2 years ago

Street food for thought: Puebla

Four tasty things to eat and drink in this charming city

Puebla is known for its mole, the de facto national dish of Mexico. It’s fantastic, and you should definitely eat it while you’re in Puebla, along with chiles en nogada (if they’re in season; they weren’t when I was there).

But there are other fantastic dishes (and drinks!) that call Puebla home that shouldn’t be missed. These were my faves.

Four things to eat and drink in Puebla

Cemitas

My absolute favorite foodie find in Puebla!  It’s a delightful torta that, when done right, will likely be one of the best, most savory, and cheap sandwiches you’ll ever have. You really haven’t been to Puebla if you haven’t stuffed your face with one of these.

Cemita Las Poblanitas in Puebla - AGreatJourney.com
My first cemita. Love at first bite!

To do so, head straight to Mercado el Carmen (21 Oriente & 2 Sur) close to the middle of town, get in line, pay your 30 pesos, and wait your turn at the impressive operation that is Las Poblanitas.

Step inside Mercado Melchor Ocampo, a.k.a. El Carmen, and look for this sign...and the crowds.
Step inside Mercado Melchor Ocampo, a.k.a. El Carmen, and look for this sign…and the crowds.
Cemitas Las Poblanitas in Puebla, - AGreatJourney.com
Massive amounts of fresh ingredients in the assembly line.

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Cemitas Las Poblanitas ingredients in Puebla- AGreatJourney.com
All the fresh ingredients make your mouth water as you wait your turn.
Cemitas Las Poblanitas assembly line in Puebla- AGreatJourney.com
So much avocado

At the end of what can be a 20-minute wait with some questionable customer service (but well worth putting up with both of those), you’ll receive a huge cemita: a thick, toasted, sesame-seed bun, generously coated with avocado on the bottom, your choice of meat (milanesa being the most popular, but, carne adobada, chicken, and ham are also options), onions, chile chipotle, a small slice of queso panela, a huge pile of fresh queso Oaxaca, papalo (an herb), olive oil, salt. It’s an absolute triumph in sandwich-making!

Cemita Las Poblanitas in Puebla - AGreatJourney.com
Say cheese!

Wash it down with a liter of agua fresca (18 pesos) from the stand next to Las Poblanitas, Fuente de Sodas Marcos. They have a wide variety and are quite good.

A delicious cemita at Las Poblanitas in Puebla - AGreatJourney.com
Before
After
After

You can also get really good cemitas outside Estadio Cuauhtémoc when Puebla is playing (fair warning: the ones inside are terrible, especially for 50 pesos), and my Uber driver strongly recommended the ones made by El Morsa outside las luchas at Arena Puebla on Monday nights).  As I mentioned, avoid disappointment and wasting your money by skipping the ones at La Oriental (they’re everywhere), outside the CAPU bus station, and inside Estadio Cuauhtémoc. Yeah, I tried a lot of these.

Las Poblanitas is #1 in my heart, my stomach, and my wallet.

Tacos Árabes

The delicious result of Middle-Eastern immigrants setting up shop here in the 1930s, these bad boys are, to an extent, a Mexican variation of shawarmas and a must when in Puebla.

Tacos Árabes in Puebla - AGreatJourney.com
Tacos Árabes de Las Ranas en Puebla.

Spit-roasted pork seasoned with salt, pepper, oregano, and parsley, sliced onto a thin, fluffy bread (kinda like a pita), you can top it off with the usual cilantro, onion, salsa combo if you wish. They vary a lot in size (some are tiny, like a street taco, some could be mistaken for open-ended burritos, though mostly they land somewhere between those two), but are damn good and found everywhere.

Pasita

A Puebla original, it’s a strong, sweet raisin liquor made and served since 1916 at La Pasita, a tiny, can’t-miss bar near Callejón de los Sapos.

La Pasita Puebla, since 1916

La Pasita in Puebla - AGreatJourney.com

Barkeeper at La Pasita in Puebla - AGreatJourney.com
Barkeep at La Pasita

There’s no seats here, so enjoy a shot or two (25 pesos each, served with a raisin and a small bit of cheese) and continue your walk around Puebla.

La Pasita in Puebla - AGreatJourney.com
Pasita

Pasita in Puebla - AGreatJourney.com

Or stay here and enjoy the world’s best (according to them, it really is good)…

Rompope

Rompope at La Pasita in Puebla

A traditional Mexican liqueur that was first crafted by the Clarisa nuns at a Franciscan convent in Puebla, it’s a sugary, creamy, egg-based concoction with rum, vanilla, almonds, and cinnamon. A great little digestif.

Rompope at La Pasita in Puebla - AGreatJourney.com

You can find it by the bottle in many places, but hit La Pasita if you want to try a shot (25 pesos).

Only two hours from Mexico City, Puebla is a charming place with some culinary delights…don’t miss it. ¡Provecho!

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