Dedicated to providing you with credible information about living overseas
Best Places In The World To Retire Community Questions and Answers about living and retiring abroad

Questions & Answers

Q & A Menu Q & A BY TOPIC
To navigate, use menu bar to the left
Kathya de Chong of Alto Boquete Condominios – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Sugar & Spice Boquete – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingLet's talk about Boquete in the Province of Chiriquí.
 
It's amazing that in such a small town you may find so many different options for culinary expertise.  I consider myself a food lover and I have never felt bored with the different options and tastes of Boquete Restaurants.  Some to recommend:
  • The Rock - International Cuisine
  • Panamonte Hotel Restaurant - International Cuisine
  • Mar de Grau - Peruvian Cuisine
  • Posada Boqueteña - roast and pizzas
  • Sugar & Spice - Breakfast, pastries and my favorite sandwiches
(Pictured: Sugar & Spice, in Boquete)
 
 
 
 
 
Neil Flemming – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Vespa restaurant and bar  poster – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingThe restaurants in Panama City are great and they’re even getting better! It seems like there’s a new restaurant that opens every week here. If you’re somebody who likes to go out and eat out, the choices are phenomenal; anything you want, whether it’s Thai, Chinese, Vietnamese, steak houses, or whatever you are particular around and want, you can get it here in Panama City.
 
Casco Viejo is a great place to go and eat out. All over the city, San Francisco, the whole area there, it’s full of restaurants; some are really top class places. The standard here is very high.
 
I wouldn’t say that’s the case outside of Panama City, where it’s more like the Panama City of 15 to 20 years ago; unless you’re talking about maybe a nice hotel or something like that. Generally, once you go out of the city, the choices are more restricted to chicken, fish, pork, and rice; basic places. 
 
Restaurants in Panama City compared to places like London are cheaper, absolutely. The restaurants here that we go to of all different types are certainly comparable with the standards that I’ve seen in Europe and in Asia, where the standard is Bangkok, for example. 
 
The service end of going to restaurants here depends on the owner and the management. Service here in Panama City can still be a little bit slow. The huge influx in foreigner owners of foreigner restaurants tends to bring that level of professionalism with them when they come down here. You notice it with the service and the food, the presentation, everything.
 
In terms of cost, it’s like anything. You can spend a lot or you can spend a little. You don’t have to spend a lot to get a good meal here in Panama City. For a reasonable price, you’ve got reasonable places. There’s a good meal for every budget
 
The Paddy Mick’s in Clayton in Panama City is a great place to eat. The Paddy Mick’s is an Irish pub and restaurant. I dig it because it’s got a nice outside beer garden and big, Mahogany trees all around it. The chef is good. The food is very reasonably priced. They’ve got one of the best burgers in that side of the city. It’s the only place where you can watch the ships pass the canal in the city, so that’s a good spot.
 
A meal would cost US $12 to $15 for a dinner, per person for a good meal, like one of those burgers or something a little nicer, drinks not included. The way the restaurant got its name is that the owners call Mike, Mick and in the British Isles, Irish people are called Paddys, like the Scots are called Scots or Jocks.
 
For a good economical Italian meal, Vespa in Marbella in Panama City is a good spot; Vespa, like the Italian scooter. They do excellent Italian food for very, very reasonable prices. Italian-owned, Italian chef, great food, fantastic pizza, that’s a recommendation for sure. The main course starts at $15 for a basic meal.
 
(Vespa restaurant and bar  poster, Panama City, Panama, pictured.)
Antonio Cheng – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
restaurants in Panama – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingSo many restaurants were opened in Panama City in the last three years, that you can eat a different kind of food each day and not get bored. The variety of restaurants has increased a lot in the last three years.
 
If you go to the smaller towns however, the variety of restaurants is limited. There are several restaurants in Boquete because of the number of expats who live there.
kevin obrien of BarefootPanama – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
The restaurants in Panama are GREAT.
 
With influences from all over the world.. there are so many choices! I hardly ever leave Casco Viejo [Panama City area] and I still get such an amazing variety, I don't feel like I have to. 
 
Panama City, just like any other city, is a place where you can get anything you want or need, anywhere and anytime. The restaurants in other parts of the country of Panama depend on where you go. Places like Boquete, where most expats retire, have fantastic restaurants. Bocas Del Toro, being that it is a group of islands, has some pretty decent seafood. Some of my favorite places are those hard to reach places and the quality of food is generally good.
Dennis Dean Smith of DennisDeanSmith – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
The other contributors have given some great specifics. All I have to say is that you can find most any cuisine in Panama City - at good prices. If you want to starve, you'll have to work at it!
Alexandre Moreno  of EPA Español en Panama – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
I'm a restaurant fan. I love to eat out with family and friends. In Panama City, you will find a wide variety of options with all different kinds of food.
 
