This new establishment is a great place to try the local delicacy: coffee. Grown in the hills around the town this is some of the best stuff you can get in Panama and the smart wood and yellow walled cafe is a relaxing spot to sip on a cup while tasting the sweet treats that are freshly baked by t
This Cuban-influenced bar is one of THE places to party in Panama's new city. There is not much to entice you from outside, but inside the place booms to the sound of salsa as the mostly local clientele strut their stuff on the dance floor. The dimly-lit mustard walls are filled with graffiti whi
This cheap eatery is popular with the locals and gets packed at lunchtimes and in the evening. There is plenty of standard fare on offer from the canteen-style serving area, where you can fill your tray up with a hunger-zapping meal for next to nothing. The place has atmosphere, but while the foo
If you want to try a few local dishes then El Trapiche is a good place to go. The restaurant offers tables outside on a terrace or inside in a large room with a mock-up straw hut at one side. Service is a little slow, but the menu makes up for the wait as normal fare is mixed with items like Surtido
This is one of the nicer restaurants in town with well-laid tables inside and a patio dining area overlooking the rushing river. Plates are pretty pricey but of good size coming with vegetables, rice and plantain, while snacks like a burger are cheaper at $4.50. The best value is the view and ambi
One of the few restaurants in town that dresses itself up as such, this pleasant small venue is a popular spot for travelers. It was undergoing a re-fit at the time of writing, but previously served tasty if a little pricey food in a smart wooden-themed environment. Once re-opened its trend of goo
Popular for its sundown cocktails, this place fills up between 5 and 7 when happy 'hour' is in full swing. The smart terrace has plenty of tables overlooking the water and the drinks come in large measures to give any evening a good kick-start. Food is well prepared but c
Set at the base of a large new building perched at the top end of main street, this open-terraced restaurant is popular for its sweeping views of the water. It offers the usual menu and serves its fresh fish (usually Mahi Mahi or Sea Bass) blackened, charbroiled, pan-fried or bat
Set back from the sea, opposite Las Brisas hostel, this smart new place is impressive. The friendly owner is often there to greet you with the day's specials and claims to have the best food on the island. Plates are pretty standard and while there is no view of the water the big
This cool hip place attracts an easy-going crowd and is one of the busiest bars on the island. Set in a converted boat shed, the well-planned, long, narrow bar has smart rustic tree-trunk style tables and stools running from the entrance to the sea. Candles and low lighting set the mood while regg
This pleasant place is on the main street with a terrace running out over the water. It has nicely set out plastic garden tables with tablecloths and serves standard fare in unusual forms, like the fish offered with a variety of sauces including Thai curry, as well as a few Mexican dishes.
This cozy little place tries to offer a Caribbean feel that runs right down to the menu with plentiful fish and seafood dishes, as well as the standard meat offerings (including a smoked meat option). The round varnished tree trunk tables are pleasant and there is a small curved bar to sit around i
This is a cheap place with good variety in an area out of town, a short walk from the Purple House hostel. It offers standard fare, including great value half chicken and chips for $3, but also serves Turkish dishesâ??like Humus and Falafelâ??in pleasant
With little to choose from in town for eating, this place satisfies hunger at low, low prices. Good burgers come for $1 plus $1 for fries and there is plenty of other standard fare from half a roast chicken to a T-bone steak. The place is more cafe snack bar than restaurant, but there is some plea
You can't beat this place for a Chinese blow-out with minimal wallet impact. The heaping plates of simple Chinese fare like Chop Suey or special fried rice will surely cure any Chinese craving, and with standard meat and fish offerings on the menu at cheap prices there is something to please everyo
Yolata offers buffet-style Chinese food at rock-bottom prices. The food isn't spectacular, but it's not a bad value. Noodles or rice can sometimes be cold, so try to look for a dish that has just come out of the kitchen. Open from 5 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Caffe Per Due has excellent, reasonably priced food in the heart of Casco Viejo. Their daily lunch special is highly recommended, and a great way to recharge and take a break from sightseeing. Rates were very affordable during our visit, but a price hike is coming into effect Aug. 1. Open 8:30 a.m.
