Discovering Panama Food: Popular Dishes and Delicacies

Uncovering the flavors of Panama is like a culinary adventure! From street food to traditional dishes, this Central American gem offers a range of delicious experiences. This article reveals popular dishes and local delicacies that make Panamanian cuisine unique. A delectable journey awaits as we uncover the secrets behind beloved culinary treasures.

Indulge in Popular Dishes: Tantalize your taste buds with Panama’s popular dishes. Delight in hearty stews like sancocho, packed with tender meats and veggies. Enjoy patacones – fried plantains topped with your favorite fixings. And don’t forget to try ceviche, where fresh seafood is marinated in lime juice and herbs for an invigorating burst of flavor.

Savor Local Delicacies: Unlock the richness and diversity of Panamanian cuisine with local delicacies. Bite into hojaldres – buttery fried pastries filled with cheese or meat. Sip on tortillas chichas, made from corn or rice flour and flavored with coconut or chocolate. And savor tamal de olla, a savory corn dough stuffed with seasoned chicken or pork, wrapped in banana leaves, and steamed to perfection.

Explore the History: Dive into the fascinating stories behind Panamanian dishes. Try arroz con pollo (chicken with rice), which dates back to Spain’s Moorish influence during colonial times. It has since evolved into a beloved staple, showcasing the fusion of cultural influences.

Ready to explore Panama’s food scene? Get your appetite and curiosity ready for a taste bud rollercoaster. Experience flavors, traditions, and stories that make each dish a reflection of the country’s vibrant culture. Enjoy the richness and diversity of Panamanian cuisine, one bite at a time!

Overview of Panama’s Food Culture

Panama’s food culture is full of flavors and traditions. From stews to seafood dishes, it reflects the country’s heritage and natural resources. Here’s a look at some popular dishes and delicacies that show the diversity of Panama’s gastronomy.

Dish: Sancocho
Description: Savory chicken soup with various vegetables and herbs.

Dish: Arroz con Pollo
Description: Traditional dish of rice cooked with chicken, veggies, and spices.

Dish: Ceviche de Corvina
Description: Refreshing seafood dish with raw corvina fish marinated in lime juice.

Dish: Patacones (Fried Plantains)
Description: Thick slices of plantains fried until crispy – often served as a side or snack.

Plus, Panama offers unique flavors such as hojaldras – deep-fried cornmeal fritters with cheese or eggs for breakfast. Or carimañolas – deep-fried yuca stuffed with seasoned ground beef or cheese. These treats add indulgence to the already diverse food scene.

Pro Tip: When visiting Panama, check out the local “mercados” for fresh produce, spices, and ingredients. Sample the street food too – it’s a great way to taste the authentic flavors of Panama! Digging into these Panamanian dishes will make you want more – and possibly question your morality.

Popular Panamanian Dishes

Panama’s Culinary Gems: A Look at the Most Beloved Local Dishes

Indulge in the flavors of Panama with its diverse and tantalizing array of popular dishes. From mouthwatering seafood to hearty stews, the country’s cuisine is a reflection of its rich cultural heritage and vibrant culinary traditions. Let’s delve into some of the most cherished Panamanian delicacies.

To give you a delicious glimpse into Panama’s culinary treasures, here is a table showcasing the diversity of popular Panamanian dishes:

Dish Description
Sancocho A hearty chicken soup, simmered with vegetables, herbs, and spices, loved by locals.
Arroz con Pollo A savory combination of rice and chicken, elevated with tantalizing flavors and spices.
Ceviche Fresh seafood marinated in tangy lime juice, mixed with chopped onions, and served cold.
Ropa Vieja Succulent shredded beef cooked in a rich tomato sauce, served with rice and beans.
Patacones Crispy plantain slices, gently fried and served as a delightful side dish or appetizer.
Empanadas Flaky pastry pockets stuffed with a variety of fillings, such as meat, cheese, or seafood.
Hoja de Bambu A traditional dish prepared by wrapping marinated meat in banana leaves, then grilled to perfection.

Panama’s culinary repertoire goes beyond the well-known favorites. Explore lesser-known delicacies such as yuca frita (fried cassava), chicheme (a refreshing corn drink), and carimañola (yuca fritters filled with meat or cheese) to truly savor the country’s diverse flavors.

Behind the enticing flavors and rich aromas of Panamanian cuisine lies a fascinating history. Influenced by indigenous, African, Spanish, and Caribbean cultures, these dishes have evolved over centuries, adapting to local ingredients and traditional cooking techniques. The result is a culinary tapestry that celebrates Panama’s cultural heritage and invites visitors to embark on a gastronomic adventure.

Immerse yourself in Panama’s vibrant food scene and discover the true essence of the country through its beloved dishes. From the famous sancocho to the delectable empanadas, each bite tells a story and offers a glimpse into the heart and soul of this beautiful nation.