For example, I love Italian food.  One of the best places to eat Italian food in Panama City is Napoli, where you can find great pasta and pizzas at a reasonable price. Another option is Rinos, which is quite expensive, but where they also have delicious food and where the food and decoration are warm and elegant.
 
If you want to eat the best Panamanian breakfast, you should go to El Trapiche, where you will find a typical Panamanian breakfast.
 
Panama also has American restaurants like Fridays, Tony Romas, etc.
 
In Panama you will find a lot of food options from different countries and at good prices. 
Eliecer Vera, Jr. of EQUUS VILLAGE – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
 The cuisine is varied in Panama [City].  upscale restaurant Panama City Panama comida-lujosa-con-botella-de-vino – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingIf you want national food, I recommend El Trapiche.  You can find various kinds of international cuisine, on what seems like every corner.  I recommend:
  • Las Tinajas
  • Los Cebollines--  Mexican food 
  • Masala-- Indian cuisine
  • Beirut-- Arabic food
  • OS Segredos da Carne-- Brazilian cuisine
  • Brava Pizza, Pomodoro-- Italian cuisine
  • Lung Fung-- Chinese food
Restaurant prices vary.                     
 
If you are looking for bakeries, I recommend Mirandas Bakery, Athanasiou Bakery and Chocolate Factory.
 
 
Lourdes Townshend of Multimodal  & Logistic Transports Magazine – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Restaurants in Panamá.
 
This small country is famous for their excellent "cousine".   It´s like a moving cruise...in which you can find anything and everything, from a simple soup, to the most exotic meal.
 
It all depends on you, your appetite, your budget and your disposition to party. There is one place for each taste, from elder people to the very young ones, not to mention the real treat for retirees (a foreign retiree with a proper "pensionado visa" has the same benefit as locals) of a 25% discount on every meal, except for fast food in malls or a food court, which have a 15% discount.
 
The city of Panamá used to have the best offer on excellence, but with the arrival of thousands of foreigners, all services have been extended to the "interior" and all kinds of restaurants, furniture stores, malls, airports and many other modern facilities are now offered in the main towns, or secondary cities, like David, Chitré, Santiago, Isla Colón, Coronado, Penonomé or El Valle, among others.  This is all not to mention Colón (on the Caribbean side), as well as the variety of great resorts along the "Carretera Panamericana" (Panamerican highway) that crosses the Republic of Panamá from east to west on the Pacific side.  There is also an excellent restaurant at the Panamá Canal (both visitor centers in Panamá and Gatún, Colón).
 
Even though restaurants are all over town, in the city of Panamá, some are preferred by visitors because they offer folkloric shows at night.  Among them are The Tinajas, Marriot Hotel, Las Pencas, and others.
 
As in any other place, the quality and service of a restaurant depends on how much you can afford, from the prime restaurants of any international food, to the little "fonda" for everyday blue collar workers.  The hotels usually offer buffets for breakfast, lunch, dinner and tea (around afternoon).  They also offer dinners around the pool, mainly with meals cooked over live coal, and this is important if you want to have something real different and special.  And because the weather in Panamá is always outstanding (no snow, or hurricanes or tornados) you can enjoy a magnificent night under the moon with your food. This is true all year round, unless you come in the rainy season..from May to November, in which case it might rain, but still, you are under a nice covered terrace.
 
As to the prices, you make your choice, from US $200 dinners (I'm probably exaggerating) to 50 cent "empanadas" and $1 coffee.  (Or, you could have mocha coffee, or cappuccino, in which case, it will be a little more expensive than $1.)
Louis Seldon – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account

Balboa Yacht Club in Panama – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingAmador Causeway Panama – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingAmador Causeway at Sunset in Panama with sail boats – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingPanama Restaurants & Cafes:  "One more for the Gipper", Balboa Yacht Club aka BYC has excellent covina fingers & fried yuca, plus mas, good "Happy Hours", great place for a "sunset trago (senior beverage)", good place to meet the locals & ExPats.  Good food, Panama service (got to tickle the girls), good prices & GREAT VIEW, watch the ships entering & leaving the canal at the Pacific entrance.  Saludos amigos ~~ Panama Lou
Louis Seldon – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account

Costa Azul Cafe in Panama City Banking District – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingPanama City cafe – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingAnother of my favorite restaurant / cafes in Panama City's "Banking District" is on the side street between The Continent Hotel on Via España & the Marriott Hotel.  It is called the Costa Azul Cafe, which is open 24/7 with few exceptions.  Good food, good service & good prices.  The bad news is that my favorite server Loli has retired.
Louis Seldon – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Panam Restaurant in Panama – Best Places In The World To Retire – International Living
My favorite is Mi Ranchito on the Amador Causeway, first island on the right (site of the old U.S. Army & Navy Officers beach club); great food, great view, good service.Mi Ranchito Restaurant, Amador Causeway. – Best Places In The World To Retire – International Living
 
