Ponce restaurants are known as some of the best restaurants in Puerto Rico. Ponce has everything from local to international gastronomy for every foodie’s taste.
As a Puerto Rico local, I’d say Ponce is one of the best places to visit in Puerto Rico to enjoy a perfect blend of attractions, beaches, and extraordinary cuisine. It’s no wonder they call it The South’s Pearl. In this article, I’ll list the best Ponce restaurants you should try during your next visit. Let’s go!
Table of Contents
- 21 Best Ponce Restaurants
- La Boya
- Sabor Y Rumba
- Campioni Pizza Birra & Tapas
- Rincón Argentino
- Lola Eclectic Cuisine
- Chef’s Creations
- Mesa – Cocina & Vinatería
- El Vagón Bar & Tapas
- El Negocio de Panchi
- La Casa del Chef
- El Barril de la Mulata
- Burgers & Cheesecakes by Coffee Sides
- El Bohio
- El Rastro
- 19 Barrios Pizza
- Café Lucero
- Níspero Asador, Vinos y Coctelería
- Lydia’s Restaurant
- Bahías Restaurant
- FAQs About Places to Eat in Ponce
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21 Best Ponce Restaurants
La Boya in Ponce is where seafood fans will find the freshest seafood in the area. This restaurant serves dishes prepared with fresh fish caught on the same day. The options range from red snapper to mahi mahi.
Visit on Thursdays to grab fish tacos and margarita specials. The Arrecife chips and empanadillas are great snacks to accompany the house’s cocktails. Also try out La Nasa, a land and sea dish prepared with a garlic sauce.
The rustic and dark atmosphere within this gem is relaxing and fun. Don’t be intimidated by the neighborhood. La Boya is safe and definitely worth a visit!
Sabor Y Rumba
Sabor y Rumba is an outdoor casual dining restaurant that serves Puerto Rican and Caribbean-style cuisine.
The short menu includes seafood, steaks, and famous Puerto Rico dishes like mofongo. Seafood fans can’t miss the mahi mahi and shrimp mofongo.
The skirt steak with tostones is also worth trying out. The restaurant has reasonable prices too.
Sabor y Rumba is a fun spot to enjoy Puerto Rico nightlife on the weekends with a mojito in hand.
Campioni Pizza Birra & Tapas
Campioni Pizza Birra & Tapas is an Italian restaurant famous for its brick-oven-cooked pizza served with that unique wood flavor. Most people visit for the exquisite pizzas, but the menu has pasta and risotto. Tapas and wine is also an option for a calm evening.
Families and friends can sit indoors or outdoors to enjoy the great atmosphere. Occasionally, you’ll find live entertainment on-site, but otherwise, the background music is still pleasant.
Located in Ponce’s downtown, Campioni Pizza Birra & Tapas is also centrally located in one of the best places to stay in Ponce.
Vistas Restaurant specializes in crafting delicious food with mesmerizing presentation. The restaurant’s Latin menu includes seafood, steaks, and local Puerto Rican staples. Tapas and wine are a great alternative to the entrés.
Couples love the location for its terrace where you can watch great sunsets. It also has a view of Parque de Bombas, one of the best sites to visit in Ponce, Puerto Rico.
The restaurant has two floors and offers a clean, elegant atmosphere. Live entertainment during the weekends tops it all off.
👉 Local Tip: The restaurant isn’t on the first floor of the building, so it might be difficult to spot from the street. You’ll need to use the elevator or climb stairs to get to it.
Rincón Argentino is an Argentinian Restaurant in Ponce worth every penny. This hidden gem offers a nice atmosphere with live music on weekends and welcoming staff.
Sit indoors near the bar or outdoors under canopies and string lights. You’ll be pleasantly surprised with the excellent food and detailed presentation with either option.
Steak enthusiasts will rave about the skirt steak and other grilled meat options on the menu. Luckily, you can also accompany it with mofongo. Argentinian blood sausage is a must-try!
The wine list includes wines from Argentina, Italy, and Spain.
Lola Eclectic Cuisine
Lola Eclectic Cuisine is an upscale restaurant in Ponce that offers a fun and flavorful dinner experience to its visitors. It has a nice and elegant ambiance.
The international menu combines the best of multiple cuisines and brings it to your table. You can pick between seafood, steak, and vegan options. Make sure to start your meal with the risotto croquettes and finish it with the pistachio crème brûlée. These are some of the menu’s best picks.
