Best restaurants in Ponce & South Coast

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants in Ponce

    Lola

    With its traditional yet modern and crisp interior design, gourmet-style plates of interesting twists on local and Mediterranean dishes, impeccable service and central location, Lola is one of the best places for a special dinner in town. The fish dishes come in for particularly high praise, and it does some excellently mixed cocktails for postprandial relaxation.

  • Restaurants in Ponce

    Sabor y Rumba

    Located in a hidden courtyard, this is one of Ponce's most celebrated and best-value restaurants and one that seems to stay tourist-free. There are outside tables and generous portions of mofongo (mashed plantains with meat) or cerdo relleno (stuffed pork). Read the electric scoreboard to find out what's cooking – it changes daily. There are also music classes, regular live music, an espresso machine and graffiti.

  • Restaurants in Ponce

    El Negocio de Panchi

    Opposite an out-of-town shopping center lies its very antithesis: El Negocio de Panchi, a time-lost esoteric wooden house with a handful of tables, serving excellent culinary creations including mushrooms stuffed with Manchego, lamb shank with root mash, or puff-pastry escargots. It's 3 miles northeast of the city center but worth the drive to sample some of Ponce's most authentic cooking.

  • Restaurants in Ponce

    Melao

    This 21st-century cafe at the Ponce Plaza Hotel & Casino belies the centuries-old exterior, rustling up the city's best coffee and some of its healthiest food. Huge bowls of fruit come alongside comfort foods including baguettes, burgers and meaty salads. The cool children's play area and kids' menus make this a very family-friendly place.

  • Restaurants in Ponce

    Campioni

    Probably the south coast's best take on traditional Italian fare, this refined colonial-era mansion with several different dining rooms has a good wine selection but tries to do too much (tapas and late-night cocktails) instead of focusing solely on pizza and pasta. Staff are eager to please, though, and the pizzas are humungous if a bit pricey.

  • Restaurants in Ponce

    Chef’s Creations

    At the soothingly tranquil, quite classy Chef's Creations, the daily changing menu leans toward international fusions of local fare such as paella con toston es (heading in a Spanish direction) or IPA-battered local fish and chips (heading in a British one). The menu has some vegetarian and vegan options.

  • Restaurants in Ponce

    El Barril de la Mulata

    For hearty, expertly cooked Puerto Rican fare at the lunching hour, head for this basic, unpretentious, barrel-bedecked eatery three blocks west of Plaza Las Delicias. The steak and fish options are always winners and the menu changes daily. There's often dancing on Fridays when it's open late.

  • Restaurants in Ponce

    King’s Cream

    On warm evenings, lines stretch down the sidewalk from this Ponce institution, located across from Parque de Bombas. And for good reason: smooth-blended tropical licks overflow with fruit. There are other snack stalls nearby, but none match the cones at this joint.