Wondering where to eat in Ponce? This elegant, historic city — the “Pearl of the South” — doesn’t lack for exquitse places to dine. Try these three first-class recommendations and discover your favorites when you’re vacationing in Puerto Rico.
Indulge in a delicious experience at this eclectic restaurant, which features fresh seafood, succulent steaks, and signature risotto dishes. Completely renovated with a bright, contemporary design, La Cava is located inside the Hilton Ponce Golf & Casino Resort. Walk into this Caribbean-facing restaurant and you are instantly immersed in a vibrant scene, with pinks and oranges that provide a tropical flavor to your stylish evening out. As the soft Latin music plays in the background, you’ll begin in the cozy bar with cocktails and Caribbean-style appetizers, such as the lobster empanadillas in a spicy mango sauce. For a taste of fresh fish, try the restaurant’s tuna sashimi, wild salmon, or red snapper. If you’re a meat lover, try the grilled filet mignon with spinach and chorizo sauce. Top off your meal with La Cava’s fabulous chocolate mousse sampler, which features three delectable flavors and fresh-brewed Puerto Rican coffee
Located in the Ramada Hotel, Lola is a new kitchen concept bursting with bright yellow hues to match the restaurant’s open design. Sit outside in the courtyard and sip on refreshing cocktails as you take in the warm Ponce breeze and poolside view. Start with their signature Lola Martini, featuring DonQ Passion rum and pink grapefruit juice, before snacking on Caribbean bruschetta and mahi-mahi tempura. The house bread with balsamic vinegar and olive oil gets rave reviews from your waiter, perfectly setting the stage for duck breast with orange sauce or lobster ravioli in a vodka sauce. Complement your entree with mashed root vegetables and enjoy the trendy, hip vibe here after a day at the beach.
El Negocio de Panchi
If you’re looking for a restaurant that draws locals as well as visitors, El Negocio de Panchi is your place. Sitting among the eight or so tables, you feel as if you’re an honored guest in someone’s home. Chef Panchi Zayas personally greets you and explains the ever-changing menu. Begin your evening with piquillo peppers stuffed with local crab before trying the cream of pumpkin or black bean soup. For a taste of the sublime, chow down on a Kobe beef steak, ahi tuna with a sweet-and-sour crust, or the popular osso buco. Leave room for homemade desserts such as blueberry crepes or delightful creme brulee before Zayas returns at the end of the night to make sure you were satisfied. Don’t worry — you will be.
If you’re deciding where to eat in Ponce, these fabulous restaurants guarantee a delectable dining experience and something to boast about when you return home.
Photo courtesy of Ewan Munro