Boquete, Panama is nicknamed a city of eternal spring. While still a small city, restaurants are popping up all over the place. While there are many food options in Boquete, I’ve selected my seven favorites to highlight. Three are super casual, very much come as you are type places. For the remaining four restaurants, you might want to run the comb through your hair first before entering. No where in Boquete is “fancy” dress required, but I don’t think you’d be out of place either if you dressed up some. Boquete has a huge ex-pat community which rounds out the cuisine in the city nicely pulling flavors from around the globe. One thing to note on pricing in Panama is that the variation in price is very limited. For example, you might pay a little more for a sandwich then you think you should, but you will only pay slightly more than that for what we’d consider an “expensive” meal back home. (i.e. beef filet dinner for $19)
In no particular order, you must eat at the following restaurants in Boquete, Panama:
This place is the brain child on an expat couple and offers what their name suggests. Pad Thai anyone? Meatball and Penne Pasta? There are specialty hot dogs on the menu too as well as a Hot Dog bar on Sundays. That continued trend could be due to local popularity, but I attribute it to the fact that Mike is a proud Chicago native. A great restaurant if you want to saddle up to a bar for a beer or listen to live music at night.
AMAZING. If you don’t eat breakfast here, you might as well be missing a coffee plantation tour as part of your visit. Open only for breakfast and lunch, I challenge you to find something on the menu that isn’t great. There is a reason why you will see the same people there day after day after day. It is that good. Oh, did I mention it was a bakery too? Closes at 4pm. Closed Wednesdays.
The NKOTB of shops in Boquete. They serve up a mean lunch that can be paired with a quite fine Bloody Mary as well. You could always order it up to go, but sitting in the covered outdoors of the restaurant is half the fun. Closed Thursdays.
Yes, it’s a golf community. Yes, there is a guard at the gate, but tell him that you are going to the restaurant and everything is A-OK. You come here for the food and the atmosphere. This is white linen, but no one dresses up for dinner (at least in off season.) Enjoy a bottle of wine while listening to the river rumble by right outside the restaurant. Great value and no complaints. Beautiful grounds.
Any restaurant in a hotel that charges over $200.00 a night better be amazing. It is. This restaurant / hotel will make you feel like you are on Martha’s Vineyard with its décor. From a simple BLT to fine meat fillets at dinner, you must put this restaurant on your hit list. The best part is the pricing of the food doesn’t mimic the room charge. Sitting outside is always nice, but you might get some construction noise from passing trucks.
My absolute FAVORITE. The very opposite of Alcatraz, this restaurant that is open for lunch and dinner welcomes you warmly. Sit inside by the fire, or outside on the patio, the staff will ensure that you enjoy your time there. Extensive wine list, full bar, and a menu ranging from ceviche to beef tenderloin to grilled octopus The Rock will please everyone. Charming. Live jazz on Monday Nights. Closed Tuesdays.
This dinner restaurant offers up some of the best beef in the city sourced from Angus cows on the other side of the volcano. A favorite for many due to the fact that Art Cafe serves up a true Midwestern type of meal with your plate featuring a meat, starch, and vegetable. If you happen to be in town for one, the Art Cafe hosts specialty prefix dinners that are quite popular.
What’s your favorite restaurant in Boquete? Did I miss yours?