Casco Viejo or the Old City of Panama is a UNESCO Cultural World Heritage site and a wonderful place to visit. This vibrant corner of Panama City deserves time on your itinerary for many of its historic sites and colorful roads. In addition to this, Casco Viejo also deserves time so that you can eat your heart out at many of its amazing restaurants and bars! This post covers the best restaurants and bars in Casco Viejo, Panama City and why I recommend these.
First up on this best restaurants and bars in Casco Viejo list is Santa Rita. This restaurant is currently the number 2 restaurant in all of Panama City. They serve Spanish style food in an elegant indoor setting. There’s also outdoor seating available as well. Highly recommend making a reservation beforehand. The menu consists of main courses as well as tapas. Perhaps my favorite though was the extensive desserts of the day menu!
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Fonda Lo Que Hay
Fonda Lo Que Hay is a must try restaurant in Casco Viejo. In fact, this restaurant regularly makes the best places to eat in Panama and Latin America list. They don’t take any reservations so you have to wait a bit but trust me it’s worth it. I thought the service could be a little better but the food more than makes up for it. Try the toasted yuca with tuna carpaccio and onion ceviche. It’s simply divine! I actually visited this restaurant twice during my stay in Panama City. The menu changes regularly which keeps things interesting.
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CascoMar serves Spanish-Mediterranean food. It has an extensive tapas menu as well as main courses that lean a little more on to seafood. They have outdoor seating which would be an ideal spot for a romantic night. Service is very attentive and the food was delicious! Definitely one of my favorites on this best restaurants and bars in Casco Viejo list.
Mahalo Cocina y Jardin
Mahalo Cocina y Jardin was at the bottom of the hotel I was staying at and was packed any time of the day and night. They have indoor seating in an elegant space and outdoor seating in a lush garden. The menu is more international than Latin and is an eclectic mix of cuisines. It’s also a popular place for brunch.
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Hotel Tantalo Casco Viejo
Hotel Tantalo is a 3 n 1 establishment! It’s a hotel, a rooftop bar and a restaurant. The rooftop is pretty with good views of both Casco Viejo and Panama City. They have a good cocktail menu and you can order more or less from the same menu as the restaurant downstairs at the rooftop bar as well.
Marea Casco Ceviche and Latin Food
I found this restaurant right as I was leaving Panama and it didn’t disappoint. It’s a seafood and Latin restaurant with a cool vibe. The menu was extensive and the food was so good! I got octopus in a spicy sauce and had to stop myself from licking the sauce off at the end!
Mercado De Marisco Cinta Costera
If you are feeling adventurous, head over to the seafood market right outside Casco Viejo. This fresh seafood market also houses an outdoor food court and is especially known for its ceviche.
Casa Casco is probably the most elegant place on this best restaurants and bars in Casco Viejo list. The building itself has several floors with a restaurant on almost each floor. I went to the rooftop bar on the top most floor and it was really amazing! There was live music and a good cocktail menu including food. However, the best part about this rooftop is the almost 360 degree views over Casco Viejo, including the ocean. On a clear day, you can also see the sunset, making it a great place to be at during the evening.
You can get food and drinks at La Pulpería. I opted to get cocktails and dessert! The food has a mix of seafood and other dishes. The atmosphere is very lively and the service is excellent here!
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Going to Cartagena? Check out my best restaurant guide HERE! It’s one of my most popular posts!