico City.