Home to the Battle of Cinco de Mayo and Mole Poblano: Explore Puebla, Mexico
Puebla, Mexico’s fourth-largest city, is celebrating the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Cinco de Mayo, when a heavily outnumbered Mexican army defeated the French troops of Napoleon III in 1862. Needless to say, this is a big year for Puebla. To mark the occasion, the city has bumped up conservation efforts of the historic forts used in the Battle of Cinco de Mayo and this May 2 and 3 will also be hosting the first annual International Mole Festival.
While Puebla is most famous for food such as “mole poblano”, Mexican visitors and international tourists will flock to Puebla not only for its “mole” but also for its beautiful colonial architecture, café culture, mild climate and historical sites. As one of the safest big cities in Mexico, Puebla merits at least 36 hours, if not a full weekend. Here are some things to do on your trip:
People watch. Paseo Bravo, a long narrow plaza, is crowded with food carts and is a host to a cantina at one end and a church at the other. On the other side of the ‘centro histórico’ is the former textile factory ‘Parque San Francisco’ (Callejón de la 10 Norte, Barrio Del Alto), where you can find those celebrating a marriage or a quinceañera party posing for photos. When stopping for a snack, Utopia Belgian Pub is a great choice. Known for being one of the best beer bars in Mexico, you can find 80 brands of bottled beer and Belgian-style pub snacks. For those interested in exploring the traditional art of Puebla, Talavera de la Reyna’s workshop will let you watch as artisans turn clay into beautifully elaborate pottery. Situated in Cholula, a neighboring town with a pre-Hispanic pyramid at its center, it also offers English-language tours (Camino a la Carcaña 2413, Recta a Cholula; 52-222-225-4132; talaveradelareyna.com.mx). Puebla is famous for its regional dishes like ‘chiles en nogada’ (a poblano chile stuffed with meat, fruits and nuts and topped with a walnut cream sauce and pomegranate seeds) and ‘camotes de Santa Clara’ (a candy made of sweet potato). For a taste of global cuisine, Las Ranas offers ‘tacos árabes’, marinated pork on flatbread that originated in the city’s Lebanese community (about $1 each). For ‘mole poblano’ (90 pesos), the thick sauce of chocolate, nuts, chiles and spices, locals swear by Fonda La Mexicana.
For more information on the restaurants and places mentioned in the article, click here.