My husband and I have been living part-time in Boquete, Panama for 2 1/2 years now. When we first started coming to the beautiful mountain town, there were 43 restaurants available. Though I am not sure of the exact number now, new dining options are springing up all of the time. For a small town like Boquete, there are plenty of tasty restaurants that will satisfy your palate. Here are Boquete’s Best Eats.
Boquete’s Best Eats for Breakfast
#1 Panamonte Restaurant
The Panamonte is in a class all of its own. This 100+-year-old inn delivers fabulous food, great service, and a hospitable and gorgeous setting. I recommend the Swedish pancakes, stacked high, served with maple syrup and extraordinary strawberry topping. A weekend offering is Eggs Benedict and they poach the eggs perfectly and have a delicate hollandaise. Freshly squeezed juices are available as well as smoothies.
#2 Boquete Sandwich Shop
The Sandwich Shop serves breakfast all day so no matter when you are craving some breakfast food, they have got you covered. The wait staff always strives to please the customers and the meals are affordable and well prepared. I like the Egg and Cheese Burrito, served with salsa and sour cream, with a slice of papaya and pineapple. My husband prefers the omelets. Meals run $4-5.
#3 Mike’s Global Grill
This is a popular gringo spot that makes a quick and tasty breakfast, with the best prices in town. My go-to meal at Mike’s is the Denver Omelet, served with flavorful roasted potatoes and toast. They also do excellent eggs over easy.
#4 La Brulerie at Finca Lerida
This is “the” place to go in Boquete for the most attractive restaurant and views. Early morning offers clear views of all of their beautiful flower gardens and many exotic birds visit. Their breakfast is typical Panamanian and my favorite is the Vegetarian Omelet (onions, mushrooms, and Muenster cheese), served with holjadres (Panamanian fry bread). La Brulerie has the most beautiful food presentation in Boquete, decorating their plates with fresh flowers. Order a coffee, as they serve their own beans!
#5 El Oasis
The El Oasis Hotel restaurant offers fast service and impressive dishes for a decent price. The Ham and Cheese Omelet was served with holjadres and it was scrumptious, though not very visually appealing. The setting is very fun plus there is a gorgeous toucan that loves attention and having his picture taken. El Oasis’s staff does not speak or understand much English, so please be patient and clear with your requests.
Boquete’s Best Eats for Lunch
#1 Boquete Fish House
This is my new favorite place to go in Boquete for a tasty and quick meal that will not break the bank. I love their beer-battered Fried Fish Sandwich which is served with creamy southern style coleslaw and french fries for a whopping $5.99. The Fish House’s tartar sauce is perfect and the fish is always fresh and never greasy. You can opt for grilled fish instead or try it cajun-style or blackened.
#2 Sugar & Spice
I would have to say that Sugar & Spice is the most popular restaurant in Boquete, offering breakfast (all day) and lunch, as well as takeaway items such as pastries, fresh bread, pies, soups, quiche, and desserts. Their sandwiches are the best in town. Sugar & Spice always has a couple of soups to choose from and tosses impressive fresh salads. The workers are always friendly, plus Sugar & Spice has free WIFI. If you crave dessert, hope that they have passionfruit pie that day. YUM!
#3 Toco Madera Restaurant
Yet another great Boquete hotel restaurant. Dine on the cute outdoor patio and enjoy their tasty frozen drinks as well. Burgers are highly rated and the Mexican choices are more than satisfactory. Toco Madera is a nice restaurant and located off of the beaten path.
#4 Sabor Escondido
Sabor is located inside the Valle Escondido gated community. When you arrive, just tell the security guard at the gate that you are going to the restaurant. Sabor’s Tomato Soup is super fresh and tasty. Try it with the Grilled Goat Cheese Sandwich, layered with fresh, yummy tomato slices. The service is incredibly slow but the food is worth the wait.
#5 Senior Gyro
Located in the heart of downtown, this cute little sandwich shop has counter service, but the food is delivered to your table. The gyros are really good and include chips for $7.25. The menu features salads, sandwiches, and quite a lot of other choices. The service gets a thumbs up.
Boquete’s Best Eats for Dinner
#1 Panamonte Restaurant
This jewel makes the list twice because it is the best and most delicious restaurant in town. Panamonte has outdoor deck seating, a large restaurant, and a cozy bar in the back which is where we prefer to sit. Huge couches and fireplaces welcome guests and you feel right at home. My favorite Panamonte dishes are the beef carpaccio to begin with and either the Langoustine Risotto or the Short Rib Fettuccini for entrees. I am very particular about pasta dishes and hardly ever impressed, so imagine how exciting it is to me that they offer two amazing ones! The Caesar Salad is a great choice if you want something not so heavy (add a protein to it for a few dollars more) and the desserts selection is splendid. I always have the Strawberries and Cream while my husband opts for the Lemon Pie.
#2 El Oasis
This restaurant is making the list twice, too, because it is the best value for good dinner entrees in Boquete. The lunch/dinner seating is in a different location than the breakfast, in the midst of impressive gardens, full of lovely blooms and hand-painted art. El Oasis has two fabulous soups, Roasted Pepper, and Cream of Corn, which are $5.50 a bowl, one of the cheaper soup prices in the town. For dinner, the Lamb Chops come highly recommended by my friends and my husband likes the Chicken Roulade (stuffed with spinach and goat cheese). Dinner entrees are served with a yummy starch and grilled vegetables. I typically have the Grilled Vegetables over Polenta which is only $8 plus very filling and flavorful.
#3 Restaurante Baru
Located in the center of town, Baru is a place for the backpacker crowds and tourists, but they have very good food and free WIFI. There is a huge outdoor patio and if you want to see sporting events, this is a good place to go. Baru has live music quite often as well. My favorite choices are the hamburgers or the Chicken & Rice Bowl. Baru has a full-service bar and servers who aim to please.
#4 Art Cafe
The Art Cafe is a neat eatery that has an interesting menu, themed dinners from time to time, and local artwork on the walls that you may purchase. A cute bar is located in the back of the restaurant and they often have live music. Art Cafe has a great vibe. I usually have the Beef Stroganoff and my friends always pick the Filet Mignon. My favorite thing at Art Cafe is the variety of salads with interesting choices of ingredients and tasty dressings. **As of summer 2017, this restaurant is closed.
La Posada is recently expanded and redecorated, sitting at the end of downtown Boquete. They serve great grilled meats and brick oven pizzas, even to go. It is a popular place for happy house. Warning: this is one of the more pricey restaurants in town but their food is unlike anyone else’s. It is a nice change of scenery.
Boquete’s Best Miscellaneous Noteworthy Places
#1 Los Molinas
Though it is about 15 minutes outside of town, Los Molinashas has a great Friday evening happy hour, starting at 5. This is a great place to invite friends for cheap eats, good drinks, impressive service, and nice music. The restaurant overlooks a gorgeous canyon and several waterfalls, so bring your camera. Order the Mango Ceviche or the Chicken Quesadilla; both are perfect choices and only $6 each.
#2 Mi Jardin
Recently remodeled, very chic, and welcoming, the restaurant at Mi Jardin now serves food as well as fun drinks. I like going for a coffee and enjoying the views of the colorful flower gardens and the beautiful mountain scenery. They have free WIFI so come have a coffee, plug into the rest of the world, and relax a bit.
#3 The Boquete Visitor Center
This is my favorite coffee shop, probably because I am not a real coffee drinker, but sometimes like having the blended, full of calories, frou-frou coffee beverage. The staff is quick with the orders and offers pastries and pies to snack on, too. The Visitor Center’s chai is delicious!