Don’t miss out on the house’s cocktails either. The Lola cocktail will definitely leave an impression.
👉 Local Tip: RSVP during the weekends to get a table quickly and avoid long wait times.
🍽️ Cafe, Puerto Rican | $ | Social Media | 📍 Google Maps | 📞 +52 985 102 9047
Utopía is a 2-in-1 coffee and souvenir shop on Calle Isabel in Ponce. Utopia is more like an eatery and less like a restaurant, but it offers a budget-friendly breakfast in the city.
The menu includes a variety of sandwiches, scrambled eggs, waffles, and wraps. You can also stop here for a quick beer or a piña colada, one of Puerto Rico’s popular drinks.
The good service and tasty food are embellished with a ton of Puerto Rican memorabilia for sale. Utopía is also a great place to get to know locals and of course, to get your souvenirs to take home.
Chef’s Creations is a great choice to grab lunch in Ponce, Puerto Rico. The restaurant has a family-friendly atmosphere. You’ll enjoy Puerto Rican staples on a shaded patio with the tropical breeze.
The menu changes daily, but you will always find excellent food, fresh veggies, and large servings on your plate. You can pair your plate with budget-friendly drinks to beat the heat.
While the menu nor the location might classify as upscale dinner, Chef’s Creations attracts locals from around the city and even from as far as San Juan.
Mesa – Cocina & Vinatería
Mesa Cocina & Vinatería is a popular upscale restaurant nestled in Ponce. The restaurant has an elegant atmosphere with warm lighting and contemporary decor.
The menu blends Puerto Rican, Mediterranean, and international flavors, creating delicious plates from the first up to the last bite. The paella negra, filet mignon, and lobster risotto are some of the most popular dishes.
The attentive staff will guide you through the menu and recommend the best pick out of the extensive wine list. Whether you visit for tapas and wine or a romantic dinner, you’ll still walk out with a great gastronomic experience.
El Vagón Bar & Tapas
El Vagón Bar & Tapas is one of Ponce’s most popular restaurants for nightlife.
The outdoor and casual restaurant has an inviting and unpretentious atmosphere. During the weekends, you can listen to live music while enjoying mojitos and a mouth-watering family sampler.
The menu includes Spanish Tapas, Mexican food, Puerto Rican fritters, and burgers. The fish tacos, skirt steak burrito, and mofongo are some of the menu’s top picks. The excellent service and friendly people will make you want to return to this chill hangout spot in Ponce.
El Negocio de Panchi
El Negocio de Panchi is an extraordinary culinary experience. This small and cozy restaurant serves fresh ingredients and captivating flavors in every single dish.
The waiters guide you through the menu and even have vegan options. Wine connoisseurs can pair their selection from the wine cave with the popular stuffed mushrooms or escargots.
The excellent service and location create an intimate atmosphere where you can relax and focus on enjoying good food. The chef makes changes to the menu frequently, which means you’ll never get bored of visiting.
La Casa del Chef
La Casa del Chef is a Caribbean cuisine restaurant located in Ponce. Although it’s on the higher side of the budget, the restaurant is worth a visit for its delicious food and friendly service.
You’ll love the art exhibition on the restaurant’s walls while you wait for the food.
La Casa del Chef specializes in steaks and seafood. The skirt steak with tostones is one of the houses’ most sought-after dishes. Many visitors, however, go for the delicious stuffed mofongo.
Try out one of the guava or coconut flans, one of Puerto Rico’s top desserts, to finish your meal.
El Barril de la Mulata
El Barril de la Mulata is a relaxed and unpretentious Caribbean restaurant in Ponce. It has a casual and family-friendly atmosphere.
The menu changes daily, so don’t get too fixated on trying something specific. Regardless of what is on the menu, the restaurant delivers top-notch Caribbean flavors every single time.
Beyond the great food, what really distinguishes this restaurant is its budget-friendly prices. It’s perfect if you’re in Puerto Rico on a budget. It’s the best value for money (and flavors) you’ll find in town.
Burgers & Cheesecakes by Coffee Sides
🍽️ American | $$ | Website | 📍 Google Maps | 📞 +1 787 536 9356
Burgers & Cheesecakes is a hidden gem nestled in Ponce’s historic district. The restaurant’s location is small and only has a few tables to sit at, but the service and atmosphere are great.