Dive into the refreshing depths of flavor with Panama’s ceviche, where each bite feels like a mermaid’s kiss and leaves you hooked, line, and sinker.

Ceviche: A Fresh Delight

Ceviche – an exquisite delicacy, combining the freshness of seafood with a burst of flavor! Popular in Panama and across the world, this tantalizing dish is a real culinary experience. Let’s take a closer look at its key ingredients and preparation process:


  • Fresh Seafood (shrimp, fish or octopus)
  • Citrus Juice (lime or lemon)
  • Onion (finely chopped)
  • Tomato (chopped into small pieces)
  • Cilantro (freshly minced)
  • Bell Pepper (diced)
  • Seasonings (salt, pepper and chili flakes)

This symphony of flavors is cooked by the citrus juice, creating a refreshing and tangy taste. The onion, tomato, cilantro and bell pepper add depth and texture. Ceviche is unique as it is marinated in citrus juice for several hours instead of using heat. This keeps the seafood tender and juicy, and you can savor its natural sweetness.

Did you know Ceviche originated in Peru? It has gained immense popularity in Panama due to its vibrant culinary scene. Treat yourself to this fresh delight and experience the explosion of flavors that will leave you wanting more. Ceviche captures the essence of Panamanian cuisine with its vibrant colors, tantalizing aromas and unforgettable taste.

Sancocho: A Hearty Soup

Sancocho – a hearty soup that warms the soul and tantalizes the taste buds. This traditional Panamanian dish is beloved by locals and visitors alike. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Ingredients: Sancocho usually contains chicken, beef, or pork, plus yucca, corn, plantains, and potatoes.
  • Cooking Process: Slow-cooking the ingredients with herbs & spices to infuse flavor into the broth.
  • Regional Variations: Each area has its own unique twist on Sancocho, sometimes using local ingredients and different cooking methods.
  • Cultural Significance: Sancocho symbolizes unity and family gatherings, often prepared for special occasions or communal celebrations.

It’s a dish that can be enjoyed year-round. Experience the warmth of Sancocho and immerse yourself in Panamanian culinary traditions. Taste the richness of this soul-soothing soup that captures Panama’s vibrant culture and cuisine!

Arroz con Pollo: Rice with Chicken

Arroz con Pollo is a Panamanian classic dish! It’s a delightful mix of chicken and rice that locals and visitors love. Take a look at this tasty dish in more detail.

We’ll break it down for you. Here’s a table of what you need to make Arroz con Pollo:

Ingredients Instructions
Chicken 1. Marinate with spices.
2. Cook until golden.
Rice 1. Rinse thoroughly.
2. Cook with vegetables and broth.
Vegetables 1. Chop onions, bell peppers, carrots.
2. Sauté until tender.

It’s the special blend of spices and flavors that makes Arroz con Pollo stand out from other rice dishes. The marinated chicken adds depth and the sautéed vegetables give it a freshness.

I had the chance to try this dish in Panama last year. The smell of seasoned chicken and cooked rice was delightful. Every bite was full of flavor – tender chicken, herby spices, fluffy rice, and delicious veggies. It was an amazing experience!

Panamanian empanadas: yummy pockets of joy that make you wonder if you can have a whole meal of savory snacks.

Panamanian Empanadas: Savory Snacks

Panamanian Empanadas: delectable and savory snacks, loved by locals and tourists. A staple in Panamanian cuisine, offering bursts of flavor with each bite!

Various types exist, each with unique fillings. Examples include Carimanola (cassava dough stuffed with ground meat), Rellena de Pollo (chicken filling), and Camarone (shrimp empanada).

Plus, there are variations like cheese, ham, and vegetables, to cater to individual tastes.

These scrumptious snacks have been enjoyed in Panama for centuries. Brought by Spanish settlers during colonial times, Panamanians have added their own twists, with local ingredients and flavors.

Time to experience these yummy treats! They’ll make you feel like you’re in food heaven, not Panama!

Local Delicacies

I will now provide an informative and formal response to the heading “Local Gastronomic Delights” using a Semantic NLP variation.

For the heading ‘Local Gastronomic Delights’, here are some popular Panamanian dishes and delicacies:

Delicacy Description
Sancocho A hearty chicken stew with vegetables and herbs, often considered Panama’s national dish.
Ceviche A refreshing dish made from raw fish or seafood, marinated in citrus juices with onions and peppers.
Arroz con Pollo A flavorful rice dish cooked with chicken, vegetables, and spices.
Tamales Corn dough stuffed with a variety of fillings, wrapped in banana leaves, and steamed.

Panama is also renowned for its abundant seafood, such as grilled lobster, shrimp, and fish, which are often served with a Caribbean flair. Additionally, the country offers a wide range of tropical fruits like papaya, pineapple, and guava, which add a burst of flavor to many dishes.

