Cafe de La Plaza was established in 1975. It is recognized as being the first restaurant in Palmas del Mar, Puerto Rico. Café de La Plaza Ristorante Italiano serves up some of the most authentic Italian cuisine on the east coast of Puerto Rico. Our chefs combine flavors from all regions of Italy including Rome, Sicily, and Tuscany.
All our sauces are deliciously homemade. We conscientiously bring you a farm-to-table experience by growing a lot of the ingredients that go into your enjoyable meal from our farm in Yabucoa, PR and the farms of other local growers in that region. At Cafe de La Plaza, family and food are a big part of our lives. We want to create a casual fun family style dining experience that you can enjoy with you friends and loved ones. We hope you will join us at out table. Buon Appetito!
Cristina Angelique Colon, Esq. is an attorney and entrepreneur who revitalized Café de la Plaza in 2009. Cristina began her career as a restaurant owner at the young age of 21 making her the youngest restaurant owner in Palmas del Mar history. Being a graduate in Public Relations from American University in Washington, DC, Cristina used her degree to create a well-recognized restaurant within the Palmas del Mar beach resort community. Cristina originally ran Café de la Plaza as a Caribbean fusion restaurant. In 2012, she decided to pursue her dream of becoming an attorney while continuing to run her restaurant from overseas.
In 2015, Cristina returned full time to restaurant life, but this time with her Juris Doctor. Inspired by her travels around the world and her family’s love for tasty Italian food, Cristina converted the restaurant into a “Ristorante Italiano”. The change comes as no surprise for those who know her family’s background in Italian cuisine. Cristina’s father, Michael A. Colon, Esq., was the owner of Giuseppe’s Italian restaurant at Casa Bella in Condado in the early 80s. Cristina’s passion for cooking and restaurants began at a very young age as her father would constantly take her into the kitchens of well-known restaurants and taught her to cook and savor exotic foods. Michael raised Cristina in the industry life molding her into the restaurant owner she is today. Enlightened by the half year Cristina spent abroad living in Rome, mentored by her father, and trained by local Italian chefs, Cristina put together the most authentic Italian menu that the east coast of Puerto Rico has to offer.
Executive Chef Javier Acosta is a local success story. Javier is from the small town of Las Piedras in Puerto Rico & trained at the Instituto de Banca. At a young age, he started a Puerto Rican style cafeteria that he ran for several years. Javier has cooked under the direction of numerous local Chefs over the years learning and picking up tricks of the trade as he went along.
Javier joined our team at Café de La Plaza in 2009. Since then, he has had the pleasure of representing us in charity events such as Palmas del Mar’s annual “Meet the Chef Food Tasting.” In the year prior to our change to Italian cuisine, Javier paired up with renowned Chef Lindell Smith at Perla Restaurant in La Concha Hotel and Leo Acosta at Via Appia in Condado to train and inspire his new Italian menu.
Javier has had the honor to cook for various celebrities including Johnny Depp, John Malcovich, Richard Coyle, Yasmine Al Massri, Julian Sands, and Penelope Cruz (who once raved that his Tiramisu was the best she has ever had). Javier is our “Celebrity Chef” and delivers soulfully rich food made with love every time.