Pubs, Cafes and Restaurants in Panama City


Eating in Panama

Panama is a great place for foodies as it has a variety of restaurants, local and foreign. It also helps that one can eat amazing meals without breaking the bank.

In the financial district of Panama City, you can find Japanese, Indian, and American-style restaurants. There are also plenty of Irish pubs. But of course, there are many restaurants that serve mostly Central American food in Panama City and the rest of the country.

There's also a lot of street vendors selling fast food like tamales and burritos, as well as desserts like churros and ice cream.

Casco Viejo has the cheapest dining options in the city. You can find restaurants that will serve a whole fish, rice or potatoes, and a few beers for less than $10. In the financial district though, restaurants will be pricier than other parts of the city.

What to Eat in Panama

  • Ceviche - raw fish or seafood marinated in lime juice, onions and peppers
  • Tamales - Maize dough steamed and wrapped in banana leaves
  • Sanchoco - chicken stew with vegetables and coriander
  • Patacones - fried plantain cakes
  • Fufu - fried fish in coconut milk
  • Gallo Pinto - rice and beans
  • Ropa vieja - shredded beef with rice and beans

Fast Food in Panama City

It is common to find street vendors and food trucks selling mostly the following foods:

  • Tamales
  • Burritos
  • Chorreadas - corn pancakes
  • Corn on the cob
  • Chicharrones - dried skin of pork meat
  • Pinchos - pork or beef sticks
  • Churros

Restaurants in Panama City

Here are some highly rated restaurants in Panama City for food and atmosphere:

  • Fondo Lo Que Hay - gourmet Panamanian food
  • Pig Backside - American southern style cuisine
  • El Trapiche - Diner food
  • Peachfuzz International - Seafood that is also cheap!
  • El Social - Burgers, chicken, beer and other bar food
  • El Corazon Lumpia Bar - Filipino food
  • Cafe Coca Cola - Oldest diner in Panama City
  • Tacos La Neta - Creative and gourmet tacos

Vegetarian & Vegan Food in Panama City

Panama City has one the most diverse restaurant scenes in Latin American. And what would a diverse restaurant scene be without vegetarian options?

Here are some vegetarian restaurants to check out:

Tipping in Panama

It is common etiquette to tip at least 10%, but it is not mandatory or strictly followed.

What to Drink in Panama

Although it is rarely enforced, the legal drinking age in Panama is 18 years of age. This is because Panamanian culture is one where drinking with family or friends at get-togethers during youth is normal. Young people in Panama grow up accustomed to alcohol and have a responsible relationship with it as many liquor stores do not rigorously check identification. That being said, just like any other country, drunk driving is not okay and punishable by law.

Non-Alcoholic Drinks in Panama

  • Water - Tap water is safe everywhere in Panama except Bocas del Toro
  • Chica - Soft drink made from maize
  • Resbaladera - Chilled drink of grain and milk that is also native to Costa Rica
  • Tea
  • Coffee
  • Juice

Popular Cafes in Panama City

Alcoholic Drinks in Panama

  • Chica fuerte - Maize-based spirit that is consumed mostly on the countryside
  • Ron Ponche - Milk, vanilla and rum cocktail
  • Beer - Panama, Atlas and Sobarana are local beers
  • Seco Herrerano - Panama's local spirit

Liquor Laws in Panama

The legal drinking age in Panama is 18, but that is rarely enforced. Alcohol in the form of beer, wine, or spirits are sold in supermarkets and liquor stores until 11:00.

It is illegal to drink and drive in Panama. There are police who do routine checks for drunk drivers.

Update 23/06/2018


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