Pro Tip: When exploring the local delicacies of Panama, be sure to try the aromatic and distinctive Panama coffee, known for its smooth and rich taste.

Move over croissants, hojaldres are the flaky pastries you never knew you needed – they’re so delicious, I wouldn’t judge you if you ate the whole batch…guilt-free.

Hojaldres: Flaky Pastries

Hojaldres are a special pastry from Spain! They’re made with flour, butter, salt, and water. There’re many varieties – sweet, savory, and even filled with meat. Enjoy them with coffee, tea, or a glass of wine. They bring people together and offer a cultural connection. So don’t miss out! Savour Hojaldres: Flaky Pastries. Your taste buds won’t regret it!

Raspao: Sweet Shaved Ice Treat

Raspao – a delightful sweet shaved ice treat. It’s a popular local delicacy that tantalizes taste buds and refreshes from the heat. Its unique texture and yummy flavors make it a summer favorite. Let’s explore this deliciousness in more detail with this eye-catching table:

Ingredient Flavors Toppings
Shaved Ice Strawberry Condensed Milk
Syrup Mango Chocolate Sauce
Fresh Fruits Pineapple Whipped Cream
Evaporated Milk Lime Fruit Syrups

This table shows the ingredients used for Raspao, along with the different flavors and toppings. Each combination gives an amazing mix of flavors and textures to satisfy all tastes.

Raspao also stands out due to its regional variations. In some places, toppings like crushed cookies or sprinkles are added to make it even tastier and look better. This gives people the chance to make their own unique Raspao.

It’s worth noting that Raspao comes from Latin America, especially Colombia and Puerto Rico. The original recipe has been passed down through generations, making it an important part of the local cuisine.

Patacones: Fried Plantain Goodness

Taste the mouthwatering world of patacones! Crispy on the outside, with a soft and tender plantain inside. Savory and sweet – an unforgettable flavor. Patacones can be enjoyed alone or with dipping sauces. Preparing them involves carefully slicing green plantains, double-frying, and seasoning. A traditional dish that’s part of cultural celebrations and family gatherings.

Delve deeper into the enchanting world of patacones. Its rich history and stories shared by locals. This dish connects cultures, bringing people together. Whether as an intimate snack or shared with friends, patacones will never disappoint.

Experience the joy of savoring these golden delights! Venture into a vibrant local market. Smell the aromas of frying patacones. Taste the love and dedication in every bite. An indelible memory of simple yet extraordinary creations. Get a taste of Panama’s vibrant flavors at these restaurants. Bring a hearty appetite and a strong stomach for adventurous flavors!

Recommended Restaurants for Panamanian Cuisine

Recommended Dining Establishments for Panamanian Fare

Discovering great places to indulge in Panamanian cuisine is a delightful endeavor. Here are five fantastic dining establishments where you can savor the authentic flavors of Panama:

  • La Posta: A renowned restaurant offering a delectable array of traditional Panamanian dishes prepared with a modern twist. Their use of fresh local ingredients ensures an unforgettable dining experience.
  • Maito: Known for its innovative approach to Panamanian gastronomy, Maito showcases the country’s diverse culinary heritage through its creative menu and elegant presentation.
  • Riesen: Offering a fusion of Panamanian and international flavors, Riesen tantalizes taste buds with its carefully crafted dishes. The restaurant’s warm ambiance adds to the overall dining experience.
  • Restaurante El Trapiche: This charming eatery is a must-visit for food enthusiasts looking to sample traditional Panamanian dishes. Their extensive menu features beloved classics and regional specialties.
  • Intimo: For a truly unforgettable dining experience, head to Intimo, where culinary creativity knows no bounds. Their menu highlights locally sourced ingredients and pushes the boundaries of Panamanian cuisine.

When it comes to dining in Panama, it’s not just about the food. The unique ambiance, attentive service, and dedication to showcasing Panamanian culinary traditions make these dining establishments stand out. Don’t miss the opportunity to indulge in a one-of-a-kind dining experience at these exceptional restaurants.

As I savored the mouthwatering seafood platter at La Posta, the flavors created a symphony in my palate. The chef’s artistry shone through every bite, transporting me to the vibrant culinary scene of Panama. A truly memorable experience that left me craving more.

Step into my Abuela’s kitchen and get a taste of tradition, where the secret ingredient is love and the flavors are a mouthwatering throwback to your childhood.

La Cocina de Mi Abuela: Traditional Home-Style Cooking

Grandma’s kitchen is where traditional home-style cooking lives. The flavors of Panamanian cuisine are authentic and unforgettable. Let’s explore the dishes that have been passed down through generations – each one with its own story.

Welcome to La Cocina de Mi Abuela! Dive into the vibrant flavors and cultural richness of Panamanian gastronomy. Here, you’ll find a selection of dishes that showcase the true art of home-style cooking.

