It was declared as the first municipality in America. For over 500 years the Port of Veracruz (founded under the name La Villa Rica de la Vera Cruz) has been an important multi-cultural meeting point. With the passing of time, the singular mestizaje (blending so to speak) of traditions and customs made up this peculiarly bustling, cheerful, festive and folkloric identity that has worldwide fame (although it is patent every day, it especially noticeable during the carnival). Along with Boca del Río (neighboring municipality that makes up the metropolitan area), Veracruz is an ideal destination for a family weekend, as a couple or with friends. Remarkable infrastructure for convention and exhibit tourism.
The efforts to rescue its colonial and neoclassical architecture have been satisfactory: the city looks cleaner, pleasant and orderly. Must visit: Downtown (including the famous animated portals at the rhythm of typical jarocho music; the Cathedral, the buildings of the old Customs Agency, Post and Telegraph Office; Sundays of danzón at Zamora Park); San Juan de Ulúa, Baluarte de Santiago, Naval History Museum, Agustín Lara House Museum. Delicious local cuisine, basically seafood that is expanded with a varied gastronomic offer of other countries and regions of Mexico (typical: Veracruzana fish, gordas infladas, huevos tirados-; corn torta, buñuelos, toritos –traditional drink with sugar cane alcohol, milk and different types of fruit such as coconut, guanábana, mango, peanuts, and even coffee or cajeta).
Good point of departure to travel to other points within the state that are worthwhile (acceptable highway and airport network) and offer different options of activities and entertainment (cultural, sports, contact with nature): Antón Lizardo (diving); Xalapa; Coatepec and Xico (Magical Pueblos, Eco-tourism; good coffee); Tlacotalpan (Patrimony of Humanity, La Candelaria fiestas); Jalcomulco and Filobobos (rafting); Costa Esmeralda (sport fishing; Azúcar Hotel, a must); El Tajín (archaeological site in the area of Tuxtlas, can’t miss it); Catemaco (eco-tourism)..
TO STAY VERACRUZ
• Hotel Emporio Veracruz
After a long and intense period of complete remodeling, this classical Jarocho style has reopened its doors, but now with a modern style. Comfortable and convenient location right on the malecón (beach walk). Spa, gym.
Paseo del Malecón 244. Centro. Veracruz.
Tel: (01-229) 989 3300.
TO EAT VERACRUZ
Spanish contemporary cuisine.
Cozy and modern; of great quality and good atmosphere. Assorted cellar. Paella on Sunday. Ideal for business, couples.
Meatballs; Paella; Croquettes.
Blvd. Ávila Camacho 985. Boca del Río.
Tel: (01-229) 980 6095.
• El Cacharrito
Meats in an Argentinean grill style.
They say they are the best grill in Veracruz, without further pretensions. Ideal with friends or business.
Broiled octopus; Meat cuts; Bananas Flambé.
Blvd. Ruiz Cortines 37 (a un costado Hotel Lois).
Boca del Río.
Tel: (01-229) 935 9246.
• El Candelabro Food & Wine Retro Bar
International cuisine with an Italian accent.
Retro-contemporary style. Its strong point is the good night atmosphere on weekends. It opens only at nights. Live music. Ideal for friends, couples, special occasions.
Ricotta ravioli; Spinach salad.
Blvd. Ávila Camacho 3294. Fracc. Costa de Oro. Boca del Río.
Tel: (01-229) 130 4141.
• El Gaucho
Argentinean cuisine with a Veracruz touch.
A classic in Veracruz, with almost 30 years of experience. Kind service. Tasty jarocho breakfasts. Must: Hot peppers pickled at the table. Ideal for business lunches or dinners, families or with friends.
Empanadas; Veracruzana style sea bass steak; Meat cuts.
Bernal Díaz del Castillo 18 esq. Colón. Fracc. Reforma. Veracruz.
Tel: (01-229) 935 0411.
TO EAT VERACRUZ
• Gran Café de La Parroquia
The place with the most tradition and history at the port, in operation since 1808. It is always crowded, famous for its excellent coffee with milk. Ideal for breakfasts, lunches, or dinners in a casual family outing, or simply to go have a good coffee.
Bombas (conchas- sweet bread) with beans; Enmoladas; Huevos tirados.
Gómez Farías 34 (frente al Malecón). Centro. Veracruz.
Tel: (01-229) 932 2584.
Blvd. Ruiz Cortines 1815. Fracc. Jardines de Virginia. Boca del Río.
Tel: (01-229) 130 0200.
• Il Veneziano
Favorite of the posh jarochos. Cozy place with warmth and quality at very reasonable prices. Good wines. Children’s area. Terrace and cellar with dining room. Ideal for business, friends or family.
Oven pizzas; Mussels; Risottos.
Blvd. Ávila Camacho 1015. Fracc. Costa de Oro. Boca del Río.
Tel: (01-229) 927 2481.
• La Mera Madre
International cuisine with emphasis on seafood.
Quality seafood and fish at an original place, simulating the prow of a boat with a view to the sea. Ideal for business, friends or some celebration.
Salted sea bass; Shrimp tacos.
Blvd. Ávila Camacho 735. Fracc. Costa de Oro. Boca del Río.
Tel: (01-229) 927 3444.
International cuisine, with specialties in seafood, and meat cuts.
With the backup of the experience and quality of El Gaucho, this eatery has been able to position itself among the best of the port. It has a view to the Veracruz bay. Good atmosphere. Ideal for families or special events.
Acuyo sea bass steak; Crab legs; Salpicón; Meat.
Blvd. Ávila Camacho 2632. Villa del Mar. Veracruz.
Tel: (01-229) 980 7579.
The paradise of garnachas and snacks. Clean, quick, and efficient service. Tamales on weekends. Ideal for tasty breakfasts, lunches and informal dinners.
Picadas veracruzanas; Gorditas infladas.
16 de Septiembre N° 727. Centro. Veracruz.
Tel: (01-229) 931 6079.
• Villa Rica
Veracruz sea cuisine.
Very typical place with a tropical atmosphere, under a palapa. Fresh Veracruz style seafood. Live music. Ideal for families or large groups.
Minilla; Chipachole; Shrimp with ajillo; Scallops.
Av. Mocambo 527. Boca del Río.
Tel: (01-229) 922 3743.