Ponce and the Porta Caribe Restaurants

Not all the culinary hot spots are in San Juan. In fact, people from the capital drive to Ponce or Guánica to see what's new on the horizon. Some of the more ambitious restaurants in this part of Puerto Rico are experimenting with Asian and Latin fusion cuisines, which means you might find pork with tamarind glaze or guava sauce, or snapper in a plantain crust. But what you'll mostly find are open-air eateries serving simple, filling fare. The southern coast is known for seafood, particularly Salinas and Ponce, both of which have a string of popular seaside restaurants. A 15%–20% tip is customary; most restaurants won't include it in the bill, but it's wise to check.

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  • 1. Bodegas Andreu Sole

    $$ | Spanish

    The roots of this restaurant, bar, vineyard, and winery extend all the way back to Valencia, Spain, where the father of Bodegas Andreu Sole...Read More

  • 2. El Ancla

    $$ | Seafood

    Families favor this laid-back restaurant at water's edge. Generous and affordable plates of fish, crab, and other fresh seafood come with tostones...Read More

  • 3. El Mar de la Tranquilidad

    $$ | Caribbean

    Get a table on the terrace at the edge of the Caribbean. You'll find good Puerto Rican cuisine and lots of seafood, including lobster, red snapper...Read More

  • 4. El Negocio de Panchi

    $$ | Caribbean

    This Caribbean restaurant updates Puerto Rican favorites with contemporary touches, and the menu features a rotating cast of daily specials...Read More

  • 5. El Platanar

    $$ | Puerto Rican

    As the name of the restaurant hints, the protagonist of the menu here is the plantain, that most Puerto Rican of ingredients. This is your chance...Read More

  • 6. El Roble

    $$ | Puerto Rican

    In operation since 1961, this restaurant is still considered one of the best in town. Don't be surprised to see flapping fish delivered straight...Read More

  • 7. La Casita

    $$ | Seafood

    The so-called Little House isn't little at all—it's a sizable establishment that sits smack in the middle of the town's main road. Generous...Read More

  • 8. La Ceiba

    $$ | Puerto Rican

    The highway leading to Coamo is lined by dozens of fast-food restaurants. Luckily, there are a few family-owned eateries worth stopping for...Read More

  • 9. Lola

    $$ | Eclectic

    In the heart of downtown, this trendy bistro has an eclectic menu to match the decor. Grab a seat in a red velvet booth and start with the sampler...Read More

  • 10. Sabor y Rumba

    $$ | Puerto Rican

    The limited menu of this alfresco dining spot allows the kitchen to focus on its specialties, which include tostones (fried plantains), ceviche...Read More

  • 11. Piratas del Toro Al' Diente

    $$ | International

    Straight out of a scene from Pirates of the Caribbean , this place is a must for anyone with children. Housed inside a massive pirate ship...Read More

  • 12. Rincón Argentina

    $$ | Steakhouse

    Housed in a beautifully restored criollo-style house, Rincón Argentina is one of the city's most popular restaurants. Completely unpretentious...Read More

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