As Mexico’s fourth largest city, Puebla has an incredible mix of eating and drinking options that cover more than just cantinas and traditional Mexican cuisine. The city, and its sister city Cholula, are becoming quite the spots for a good night out on the town. Here are a few of our favorite hangouts to wet your whistle.
One of Puebla’s best places to see live bands that aren’t just 1980s cover bands. Bourbon St. has an old-school style and features soul, new jazz, rock n roll, rockabily, and rhythm and blues, even an all-female jazz band. The food is American-style casual, but everything is made in house and with diliberate care for the ingridients and preparation. This is no preppy hangout or pretentious cocktail bar, this is a place for authentic music lovers who want to sip their whiskey and hangout is a no-frills bar with lots of great ambiance.
It might seem strange to find a bustling Irish pub in the middle of central Mexico, but Bull McCabe has been Puebla’s prime Irish hangout for the past 13 years. They promise with their motto that “there are no strangers, only friends you haven’t met yet” and we think you will find the ambiance plenty friendly and apropo for finding your next best bud. They serve over 100 kinds of beer, have hefty classic cocktail list and classic pub food, with some Irish specialities on St. Patrick’s day.
Another great location for live jazz and world music in Puebla, Jazzatlan began entertaining crowds ten years ago in Cholula and now has a location Puebla City proper. The vibe is relaxed and the ambiance fitting for families, collegues, friends or lovers. They have a full calendar of events and bands, both national and international, each month and their menu is a basic, but filling mix of pizzas, salads and snacks, along with lots of craft beer and cocktails.
A 20s-style speakeasy in the heart of Mexico, El Ciego is the real deal. Hidden inside a barbar shop with a false door, you need the daily code in order to enter, which you can recieve by sending them a facebook message or contacting them through their website. They specialize in housemade cocktails, a large selction of classic cocktails, national and international craft beer and gourmet small plates. The space is small and therefore a reservation is recommended.
One of Puebla’s most classic and oldest haunts, La Pasita is a miniscule bar, packed most days with both tourists and locals looking to try their famous pasita liqueur made from raisins, with a cube of salty cheese as garnish. This place was once a mom-and-pop convenience store and memorabilia from times past cover the walls and shelves behind the bar. There are only a few tables in the tiny space to sit down at. In addition to a collection of sweet liqueurs they also sell national beer brands and are right across from the weekend flea market Los Sapos.
A classic rock bar and pool house, Metro bar has live bands on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays and a rock-n-roll ambiance that will make you feel among friends. They have an ample menu of national beers both in bottles and on tap, classic cocktails (nothing too fancy pants), and traditional bar food — sandwiches, fries and burgers, tacos, and a selection of wings. There is, of course, pool and the prices on food and drinks is reasonable.
An intimate space for a conversation over beers with friends or a casual dinner with your lover, the Utopia bar has that European tranquility to it — no blaring music or rowdy crowds — just folks that want to enjoy their hops in a cool atmosphere. The menu has Belgian dishes as well some international fare and the show spotter — the beer — comes from all corners of the world to the lips of drinkers in Puebla’s historic downtown.
The Azotacalles bar is actually in Cholula but the two towns are so close and intermeshed we wanted to include it. They have great mixed drinks and a chill ambiance with good music and good service. Be sure to try some of their delicious bar food like bacon-wrapped onion rings or Papas Gajo, as well as tacos and tostadas. They have the occasional live DJ and lots of good-looking people hanging out, doing their thing.