We asked our taxi driver for a recommendation on the Amador Causeway and he took us to Lenos Y Carbon. On a Sunday afternoon at 2:15pm there was still a 25 minute wait for a table and once we did get seated no fewer than 5 people stopped by to take our order so it seemed a little disorganized. The setting was nice overlooking the marina. We were in a little bit of a hurry, the 25 minute wait only gave us about 40 minutes to eat. Once we finally got someone to understand that we were in a bit of a rush, the food was delivered shortly thereafter.
They do take reservations so that might be a good idea on the weekend. They also accept credit cards.
Favorite Dish: This was my least favorite meal in Panama, I ordered the coconut prawns, for $15.25 I got four huge prawns dipped in coconut but instead of being sweet they tasted salty and the dipping sauce was savory not sweet. Hubby got the corvina with seafood sauce, he said it was good. After reading some reviews after I got home, it seems that the steaks are the draw here but I had figured since we were surrounded by water that seafood seemed like a better bet.
Las Tinajas was right around the corner from our hotel and I figured it would be a nice night out on a Saturday night when we had nowhere to be the next morning. Most people go for the dinner show which starts at 9pm on Tuesday-Saturday, we got there right around 9pm and most people were already seated and eating so we should have gotten there a little earlier so we could watch the show after dinner instead of during. Reservations are highly recommended for the show, there were a couple of empty tables but not many. There's a $5 cover charge for the hour long show which features dancers and musicians performing traditional dances.
Favorite Dish: We started with an appetizer platter with pork rinds, country corn timbal, chorizo, yucca croquets, marinated cheese, fish sticks and fried plantains. For my entree I ordered the corvina (sea bass) in garlic sauce, it was very good. Hubby got the special typical dish with roast pork, fried sweet plantains and a rice ball with chicken. Although we didn't think we could finish off a pitcher of sangria, by the end of the evening it was gone. I can't find my receipt but I think the whole meal with cover charge of $10, tax and tip was around $70.
Located near the Marriott Hotel, Beirut is a nice spot to have Midde Eastern food. We were seated on the outdoor patio. Service wasn't very friendly, it took awhile to get our server to come over and then they seemed to be a little overanxious to clear the plates. But the food is good and it's a nice atmosphere.
Favorite Dish: We ordered an appetizer sampler platter to share and a chicken shawarma sandwich that we split. The menu was only in Spanish but I recognized some of the items on the sampler platter, the falafel, hummus, baba ganoush
Ask anyone in Panama City where to try Panamanian food and most likely the answer will be El Trapiche. It's not fancy but the food is so reasonably priced, the service is jiffy quick and pleasant and the food is oh so tasty. There's outdoor seating but if the heat is making you wilt you can also eat in the air-conditioned dining room decorated to look like an old sugar mill, El Trapicherefers to a press used to extract juice from sugar cane.
We *loved* El Trapiche, we ate there three times, our first night, our second night when we tried unsuccessfully to find another place that served Panamanian food and Sunday for breakfast. Sunday breakfast was packed but they really know how to get people in and get them out.
Favorite Dish: I had the Ropa Vieja both nights for dinner and for breakfast I had a combinacion sandwich made with pork and chicken on a hojaldras (flour fritter). The prices are really cheap, the ropa vieja was around $5, the appetizer plate was only $2!!! The whole meal was under $20 all three times we ate there.
The man on the beach from Wisconsin said "I know it sounds crazy but you just have to try the fried chicken from McDonald's". Even crazier? We actually followed his advice and by golly it was darn good fried chicken!
Favorite Dish: I normally avoid McDonald's both at home and abroad unless nature calls and I can avail myself of their free bathrooms but if there is something unusual on the menu, like fried chicken, I can be persuaded to try it
This is an elegant, casual restaurant, with a Canadian-trained chef who specializes in making local food into a refined and delicious experience. Prices are low by US standards, and quality is like one would find in a upscale restaurant anywhere in the world. The location is comfortable as there are lots of parking. Luminous & clean. Moerately priced wine list.
Favorite Dish: I love the lamb shank in wine.... and the seafood is out of this world
What a lovely small restaurant! Everything sparkles, it is a gem in Panama City. The food can only be described in superlatives, fresh seafood, tender steaks. They have the most delicious home made desserts. We had a wonderful dinner at this restaurant in the Punta Pacifica area, at a very moderate cost.
Favorite Dish: Our favorite was the corvina wrapped in potato, the fish was moist and delicious. A big portion of fish, we did not leave the table hungry! Another good choice was the lamb shank in wine sauce, very tasty and perfectly cooked.
This restaurant is in the unlikely location, as it is located in a shopping center. As you come in, you find a light, clean and modern ambiance, with such food as we have only come to expect in NYC fine restaurants. They have a terrace, but it is best to sit inside, not only because of the air conditioning (Panama is a hot country) but because the ambiance is so first-world and classy.
They have a wonderful way of cooking their fish dishes, and the meat is only imported, which is why we found it so soft. Service is prompt and professional. We have enjoyed our visit to Panama, and have been twice to eat at Marina Marina restaurant.
Favorite Dish: Their fish is sublime, they have a wonderful potato wrapped corvina which is out of this world.Their langostinos are also huge and very tasty!
