Famished? Check out these restaurants in Panama City.
Visitors to Panama City say that eating is one of the best things about going to Panama. If you’re going to retire in Panama, you want to know that the food is good. If you yearn for local Panamanian cuisine, it’s everywhere. If you prefer international fare there will not be any hassles looking for it.
Panama City offers cuisine from Asia. In fact, there are many Chinese immigrants in Panama; sushi is a local favorite, and you can savor Thai cooking at its best. There are Italian and Mediterranean restaurants in Panama, and Panama City never runs out of pizza places, steak houses, vegetarian restaurants, bistros and cafes.
Probably one of the first things you really notice when sitting down to eat at a restaurant in Panama, is that is really isn’t that different from back home. Of course, depending on the restaurant, you may need to know a little spanish, but, most of the restaurants have english translations.
Most of the food will look familiar, but of course there will be local Panamanian dishes. If you can, try the sweet plantains. They are a type of banana, but nothing like you’ve ever tried back home. They taste really good.
The waiters in Panama will try and be very helpful. Many will not speak english, and unless you know some spanish, the act of ordering your food will be quite funny. But, you will get through it. Enjoy the experience, enjoy the food, and, make sure you try some local Panamanian beer. Panama has several local beers, in fact, many beer enthusiasts think that Panama has some of the best beer in Central America. The two most popular beers are Balboa and Atlas. Enjoy a cold beer with your chicken and rice. Don’t forget the plantains!
Whether you are visiting Panama or retiring in Panama, try these restaurants:
- Madame Chang – Avenida 5A near Calle Uruguay/Calle 48 Este (269-1313; 269-9654). Described as upscale.
- Palacio Lung Fung – Vía Simón Bolívar/Transístmica and Calle 62C Oueste – 260-4011. Reasonable prices, dimsum everyday, not just Sundays!
- Sushi Itto – if you’re looking to satisfy your sushi cravings. Avenida 2 Sur/Samuel Lewis and Calle 55 Este; 265-1222 or 265-1136.
- Royal Thai – Avenida 4A Sur and Calle Uruguay/Calle 48 Este; 263-2323; 263-2888. You may get a bit of Chinese food as well, pleasant atmosphere.
- Caffé Pomodoro – corner Vía Venetto and Avenida Eusebio A. Morales; 269-5936. Pasta – cooked 120 different ways – said to be good with generous cheese assortments and pizzas.
- Restaurante de las Américas – Calle 58 and Avenida 1 Sur; 223-7734 or 223-4676 – quiet atmosphere, food not exactly exceptional, but more than adequate. Pleasant service and affordable.
You’ll find your usual Bennigan’s, McDonald’s and Hard Rock Café in Panama City – even Kentucky Fried Chicken, but you may want to try La Cascada on Avenida Balboa and Calle 25; 262-1297 where portions are weighed by the pound!
For seafood, try Restaurante Mercado del Marisco, Avenida Balboa, 212-0071. Seafood is fresh and tasty. That’s because a fish market is right on the first floor but it’s very clean.
If you feel like old fashioned steaks, try Martín Fiero on Avenida Eusebio Morales; 264-1927 or 223-1333. Meats are imported from the US, and they have grilled meats and chicken plus pastas and seafood. But we recommend getting Panamanian meat if you can. It’s grass-fed beef and much healthier for you. For more information about the benefits of grass-fed meats, go to www.organicgrassfedbeefinfo.com.
Okay, you’ve had a taste of Panama City, you’ve shopped, and you’ve just devoured platefuls of food. Retiring in Panama is beginning to sound like a worthwhile idea, isn’t it? Dream on, because after the shopping and dining, you deserve some true R&R, and some sun. Panama does this to people thinking of retiring and investing there. It makes life more colorful…and if you spend time in its magnificent beaches, it just might add a golden bronze color to your skin!