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Panamanian Cuisine

Panama abounds with international restaurants, many of which provide a delicious and enjoyable dining experience. Learn more about what to expect below.

Thanks to a location on the Caribbean and Pacific Oceans, seafood is prevalent throughout Panama. Recipes are inspired from the diversity of Panama’s indigenous population and come from Hispanic, native Indian, European, African and Chinese origins.

A Panamanian custom is to eat Guacho (pronounced wah-choh) for lunch every Friday. This is a thick seafood gumbo that is iconic of Panama seafood. Panama is blessed with tropical fruits and vegetables that are used for its native cooking.

Other specialties include:

Sancocho – a spicy chicken and vegetable stew.

Tortillas – thick, deep fried omelet style meal, topped with eggs, cheese, beans or anything else for a hearty morning meal.

Corvina – Sea bass is used in many fish recipes in Panama.

Platano Maduro – a side dish of plantain that is deep fried and sliced.

Carimonala – Made from a tropical yucca rolled and stuffed with eggs and meat.

Ceviche – sea bass chopped up and marinated in lemon juice and other spices.

Arroz con Guandu – Rice with beans and spices used as an accompaniment to the main meal.

Batidos – refreshing fresh fruit shakes.

Hojaldras – Deep fried Panamanian doughnuts, laced in sugar.

If you’re looking for something from back home, many popular fast food restaurants are also available, including McDonald’s, Burger King and many more.

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