Great Boquete Restaurants
Boquete is being discovered as a Panamanian dining destination. So many great restaurants for a town of its size. Only a few of them are listed here. Many are genuinely excellent catering to the high-end Panamanian market and extranjeros (foreigners).
Here are some of our favorites:
Panamonte – Fine Dining
CS: In the Panamonte hotel on the north side of downtown. Eat in the historic dining room or the comfortable yet classy fireplace-warmed bar. Gourmet delicious food. Great atmosphere. Famous Chef Charlie Collins. Can’t go wrong with anything on the menu.
from their website: “Come dinnertime, the options are wonderful. Get to the famous Fireside Lounge at 6 PM and you can watch Nelson, The Panamonte’s much loved bartender (who never forgets your name or how you like your martini) light the large fireplaces with a flame thrower (seriously). Settle into the relaxed country ambiance of what is inarguably the most lovely bar and lounge in all of Boquete, perhaps in all of Central America. A casual bar menu offers a selection of delightful bar foods, or you may order from the main menu and enjoy it fireside. If you are feeling like you would enjoy a more elegant dining experience, wander over to the lovely dining room, which is a perfect blend of traditional and modern taste. The all-new 2011 menu is complete, but not overwhelming. It continues to feature Panamonte traditions, such as the famous cream of zapallo soup and local trout, as well as delightful new creations from Chef Charlie’s kitchen. The fertile volcanic soil of Boquete that is ideal for growing produce, exotic fruits, and some of the best coffee in the world. Trout swim in the region’s crystalline rivers, and beef and dairy cattle graze on Volcano Barú’s grassy slopes. A half-hour away is Panama’s coastline where local fishermen harvest abundant lobster, jumbo shrimp, sea bass, and yellow-fin tuna. There is no other location in Panama that offers such a rich diversity of fresh products, and Panamonte award-winning Executive Chef and owner Charlie Collins takes full advantage of this bounty to offer his guest’s a truly memorable dining experience. Condé Nast Traveller has named the Panamonte’s restaurant as one of the best in Central America, and the Washington D.C. publication Capital Chef has praised the restaurant the Best in Panama. People come from near and far to savor the flavorful creations of Chef Charlie, who has fused his overseas culinary experience with his passion for Panamanian cuisine to produce a menu that is both international and indigenous—and delicious.”
The Rock – Fine Dining
CS: Along the Palo Alto river on the other side of the Caldera River just north of downtown. Modern style, big windows and innovative menu. Excellent food quality. Ribs are yummy with special sauce. An expat favorite.
from their website: “At THE ROCK we believe the simplest recipe can be an enjoyment of excellent food with attention to detail, passion and dedicated attitude. Our vision is founded on enjoying food as a fundamental quality of life, at times provocative but always aimed at preserving the purity of the original flavor. Because of the climate and dedication of its producers, our home town Boquete with its surrounding and higher areas of Chiriquí offers an incredible collection of fresh food products. With the use of these top quality products and contemporary technical knowledge of our team to prepare and serve them, your menu choice will be remarkable. Cultivating these values to stimulate your senses every day is fundamental to us to provide you with an incomparable experience at THE ROCK.”
Sugar and Spice – Bakery, Sandwiches & Soup
CS: Now one of the most popular eateries in Boquete, especially with the expatriates, this super bakery has breakfast and fresh lunch sandwiches. Try their soup. All the breads and pastries are divine.
from their website: “Gourmet Bakery located in Boquete Panama. Fresh European Style Breads, Muffins, Cookies, Brownies, Empanadas and Enchiladas. Also serving Breakfast and Lunch. Boquete’s best breakfast and sandwiches as well as fresh made soup daily.”
Il Pianista – Italian
CS: Along a mountain stream in a wood cabin style converted home in Palo Alto. Great Italian food from a Mom and Pop team. Try the Lasagna. Great atmosphere. Down to Earth and unique environment. Enjoy your food while soaking in the waterfall and babbling brook just outside your window.
The Fish House
CS: Great Food. Great Fish. Across from Sugar and Spice a few blocks from the center of town. A personal favorite is the Szechuan Corvina – Sea Bass.
La Posada – Argentinian, Pizza
CS: On the north end of downtown, this historic and remodeled restaurant and bar has dishes from Argentina, the owner’s origin, great pizza and a complete menu. Take a look at the amazing back room with space for special events and big windows with wonderful views. Fun environment. Casino. Ice Cream. A playful place.
from their website: “La Posada Boqueteña, un lugar de reunión familiar o para disfrutar con los amigos una agradable reunión rodeada del característico clima frío de nuestra ciudad rodeada de flores y la agradable brisa del río Caldera, comparta un momento especial y permitanos hacerle sentir como en su casa. Estamos ubicados en Boquete, un lugar conocido como la ciudad de la eterna primavera ó la ciudad de las flores y el café que pertenece a la Provincia de Chiriquí, a unos 45 minutos de la ciudad de David.”
Restaurante el Oasis
011 (507) 720-158
CS: Right on the other side of the bridge from downtown to the Fairgrounds is this nice, mid-price hotel with an outstanding riverfront restaurant. Delicious.
“Un menú que celebra la armoniosa combinación de los mejores ingredientes locales con la experiencia del talentoso Chef Belisario Torres… el excelente servicio, y el mejor ambiente de Boquete: todos nuestros elementos están orquestados para ofrecerles una maravillosa experiencia para los cinco sentidos.”
CS: Outstanding Italian style pizza by the pie or the slice downtown in Plaza Los Establos. Very Yummy.
