Get a taste of Mexico with authentic paletas at Popaletas Michoacan

Walking through the door of Popaletas Michoacan feels like teleporting to a Mexican paleteria.

Salsa music plays from the speakers. Bags of Takis (rolled tortilla chips) poke out from the snack section, and Spanish words adorn every sign.

And lines of paletas (Mexican-style popsicles) and ice cream fill the freezer.

Miguel Barragan opened the first Popaletas Michoacan store in 2018 on Sherwood Forest Boulevard. The shop serves Mexican-style popsicles, ice cream, banana splits, smoothies, milkshakes, aguas frescas, nachos and chips.

Barragan was raised in Michoacan, Mexico. The Western state is known as the birthplace of paletas. A giant monument of a popsicle with a globe in the middle is displayed in the small town of Tocumbo, and there is an annual festival dedicated to its famous paletas.

Long before a construction job brought him to Baton Rouge, Barragan grew up just seven minutes from the paleta capital. He opened his first paleteria in Mexico at 18.

Decades later, locals can taste 27 flavors of Barragan’s signature Mexican popsicles and 16 flavors of ice cream at two Baton Rouge locations (including one on Burbank Drive).

“It’s rewarding to see how much people like them,” he says about paletas. “It’s just (one way to) get people to feel back at home—and bring it to people that have never been there.”

The popsicles and ice cream are made fresh every week with ingredients like real fruit, milk, cream and sugar. Popsicles come in fruity flavors, like Strawberry, Mango, Lemon Lime, Strawberry Kiwi, Spicy Mango, Pineapple and Watermelon, and creamy flavors like Coconut, Oreo, Strawberry Cream, Almond and Pine Nut.

Barragan pursues the sweetest and ripest fruit to make his paletas. The coconut popsicle has shreds of coconut embedded in every bite, bound together by a smooth, decadent coconut milk base with just the right amount of sweetness.

“The popsicles will only be as good as the fruit is,” Barragan says.

Growing up in Colorado Springs, which has a large Hispanic population, I can still taste the chili-covered mango lollipops my Mexican friends used to share with me as a child.

The tart, sweet and savory spicy mango popsicle brought me back to those memories. Made with chunks of mango, Tajín, lime juice and orange juice, it’s punchy and acidic with a little kick.

The sweet and spicy Mangonada has a similar flavor profile, made with mango sorbet and drizzled with chamoy (an apricot, chile and lime condiment) and tamarind sauce. But the main attraction here is an irresistibly lickable straw dipped in tamarind. The icy, refreshing sorbet quells the heat from the chamoy and tamarind. It’s an explosion of flavors.

The Mangonada is made with mango sorbet and drizzled with chamoy and tamarind sauce.


The popularity of the paleta has been seeping into mainstream U.S. culture, spotlighted in recent years by outlets like Thrillist and NBC News as varieties have made their way onto the shelves of large grocery chains. Barragan is here for the ride, with his own plans of selling his popsicles wholesale and eventually franchising beyond Baton Rouge.

And if the paleta monument in his home state is a glimpse of the future, Mexican popsicles will soon be enjoyed worldwide.

This article was originally published in the June 2024 issue of 225 Magazine.