Last updated on December 1st, 2022 at 03:12 pm
We will write about Panamanian food with the best 40 Panamanian dishes. Panamanian cuisine is not yet world famous, but one thing is for sure, the food in Panama is good! There are also some dishes that are authentic traditional food in Panama to try and drinks in Panama. Click here to book online Panama activities and day trips
Panamanian cuisine has Spanish influences. You can have a budget of $20 USD a day and it can already get you more then enough decent meals in Panama. If we compare to the other countries in Central America like Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua in Panama can be more expensive.
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WHERE TO STAY IN PANAMA
Hostel and dorms can only cost $15 USD a night in Panama which is a fair amount if you’re on budget travel. Mid-range hotels in Panama. You can compare vacation rentals, Airbnb, and hotels with cozycozy
They can cost up to $50 USD a night if you want a more comfortable place to stay at while exploring Panama. If you prefer luxury will start from $100 USD per night.
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Panamanian Food: 40 Best Panamanian Dishes And Traditional Food In Panama To Try
PANAMANIAN DISHES: TRADITIONAL FOOD IN PANAMA
1. ROPA VIEJA
Ropa Vieja is the most popular in the list of Panamanian dishes and it means Old Clothes in English. Ropa Vieja is made of shredded beef with spices, paprika, onion and garlic.
Ropa Vieja is usually served like most of the dishes in Panama with rice and fried plantains. Prices are around $5-6 USD in a local restaurant.
Sancocho is a Panamanian traditional soup made with chicken, beef, tomatoes, yellow onions, yuca and corn. Sancocho is usually served for lunch or dinner. Prices are around $5-6 USD in a local restaurant.
Ceviche is served in all parts of Latin America. The raw fish is marinated in lime for 12 hours, so it is no longer so raw. Ceviche usually spends on shrimp, lobster, lemon, cilantro, tomatoes, and plenty of seafood.
Panamanian cuisine serves ceviche usually for lunch and dinner as one of the most popular food in Panama. Prices are around $6-7 USD.
Guacho is one of the typical dishes in Panamanian cuisine. Guacho is made with rice, vegetables, calamari, shrimp, mussels and octopus. If you like seafood you will love it Guacho de Mariscos is a stew and you can have for lunch or dinner.
Patacones are one of the most popular food in Panama. Patacones are deep fried green plantains. Patacones are served as a snack with black beans, guacamole or spicy sauce. Patacones can be a side dish too in Panama.
6. GALLO PINTO
Gallo Pinto is served for breakfast originally from Costa Rican. Gallo Pinto add black beans or red beans to their rice and pair it to other dishes. There are many variations of Gallo Pinto in the morning. Price of Gallo pinto is around $5-6 USD in local restaurants.
7. BISTEC PICADO
Bistec Picado is a delicious Panamanian food. Bistec picado is a steak with onions and green peppers. Bistec picado is served with white rice, black beans, French fries and salad. Prices are around $10 USD.
8. MONDONGO STEW
Mondongo Stew is a delicious Panamanian food because the tripe adds depth to the taste and thickness of the stew. Remember that you could also play around with the tripes. Try to switch it up with goat or pork, some even love to eat it with pork intestines.
9. Carne Guisada
Carne Guisada is a traditional food in Panama. Carne Guisada is a beef stew with onon and vegetables. Carne Guisada is served with rice and it’s perfect when the weather gets cold.
10. Tamal De Olla
Tamal De Olla is a delicious one in the list of Panamanian dishes. Tamal de Olla is made with chicken marinated with salt and pepper. You can add vegetables like onion and garlic. Tamal De Olla can be served with rice.
11. Carne Entomatada
Carne Entomatada is a delicious stew in Panamanian cuisine. Carne Entomatada is made of meat with tomato sauce, garlic, onion, marinated with salt and pepper.
12. Caldo De Bolas De Verde
Caldo De Bolas De Verde is a traditional food in Panama. Caldo De Bolas De Verde is made of meatballs filled with banana, meat, corn and yuca. Perfect one in the list of Panamanian dishes for cold weather,
13. Porotos con Rabito (Red Beans with Pig Tail)
Porotos con Rabito (Red Beans with Pig Tail) is a delicious stew in Panamanian cuisine. Red beans with pig tail is cooked with the beans and adding a few vegetables like garlic and pepper. It’s usually served with rice as side dish in Panama.
14. Sopa de Pata (Cow’s Feet Soup)
Sopa de Pata (Cow’s Feet Soup) is a delicious soup to try in Panama. Sopa de Pata can be a heavy dish if you eat alone and I like more when you eat with rice.
15. Bacalao con Papas (Salted Fish with Potatoes)
Bacalao con Papas (Salted Fish with Potatoes) is one of my favorite Panamanian dishes. You fried the fish and later you make the stew with potatoes, salt, pepper and it can be served with rice or alone.
16. Arroz con Guandú (Rice with Pigeon Peas)
Arroz con Guandú (Rice with Pigeon Peas) is a big part of the Panamanian cuisine. You’ll see this combo – pigeon peas and rice as a side dish to almost every common Panamanian dish.
Arroz con guandu will usually have pork, pigeon peas (which is popular and a staple type of bean dish in the Caribbean and in Latin America), celery, white rice, tomatoes and thyme.
17. ARROZ CON POLLO
Arroz con Pollo is rice with fried chicken. Arroz con pollo is usually served in local restaurants with French fries and salad. Prices are around $6-7 USD.
18. POTATO SALAD
Ensalada Rusa in Panama is the version of Russian salad. Ensalada rusa is made of beets, potatoes, eggs, and mayonnaise is a cold dish and perfect to have in warm days in Panama.
