Panama has large, modern, well-organized, U.S.-style supermarkets, carrying many familiar U.S. brands for comparable prices, if not less. Riba Smith and El Rey are among the favorites for expats and vacationers, with four Riba Smiths in Panama City and the established El Rey chain dotting Panama City as well as Coronado and David. Riba Smith is preferred for its’ selection of health-foods, special-needs dietary items and variety of American-brands of cereals, pastas, yogurts, ice creams, baking ingredients, salad dressings, breakfast foods and more, from Special K Bars to kettle chips to Aunt Jemima. Riba Smith’s holiday speciality items make baking and Thanksgiving easy, complete with holiday bake pans and pine-scented candles. With a logo similar to A&P, it’s not hard to miss this chain located in almost every Panama City neighborhood. Much like Riba Smith, El Rey offers reasonable prices and a great selection, as well as a rewards card, deli items and a large stock of liquor, wine and beer. Super 99 is another commonly found supermarket in Panama City carrying a wide selection with excellent prices.
Also worth mentioning are Panama City’s Grand Deli Gourmet and Super Gourmet, the upcoming speciality markets of imported foods and high-end wines, meats and cheeses, sandwiches, paninis, soups, salads and baked goods. From breakfast, lunch to grabbing coffee, a baked good, ceviche or hummus to-go, these delis are definitely worth the visit. Organica is a wonderful and growing co-op offering low-fat, low-carb, organic foods; homeopathic products; natural vitamins; recyclable diapers, organic skin-care products, eco-friendly cleaning solutions and more. Super Kosher in Panama City has more than 50 years of service to the community with more than 10,000 kosher products made in Panama, Israel, the U.S. and Europe.
Fresh and local fruit and vegetables can all be purchased at the above mentioned grocery stores, and will bring new meaning to the concept of ¨fresh¨ and ¨locally-grown.¨ These staples are available in roadside stands and farmer’s markets at comparable and discounted prices. Circulating pick-up trucks with loudspeakers announce the variety of the day: oranges for juicing, watermelon and/or pineapple, depending on the season.