World Travel Guide > Guides > North America > Panama > Panama City

Local time Panama City



Restaurants in Panama City

You won't go hungry in Panama City. The Central American hub is a rising culinary star, with a varied food scene including some fabulous North-American, Italian and Middle-Eastern options as well as plenty of Latin specialities. The restaurants favouring Panamanian-style cuisine are dominated by wonderfully fresh seafood. A number of elegant, gastronomic ventures can also be found in the Casco Viejo.

The Panama City restaurants below have been hand-picked by our guide author and are grouped into three pricing categories:
Expensive (over $40)
Moderate ($15 to $40)
Cheap (up to $15)

These Panama City restaurant prices are for an average three-course meal and for a bottle of house wine or cheapest equivalent per person. They include service charges and taxes but not tip. If the service is good in a restaurant, a 10% tip is customary. Tipping in cafés is not expected.


Manolo Caracol

Cuisine: International

Adored by locals and tourists alike, this legendary tapas joint serves a prix fixe five-course lunch and seven-course dinner that can't be beaten. The menu is always imaginative, and draws on both local and international culinary themes – but be prepared to eat whatever’s going, and not necessarily know what’s on your plate. It’s a laidback place, so be flexible.

Address: , Avenida Central and Calle 3 Oeste, Panama City,
Telephone: + 507 228 4640.

Restaurante 1985

Cuisine: French

Once known as the best restaurant in the city, Restaurante 1985 is a bit of a Panama City institution. It is run by Swiss chef Willy Diggelmann, who now owns five restaurants in Panama and is known for its exceptional cuisine, vast wine list and painfully high prices. Visit if your bank account can take a hit without flinching, otherwise you might feel a little let down.

Address: , Chalet Suizo, Calle Eusebio A Morales, Panama City,
Telephone: + 507 263 8571.

Restaurante Las Bóvedas

Cuisine: International

Arguably the most atmospheric restaurant in the city, this French-Latin fusion spot is housed in the vault of a centuries-old fort. Although it used to be a prison (Las Bovedas means ‘the vaults’), guests can expect gourmet cuisine rather than gruel. Theoretically it offers seafood with a French twist, but the chefs don’t mind throwing in a steak or two. Worth a visit for its history alone, its location in the Casco Viejo is gorgeous too.

Address: , Plaza de Francia, Panama City,
Telephone: + 507 228 8058.


Las Clementinas

Cuisine: Panamanian

 For an introduction to Panama's culinary melting pot, Las Clementinas in the Casco Viejo is a great, relaxed option. With contemporary takes on traditional dishes using local ingredients, much of which come from the restaurant's own garden and the restaurant's menu often features lots of ambitious creations. There's an excellent ropa vieja, which means ‘old clothes’, and consists of shredded meat, black beans, rice and plantain. Expect quality comfort food with Caribbean and Latin flavours that will keep you going through a long day of exploring the city.

Address: Casco Viejo, Calle 11 & Avenida B , Panama City,
Telephone: + 507 228 7613.

Rene Cafe

Cuisine: Panamanian

In the lower end of the mid-range bracket lies Rene Cafe, which serves up international cuisine. Its draw is the fixed price menus: five-courses at lunch, seven at dinner. What makes it most interesting, though, is the daily changing menu, with chefs serving whatever is available at the market that day. With such a great location, food and service, it’s best to book in advance.


Address: Casco Viejo, Calle Pedro J Sossa, Panama City,
Telephone: + 507 262 3487.


Cuisine: Japanese

 Central America may not be renowned for decent sushi but Sake breaks the mould. Located in the Torre de las Americas building, there’s sushi, sashimi and a host of rolls on offer as well as a decent wine list. It’s definitely at the higher end of the range, but worth every penny if you’re craving some good raw fish.

Address: , Torre de las Americas, near Multiplaza Mall, Panama City,
Telephone: + 507 301 7250.


Cafe Coca Cola

Cuisine: Panamanian

This place has a degree of fame in Panama City for allegedly being the first place to stock Coca Cola outside the US. It’s a very typical 'rice, beans and meat of the day' kind of a place, but the food is of a great standard and there’s plenty of it. As a typical local eatery, it's also great for people watching with women playing chess, men watching football and charmingly tough staff.

Address: Casco Viejo, Avenida Central and Plaza Santa Ana, Panama City,

Leños & Carbon

Cuisine: International

Leños & Carbon is a Latin American chain specialising in steaks – and boy, do they do it well. The Panama City branch is particularly worthy of mention due to its superb location: on the Amador causeway with a view of the marina. The meat is perfectly cooked and there’s usually a lot of it, typically served with a salad. It gets very busy here, so be prepared for a wait.


Address: Amador Causeway, Centro Comercial Multiplaza, Panama City,
Telephone: +507 314 1650.

Mercado de Mariscos

Cuisine: Panamanian

One essential stop while in Panama City is the fish market located by the coastal promenade known as Cinta Costera. There are several local restaurants here serving traditionally prepared seafood, including pescado frito (fried fish), deliciously fresh ceviche and even langoustines. For an authentic Panamanian Caribbean experience, don't miss this buzzing mercado (market), with great views of the Casco Viejo on one side and the financial district's soaring skyscrapers on the other.

Address: Cinta Costera, Avenida Balboa and Calle 15 Este , Panama City,
A digital image at

Book Accommodation

Featured Hotels


El Machico Hostel

Situated in Panama City's Marbella district, this lively hostel fosters a laid back atmosphere with courtyard swimming pool, open air cinema nights, pool games and a small bar.

Hotel DeVille

This is one of Panama City’s top-end boutique hotels, located in one of the city's most romantic spots. Each of the 33 rooms are individually (and impeccably) decorated. The difference here is in the details right down to the antique furniture that graces each handsome room. Beautiful and classy, with rooms and suites available at rather high prices but you won’t be sorry.

Hotel Riande Continental

Centred on a palm tree-fringed swimming pool, this sophisticated Panama City hotel is an excellent choice if you're searching for low-key luxury. Spacious rooms offer modern furnishings and sweeping views of the Panama City skyline. All rooms have a mini-bar and cable TV, and there is a surcharge for the Wi-Fi which is available all over the hotel.

Las Clementinas

Las Clementinas is another Casco Viejo charmer, in a fully-revamped colonial building in the most beautiful part of town. They have gone for understated elegance and style here, and have definitely succeeded. Furnishings are either original antiques or perfect replicas. Las Clementinas also has a bar and cafe with great food.

Toscana Inn Hotel

A modestly-sized boutique hotel in Downtown Panama City, Toscana Inn comes equipped with air conditioning and Wi-Fi in every room. Café Los Girasoles restaurant serves up Panamanian cuisine for dinner and a complimentary buffet-breakfast spread in the morning.

The Westin Playa Bonita Panama

A luxury, beachfront hotel with six restaurants, a full-service spa, business centre, kids club and three infinity pools, each kitted out with a swim-up bar. Located approximately 20 minutes outside of the city centre, flanked by rainforest, the resort has 611 luxury rooms and suites, many offer views of the Pacific.