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Panamanian cuisine is the result of the historical influence of Amerindian, Hispanic, African and Afro-Antillean cultures. It is characterized by the high consumption of rice in different forms and preparations, as well as soups, with the sancocho (panamanian own expression of chicken soup) being the most popular. Other ingredients are corn, bananas, chicken, meat, fish and shellfish, which have various dishes and fried foods. There is a large consumption and supply of fresh seafood, since the country is surrounded by two large oceans.
Local cuisine food in Panama has been developing reputation among the gastronomic capitals of the region and it is possible to find countless options from almost anywhere in the world to taste. However, it is impossible not to stop and try the most traditional Panamanian flavor delights.
HOJALDRA: it is essentially a fried bread that represents the most versatile and delicious frying (according to many diners). You can eat salty, sweet, with cheese, with sauce, alone or with sugar and cinnamon. A delicious craving for any time and more if it is with a cup of coffee.
SANCOCHO: The king of typical Panamanian food is “Sancocho de Gallina”, without a doubt the most popular dish among Panamanians. It is a soup based on broth of hard chicken, yam and coriander. It is best to accompany it with white rice and plantain slices (sweet banana).
CARIMAÑOLAS: Another traditional frying in Panama is Carimañola. It is a fried cassava roll stuffed with meat, it has a crispy crust and smooth texture inside. Although you can eat at any time of the day, it is more common to be served at breakfast.
CHORIZO TABLEÑO: A real delicacy, originally from the town of Las Tablas in the province of Los Santos, is a sausage of pork, achiote and coriander with a tasty touch of firewood from the nance tree that will fill your palate with Panamanian flavor.
CEVICHE: It’s a dish that has to be in every party in Panama. Ideal companion of a very cold beer, the Panamanian ceviche is characterized by a long-lasting citrus marinade. It consists of “cooking” the seafood with lemon juice, accompanied by chili pepper, onions and finely chopped coriander. The most popular is Corvina, there are also shrimp, octopus, mixed and many other options.
GUACHO DE RABITO or MARISCOS: The guacho is a very traditional dish. It consists of combining rice, pork tail, chiricano beans, cassava and vegetables in a pot, resulting in a broth or “soaked” rice, which is one of the most original dishes of Panamanian cuisine.
NEW CORN BOLLO: One of the most traditional preparations, corn is ground in a dough that is wrapped in the cocoon of the cob and cooked in water until it reaches the desired firmness point. It is delicious to accompany it with national pressed cheese and a good coffee. The most famous are the “preñaos” buns from Chorrera, stuffed with meat, pork or chicken.
Our country is a rising culinary star, with a varied gastronomic proposal that includes some fabulous North American, European and Middle Eastern options, as well as numerous Latin specialties. In Old Town (Casco Antiguo) you can also find high quality cuisine.
In Panama there are restaurants ranging from: Lebanese, Traditional Panamanian, Italian, Cantonese, Hindu, French, American, Spanish, Peruvian, Argentine, Irish, Japanese, Mexican, Colombian, Venezuelan, German, Korean.
Here our exclusive selection of international restaurants:
A Mangiare: Delicious traditional Italian food.
The Fish Market: International Seafood Helmet.
Olive and Salt: Mediterranean Food.
Buddha Bar: French, Mediterranean and Arabic food.
Solo Restaurant: European and Spanish.
Maito: Panamanian fusion cuisine that innovates using only local produce.
Coliseum: Italian, Mediterranean and Latin.
Mustard: Argentina, International.
Lula by Darna: Israeli, Kosher food.
Just a few kilometers from the Panama Canal is Casco Antiguo (Old Town) declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. In addition to being a wonderful place to immerse yourself in history and enjoy a privileged view of the sea, in recent years it has gained international reputation for the variety of cultural places, shops, restaurants and nightlife. Here you can taste all kinds of meals, from the native, international to fusion. Just walk a few blocks to see the amount of high quality restaurants and bars offering unique experiences. It can be said that Casco Antiguo is the creative gastronomic center of the country, where the most innovative ideas in culinary delights inspired by the stories of people who came to our country from around the world arise. Here we leave you a top list of restaurants in Casco Antiguo that will create a party on your palate.
Diablico: Panamanian Food with Folkloric Shows live from Monday to Saturday.
Nazca 21: Peruvian food delicacies in an environment that takes you to its culture and traditions.
Santa Rita Casco: Spanish Food and Seafood, in a cozy atmosphere to go as a couple or with friends.
Barrio Pizza: Italian Pizza and delicious snacks.
Lazotea & Rooftop Restaurant: French, European, Indhu and American food, with a beautiful view of Panama City.
Donde José: Menu focused on the traditional food of the Panamanian culture in a unique and original environment.
Nación Sushi: Apart from offering a wide variety of sushi, its objective is to offer a culinary proposal focused on outstanding flavors from China, Thailand, Japan, Vietnam and other Southeast Asian countries.
Marzola: Barbecue specialty, with a lively atmosphere to enjoy a meat and wine dinner.