Great Restaurants in Panama City, Panama
There are so many excellent places to eat in the metropolitan area of Panama City. International restaurants, as well as typical Panamanian fare, are found throughout the many neighborhoods that make up this cultural city.
Living part-time in Boquete (an expat area six hours away from Panama City) my husband and I often visit Panama City for a nice getaway. We never tire of trying out the city’s new restaurants or enjoying our old favorites.
Here are six great restaurants in Panama City that we think you might enjoy sinking your teeth into.
#1 Tantalo Kitchen
Tantalo Kitchen is a trendy boutique hotel restaurant in Casco Viejo or old town Panama City. It is a popular choice for locals and tourists for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The walls are filled with colorful pieces of art, and the high ceilings give the eatery an open, airy feel. Tantalo Kitchen is one of the most trendy spots in all of Panama City.
My favorite lunch dishes are the Smoked Salmon Salad and the Roasted Pulled Pork. Save room for a Passion Fruit Tartlet; it is yummy!
I love a good Lebanese restaurant and the one directly across from the downtown Panama City Marriott Hotel is one of the best. Beirut serves tasty Middle Eastern eats and drinks. Hookah smoking is popular at Beirut and Thursday through Saturday mean live belly dancers. Lamb kabobs, fresh bread, hummus, and Baba Ghanoush are my favorites here, but honestly, everything we’ve ever tried is delicious and consistent.
Beirut also serves non-Lebanese dishes such as pizza and salmon for those who aren’t as adventurous in their eating.
#3 La Vespa
La Vespa Restaurant is in Obarrio, the elegant, financial section of Panama City. It is a lovely restaurant serving classic Italian favorite dishes. La Vespa Restaurant has a friendly staff, many of whom speak English really well. The extra creamy risotto dishes are my favorite, made with quality ingredients. Pizza, classic pasta entrees and seafood are other recommended dishes. The cocktails are noteworthy, as well.
Start your dining experience with a soothing glass of wine and a perfect serving of housemade burrata. La Vespa has been making this Italian delight long before it started showing up on every menu. At La Vespa, you can rub elbows at lunch with the city’s financial brokers or let down your hair and enjoy cocktails and flatbread after work.
#4 Los Años Locos
The Los Años Locos restaurant, in the San Francisco neighborhood, offers top-quality Argentinian cuisine. Start your meal with an incredible bottle of wine, with choices from five continents, and possibly the best in all of Panama. Marvel at the beautiful decor as you sip your wine and dine on tasty cuts of meat.
The Hongo Portobello Gratinado and Carpaccio de Zucchini are great pre-meal starters and my favorite dinner entrées would be either the Angus Prime Ribeye Steak and Langustinos Patrick. Pasta and risotto bowls are also popular choices. Meals include a trip to the make-your-own salad bar, full of crispy, healthy vegetables and side items.
#5 Avatar Indian Cuisine
Avatar is a dimly lit, romantic Indian restaurant with white leather booths. It is the perfect spot to dine with friends. Recommended dishes are the Samosa Platter and Mulligatawny Soup to start with and the Avatar special as the main entrée. Avatar’s soup is rich and flavorful while the appetizer platter is the perfect Indian dish to share and whet your appetite.
Avatar’s signature dish, the Avatar Special, is delightful and aromatic with hunks of chicken floating in a creamy curry sauce, spiced just right. Pair the Avatar Special with Basmati rice and warm paratha or naan flatbreads, whichever you prefer. Avatar Indian Cuisine also serves Tandoori (clay oven) platters.
#6 Barrio Pizza
In Casco Viejo you’ll find a darned tasty pizza shop. Upscale and vibrantly decorated, Barrio Pizza has a relaxed ambiance that solo diners or families will love. Barrio will please both pizza lovers and those who crave great bread or dipping sauces.
We always order a side of Queso Fundido with flatbread for dipping and the salads are all fresh and enjoyable. Four cheese or Margherita pizzas are both excellent choices.
So Many Tasty Restaurants to Visit in Panama City
There are many awesome restaurants to visit in Panama City, but these six have remained our favorites for quite some time. Enjoy your visit and tasting the city’s vibrant food scene!
Looking for a place to stay in Panama City? Here are some great choices.
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Check out our other Panama restaurant posts:
Paladar Restaurant: Hotel Valle Del Rio