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In 1991 Billy and Akaisha Kaderli retired at the age of 38. Now, into their 4th decade of this financially independent lifestyle, they invite you to take advantage of their wisdom and experience.

Gran Cafe del Portal

Veracruz, Mexico

Billy and Akaisha Kaderli

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Veracruz, Mexico has large attractions like the fort that Conquistador Hernan Cortez built in the 1500s, the Aquarium, the Naval Museum and even the international trading port itself.

But on a smaller scale, this city offers coffee shops and restaurants too.

The Gran Cafe del Portal, founded in 1808, was purchased in 1926 by a Spaniard named Don Pepe who was a baker by trade.

The Gran Cafe was formerly a cafe, then a candy store, then a pastry shop.

These days, people from all over the world come to sample the Cafe Lechero, a coffee drink invented by Don Pepe himself.

Cafe del Portal, Veracruz, Mexico

The building of the Gran Cafe del Portal

Don Pepe is credited with the invention of the Café Lechero, a coffee beverage that is mixed at your table while they typically make noise with a spoon and a glass when it’s served.

This is a ritual reminiscent of the olden days when the city train traveled the busy streets of the port and its drivers would ring a bell to let the restaurant know they would pass by and should have their coffee ready for pick up.

Today, waiters in white jackets pour your hot milk while standing up so the foam piles high.

Inside Cafe dell Portal, Veracruz, Mexico

Polished silver coffee containers





Waiters use these smaller stainless steel pots to pour coffee and milk at your table.

There is seating outside under the shady arcade or go inside the dining room with copper columns and beamed ceilings for a meal.

The Gran Café del Portal has an ongoing rivalry with the Gran Café de la Parroquia as to which place serves the real lechero.

Both are famous.

inside cafe del portal with Jarocho dancers, Veracruz, Mexico

Inside the cafe

In the center left of the photo you will see some traditional Jarocho dancers.

Jarocho is southern rural music that has driving rhythms of musicians playing unique regional guitars and harp.

The hard stomping of Jarocho dancers is a bit like Flamenco.

The most famous Jarocho song is "La Bamba" which made it into the top music charts in the States.

Vintage photo of Cafe del Portal, Veracruz, Mexico

Vintage photo

Today, the third generation of the Don Pepe family proudly cares for this classic cafe and their long-established customs that their grandfather began.

Cafe del Portal serves Mexican and Latin cuisines plus Cafe specialties.

 The menu has lots of dishes from Veracruz, including a delicious huachinango a la veracruzana (red snapper simmered in tomatoes, onions, garlic, green olives, and capers).

They also serve an affordable weekday lunch special which includes a soup or salad and a meat dish.

Gentleman reading newspaper at Cafe del Portal, Veracruz, Mexico

Patron today





The whole atmosphere of the Gran Cafe is one of history, family, music, and established patterns.

If you like a look into the "old style of Veracruz" enjoy a coffee or meal here.

Cafe Americana, Cappucino, Watermelon juice, Cafe del Portal, Veracruz, Mexico

Cafe Americano, Capuccino, Watermelon juice

We visited here several times just for coffee and the atmosphere.

Next time for sure we'll have a meal.

Would we return?



Gran Cafe del Portal

Open daily, breakfast, lunch, dinner, brunch and late night - Opening hours 07:00 - 11:00pm

Av. Independencia at Zamora

1187 Centro Histórico

91700 Veracruz, Mexico

Tele: 229 931 2759




For more stories and photos about Veracruz, Mexico, CLICK HERE

For more stories and photos about Mexico CLICK  HERE

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About the Authors

Billy and Akaisha Kaderli are recognized retirement experts and internationally published authors on topics of finance, medical tourism and world travel. With the wealth of information they share on their award winning website, they have been helping people achieve their own retirement dreams since 1991. They wrote the popular books, The Adventurer’s Guide to Early Retirement and Your Retirement Dream IS Possible available on their website bookstore or on

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