19. PANAMANIAN SALAD
Panamanian Salad will be available in the restaurants. Just make sure that they don’t ask chicken and fish especially tuna. You will find cucumber, tomato, lettuce, corn and onion mixed with oil and vinegar. Prices are around $5 USD.
20. FRIED FISH
Fried fish with abundance in the islands, you’d definitely expect the Panamanian cuisine to have fried fish especially in the coast. Serving the whole fish, usually, this can be seared or fried fresh and served with lemon and lime and some pepper.
Tamales in Panama as other country to visit in any Latin American. Tamales is a simple dish wrapped in banana leaf, with steam corn dough filled with meat, cheese or vegetables. You can eat as snack or for breakfast. Prices are around $2 USD.
Empanadas is my favorite street food in Panama. You can find fried empanadas salty with meat, cheese, beans, potato, chicken or fish. There are also sweet empanadas with butter and dulce de leche so delicious too! Prices are around $1 USD.
23. PANAMANIAN TORTILLAS
Panamanian Tortillas is made from corn and flour. Tortillas is eaten with every meal in Panama and Central America. Starting from Mexico you will find in every single country in local restaurants when traveling in Central America.
MORE PANAMANIAN FOOD: PANAMANIAN CUISINE DESSERTS TO TRY
Carimañola is a traditional recipe from Colombia’s and Panama’s Caribbean region. Carimañola is similar to an empanada, but the wrapper is made of cassava. Carimañola is commonly served for breakfast, but it can also be eaten as a snack or an appetizer.
Hojaldras is a traditional food in Panama served celebrations. Hojaldras are made of a flat bread dough fried and is served with syrup
Cocadas is so delicious as sweet snack in Panama. Cocadas is a small cake filled with a coconut sauce with vanilla and milk. You will find as street food in Panama.
Churros is a perfect snack in Panama. Churros is a sweet dough with sugar and chocolate. You can find as street food in Panama especially in the cities.
Almojábanos is a famous Panamanian is made using cuajada white cheese and cornmeal flour. Almojábanos are baked until they have a spongy texture on the outside and a golden brown color.
29. Enyucado (Yuca Cheescake)
Pan de Yuca is a tapioca flour-based Panamanian cheese bread. Pan de Yuca bread is perfect for an afternoon snack and breakfast with a cup of hot chocolate or coffee.
30. RUM CAKE (SOPA BORRACHA)
Rum cake is the most delicious dessert in Panama. The rum cake is popular around the holiday season, and rum is usually potent in the recipe, it being added once the cake is done baking. A butter rum sauce is also added over the top of the rum cake.
31. Pesada de Nance (Corn Flour Dessert)
Pesada de Nance (Corn Flour Dessert) is a delicious dessert in Panama. Pesada de Nance is made with the fruit nance, sugar, cornstarch and salty cheese.
32. FRESH TROPICAL FRUITS IN PANAMA
Panama has a lot of tropical fruits like bananas, watermelon, guavas, mangoes, papayas and coconuts. You will find a fresh coconut while staying in the beach anytime in Panama with the street sellers for $3 USD. Also you can get a fruit shake or smoothie anytime for $3-5 USD in Panama at the beach.
Raspao are snow cones is a perfect refreshment in a tropical country like Panama. Raspao is a street food in Panama served in a glass with shave ice, with syrup and condensed milk. Prices is around $1 USD.
DRINKS IN PANAMA
Chicha is a homemade fermented or non fermented derived from grains, maize or fruit. Be careful guys when drinking chicha in Panama because is so sweet. And after a few of them maybe you will get drunk.
35. RUM PUNCH
The Panamanian Rum Punch is considered the most popular and party drink. Rum punch can be popular, but it is actually a strong drink. Made with one part sour, two parts sweet, three parts strong, and four parts weak served over ice.
36. FRUIT JUICES IN PANAMA
You must try fruit juices in Panama. You will find them everywhere as street food. Prices are around $1-2 USD for a small glass depending on the flavors. Lulo with citrus flavor, Guanabana creamy flavor and one of the most popular.
Tomate de arbol means tomato tree and more options. Just try all of them and choose your favorite one!
37. SUGAR CANE
Sugar Cane you will find with street vendors as well in Panama. Sugar cane isn’t my favorite but it’s so refreshing. Be careful not having a few of them since is full of sugar.
38. COCONUT WATER
Coconut water is a must to try in Panama. You will see street vendors at the beach passing by with coconut water and when you under the sun is so refreshing plus so healthy.
39. NARANJILLA BEVERAGE
Naranjilla Beverage is a traditional drink in Panama. Naranjilla beverage is made from the fruit lulo and mixed with lemon juice, ice and sugar. You can mixed with alcohol liquor and also you can add condense milk if you have sweet tooth.
40. Seco Herrerano
Seco Herrerano is one of the most popular drinks in Panama. Seco Herrerano is a strong liquor made from sugar cane. You can mix Seco Herrerano with fruits and coconut milk to refresh yourself in Panama.
WHERE TO STAY IN PANAMA
Hostel and dorms can only cost $15 USD a night in Panama which is a fair amount if you’re on a budget travel. They are decent and quite comfortable. Of course, there are also mid-range hotels in Panama. They can cost up to $50 USD a night if you want a more comfortable place to stay at while exploring Panama. If you prefer luxury will start from $100 USD per night.
BEST TIME TO VISIT PANAMA
The best time to visit Panama is during the summer dry season from mid-December to mid-April. The Panama Canal Zone has a tropical climate with high humidity year-round. You can also come to Panama in February, March, September and October for the least chance of rain.
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Hope you liked our Panamanian food blog post. Let us know if we missed any food in Panama and which one is your favorite one in the list of Panamanian dishes.
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