Panama: a new gastronomic destination

By:  Annie Young J.

There is definitely a connection between tourism and gastronomy and the trend of foodie travelers experimenting the local tastes during their adventure travel is growing worldwide.

Panama is a destination that has it all and our gastronomic experience is motivating more travelers to come back to savor our tropical cuisine.  More and more foodies from around the world are amazed by our culinary variety and exploring the city becomes an adventure.

From eating ceviche at the local Fish Market, going for tapas and cocktails in a rooftop in Casco Viejo to more elaborated dishes from local chefs in Downtown Panama City.

Panama’s local gastronomy infused with fresh local produce, seafood, and other unique ingredients are competing against other great well known culinary destinations in Latin America.

There is a new generation of chefs (Jose Carles, Mario Castrellon, and Chombolin) that are determined to make Panama one of the most innovative cuisine destinations of the region.

Donde Jose and Intimo are two of the best gastronomic experiences in Panama. Both chefs are constantly developing new recipes and techniques using local and native ingredients with a tropical twist. Their clientele including me enjoys trying new flavors and combinations. Both restaurants have won international recognition.  If you are in Panama, experience a gastronomic tour for the senses.

For more details on our gastronomic adventures, contact us at

Panama – Upcoming Gastronomic Destination

Panama’s local cuisine infused with fresh local produce, seafood and other unique ingredients are competing against other great well known culinary destinations in Latin America. This year for the first time Panama will be represented in the Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants list. The restaurants will be showcased on September 26, 2016, this event is known as the “Oscar” of gastronomy.

Panama’s exceptional cuisine reflects its rich historical influences of the Afro Antillean, Amerindian, Chinese, Spanish and other cultures that have played essential role that makes Panama what it is today. EcoCircuitos Panama invites you to experience the culinary delights in the isthmus that changed the world! Savor local breakfast cuisine that will take you to the heart of Panama’s roots, try a fresh ceviche at the local fish market or enjoy the flare of Panama’s international cuisine in the middle of city that once was taken over by pirates.

Contact EcoCirucitos Panama to find out more about our culinary programs and day tours that can be tailored to your culinary interest. Visit local restaurants, farms, cook with local chefs and more! For additional information please contact us at:

5 typical foods you should try while you are in Panama

Panama’s cuisine is influenced by the mix of cultures that live here. Indigenous, Creole and Latin elements have made their ways into the country’s cooking pots, and, along with the abundance of fruit, vegetables and seafood, have resulted in several dishes that you should not miss when visiting Panama. You will find a variety of seafood, accompanied by staples such as rice and beans, different root vegetables like yucca (Cassava) or ñame (Yam), as well as plantains and corn, but here are the five typical foods that you should definitely try:


Ceviche (always served ice cold) is a popular snack or starter in Panama. Made with only the freshest seafood it can include pretty much any kind of seafood, but corvina (Sea Bass) is the most common one.  The freshness of the seafood is vital in the preparation, as the fish is not cooked, instead, the proteins of the raw fish are broken down with lime juice.

Try it at Panama City’s fish market where it is being sold in many varieties, or you can find it in most restaurants that are reasonably near to the sea.

If you want to try a shot at making it yourself, a recipe can be found here


Patacones are a Panamanian staple, served with meat, fish or simply with a dipping sauce as a snack. They are basically twice-fried pieces of green plantain, and you will find them in mostly every restaurant in the country.

Quick and easy cooking instructions can be found here


Mostly every country has a chicken soup, and the Panamanian version is called sancocho. Every housewife has her own recipe, of course, and the used ingredients vary widely.  The most basic recipes only use chicken with one or two available root vegetables (most commonly yucca or name), others are more flamboyant, always depending on what is at hand. Ingredients often found in sancocho are sweetcorn on the cob, potato, and various vegetables such as carrots, peppers or celery.

A recipe that gives you a good overview over the ingredients is this one

Arroz con Pollo

Arroz con Pollo is Panamenian comfort food, and is often served on parties, but it is also a popular meal in day-to-day cuisine. Similar to the better known Spanish Paella, it is made from rice cooked in saffron, with pieces of chicken, olives and green peas thrown into the mix.

Try making it yourself following these instructions

Chicha de arroz con Piña

Chicha refers to a variety of sweet drinks, ranging from simple fruit drinks to more complicated ones. One of the heavier, more flavorful ones is arroz con piña (rice with pineapple). It is something between a milkshake and a rice pudding, and is heavy enough to be more of a dessert or light breakfast than a drink.

Follow this step-by-step description to make it yourself

By Meret Schueschke