Casco Viejo is known for its charming, winding roads lined with lovely restaurants and awe-inspiring architecture. If you’re after a bite to eat and want to enjoy the stunning scenery in this part of Panama City, check out our round-up of the best spots in town.
To start off on a fancy foot, American Trade Hotel is famous for serving a divine brunch. Among Panama City’s most elegant spaces, this 1917 building has an unmistakably signature style showcasing design and history within its unique infrastructure. Culture and contemporary art make it a most popular and sophisticated destination for visitors in Panama.
Bar, Restaurant, Nightclub, Contemporary, Japanese, Fusion, $$$
This place is the destination for the indecisive as it has three restaurants on offer, should you arrive unsure of what may particularly please your palate. With three restaurants, a nightclub, and a gorgeous rooftop overlooking the historic district, Casa Casco is a favorite among locals and travelers. It’s an especially great spot to watch the sun go down if you get there early enough.
This elegant and artsy boutique hotel boasts a popular restaurant on the main floor, as well as Panama City’s favorite rooftop lounge that draws crowds of locals and travelers. Tántalo was the first rooftop bar in Casco Viejo, and it is known for playing great music and offering up delicious cocktails, featuring a generous happy hour. Indulge in a delicious dinner in the hotel restaurant and have a look at the rotating art installments.
Ready to kick things up a notch? Casa Jaguar is a fantastic, upscale restaurant and nightclub popular among beautiful people who love to get their groove on. Expect a packed dance floor full of eye candy. Casa Jaguar also features an art gallery with a strict dress code.
Casco Viejo is home to a favored hotel and coffeehouse in Panama City, Casa Sucre. Head over for the divine Panamanian coffee and delectable food on offer. Stay for the lovely ambiance, cozy décor, and large windows for watching passersby.
Restaurant, Contemporary, Central American, Vegetarian, Vegan, $$$
Not to be missed, Tio Navaja is an intimate and divine dining experience – the restaurant is small but cozy and so beautiful. The dishes are ever-fresh and spectacularly displayed to perfection. Head upstairs to Mula Bar for after-dinner cocktails to continue a lovely romantic night in Casco Viejo.
Barrio Pizza is a multi-cuisine pizzeria in Casco Viejo, with another location in Costa Del Este. Perfect for families, kids, groups, and walk-ins, as well as takeout and delivery, Barrio Pizza has a delectable assortment of pizzas on offer, along with the option to build your own.
For a taste of the local comida tipica (which translates to ‘typical food’), Panamanian home cooking can be found at the neighborhood fonda, frequented by locals more than tourists. Come for delicious rice, plantains, and the signature sancocho stew.
Restaurant, Panamanian, Spanish, Central American, $$$
The name of this affordable establishment translates to ‘whatever’s around’ – this pop-up fonda featuring comfort food from Panama’s famous chef, José Carles, of his award-winning restaurant, Donde José (see below). While the latter is far more formal, Fonda Lo Que Hay is a great place to bring kids as it is cozy and casual.
Donde José is a much talked-about, extraordinary dining experience unique to Panama. Making the list of the world’s best restaurants, the meal is a ten-course, Panama-centric tasting and requires reservation as the just 16-seat restaurant is quickly booked for as long as months on end. Don’t miss this.