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Jan 6, 2014 11:51 AM

Avoiding tourist traps in Panama City

I'm going to Panama City in February and would like to avoid tourist traps at all cost. I'm looking for suggestions for budget to mid-priced restaurants with excellent quality/price ratio. It seems ALL tourists are going to same places. On all sites I see the same suggestions over and over again (ex: Manolo Caracol, Las Clementinas, Maito, etc). Is it because they are truly the best or because people just follow people? Surely Panama City has other excellent restaurants worth a detour?

For lunch, I prefer simple meals. From what I read, the fish market is the best place for ceviche. What about the best place for empenadas?

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  1. I have not discovered a great food scene in PC, and there are plenty of gorgeous restaurants with nobody home (in the kitchen.) I like the two big mideastern restaurants, Beruit and Habibi. Gaucho's has excellent steaks. And Manolo Caracol would be a standout anywhere.