Excelent food, good ambiance, very relaxing, romantic, in one word sensational.
Favorite Dish: They received you with grissinis, bread sticks with 4 sensational sauces.
The Monte Carlo Prawn, are delicious, breaded with coconut, along with an exquisite tangerine sauce.
This is one of Panama's newest restaurants, with a Toronto-trained Panamanian-American chef.
It has a minimalist decor and a very cheerful ambiance. It is in one of the local shopping centers. The food is stellar, as the chef trained at the Fairmont in Toronto, and she uses all the local seafood and produce. Wine list is nice and prices are low. If you go to Panama City, do not miss it!
Favorite Dish: We loved the "pimientos de piquillo" filled with cod, with a delicious sauce; then we had the corvina, a local fish, with a delicious grapefruit sauce. And for dessert a small pot of chocolate mousse.
This restaurant is a bit odd for the fact that it is highly politicized towards the left, while most Cuban restaurants outside of Cuba seem to be rabidly right-wing. The owners are fans of TeleSur and often play it or DVDs of current Cuban concerts. The décor is very much in tune with other Cuban restaurants, however, and 1950s memorabilia and nostalgia are thick on the walls. The staff here is friendly but don't bend over backwards to serve you, and the menu offers some standard Cuban fare without too much variety. The quality of the food is good, but portions aren't all that large compared to other restaurants.
Favorite Dish: The ropa vieja isn't all that great here and is rather over-fried. The patacones with seafood are quite tasty as appetizers, but not really filling. Desserts are better left for other establishments.
El Trapiche is truly a novelty in Panama: an authentic Panamanian restaurant. The fact that this country attracts so many charter tourists and gamblers means that there is a plethora of cheap eats and international cuisine, but very few places that will offer Panamanian food. You know that it's authentic by the sheer number of Panamanian old people who come here to eat. The atmosphere is friendly and relaxed, with a jungle hacienda look to the restaurant. It's best to eat outside, as the air conditioning is a bit much indoors. The menu is huge, with all sorts of traditional dishes, starters and sides, as well as drinks. The service is fairly quick for Central America, and everything is always fresh and hot. The prices here are quite reasonable as well, with the most expensive of dishes coming in at about USD10, but most options are around USD6.
Favorite Dish: I think I sample half the menu, but I'm very much partial to yuca, so I stuck with those dishes that contained it. I was particularly fond of the Sancocho Panameño, a chicken soup made with cilantro and chunks of yuca. As well, the tamale de olla is very good - chicked stewed with raisins in a thick sauce. Stay away from the mondongo, unless you actually enjoy tripe. Meat platters are quite large, and the beef is usually good, although a bit tough.
Located in a banking area; however, you'd be surprised how good their combination of food and elegant dinner ambiance is all about.
Incredible appetizers and hors d'ourves to start off, we got the 'Provoleta Caprese' and an order of Mixed Hors D'ourves. A great list of Certified Angus Meats (including Kobe Beef) at prices that are hard to find at most other places, which can be complemented perfectly with the wine of your choice.
Great Service ... Highly recommended!
Favorite Dish: Appetizer: Mixed Hors D'ourves
Main Dish: Kobe Beef and Seafood Spagetti
Rino Ristorante is an up-scale part of the Tamburelli chain. The menu is similar to the pizzaria Tamburelli, but they have a more sophisticated setting, no pizza, and a more eclectic menu. And yes, it is more expensive than the neighborhood Tamburellis, but not outrageous. It is near the Bank district, and several hotels, so many foreign business people go there.
Favorite Dish: Like the other Tamburelli´s, this location serves clams with garlic sauce. They also have many pasta and seafood dishes. They have full bar service and valet parking.
If you like to play bridge, the ex-pats club meets there every Tuesday at 6 or so to play a few rubbers, they will let you play, you don´t need to join the club, but to join you just need to give your name and a phone number or e-mail address. That is quick, simple and free!
Tamburelli´s is a chain of 11 Italian restaurants in Panama City and one in David owned by Rino Tamburelli.
Most are in neighborhoods throughout the city. There are also locations at Albrook Mall food court and Multiplaza Pacific and the main bus terminal at Albrook. The neighborhood places have pizza and other Italian fare and the location on Belasario Porras has a bakery, too.
Most Tamburelli´s outside the Malls have full-service bars.
They are mostly known for their pizzas, but they also have pasta, lasagna and seafood dishes.
Favorite Dish: I love their steamed clams, on the shell, with garlic sauce. It is very good and a good bargain at $4.50 for the mountain of clams they give you!
Their pizzas are very good, thin crust, NY-style. They have three sizes, we get a small, they are plenty for two people! After getting Tamburelli pizza, I won´t even consider Domino´s or Pizza Hut here, Tamburelli is much cheaper and they deliver, too! So you don´t have to go out to get it!
Nothing on the menu is super-expensive. Most of the pizzas and entrés are in the $5-10 range and some are less. It´s a good deal for a semi-fancy place to bring your family to and not have to break out the Amex card! They are all very clean and nicely decorated, they are sportsbarish, as Rino is a big boxing fan, there is almost always sports playing on the TVs in the restaurants.