This spacious open-covered outdoor restaurant is a pleasant place that feels like it should have a swimming pool in its centre. The scattered tables are the garden-furniture type and there is a roasting area at the entrance where the food is prepared. A good range of value offerings includes meat o
A diner-style restaurant offering basic entrees that are cheap and tasty. Most plates are of the meat-fries-salad variety, as well as a range of sandwiches and more typical Panamanian fare. Very popular among locals, they're open late and offer excellent value.
Guari Guari is an outstanding eatery for people who like to take their time and want brilliant service. The eatery has European food prepared by a Spanish chef and served by her German partner. The restaurant features a series of small courses, which recently included tuna carpaccio with sun-dried
This is an interestingly laid-out place with walkways running through gardens to the bar, which sits atop a deck out in the bay, and there is another runway that stretches out to separate table areas further over the water. Music is modern and of many varieties but it is a hit and miss place which
One of the most popular places on the main street, this place is run by a Cuban woman who traveled to the island and stayed put. It has cafe-style tables in an open seating area and although the service is slow it offers all the standard favorites, including a full Red Snapper for $7, with plenty
This fifties-style American diner offers a tasty, if slightly pricey, all-day breakfast. From pancakes to wholesome bacon n' eggs, they'll take care of your morning needs (even if it's the mid-afternoon). Burgers are also pretty good, and one of the cheapest ways to fill up in the area.
This Asian-fusion restaurant isn't a place to come on a budget, but it's worth every penny. Their menu is short but impressively diverse, with a wide range of daily specials. Bring a healthy appetite and don't be surprised if their gigantic portions get the best of you. Overlooking the ocean, the re
This plush place is located in the impressively large (for David!) Hotel Nacional but is not as expensive as its expansive surroundings and fancy decor suggest. Tablecloths and smart waiters set the scene and the place can fill up with diners in the evenings. Thin-crust pizzas are good value and ar
This popular place seems to be the Panamanian equivalent of a greasy spoon café or everyday diner for Bocas locals. Open from early morning until late at night, it hums with gossip and chatter as the folk of the island discuss the latest goings on. The restaurant has both indoor formica tables with
Service is not particularly swift or attentive at this rickety-rackety, fairy-lit wooden restaurant. However, Café Om does have a certain charm, and you may well be enticed in by the deliciously spicy aromas that emanate from this incongruous, but authentic little Indian eatery in Bocas centre.
Open from 6 until 10pm, Tuesday to Saturday, this small yet inviting bar and restaurant in north Bocas offers both tasty and generous mains of fish, shrimp, steak, chicken and pork - all served up with inventive choices of sauce (fish of the day with coconut and cucumber was especially delicious), r
Probably the best Chinese in the area, Jenny's offers typically heaping portions at a very cheap price. One plate will easily feed two, making this one of the cheapest places to fill up in the area. Recommended, particularly their dumplings.
This hostel is one of Bocas' best parties, and a popular stop for after-hours drinking. The only downside is their location, across the lagoon from the main town and only accessible by watertaxi. Boatmen have been known to charge steep rates to take late-night partiers across and you can expect to p
This is definitely one of Bocas' crazier parties, with frequent theme nights and a non-stop partying atmosphere. It's also a popular hostel, so expect a strong backpacker presence every night. They also offer hookahs.
One of the most popular after-hours joints, it's not a proper party here until someone plunges into the Caribbean Sea. The fact that the bar's patio is built around a small pool makes this even more likely. The joint usually gets going at around midnight, with dancing. Popular among locals and forei
Greasy, cheap and tasty, this is Panama's answer to KFC. Don't come expecting a gourmet menu, but the food is filling and inexpensive. It's also open 24 hours - a good spot to hit after the bars close. Caramonolas taste particularly good at 5 a.m.
Always a rockin' party, Iguana Bar usually features a DJ to blast out island tunes. Expect lots of reggae and some dancing, though the place is too cramped for much of it. Iguana Bar is affiliated with Gran Kahuna, and most of the staff work at both. Guests of Gran Kahuna get a dollar off of all dri
Toro Loco is a friendly, American-owned bar and restaurant. It features free WiFi, darts, great bar food, five televisions showing sports all day long and free popcorn all day long. The menu includes burgers, chicken wings/fingers, quesadillas, house salad, mozzarella sticks all for $6 or less.
Open Wednesday through Saturday, this is the best bar in Casco Viejo. With lively music, cheap drinks, and a festive atmosphere, it's a popular choice to party before hitting the late night spots on Calle Uruguay.
