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Restaurants in Panama

The best restaurants in Panama serve local cuisine. The country’s wide variety of tropical fruits, vegetables, and herbs are a big part of native dishes. Because of its history and proximity to Caribbean neighbors, Panamanian cooking combines African, Caribbean, Spanish, and Native American foods. Main ingredients include maize, rice, wheat flour, plantains, cassava, beef, chicken, pork and seafood.

Besides local dishes, you can find authentic French, Japanese, Italian, Thai, Middle Eastern, and Chinese food in Panama restaurants. Most Panama restaurants are casual – diners, beachfront cafes, and roadside fondas (food stands) are all very common and popular. Additionally, a large U.S. population has spawned American cafes and bistros that serve burgers and other fast-food options.

Seafood is fresh and plentiful at restaurants in Panama. Ceviche, raw cubes of fish and onion marinated in lemon juice, is a popular dish throughout Latin America. While there, you should also try pargo (red snapper), corvina (sea bass), langostino (jumbo shrimp), cangrejo (crab) and pulpo (octopus). You can have it fried, grilled, al ajillo (with a spicy garlic sauce) or a la española (sautéed with tomatoes and onions).

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