Antojito’s Mexicanos – Mexican
CS: Mexican food excelente. In downtown, a block past Sugar and Spice. Especially good for lunch. Love the burritos con pollo. Well-covered outside eating. Quality ingredients.
CS: Great pastries, bagels, spreads and sandwiches in Alto Boquete in Plaza San Francisco.
from their website: “Morton’s Bakehouse is an independent artisan bakery, baking school and art gallery located in the western highlands of Boquete, Panama. Our mission is to bring the highest quality breads and bakery products to our customers in a welcoming, inviting and artistic setting, and to transmit an appreciation for and knowledge of the artisan bread tradition to our friends and neighbors in our community.”
Gelateria la Ghiotta
CS: Awesome Gelato. World-class. Just expanded and moved to the Main Street next to Multi-Bank. Really Delicious!
Baru Restaurant and Bar – Full Mixed Menu, Pizza
CS: Right on the central park. This hip eatery and bar is a common hang-out with good food. A see and be seen kind of place with cool written all over it.
Big Daddy’s Grill – Fish, Bar, and Grilled Specialties
CS: Fish is their main specialty though they have lots more. The owner brings in the freshest catches. In the middle of downtown across the street from Casa Solution’s Welcome Center. Check out the forest bar in the back. Super afternoon hide-out. Feels like you’re in the forest in the middle of town. A favorite of the local expats.
from their website: “Big Daddy’s Grill, Boquete, purchases it’s fish directly from the boats of Boca Chica, Pedregal. Never purchased frozen.. never farm-raised. Depending on the catch, varieties include: Tuna; Snook; Amber Jack; Swordfish; Dorado; Corvina; Pargo; Shrimp & more. Fish is served GRILLED or FRIED, as a sandwich on a Sugar & Spice Bakery Bun; Atop a large, organic salad, or as a platter … with a choice of fresh sides. We’ve been told by folks who know that our Grilled Fish Tacos are some of the world’s best! Sandwiches (Fish; Chicken Breast; Vegetable) are ample and served on a bakery bun. For something Very Panamanian, try the Whole Fish “Entero” … Our Fried Chicken is juicy and cooked to perfection! Corn Dogs & Onion Rings are hand-dipped. It’s been said by many that Big Daddy’s Grill has the Best Burger in town, served with a side of Pickles, LTM plus Cole Slaw, Fries or Rice & Beans. Our Grilled & Blackened Tuna Sandwich has become a local favorite. Portions are ample so you never leave hungry! FOR THE CONSCIOUS EATER: Whether you are Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian or just a Healthy eater, we have several options for those who don’t want to sacrifice taste for freshness!”
Central Park – Panamanian Style Lunch and Breakfast
CS: Our first pick for local Panamanian fare. Right on the recently remodeled central park and thus the name. Downhome, simple environs, with tasty Panamanian food at low prices. A super budget stop. See the central square while popping over for a quick lunch. We like the chicken and tejadas. Fruit bowls too.
Finca Lerida – Panamanian Style Gourmet Breakfast
720-1111, 720-2816, 720-2285,
CS: Wake up early and wonder at the views on a well-kept eco-resort and coffee farm while enjoying your so good breakfast. Delicious pancakes and omelettes. A glorious way to start the day. Then hike their quetzal-home forest trails and explore the farm on foot for a fee. About a twelve minute drive up the hills and valleys to the north side of town.
from their website: “At the heart of the coffee plantation, you’ll find our restaurant complete with wooden deck and surrounding gardens. Imagine breakfast here…amidst flowers and hummingbirds, breathing in the fresh, clean morning air with the mountain range in the background resembling a beautiful landscape painting. This is only the beginning of the High Altitude cuisine experience at Finca Lerida. In this little paradise, we have designed a classic menu enriched with our own creations. Our fine cuisine has a fresh and crunchy taste. Seafood, meats, pastas, soups, gourmet sandwiches and local dishes can be enjoyed along with the songs of birds and the astounding views of our beautiful historical Coffee Estate.”
Papa Ricco’s – Pizza and Italian
CS: A great buy-by-the slice and Italian pizza restaurant. Founded by a lovable New Yorker character Papa Ricco; his memory and the restaurant are kept fresh and now run by his nice Panamanian sweetheart.
Some of the many other restaurants that deserve mentions are Mango at Isla Verde, Fireside Inn – George’s Grill, Ladera Hotel’s Toco Madera, Sabor Escondido restaurant in Valle Escondido, Café Pomodoro (and the Wine Bar) at Valle del Rio, and Machu Pichu.
CS: Kotowa, a major Panamanian coffee producer with their own farms and reportedly the country’s oldest processing facility, has three locations in Boquete and is probably the closest you can come to a Starbucks here with a distinctive Panamanian twist. Not just coffee, a wide range of slushee type drinks and other yummies. If you are feeling adventurous, take the bumpy ride to check out their full coffee shop at the Boquete Tree Trek location which is in a glorious view-enhanced forest environment. Watch the Tree Trekers scream as they coast down the wires. The other locations are Plaza Los Establos in the center of town and in the CEFATI tourist center with an awesome view on the top of the hill at the entry of town.
CS: Great coffee and great desserts near Mi Jardin es Su Jardin on the north end of town. Smell the coffee roasting right next door. A major Panamanian coffee producer with their own farms and coffee processing.
CS: A modern style coffee shop with Boquete produced coffee right near the bridge that joins downtown to the fairgrounds and Jaramillo downtown. Another major Panamanian coffee producer.
CS: High in the hills of Jaramillo, check your vertigo at the door. Intense views of Volcan Baru. A great view stop while exploring the Jaramillo area of Boquete.