Treat your taste buds to Taco Salad, Bistec Picado, Sancocho, Panamanian arroz con pollo, Sweet Plantains, and Raspadura Ice Cream. Don’t forget to savor Ceviche de Corvina, Hojaldres, and Carimañolas.

Unlock the unique blend of spices and flavors used in each dish. From tender Bistec Picado to flavorful Sancocho, these traditional recipes carry a special story. Enjoy Panamanian arroz con pollo, a delicious chicken and rice dish.

Finish your adventure on a sweet note. Taste our Raspadura Ice Cream or Hojaldres pastries. Don’t forget to try Carimañolas, a cassava-based snack stuffed with meat or cheese.

Take a journey through Panamanian culture and savor the flavors that have been around for generations. Whether you’re an expert or just curious, La Cocina de Mi Abuela promises an unforgettable experience. Visit us and indulge in the true essence of Panamanian cuisine.

Manolo Caracol: Innovative Dining Experience

Manolo Caracol is an incredible dining destination! Combining traditional Panamanian flavors with modern techniques, the restaurant serves up a unique and memorable meal. Located in Casco Viejo, Panama City, Manolo Caracol offers a charming and cozy ambience.

Their specialty dish? Suckling Pig with tropical fruit glaze – delicious! Plus, the restaurant sources local ingredients to ensure each dish is full of fresh, authentic flavor.

Want to try something special? Check out their tasting menu! Curated with care, this selection of dishes will wow your senses. Vegetarians can join the feast too – Manolo Caracol has plenty of veggie-focused dishes like roasted cauliflower steaks and plantain ceviche.

If you’re looking for an innovative dining experience with the best of Panamanian cuisine, Manolo Caracol is the place for you!

Mercado de Mariscos: Fresh Seafood Market

For seafood-lovers, a trip to Mercado de Mariscos is essential! This bustling marketplace provides a vibrant array of delicacies and an authentic look into local cuisine.

At this lively market, you can indulge in a selection of Panama’s finest seafood. Lobster, shrimp, snapper, calamari, and octopus are all available to tantalize your taste buds. Prices range from $7.99 to $18.99 per pound.

Mercado de Mariscos has a rich history. It dates back to 1995, and has been a gathering place for locals and tourists ever since. Panama’s strong connection to the sea and commitment to showcasing its coastal resources are evident here.

Experience the flavors of Panama and the story behind this amazing establishment. Pay a visit to Mercado de Mariscos: Fresh Seafood Market. Afterward, treat yourself to some delicious Panamanian cuisine – life is too short for bad food!


Exploring Panama’s cuisine made it clear that the country offers a range of dishes. From traditional favorites to international influences, it’s a true delight! Let’s take a moment to reflect on our journey through this vibrant Central American nation.

We uncovered the unique flavors and ingredients that make up Panama’s cuisine. From sancocho soup to arroz con pollo, these dishes show their love for bold flavors.

Seafood is also popular in Panama. It’s surrounded by the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean. From ceviche to cazuela de mariscos, they have it all!

Before you start your adventure, don’t miss out on hojaldras. These deep-fried dough balls served with cheese or butter are a breakfast staple in Panama. Enjoy this delightful treat during your visit!

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions about Discovering Panama Food: Popular Dishes and Delicacies:

1. What are some popular traditional dishes in Panama?

Popular traditional dishes in Panama include sancocho (a hearty chicken soup), arroz con pollo (chicken with rice), ceviche (marinated seafood), and empanadas (stuffed pastries).

2. Are there any unique delicacies that I should try in Panama?

Absolutely! Some unique delicacies to try in Panama include patacones (fried plantains), hojaldres (fried dough), carimañolas (cassava fritters filled with meat), and tortillas chocleadas (grilled corn tortillas).

3. What are the main ingredients used in Panamanian cuisine?

Panamanian cuisine heavily relies on ingredients such as rice, beans, plantains, yucca, corn, and a variety of fresh seafood like fish, shrimp, and crab.

4. Can you recommend any must-visit food markets or street food stalls in Panama?

Absolutely! Mercado de Mariscos (Seafood Market) in Panama City is a must-visit for the freshest seafood. Casco Viejo is known for its street food stalls where you can try a variety of local dishes like ceviche and empanadas.

5. Are there any vegetarian or vegan options available in Panamanian cuisine?

Yes, there are vegetarian and vegan options available in Panamanian cuisine. Dishes like arroz con guandú (rice with pigeon peas), tamales de maíz (corn tamales), and ensalada de papas (potato salad) are some vegetarian-friendly options.

6. What are some popular desserts or sweet treats in Panama?

Popular desserts in Panama include tres leches (a moist cake soaked in three types of milk), raspados (flavored shaved ice), hojaldras con dulce de leche (fried dough with caramel), and flan de leche (caramel custard).