Last updated: 10:35 AM ET, Thu May 07 2015

The Best Mole Poblano in the US For Cinco de Mayo

Features & Advice | Tom Bastek | May 05, 2015

The Best Mole Poblano in the US For Cinco de Mayo

Photo courtesy of La Casita Mexicana.  All others courtesy of their respective establishments.

Unbeknownst to most people, the celebration of Cinco de Mayo is not the celebration of Mexican Independence. It actually commemorates the Battle of Puebla which was part of the Franco-Mexican War. On May 5, 1862, France sent 6,000 troops to attack the small town of Puebla de Los Angeles. Although the Mexican army only had 2,000 men to defend the town with, they were victorious. 

The celebration of Cinco de Mayo is more widely celebrated here in the United States than in Mexico itself, serving as a chance for the American people to embrace all things Mexican. Food, drink and revelry continue late into the nights across the country not just on the date, but normally including the surrounding weekend as well. You might want to have a taco, burrito or big plate of nachos to celebrate the occasion but if you really want to keep it traditional, you should definitely have Mole Poblano, a traditional meal served in Puebla. 

Here‘s some of the best mole worth traveling for.

Los Angeles, California

When you talk about authentic Mexican Cuisine in L.A. there are no two better chefs than Jaime Martin Del Campo & Ramiro Arvizu, Top Chef Estrelles judges and proprietors of Flautas, MEXICANO and La Casita Mexicana, which is where you are going to find some of the best mole in Los Angeles, if not all of California. They are consistently being voted the best mole in the city, and if that isn’t enough, who doesn’t want to have mole with two bald, celebrity Mexican chefs?

Laredo, Texas

Laredo has the highest population of Hispanics in the country with 95.6 percent of the city claiming Hispanic origin. There is no breakout given for country of origin, but being right on the border of the Rio Grande makes for a pretty good case that they probably have the highest population of Mexicans in the country as well. So that means we can find some authentic Mole here! 

Chef Arnaldo Richards brings mole to a new level at his restaurant Picos which you can find on the menu each day. But once a year around the holidays he breaks out 12 moles in 12 days and keeps them on the menu all the way through Three Kings Day on January 6.

Scottsdale, Arizona

Arizona is another well known place for Mexican influence and Valley of the Sun offers up no shortage of places where you can get a good Mole Poblano. If you want to try your way around the area, feel free, but I would recommend cutting your travels short and heading right over to Los Sombreros

Azucena Tovar, the chef and owner of the restaurant, has been in business for 22 years and even opened up an additional location in 2013. She has brought her recipes and her love for her country to the U.S. and it shows in Los Sombreros. The Mole is available on the Chicken Enmoladas but if you just want to try a little bit of it, I recommend the Corn Cake Soufflé which comes with it as well. The mole here has been voted as one of the 100 favorite dishes in the valley.

Las Vegas, Nevada

Now I am going to go on the record and say that there is also a great Mexican community in the Las Vegas area and so it is tough to choose a best Mexican restaurant, so I will simply say “one of the best.” 

Lindo Michoacan has been voted some of the best Mexican Cuisine in the city for years and years and with good reason. Javier Barajas, the original owner, was trained in the town of Michoacan, México by nuns in a monastery.  For ten years they have been voted the best Mexican restaurant in the valley and their Mole Poblano is out of this world. If you are staying in Las Vegas to party down for Cinco de Mayo, this is the place that you want to be. They are only 10 minutes from the strip.

Alright, so there you have it, four places where you can get a traditional Puebla meal and be the big man or woman on campus when you tell everyone what the real meaning of Cinco de Mayo is and then order that meal.

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