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