Have a small breakfast at your hotel before heading out for a day of architecture gazing and museum hopping. Start at the city’s Municipal Tourist Office on the east side of the central square, where you can get oriented by picking up a free map and checking out the bronze bas-relief of Puebla’s downtown area. Then, duck into the nearly 500-year-old Puebla Cathedral, which is depicted on Mexico’s 500-peso note, for a glimpse of its ornate chapels and frescoes. Two blocks away, visit Museo Amparo ($2.90), housed in two linked sixteenth- and seventeenth-century colonial buildings, where eight rooms are loaded with precolonial artifacts, like Mesoamerican ceramics and carved stone. Stop into vegetarian restaurant La Zanahoria (Av 5 Ote 206; 222- 232-4813) for a twist on the classic Mexican three-course prix fixe lunch ($4.60), which here might include salad, soup, mushroom-stuffed cactus paddles, and fresh fruit juice (the menu changes daily). Take time to visit the Nuevo Museo Universitario Interactivo and the City’s Casa de la Cultura, which also houses one of the oldest libraries in the country. Afterward, browse the souvenir stalls at the Parian Crafts Market, where many of the knickknacks and textiles are mediocre but are nonetheless worth perusing for decent budget-grade talavera pottery. For dinner, head to El Patio de Las Ranas (Av 2 Pte 205; 222-232-1946) for tacos árabes, one of Puebla’s great “fusion” dishes: marinated, spit-grilled pork al pastor, wrapped in fresh-baked Middle Eastern flatbread ($1 per taco). Have an after-dinner cocktail at the rooftop bar of the new boutique hotel, Puebla de Antaño. You’ll find 27 different martinis here, but you’re better off with a classic margarita ($8).
5. Oddball Day
Published on Mar 3, 2011 as a web exclusive.