The Best Bars and Cafes in Ponza, Italy
Ponza porto controsole©Agostino Zamboni:flickr
Ponza does not have quite the nightlife scene that you find on Capri
but the cocktail game is strong as well as the Italian tradition of apertivo
, a spritz and some snacks. An important thing to know is that an Italian bar can be many things, from being the place for a quick morning cappuccino or an afternoon gelato break with some transforming into a late night gathering place.
Cafe, Italian, $$$
Bar Tripoli is the heart of the island. This popular spot is open all year long and you will find it tucked into a corner along the Corso Carlo Pisacane in the port. From early morning until late night, this is the place to stop for coffee or a spritz. It can be a challenge to get a table but don’t worry, you can find a place along the wall and people watch while you wait.
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Bar Maga Circe
Bar, Cafe, Diner, Italian
The Bar Mage Circe has plenty of teak tables under a shady awning and umbrellas that it almost feels like you are on a boat with a view over the port. Open all day and with some of the island’s best WiFi, this is a gathering spot for breakfast before you head to the beach, a late after dinner drink or for one last spritz before you have to get on the ferry for your return to the mainland.
Melograno on the Beach
Cafe, Mediterranean, $$$
In the late afternoon, just before the sun sinks behind the cliff on the beach in Frontone, the music gets loud and the cocktail shakers start shaking. At the far end of the beach, you will find Meleogramo with its whitewashed platform, comfy lounge area and uniformed bartenders. The umbrellas and sunbeds are swept away and the beach becomes the dance floor.
Bar, Cocktail Bar, Mediterranean, Beer
You might not notice Bitter which is right next door to Bar Tripoli, but this slip of a cocktail bar has its own distinct vibe. Find a place to perch on one of the high stools and order a perfect storm, which is a mix of ginger beer and dark rum or mojito. Most of the cocktails are served in generous jars with plenty of ice. The snack selection includes plates of cherry tomatoes, gumdrop sized balls of free mozzarella and spiced Gaeta olives.
Bar, Craft Ale Bar, Italian
A cold beer after a day out on the water really hits the spot. Spaccio Birra has a small ever changing selection on tap, ranging from light ales to bitter IPAS. There are a few stools inside or find a spot outside by the boats. If you are hungry, order a salty snack of deep fried algae or anchovies to accompany your brew.
Au Bord De L’Eau
Bar, Cocktail Bar, Mediterranean
At this chic spot in the port, you can sit in a comfortable low slung chair literally at the water’s edge with the rows of wooden boats lapping at your feet. Valeria Romano has created a cocktail menu that will please even the most discerning of drinkers. There are two pages of gin and tonic combinations. If you are overwhelmed, just ask for advice. Valentina and her staff are expertly skilled in figuring out your palate and will recommend the perfect match. A sure bet is the Ponza which is made with rum, island foraged wild fennel, lemon and ginger. Well after dinner, the crowds roll in and there is music – sometimes live, sometimes a DJ set – and dancing until almost dawn.
Bar Onda Marina
Bar, Cafe, Diner, Italian, Pastries
A short stroll from the main port is the Spiaggia de Sant’ Antonio, with another stretch of shops and restaurants. The Bar Onda Marina is open from early morning until early evening and is a place that both island locals and visitors enjoy. The breakfast pastries and coffee are excellent and a post passigiata, pre-dinner Aperol spritz with a view of the sea is the perfect way to end your day in Ponza.
Bakery, Bar, Cafe, Italian
A 15 minute bus or scooter ride away from Ponza’s main port is the Forna neighborhood. The Bar Tartauga is open 24 hours a day transforming from a casual breakfast place, to after beach pub and to late night bakery. The friendly Fabio and Andrea mix drinks with skill and flair. This is the place to come watch the game for the soccer fan.