Panama City offers a veritable melting pot of international cuisine thanks to its proximity to one of the world’s most important international shipping routes. Chinese, American, Greek and Latin American influences are easy to spot in most local restaurants. Outside of the city center you will find that rural cuisine leans more toward its Central American roots, utilizing common produce like plantains, rice, beans, chicken and meat. Fish and seafood is also plentiful along both coasts with ceviche, whole fried fish and seafood soup serving as regional specialties.
Aside from its Central American staples, Panama also offers cuisine unique to the country. The Panamanian tortilla is one example of an item that separates itself from the rest of the world and its Latin counterparts. Deep fried and thick, this tortilla is made from a corn dough and is roughly the size of a saucer. It is a popular breakfast food often served with white cheese and eggs. Other typical food is arroz con pollo (chicken and rice), bistec picado (steak and peppers), sancocho (rice soup often served with chicken and corn) and of course patacones (fried plantains) and fried yuca.
Panama City offers cuisine from all over the world and typical American fast food chains can be found throughout the country. The past few years have found Panama turning into a foodie’s dream, offering delicious, original cuisine with influences from around the world. Home to some of the finest restaurants in Latin America, the gastronomic choices are abundant. From the simple to the decadent, Panama does not disappoint the taste buds.