Puebla is famous for restaurants serving mole poblano. // (c) 2012 Ministro de Turismo de Puebla
Puebla, Mexico, is famous for its namesake dish, mole poblano (meaning mole of Puebla). Mole is a heady, exotic sauce made of some 30 or so ingredients, including unsweetened chocolate, various chilies, corn tortillas, cinnamon, spices, nuts, tomatoes and onions. It is a rich, dark brown and a tantalizing topping for chicken and sometimes pork, or enchiladas. Created hundreds of years ago, Mexicans all over the country know it and love it — and nowhere is it better than in the restaurants of Puebla.
One of the best examples of mole poblano in Puebla can be had in the boutique hotel Meson Sacristia de la Compania — that is unless some friendly local invites you into his or her home. Located inside a restored and very romantic 18th-century mansion, the Meson serves its mole over tender slices of chicken breast in a lovely courtyard restaurant. The restaurant is part of the delightful boutique hotel, which is also filled with antiques, which are almost all for sale. If you are especially mitten with your dinner, you can partake in a one-to-three day cooking class at the restaurant.
Near the center of Puebla is an exquisite 18th-century Baroque mansion called Casa de los Munecos (House of the Dolls), which was declared a World Cultural Heritage Site by UNESCO. This elegant restaurant here serves up various dishes topped with mole poblano made with its own house recipe. There is also a second location near the city’s public university with the same delectable food, however why would a visitor miss experiencing this gorgeous mansion setting?
Another spot that has enjoyed popular success for almost 50 years is the Fonda de Santa Clara, in the historic center of Puebla. This famous eatery features typical Puebla talavera tile and decor and traditional music as the backdrop for its top-notch Puebla cuisine.
If your clients are looking for a more casual dining experience, tell them to try visiting Puebla’s Mercado de Cholula. This covered food market is home to butchers, fishmongers, vegetable farmers and spice sellers, with seats for diners in the back. Here, you can partake in a mole quesadilla or taco and eat like the locals. You can also buy mole paste to take back home with you. The Mercado el Carmen is Puebla’s traditional market, where you can try more mole dishes, buy any mole ingredient you want and also try the local sandwich, known as a cernitas.