by Lupita Navarro

Panama City is starting to get some serious recognition around the world, not only for the great business opportunities it offers, but also for its thriving cultural and food scene. If you are in Panama for business or you’re planning a vacation to this Central American gem, you’ll want to take note of these great restaurants – it’s like taking a tour of world flavours – all in one city!

Hacienda Real (Calle 49 y Colombia – Bella Vista) This is a great spot for tacos, a good barbeque grill, and international dishes. They offer half price bottles of wine two nights a week, and the dcor is old-world charming. Great for big groups, so book a table for a large business lunch or family gathering Prices from: $25.00

Tinajas (Calle 51, casa No. 22 – Bella Vista) You should not miss a trip to this eaterie if you want to get a real taste of typical Panamanian food. You can try the typical sancocho (a delicious chicken soup), or their famous beef steak, while enjoying folkloric performances Prices from: $15.00

Restaurante Ángel (Vía Argentina, Panamá.) Need a good spot for a business lunch? Head here for authentic Spanish food in a quiet, tasteful atmosphere. The grilled octopus is great, and there’s an extensive wine list with some excellent Spanish wines. Prices from: $30.00

Mercado del Marisco (Avenida Balboa and Calle 15 Este | at Cinta Costera) Another good choice if you’re looking for true Panamanian cooking. Locals, tourists, businessmen, and celebrities gather here for the tasty $2 menu which lets you taste a fresh citrusy ceviche, as well as an impressive selection of seafood. Prices from: $2.00

Beirut (Calle 52, in front of the Hotel Marriott, Area Bancaria) If you’re craving lebanese food while in Panama then this is the restaurant for you. Beautiful arab dancers entertain as you tuck into their delicious middle eastern dishes. There’s also a good variety of vegetarian dishes here Prices from: $15.00

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