Panama City Restaurants

It's not quite New York or Paris, but Panama City's restaurant scene is impressive. Panamanians like to eat out, and enough of them have incomes that allow for regular dining on the town, which has resulted in a growing cadre of restaurants. Many of the best restaurants are clustered in Casco Viejo, El Cangrejo, Area Bancária, a
It's not quite New York or Paris, but Panama City's restaurant scene is impressive. Panamanians like to eat out, and enough of them have incomes that allow for regular dining on the town, which has resulted in a growing cadre of restaurants. Many of the best restaurants
It's not quite New York or Paris, but Panama City's restaurant scene is impressive. Panamanians like to eat out, and eno

It's not quite New York or Paris, but Panama City's restaurant scene is impressive. Panamanians like to eat out, and enough of them have incomes that allow for regular dining on the town, which has resulted in a growing cadre of restaurants. Many of the best restaurants are clustered in Casco Viejo, El Cangrejo, Area Bancária, and nearby Calle Uruguay, which are also the neighborhoods where you'll find most of the best hotels. Java junkies will rejoice that a good cup of coffee can be found just about anywhere; even the inexpensive restaurants have espresso machines.

Cuisine selection spans the globe, from Indian and Italian to Lebanese and Panamanian (obviously). The seafood tends to be quite fresh, which shouldn't come as a surprise, since the word "Panama" means "abundance of fish," and it's relatively inexpensive, with the exception of lobster and crab. Panama produces decent beef, but the best beef is imported from the United States and can be more expensive. A typical entrée at an expensive restaurant runs about $17, whereas a main dish at a less expensive eatery averages around $9. It's customary to tip at least 10%, but some restaurants automatically add a 10% servicio charge, so be sure to have a good look at the check.

Some restaurants close Sunday, and many close between lunch and dinner (approximately 2:30 to 6:30). Reservations aren’t usually required, but are a good idea on weekends. Jackets and ties aren't necessary, but don't wear shorts and sandals unless the restaurant is outdoors.

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  • 1. La Posta

    $$$ | Latin American

    Elegant ambience and an innovative mix of Latin American and European flavors have kept La Posta one of Panama City's most popular restaurants...Read More

  • 2. Manolo Caracol

    $$$$ | Mediterranean

    Owned by Spanish chef Manolo Madueño, this restaurant-cum-art gallery in a restored colonial building is dedicated to the joy of dining, with...Read More

  • 3. Market

    $$$ | Steakhouse

    This trendy steak house a block off busy Calle Uruguay is the best option for a meat lover, whether you're in the mood for filet mignon or a...Read More

  • 4. The Dining Room at American Trade Hotel

    $$$$ | Panama City | International

    Set in the high-ceilinged lobby of the American Trade Hotel, The Dining Room is an elegant venue that pays great attention to detail. The stylish...Read More

  • 5. 1985

    $$$ | French

    Named for the year it opened, this restaurant serves traditional French and Swiss cuisine in an eclectic mix of dining rooms. It holds the strange...Read More

  • 6. Alberto's

    $$$ | Italian

    The best tables here are across the drive from the main restaurant, overlooking the Flamenco Marina and the city skyline beyond, but they are...Read More

  • 7. Beirut

    $$ | Lebanese

    The interior of this Lebanese restaurant goes a bit overboard, with faux-stone columns and arches, but the food is consistently good, and the...Read More

  • 8. Caffé Pomodoro

    $$ | Italian

    Decent Italian food at reasonable prices served amidst tropical foliage make this restaurant in the Hotel Las Vegas a local favorite. Though...Read More

  • 9. Costa Azul

    $$$ | Latin American

    A bit of an institution, this large, 24-hour restaurant half a block south of Vía España is where locals head for a good meal at a reasonable...Read More

  • 10. Ego y Narciso

    $$$ | Italian

    This small restaurant has tables on Plaza Bolívar, overlooking the Iglesia de San Francisco, making it one of Panama City's more charming dinner...Read More

  • 11. El Trapiche

    $ | Latin American

    El Trapiche is a popular spot for traditional Panamanian food, thanks to its convenient location and reasonable prices. The menu includes all...Read More

  • 12. Fusion Restaurant

    $$$ | Eclectic

    This restaurant combines wild decor with an inventive menu that melds the cuisines of three continents. The central dining area looks like something...Read More

  • 13. Gauchos

    $$$ | Argentine

    This Argentine restaurant in a Spanish-style house on Calle Uruguay is for serious carnivores who like their steaks big, tender, and juicy....Read More

  • 14. Golden Unicorn

    $$ | Chinese

    Hidden on the fourth floor of the Evergreen Building, down the street from the Sheraton Panama, the Golden Unicorn is one of Panama's best Chinese...Read More

  • 15. Kayuco

    $$ | Latin American

    This collection of simple tables shaded by umbrellas at the edge of the Flamenco Marina is the place to go for an inexpensive dinner or a cold...Read More

  • 16. L'Ostería

    $$$ | Italian

    Quality Italian cuisine served amid ancient walls make L'Ostería a popular dinner option. The restaurant is located under the Casa del Horno...Read More

  • 17. La Mexicanita

    $ | Mexican

    This unassuming Mexican eatery on the corner of Parque Urracá serves a small selection of homemade Tex-Mex standards at very reasonable prices...Read More

  • 18. Las Clementinas Café & Bar

    $$$ | Eclectic

    An eclectic blend of Panamanian, European, and Asian cuisines and the choice of dining in an old-world café or a distinctly tropical patio make...Read More

  • 19. Masala Indian Cuisine

    $$$$ | Indian

    Panama City's best Indian restaurant is also one of your surest bets for going vegetarian in a town short on options for herbivores. The shrine...Read More

  • 20. Mi Ranchito

    $$ | Latin American

    Topped by a giant thatch roof that has become an Amador Causeway landmark, Mi Ranchito has a great view of the city across the bay and is one...Read More

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