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Where to Eat While Stopping Over in Panama

Some excellent restaurants for some good traditional Panamanian food.


The tiny Central American country of Panama, the link between North and South America and home of the Panama Canal, is a surprisingly underrated destination. Although it is heavily visited (particularly for stopovers), most tourists don’t go much further than a quick trip to see the famous canal before retreating to their hotel to await their connecting flight or onward sailing. 

But Panama has been rated one of the best places to cruise, and if you give this delightful little country a chance by exploring its treasures in a little more detail, you might even find yourself falling in love and trying to extend your stay with a residency visa!

One of the best ways to start to get to know Panama is through its food. So next time you are on a stopover in Central America, here are a few of the best places to eat in Panama. And who knows, you might be so enchanted that you will come back on a dedicated vacation to this little corner of paradise!

El Trapiche

For the finest in traditional Panamanian cuisine, look no further than the gorgeous and atmospheric El Trapiche. Serving up mouthwatering meals from the best local produce since 1983, it is a great way to get a taste of some of the classic Panamanian dishes in a delightful setting.

Tantalo Kitchen

Perched on top of the excellent Tantalo Hotel, Tantalo Kitchen is a vibrant, lively, and exciting spot which fuses some of the best international cuisine with traditional Panamanian cooking to form an imaginative and creative tapas-style tasting menu. Best of all, the gorgeous rooftop bar offers spectacular views across the Panama City skyline.

Mercado de Mariscos

It would be unthinkable to visit Panama City as a foodie and not dive into its bustling fish market for a real taste of down-to-earth Panamanian life, as well as some of the best fish and seafood around. Picking your own fresh seafood and having it prepared to order in the open air market hall restaurant is a unique experience not to be missed!


For something a little more upmarket, head to Maito. With a luxurious gourmet menu featuring a little bit of everything, with influences from around the world interspersed with Panamanian flavors, this is an exquisite dining spot. Grab a spot on the delightful patio overlooking the pretty herb garden and soak up the marvelous ambiance at one of Panama City’s best restaurants.


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