Panama City Food and Wine Tours
Experience a melting pot of taste and different cultures
Sitting proudly on the bridge of two mighty continents, Panama City guards the Pacific entrance to the Panama Canal and separates North and South America. A contemporary metropolis of glazed highrises and stunning shorelines, this is Central America’s beating heart in more ways than one. It’s a culinary melting pot, and the place to head if you're keen to sample cuisine that fuses the gastronomic influences from neighbouring countries with a bang.
Avid foodies will be either relieved or disappointed (depending on taste) to learn that the dishes in Panama City offer a milder and toned-down take on the spicy cuisine found in neighbouring Colombia and the Caribbean. Typical staples include plantain, yucca, maize and dishes packed with a succulent variety of meats. Panamanians are also known to do things a little differently when it comes to the preparation of dough. Uniquely, they cook the maize first – something no other country does in this part of the world. Their Empanadas have a pretty devilish reputation, too. Aside from classic combinations of meat and vegetables, Panama City’s coastal location means that seafood lovers will not leave disappointed either.
One fish dish you are likely to encounter in Panama City is known as Corvina. Similar to sea bass, it’s a meaty white fish dish often prepared with lime, garlic, cilantro and onions. Another plate you’ll likely see served up is Sancocho, a chicken soup with cilantro, yucca and ñame. For those who like to snack between meals, delicate Patacones – fried discs of green plantain – or Carimañola, a fried meat pie with mashed yucca and cheese, will get your taste buds going.
Usually the quality of food comes with a price, whatever the destination. But Panama City goes against that trend and represents incredible value for money considering what’s on offer. Having said that, top-notch eats and fine dining are available at some of the city’s more exclusive establishments. One of the most famous venues is La Casa del Marisco, with a penchant for delicious seafood dishes. Another local favourite sits at the top of the thriving fish market in the city centre, offering the perfect place to sample fresh seafood as close to the suppliers as you could imagine.
As a place that rests on the frontiers of different worlds, it’s no surprise that Panama City offers a mishmash of cultures and flavours. Like any good cocktail, it’s a tropical take on a classic crying out to be sampled;a historic location beginning to come to terms with its new place in the world. Expect a considered assault on your tastebuds, with Caribbean fruits and root vegetables, seafood and Latino spices - all set in a modern concrete jungle that never sleeps packed with diversity.