Puebla is known for its gastronomy. Not to be missed are chiles en nogada and chicken mole poblano, traditional sweets like camotes (a sweet-potato candy), cemitas and local chalupas. You will have some great meals while you are there where there many casual as well as fine dining options.
My top finds include:
El Mural de los Poblanos: Located at 16 de Septiembre 506, just south of the Catedral, this is a traditional Puebla restaurant with several moles on the menu. I had a wonderful citrus salad with other fruits and nuts and a really good mole poblano, the specialty of Puebla. The atmosphere was really very attractive with a great mural and orange accent colors.
Café los Milagros: A really colorful café with folk art and paintings everywhere, this is a perfect spot to stop for coffee or tea. It is located at the corner of 3 Oriente and 6 Sur, Calle 6 Sur #106, just east of the Zocalo.
El Ranchito: I enjoyed lunch on the terrace in this restaurant. I had chilies en nogada which I’d had only once before. The chalupas were really good as well. Chalupas are a local specialty made with a fried corn tortilla sometimes shaped like a boat and usually filled with a savory mixture of meat, vegetables, or cheese. This location near Paseo de San Francisco, Barrio del Alto. 10 Norte 5.
La Purificadora Restaurant, Callejon de la 10 Norte 802, Paseo San Francisco Barrio El Alto: Located in the La Purificadora boutique hotel, this is a very good, upscale restaurant. The building was a former water treatment facility. It has a very sleek, contemporary design. The long communal tables were designed by well-known Mexican architect Ricardo Legorreta. I had a really enjoyable meal and a nice wine. The menu is very creative and was designed in part by the award winning Mexico City chef of Pujol. Make sure to check out the sleek rooftop bar with views of the San Francisco church and the volcano in the distance. The hotel is run by Grupo Habita.
Hotel Boutique Puebla de Antano, 3 Oriente no. 206: If you want a drink after dinner with great views of the Catedral, stop by this boutique hotel near the Zocalo and hit the sleek rooftop bar.
Villanieve San Francisco: Located in the Paseo de San Francisco shopping center #L15, this is a great ice cream shop where I found myself, on 3 different occasions, when I needed more energy to keep walking the city.
La Noria Restaurante Bar: At the suggestion of the general manager of my hotel, I went to this former 16th century hacienda in a newer section of town. What a gorgeous spot!!! I sat on the terrace which overlooked the gardens and had a really great meal of shrimp and mango salad and salmon with papaya and mango salsa. The coconut flan was a great way to end the evening. I highly recommend this restaurant.
Casona de La China Poblana: Located in a small boutique hotel a block from the Zocalo at 4 Norte #2. I enjoyed a great brunch in the attractive courtyard restaurant on Good Friday after the procession. The huevos Motulenos were great.
Mercado del Carmen: Located south of the Zocalo at Avenida 21 Oriente 201-215, this is a market that several articles have raved about their famous cemitas sandwiches. Check out Cemitas las Poblanitas where you can have the sesame-seed rolls filled with meat, poblano peppers, white Oaxacan cheese, avocado and chipotles.
For cooking classes you should check out Cardia Puebla Cooking, which offers personalized cooking classes on local specialties. It is run by Lety Vergara , the wife of my favorite local guide Carlos Rivero. Each day’s participants will make the recipe they reserved from a small selection of traditional Puebla and Mexican recipes. All year round, available recipe options are: Mole Poblano, Mole de Olla or Chiles Rellenos. A seasonal option from July to September is Chiles en Nogada.
Don’t miss walking Le Calle de los Dulces, or Street of Sweets, at 6 Oriente between Cinco de Mayo and 4 Norte, where you will find many sweet shops on both sides of the street. Didn’t need the calories, but the coconut candy I had was perfect and is one of the local specialties! One of the best shops is La Gran Fama. It was the first traditional candy store in Puebla.
Other suggestions from the NY Times and others include La Ranas, 2 Poniente 102 (for tacos), Fonda la Mexicana, 16 de Septiembre 706, (52-222) 232-67-47 (relaxed family restaurant; excellent mole poblano) and Antigua Taqueria La Oriental. I have also heard about Casa del Mendrugo, so will check it out on my next trip.
Augurio just received an award for one of the best new restaurant in Mexico, while Moyeulo was voted one of the best casual restaurants by Gourmet Awards.
A close friend just returned and stayed at the Rosewood Puebla (now the Banyan Tree Puebla). She loved the hotel and took a special cooking class with kitchen tours. She enjoyed their Pasquinel Bistro, Bar Los Lavaderos and the Rooftop Bar. I am anxious to visit it on my next trip.