Foodies, rejoice! Panama is a MUST-VISIT, not just because of the up and coming cultural scene, but because of its delicious eats. Panamanian cuisine is a mouthwatering mix of Spanish, Native American and African ingredients, relying heavily on tropical fruits, vegetables and meats (we can totally get on board with that!).
There’s a ton of reasons to visit this historic, breathtaking destination and we’ve compiled a list of some of the best restaurants to check out, hoping they’ll be the icing on the cake to a once-in-a-lifetime vacation.
Located in Casco Viejo, Diablicos offers typical Panama dishes and live shows on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays nights! Throughout the week, visitors can enjoy awesome food and service but come on one of the show nights to see something extra special. Dancing Devils perform folkloric dances right in front of you while devil masks adorn the walls. Diablicos is something not to be missed. Pro tip: if you want to experience a show, make reservations beforehand to get the best seat!
Also offering traditional Panamanian cuisine, El Trapiche has a different flare. The cozy atmosphere and rich history of the restaurant truly make up its unique roots. In 1983, 3 friends decided to introduce flavors of the Panama countryside to the city, creating a menu filled with family recipes (breakfast, lunch and dinner). El Trapiche boasts an adorable atmosphere, stellar service and seriously delicious cuisine. We suggest the traditional Panama dish, Sanchocho – this place cooks it up to be flavorful and delightful.
While honoring local cuisine, distinct to Panama, the chef at Tantalo Kitchen introduces international flavors with a Mexican flare into his dishes. What makes this hip, trendy restaurant even better? The seriously awe-inspiring views from the rooftop. Sip on a cocktail and take in the view of the Casco Viejo lights from the first rooftop bar in the area and check out some other stellar views in the area! Tantalo Kitchen is seriously perfect for a culinary experience in Panama City!
Café Coca Cola
Touted as the oldest café in Panama (established in 1875), Café Coca Cola is an old-school diner, serving hearty dishes with rice, beans and meats. You’ll find a nice mix of locals and tourists here but don’t except a fancy façade, this joint is just as you’d expect an old diner to be. Keep in mind, there’s not a ton of English spoken at Café Coca Cola so brush up on your Spanish before you go.
When you’re strolling through the streets of Casco Viejo on a warm Panama day, be sure to stop by Granclement, a French ice cream shop that will totally satisfy your taste buds. This unique shop has tons of eclectic flavors – don’t worry, you can nom on the traditional ones, too – and a variety of ice cream options, ranging from original ice cream to sorbet to non-dairy or low-fat, low-sugar ice cream! While the chocolate is heavenly, venture out and try the refreshing coconut ice cream or a scoop of the unusual, yet delectable, basil!
These are just a few of our favorite spots in Panama and encourage you to get out and find even more! First step? Book a Panama vacation and experience pure paradise, from charming streets and thriving nightlife to pure adventure and tantalizing culinary sensations.