June 10, 2009
Dear Panama E-Letter Subscribers:
Panama City Restaurants
By Matt Atlee
The quality of restaurants in Panama City has improved greatly since I first came to the country in 1995. In those days it was hard to find a decent meal in Panama City and just about impossible to find any decent food in the interior. But over the last six years the quality of food in Panama, as well as restaurant service, has greatly improved. Today in Panama, you have a wide range of restaurants to choose from and just about all of them are affordable and good
Plaza Paitilla Inn: This place has an excellent breakfast and great coffee. The hotel also has a great view of the Bay of Panama. You can go for the buffet (fresh fruit, eggs, bacon, omelets, juice, coffee, toast, etc.) or order from the menu. The service tends to be fairly fast and efficient. Address: Via Italia, Punta Paitilla, Panama. Tel. (507) 208-0600.
Manolos: This Spanish-style diner has three locations: one across from the Hotel Panama, another on Via Argentina, and a third one in Obarrio next to the Banco General on Calle Abel Bravo. Manolos offers Panamanian and international breakfast with great coffee and churros. The location across from the Hotel Panama is a popular spot to people watch and have a nice coffee. Lunch is good (great sandwiches, ceviche, and Panamanian fare) and they are open late. Address: Via Argentina. Tel: (507) 2643965 and Av Abel Bravo y Calle Juan Ramón Poll – Obarrio,
Pomodoro: If you want to eat breakfast outside in a courtyard, then this is the place. Nice coffee and the best pancakes in Panama. The restaurant is a popular dinner spot with locals, but in the morning it’s a popular spot for guests at the Hotel Las Vegas. The courtyard allows you to eat outside without being suffocated by car fumes. Address: Av Eusebio A Morales, Panama City. Tel: (507) 3002020
Trapiche: Has one of the best and cheapest breakfasts in Panama City. Place is done in a traditional Panama country motif and food and coffee are very good. The best thing about Trapiche is the low prices. Vía Argentina 10, Panama City. Tel: (507) 2694353
Napoli: First opened in 1962 and located just off the 4th of July intersection, Napoli was a favorite of the Americans living in the old U.S. Canal Zone. People come here for the handmade pizzas that are cooked in a large brick oven that burns wood. In the early 90s Napoli built a second restaurant uptown in Obarrio. The Obarrio restaurant is a large family-style pizzeria that has duplicated, or even exceeded, the quality of the original Napoli. I would say Napoli has the best Italian food in Panama. Great service and great coffee make this a must restaurant for anyone visiting Panama. Address: Cl 57 Urb Obarrio Panama City. Tel : (507) 2638800 and Cl Estudiante 24 Panama City. Tel: (507) 2622448,(507) 2622446
Nikos: Nikos started as a little Greek sandwich shop off Via Espana and has grown into 24 hour restaurant that serves, breakfast, lunch and dinner. There are a number of Niko’s restaurants spread out across the city and most are opened 24 hours a day. If you find yourself up very late, say, after the casino and you need food then Nikos is your place. Always very affordable. Address: Vía España Panama City Tel: (507) 2230111 and Cl 50 Teléfono(s) : (507) 2702555
Athens: A very good pizza shop with great Greek food as well. If you want a gyro or Greek salad then this is the place for you. There are two Athens restaurants: one in Obarrio and one near Calle Uruguay, both offer very affordable food in a clean environment. Address: Calle 50. Tel: (507) 2654637 and El Dorado. Tel: (507) 2603333
Café Ozone: Food from all over the world: Middle Eastern, American, African, Asian, you name the continent, they have food from there. Service is also excellent at Ozone. Great location in the middle of the restaurant and nightclub district. Cl Uruguay, 1A-57 Panama City. Tel: (507) 2149616
Punta Barko: Located on the Causeway with a great view of the Canal and Panama City. Thursday nights they have traditional Panamanian dance shows. Seafood is their specialty and the clean, open air atmosphere is very relaxing. Address: Isla Flamenco, Panama City. Tel: (507) 3140001
Manolo Caracol: Located in Panama’s Old French Section, Manolo Caracol is a great Spanish restaurant. You don’t order from a menu; they just keep bringing you plates of food – all of it very good. Nice wine. Address: Cl 3 y Av Central San Felipe, Panama City. Tel: (507) 2284640.
Buzios: Also located in the old French section of Panama City, Buzios is a very good restaurant that has outdoor eating. Nice view of the Panama Canal and located very near the French Embassy. Address: Cl 1 Sta Ana Panama City. Tel: (507) 2289045
Matsuei: This is one of the oldest restaurants in Panama. Opened in 1978, Matsuei serves a large array of Japanese food – the menu is gigantic. The open sushi – all you can eat – is around $20 and the traditional Japanese atmosphere is relaxing. Matsuei is located directly across from the Hotel Granada. Address: Cl Eusebio A. Morales, Panama City. Tel: (507) 2649562
Rincon Suizo: If you are into Swiss food, this is the place. If you like wines then this is really the only place to visit in Panama. People come here for the authentic atmosphere and great food and wine. Address: Cl Eusebio A Morales, Panama City. Tel: (507) 2638571
1985: Is the sister restaurant of Rincon Suiza: very good food and wine. Visit their website: http://www.1985.com/
Wine Bar: Very popular restaurant with good Italian food and wine selection. The Wine Bar is also a popular place to listen to live music. People like to do business at the Wine Bar. The place has lots of atmosphere and decent food. Cl. Eusebio A. Morales, Ground floor of the Hotel Suites Las Vegas besides the Restaurant Caffè Pomodoro and close to the El Panama Hotel.
Gauchos: Argentinean steakhouse. Nice steak with potato and wine. Address: Cls 48 y Uruguay, Panama City. Tel: (507) 2634469
Martin Fierro: Martin Fierro is another very popular Argentinean steakhouse located near the Hotel Granada. If you like meats, then this is your place. If the beef is coming directly from Uruguay or Argentina, then the quality is very high. Address: Cl Eusebio A Morales, Panama City. Tel: (507) 2641927
Ginza: Japanese-style steakhouse that over the years has become a very popular place to eat in Panama. This is a very popular restaurant among Panamanians. Cl D EL Cangrejo, Panama City. Tel: (507) 2691976
Jimmy’s: The specialty here is anything from the grill. Located very near ATLAPA Convention center, Jimmy’s is a family restaurant that has a long history of serving the Panamanian community. Cl 3 San Francisco, Panama City. Tel: (507) 2261323
Golden Unicorn: Very good Chinese restaurant that is located right next to the ATLAPA convention center. Great view of the Bay of Panama. They have Chinese breakfast all day. This is a good place to have a late lunch; after the crowd has left. Address: Cl 78 E y Av 5 B S San Francisco, Panama City. Tel: (507) 2263838. Written By Matt Atlee.
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