The colorful city of Puebla has a deep culinary heritage, with an array of local recipes influenced by both indigenous traditions and Spanish colonial cooking. Perhaps the most famous dish is mole poblano, a thick, dark, flavorful sauce that is made from upward of 30 ingredients, depending on whose grandmother’s recipe you’re following. But mole poblano is just one of many moles available on menus in Puebla, where the selections vary with the seasons.
The restaurants below offer higher-end dining, but Puebla’s more-casual options are also worth exploring. Our guide, arranged through ground operator Journey Mexico, took us on a food tour of local spots that serve delicious street food. Highlights included a huge cemita, a sensational chicken schnitzel sandwich topped with pápalo leaves, avocado and Oaxaca cheese; molotes, like fried empanadas filled with huitlacoche (corn fungus) and chicharrón; and addictive tacos árabes, or “Arabian tacos,” made with a flour tortilla stuffed, improbably, with caramelized pork.
In addition to the recommendations below, we also had a tasty meal at the restaurant of the Cartesiano hotel and a good (if slow) dinner at Pasquinel Bistrot in the Azul Talavera Hotel.