For those of us who are foodies out there, the quality and taste of the food we consume is not a small deal. Panama has some extremely delicious restaurants which you will not find listed anywhere else online. This should be at the top of any Panama traveler’s list.
Orale is a Mexican restaurant in Panama, and it has the first position in this list because of one dish that I really like. You should go to Orale for one reason only: its “Nachos de la Abuela” nachos, which translates as “Grandma’s Nachos.” Long story short, these nachos are: MIND-BLOWING. The nachos cost 20$, but they are gigantic and contain enough food for 3-4 people. However, if you are like me, you probably order them just for yourself as your appetite beats the appetite of 3 people combined.
I’ve had Mexican nachos in the United States before, and while they are good, Orale’s nachos are better.
- El Charro Mexicano
El Charro appears to be fighting with Orale for the position of best Mexican nachos in Panama City, but I recommend that you try out both and see for yourself.
El Charro has locations in three different neighborhoods of Panama: the San Francisco, Marbella and Costa del Este neighborhoods. Out of three, the Costa del Este location is the one that is most far away from the city center, but depending on where you’re staying during your Panama visit, you can select the one that is closest to you.
- El Trapiche
El Trapiche is Panama’s quintessential restaurant to eat Panama’s national dishes. You get a strong dose of Panama’s culture when you go to El Trapiche. In the same way, that Borscht is Russia’s national dish, Paella is Spain’s, Gyros is Greece’s and the hamburger is USA’s, the dishes that you can eat at El Trapiche represent Panama’s national cuisine.
You cannot leave without trying the sancocho, which is a warm soup with chicken, cilantro and starchy roots that are in the same family as the potato, but are not potatoes and you probably have never eaten before.
- Nacion Sushi
These last two restaurants come with a great view. Nacion Sushi is my go-to place for sushi in Panama City and you will really like the view that comes with your meal.
Nacion Sushi has several locations in the city, but for this view, you’ll want to go to the Soho Mall location, which is in the Obarrio neighborhood in the center of the city. Since it is likely that your AirBnb or hotel is in the city center (as most are), it won’t be difficult to get here.
- La Vespa
Finally, for those who like Italian food is La Vespa. More than the Italian food itself, I recommend La Vespa for the ocean view that comes with your meal. You’ll have the Pacific Ocean right in front of you.
This restaurant is a bit expensive(all the other ones on the list aren’t), so only go if you’re comfortable with splurging. It is located near the Multiplaza Mall in the former Trump Tower (now called JW Marriot).