My 5 Favorite Restaurants in Boquete, Panama
Traveling to Boquete, Panama a few times a year allows me to get to know the local food scene quite well. I love watching new eateries open and sharing their offerings (and photos) with our readers, as well as some that are more established. I am always on the lookout for food trends and hot spots. As of my latest visit late this summer, here are my five favorite restaurants to eat in Boquete.
#1 Otto Gastronomia Restaurant
This tantalizing Italian eatery is a stellar new option for Boquete. Though the town already has some noteworthy Italian food, none of the other restaurants are open for lunch. Otto Gastronomia is a counter service restaurant that prepares food fresh to order.
My daughter and I enjoyed a fabulous lunch at Otto Gastronomia. For starters, we feasted on House-made Mozzarella with fresh tomato slices and balsamic drizzle. I chose Pasta Bolognese Lasagna for lunch and she had the Chicken Parmesan. Both dishes have brilliant flavors. I was not one bit surprised to learn that Otto Gastronomia is the sister restaurant to Retrogusto, Boquete’s premier Italian dining spot. The food quality is top notch, while our server was friendly and professional. Otto Gastonomia has a nice selection of menu items (salads, pizza, and paninis) and drinks, as well as gourmet foods that can be purchased as well.
#2 Boquete Sandwich Shop
The Boquete Sandwich Shop has been in business for a few years. The reasons that I love it so much are because they continually adds dishes to keep the customers interested, offer stellar service, and are affordable. From the omelets (served with sliced, fresh fruit) to the fluffy pancakes, and hearty, tasty sandwiches and salads, you won’t get a bad meal here. My husband and I go there often and think the Eggs Benedict is one of the best in town. Also the best priced! The Boquete Sandwich Shop has free Wi-Fi (ask for the code as it changes frequently) and a large menu with something for everybody. This is one of our go-to spots for breakfast and lunch. Dinner at the Boquete Sandwich Shop is gaining notoriety as well with their Taco Tuesday and fresh seafood options.
#3 Kamcha Peruvian Brasas
Kamcha Peruvian Brasas is one of the several Peruvian restaurants in town and by far the tastiest. Food is prepared to order, which takes a bit of time for this style of cooking. but it is worth the wait. The fresh catch ceviche was the best I’ve had in the entire country of Panama! It is served with plantain chips for dipping. The presentation is lovely as well. For dinner, I savored a chicken dish (sorry, I couldn’t pronounce or remember the real name) with a marriage of spices that was quite tasty. Loved their patio dining option! Try a Pisco Sour or any of their authentic Peruvian drinks.
#4 The Garden Restaurant and Country Store
Located at the San Francisco Plaza, just a few minutes outside of Boquete, the Garden Restaurant and Country Store, owned by an American family, is quite a popular spot in town. Breakfast ranges from omelets to biscuits & gravy plus daily specials. Lunch dishes include hand-tossed, made to order salads, sandwiches, burgers, and specialty items. The Garden Restaurant’s fresh ingredients are unsurpassed in Boquete. My personal fave is that they offer fresh (and delicious!) brewed iced tea.
On our latest visit, my husband and I tried the daily special, Coconut Chicken with Wild Rice. It was extremely satisfying! The special comes with a small house salad featuring homemade salad dressing. The Garden Restaurant also has a country store with desserts and grab & go items as well as fresh vegetables.
#5 Big Daddy’s
This restaurant has been a downtown Boquete staple for years now but has undergone several different owners and changes. New owners and management have Big Daddy’s shining like the top of the Chrysler Building! Chef (and co-owner) Chris prepares exceptional dishes while the prices still remain a digestible range. My picks are the Fish and Chips (served with two homemade sauces that are game changers) or the Boom-Boom Shrimp. Nom! Fish Tacos and Rice Bowls are still customer top picks but Big Daddy’s has polished itself into a new league these days. Have a margarita on the fun and festive outdoor patio while you chat with locals or enjoy the music and people-watching.
Boquete: No Shortage of Good Eats
I am quite proud that Boquete, Panama, my home away from home, has such exceptional restaurants to choose from. If you are new to the area, have patience as service is quite slower than in the states and in Europe. Enjoy the delicious dishes that await you in Boquete.