This is Panama City's only microbrew bar. It's a good place to chill, chat and converse. They have a wide selection of homebrews here, but some have drawn bad reviews. Still, the atmosphere has made it a popular place to hang out.
The name pretty much says it all. This is a good Italian-style bar with more than 300 wines to choose from. A good spot to chat and enjoy a glass of your favorite vintage. The Wine Bar has two locations, one in El Cangrejo near the El Panama Hotel, the other on the Amador Causeway.
This is in English-style pub, complete with darts, fish n' chips and rugby on the telly. It's a popular place to start the night. Their Happy Hour, from 5 to 7 p.m.. Monday to Thursday, draws a good crowd. It's owned by a suspiciously non-English sounding gentleman named âPiers.â
A stylish club that's popular with Panama City's young and beautiful. Expect to pay about $8 to get in. Drinks are reasonably priced for the area. Buying a bottle is a better deal, and should be considered if you've got a group (or if you're just feeling particularly thirsty).
This dance club features salsa, reggaeton and electronica. Recently renovated, it's become a very popular spot, though it can get a bit cramped on Friday and Saturday nights. Entrance is usually $10, and drinks are $4 - 5 each.
This is one of the few places in Calle Uruguay with no cover charge. Drinks are still expensive though, so pre-drinking is essential for the budget-conscious. Live music is often featured and dancing is all but mandatory. On Tuesday nights, they host salsa dancing lessons from 6 to 9 p.m.
As you might infer from the name, this restaurant specializes in crepes and waffles. Everything from asparagus and cheese to strawberries and ice cream are on offer. It's not a place to go for a heavy meal, but if you're looking for a tasty snack it's a good place to stop by. They have locations in
While the price here is listed as high-end, the cost is rather reasonable considering the location inside a tourist attraction. Expect to pay $10-12 for a meal. A more intriguing deal is their $1 tequila shot special. El Rincon de Meche is quite popular with locals. Shrimp dishes are the specialty.
Some hummus with your paella? An interesting blend of Middle Eastern and Spanish cuisines makes Ali Baba a worthwhile visit. Its location on the second floor of the Panama Yacht Club gives it a great view of the ocean as well.
Panama City's best seafood restaurant. Marbella's view overlooks the Pacific ocean and offers a wonderful ambiance. Expect a very expensive meal, but you get what you pay for. Paella is also excellent but their specialty is the lobster, with eight different ways to prepare it.
Just off of Calle Uruguay, Madame Chang is said to offer Panama's best Chinese food. Definitely not your typical Chifa, this restaurant offers excellent food in lavish surroundings. Try the Peking Duck.
Although the books in this cafe are mostly in Spanish, they nonetheless contribute to a healthy, cultured atmosphere. El Hombre de la Mancha offers a range of specialty coffees, as well as a simple menu consisting mostly of sandwiches. A nice place to sit and chat - just don't come here in a rush.
This excellent Italian restaurant offers pastas and pizzas at a reasonable price. Portions are generous and service is speedy and friendly. It's a wonderful value and a great place to grab a quick meal. Located right behind Einstein's disembodied head off of Via Argentina.
This modern cafe/bar located in the new town's most popular night-strip exudes a chilled-out vibe. Two large areas, one inside and one out, comfortably accommodate diners and drinkers, with mellow music setting the atmosphere. The menu offers a variety, from light snacks to a full blow-out, and is s
Set right on the water with distant views of Panama City, this cafe/restaurant has plenty of tables for a drink, an ice cream or a full meal. Portions are large and the pizza and pasta is as cheap as you can find in this area, while the meat and fish dis
A mix of Western, Latin and Asian cooking styles, this is one of the finest places to get veggie food downtown. Food is buffet-style and at $0.60 per helping, it's a very good value if you're traveling on a budget. Recommended.
This charming Italian bistro has a pricey ambiance, but shockingly reasonable prices. A personal pizza is a bargain at $6-8, making this a great place to eat in style while keeping your budget. Food is satisfying and service is speedy and friendly. A wonderful place to eat in El Cangrejo.
This diner-style restaurant provides tasty and cheap meals. Open 24 hours, it's the place to quell your late-night cravings for steak-and-eggs. Breakfast is particularly recommended, as are their fruit smoothies.