 
Bill Hamilton of Bill Hamilton – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
The restaurants in Panama are so varied and there is a wide choice between economic, mid price and higher. If in the city there are a multitude of excellent restaurants of many cultures. In the provinces you would be surprised at suddenly finding a superb, low cost Thai curry such as in Santa Fe or a really good Spanish restaurant in Pedasi. Many of the  Fondas have some really good cheap dishes too. Some Fondas have a BBQ outside which are very good. On the Amador causeway there is Mi Ranchito for typical Panamanian dishes and slightly more up market there is Leños y Carbon where they serve excellent dishes with the bonus of being able to sit and eat overlooking the water and skyline of the city.
Col Davis Stevenson RET of Condor Tours & Travel, Inc – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Panama has many excellent restaurants from Italian Restaurants such as the Napoli which is a very popular restaurant serving excellent and plentiful varied Italian dishes to the famous Napoli Pizza. This restaurant has been a icon in Panama for well over 40 years. If you want sea food there are many an excellent sea food restaurant is the Siete Mares many of the restaurants serve excellent sea food feauturing Corbina or Bass. if you want something typical you can drive out to the end of the Amador Causeway to Mi Ranchito for typical Panamanian fare. When it comes to restaurants Panama can be considered a gastronomical Mecca.
Michael Ducharme of Lotus Garden – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
There are many restaurants that offer exquisite food in Panama, but few that have mastered the art of serving. Here are my favorites:

BEIRUT (in the banking district) offers excellent Lebanese food, and Chef Bilal takes personal pride in training and overseeing the service staff.

SABOR DE LA INDIA (51st street)  offers amazing Indian food, and Chef Chotu is always around to answer questions and receive the feedback of his satisfied customers.

TERRAE (Punta Pacifica) is a fabulous new international restaurant by Chef/Artist Raisa Mar. Terrae serves organic food and has great selections for vegetarians and meat lovers.

CASA NOVA (48th street) serves delicious Italian food prepared by Chef Rogelio.

MANOLO CARACOL (casco viejo) is run by a Spanish chef named Manolo. Rather than ordering from a menu, the designs a daily set menu with upwards of ten courses, based on the freshest ingredients available that day. If a customer is sensitive to any particular ingredient, the server will inform the chef, and they will make a substitution.

MAMMA MIA (san carlos) is perhaps the best restaurant outside of Panama City. Chef Gasparino "Rino" Scala takes great pride in his authentic italian-style pizzas and pastas, and makes an incredible tiramisu.

Go Here Next

Go Here Next

 
Best Places In The World To Retire Expat Stories contains text, video, and photos by people just like you who are already living abroadUse the menu on this page to go to categories of Stories.
Best Places In The World To Retire Community Questions and Answers about living and retiring abroadUse the menu on this page to go to other categories of questions.
The Best Places In The World To Retire Location Advisor makes personalized recommendations for where to live and retire overseasGet matched to your ideal location to live abroad.
Best Places In The World To Retire Community Questions and Answers about living and retiring abroadAnswers about living, working or visiting abroad.
Best Places In The World To Retire Expat Stories contains text, video, and photos by people just like you who are already living abroadStories by expats & others about their life aborad.
Best Places In The World To Retire - MarketplaceFind for profit, non-profit and religious organizations.
 

Go Here Next

 
Best Places In The World To Retire Expat Stories contains text, video, and photos by people just like you who are already living abroadUse the menu on this page to go to categories of Stories.
Best Places In The World To Retire Community Questions and Answers about living and retiring abroadUse the menu on this page to go to other categories of questions.
The Best Places In The World To Retire Location Advisor makes personalized recommendations for where to live and retire overseasGet matched to your ideal location to live abroad.
Best Places In The World To Retire Community Questions and Answers about living and retiring abroadAnswers about living, working or visiting abroad.
Best Places In The World To Retire Expat Stories contains text, video, and photos by people just like you who are already living abroadStories by expats & others about their life aborad.
Best Places In The World To Retire - MarketplaceFind for profit, non-profit and religious organizations.
 

Our Pledge To You

Best Places will present information from the Community in a transparent way, unedited, except to conform with our Conditions of Use.

You can trust that Best Places does not manipulate content to sell you anything. All opinions in the Community Q & A and Expat Stories are those of its authors, not Best Places.

Get Known To The Community

Those who contribute to the Best Places Community are our heroes! And being a Best Places hero is fast, fun, and easy. Just go to Questions & Answers, find your first question to answer, click on it, and then click the Contribute Your Answer To This Question Button. If you’d rather enter a Story, go to Expat Stories and click the Contribute Your Story Button".

Contact/Support

Please contact us. We would love to hear from you! Customer Service
Technical Support
Business Development
Suggestions
Press
Phone: (US) 520-940-0481