Café Con Leche Adds a Second Location in Rhinebeck

Rhinebeck welcomes this popular Puerto Rican restaurant’s latest location.

WHO: Phil and Melodie Cordero opened the first Café Con Leche 10 years ago. Back then it was a coffeeshop serving morning commuters at the New Hamburg train station. They outgrew multiple spaces and ultimately became a full-service Puerto Rican restaurant in the heart of Wappingers Falls. The couple were both born and raised in NYC, but have strong family connections to the island. Boriquas, or the people of Puerto Rico, are known for their “passion, hospitality, resilience, character, and pride,” they say—and at Café Con Leche, the duo hopes to provide just that with their second location.
Courtesy Café Con Leche
Courtesy Café Con Leche

WHAT: Authentic Puerto Rican fare with a contemporary twist. The new eatery offers dishes that Wappingers locals know and love, like peril pastelillos (empanadas), Cubano sandwich, chuleta kan-kan (a Guayanilla-style fried pork chop), classic flan, and signature coquito or guava cheesecakes. Mofongo, a national dish of Puerto Rico, is always on the menu. Freshly peeled green plantains are deep-fried and then mixed with garlic butter, spices, and criolla sauce; it’s flipped into a dome shape and topped with meat, fish, or vegetables. Phil recommends the churrasco mofongo, which comes with individually marinated skirt steak with sautéed garlic, red onions, and chimichurri sauce. Exclusive to Rhinebeck are baked pastries, salads, soups, and sandwiches—this “quick bites” environment is due to a café-style vibe and focus on “counter, tableside, and online ordering,” says Phil. Bestselling cocktails include white sangrias and a parchacoco (passionfruit and coconut) margarita that mimics a Creamsicle. Phil is also a coffee connoisseur and offers up Caribbean coffee drinks such as coquito lattes, café con leche, and cortados.

WHY: The Corderos are loud and proud Rhinebeck fans. “We traveled there often on our days off for Hudson Valley Restaurant Week and overnight stays at Mirbeau Inn & Spa,” says Phil. They also frequent uber-popular Samuel’s Sweet Shop. The two wanted to branch out and share their love of Puerto Rican cuisine with more foodies: “Rhinebeck was the perfect place to bring our culture and cuisine. Our café aspect ties in perfectly. The town sees a lot of tourists and locals looking for a quick bite and great cup of coffee,” he adds.

Churrasco (marinated skirt steak) topped in chimichurri sauce, paired with tostones and rice and beans.
Churrasco (marinated skirt steak) topped in chimichurri sauce, paired with tostones and rice and beans. Courtesy Café Con Leche.

WHERE: Café Con Leche is at 6384 Mill Street in Rhinebeck, adjacent to The Amsterdam restaurant and across from the Beekman Arms & Delamater Inn.

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WHEN: The café is open 8 a.m.–6 p.m. (until 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday). Closed Tuesdays. Throughout the summer, expect refreshing salads, fruity cocktails, and more seasonal Caribbean dishes. Café Con Leche’s food truck—which uses the Rhinebeck location as a home base—has begun popping up around the region and is available for private bookings, too.

Related: Hudson Valley Restaurant Openings and Closings to Note in 2023

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