Food & Cuisine in Panama City
From fine dining to fast food and lavish buffet spreads to funky beach bars, Panama City is a foodie's delight. Its claim to being the world's seafood capital is no mere boast, as any traveller is bound to discover while exploring the culinary landscape of this city. While the variety of seafood on offer is indeed astonishing, meat lovers won't be disappointed and can savour some superb steaks and mouth-watering barbecues.
Chicken and rice washed down with a chilled beer makes for an enjoyable lunch. And don't forget to try the delicious plantains!
This Panama City Restaurant Guide tells you some restaurants you may wish to visit. Information about the most popular dishes of the country can be found by visiting our Panama Restaurants Guide. And to work yourself up an appetite, why not go on a bit of a shopping splurge beforehand - good places to go shopping can be found in our Panama City Shopping Guide.
Food & Cuisine in Panama City
As far as restaurants go, Panama City is liberally sprinkled with well-known chains and fast food outlets. Bennigan's, Hard Rock Café, Kentucky Fried Chicken and McDonald's - they're all here. But travel is not about sticking to the tried and trusted, is it? Discovering local cuisine is as much a part of the trip as taking in the sights and sounds of a new destination. So do give Panama City's local food a shot and treat your palate to many pleasant surprises.
The presence of a sizeable Chinese immigrant community in Panama City translates into the availability of some great Asian cuisine. Apart from the ubiquitous Chinese food, you can also savour sushi, which happens to be a local hit, as well as some authentic Thai cooking.
Then there are Italian and Mediterranean restaurants in all their various avatars - pizza joints, steakhouses, little bistros and cafes as well as all-vegetarian places. In many such eateries, the menu offers a smattering of Panamanian dishes as well. Try the sweet plantains, a type of banana that grows locally, but not like any other banana you've tasted before.
Restaurants are pretty much the same worldwide in the way they function; communicating with local staff, though, is what makes the experience in another country unique. Most of Panama City's restaurants have menus with English translations, but in some outlets it would certainly help if you knew some basic Spanish terms.
If you do end up in a Panama City restaurant where the waiters speak only Spanish (and you don't), do not fret; they are generally helpful and patient. Besides, communicating your order could turn out to be quite a hilarious experience, a memory to cherish when you get back home!
Panama City Drinks
Do try out some of the local beers. Beer enthusiasts have been known to swear that Panamanian brands are Central America's best. Balboa and Atlas are two popular local brands.
Panamanian cuisine has much in common with the food of other Latin American countries, but is low on spice. Corn is an ingredient you will find frequently in various forms. Most dishes are cooked in oil. Seafood of all types is the high point of Panamanian cuisine.
Pollo (chicken), ceviche (a raw fish or shrimp preparation with lemon juice and cilantro), corvina (a white fish from the Pacific served with different sauces), camarones (shrimp) and patacones (fried slices of cut and salted green plantain) are items commonly consumed by locals. It's rare to find fresh fruit served in restaurants as is done in most countries worldwide. However, a wide range of fruits is cultivated in Panama. Pick these up in open-air markets and from fruit stands along important thoroughfares.
When ordering from local cuisine in Panama City, try some of these items: Carimanola, a fried roll made from boiled, ground Yucca (a plant native to Central America) and stuffed with mincemeat and boiled eggs; Empanadas, rather like Cornish pastry, filled with meat, chicken or cheese; Tortillas or maize pancakes; and Tamales made of spicy, cooked, ground corn and filled with pork or chicken. Before serving, the Tamale is wrapped in a banana leaf and boiled. Sancocho is a traditional, countryside chicken soup. Yet another popular, plantain-based item to try out is Tajadas - ripe plantains sliced lengthways, flavoured with cinnamon and baked - a delicious, nutritive dessert.
BENTO TO GO
Awsome french chef Fabien Migny's new culinary venture. The traditional Bento Box with a french twist and touch. Fresh, affordable and healthy.
A great deal for business people and tourist on the go!!!
Deliver everywhere in the city : offices, private residences, hotels and business places in general.
To order: www.bento-togo.com or call tel: 393 - 6711 / 6712
Price: $8.95 per box.