However, you won’t care about the size as soon as you get a taste of the restaurant’s infamous hamburgers. While they are similar to the typical American hamburger, they are prepared with mallorcas, Puerto Rico’s version of a Hawaiian sweet roll.
Try out Del Pais burger, to enjoy a sweet and salty treat with guava and Puerto Rican fried cheese. Follow your meal with one of the restaurant’s cheesecakes.
🍽️ Puerto Rican | $$ | 📍 Google Maps | 📞 +1 787 844 7825
El Bohio is one of the top authentic Puerto Rican restaurants you’ll find in Ponce.
The restaurant serves classics like rice and beans, tostones, and mofongo. The skirt steak in a mushroom sauce is finger-licking good and a must-try if you’re looking for something filling.
The atmosphere is simple and cozy, but what the restaurant lacks in fanciness it has in great service. The owner might even welcome you at the door.
One thing is for sure, you’ll be enjoying a traditional and flavorful Puerto Rico meal for a fair price.
El Rastro offers one of the most unique and fun culinary experiences in Ponce. This culinary lab gets creative with international and local flavors to create unforgettable experiences for visitors.
The diverse menu has brunch and vegan options too. You’ll enjoy your meal in a location with rustic decor, indoor and outdoor seating, warm lights, and lovely music.
While the menu itself is a good enough reason to visit, the uniquely crafted cocktails add to this restaurant’s appeal.
A reservation isn’t a requirement to visit, but it’s recommended during rush hours and weekends.
19 Barrios Pizza
19 Barrios Pizza is a fun and chill pizza restaurant in Ponce. The recently renovated restaurant is great for a night out with family or friends.
The wood-baked pizza menu includes a variety of toppings and sauces that make a unique style of pizza from anything else. You can also customize plates of pasta to your taste.
The bar at this restaurant serves top-notch cocktails, including refreshing mojitos. The drink menu also includes super cold craft beers from local Puerto Rico breweries.
Visit during the weekends to enjoy pop-up markets, live entertainment, and to meet locals.
Located near the coast, Cafe Lucero’s menu has options for everyone at any time of the day. It has a brunch, lunch, dinner, and kid’s menu.
The restaurant’s risottos, salmon benedict eggs, and fruit crepes are worth trying out.
However, the real highlight of this brunch restaurant is its coffee. Café Lucero uses coffee beans from its own Puerto Rico coffee farm. You can try them via a cappuccino during the day or in a Don Q Mocha cocktail at night.
Be prepared for prices on the higher side of the budget, but the awesome service and calming atmosphere make it worth it.
Níspero Asador, Vinos y Coctelería
Níspero Asador, Vinos y Coctelería is the ideal restaurant for a romantic dinner. The churrasco at this restaurant is insanely good, but there are plenty of options to choose from including red snapper, mahi mahi, and chicken breast.
You can sit at the interior near the bar or the exterior terrace and sip on a cup of wine under trees and string lights. Visit during the weekends to enjoy live entertainment in a cozy and pleasant ambiance.
You can just visit for cocktails and appetizers too. The friendly staff will make recommendations based on your taste.
Lydia’s Restaurant is a Puerto Rican cuisine restaurant located near Mercedita International Airport, one of Puerto Rico’s airports.
The small restaurant has a simple and casual decor, ideal for couples. The menu includes many Puerto Rican popular dishes and seafood options. You can never go wrong with this restaurant’s mofongo, arroz mamposteao, or snapper.
The waiting time can be long, so don’t visit in a rush. Although dinner prices are a bit high, you can save with the restaurant’s lunch specials.
Bahias Restaurant is a seafood restaurant located on Ponce’s shoreline.
Seafood fans will have a hard time picking something out of the menu, but shrimp octopus turnovers are a good start. The lobster mofongo is also worth the hype. The menu isn’t solely seafood, however.
Families can pick other options like chicken breast, pork chops, or hamburgers. You can also visit for drinks and sit at the bar.
This restaurant’s view of Ponce’s coast will complete your dining experience. During the weekends, live music fills the casual and outdoor space.
FAQs About Places to Eat in Ponce
What are the best restaurants in Ponce?
What is the best restaurant in Ponce for authentic Puerto Rican food?
These were the best Ponce restaurants to try out! Head out to the south coast to start a unique food journey in Puerto Rico. Check out our guide to Ponce’s best sites to find attractions nearby. Bon Appétit!
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