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Panama is becoming a gastronomic paradise with wonderful restaurants all over the capital city. However, if you do not know what you want to eat, a visit to Calle Uruguay can resolve your dilemma Everything from Chinese food to Argentinian steaks or something exotic like Lebanese dishes can be found there.
The following is a short list of the restaurants and cafes of the area:
Market is a restaurant located in Calle Uruguay that serves one of the best burgers in town with all the trimmings and it is one of the few places where you can find a traditional Philly Cheese Sirloin Tips Sandwich very similar to those served in Philadelphia, United States. It also has a great selection of steaks and seafood. It opens from 7:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. Monday to Friday, Saturdays from 11:30 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. and on Sunday from 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. For more information visit: www.marketpanama.com.
La Posta is the ideal place for a business lunch or a romantic dinner. The dining experience is always fabulous and reservations are highly recommended for both lunch and dinner. There are Gluten-Free and Vegan options available. There is usually Latin music playing, and the shiny hardwood bar stretching down one length of the dining room is the perfect place to sip a mojito. The menu changes regularly, but it always includes fresh seafood, USDA beef, and organic pork and chicken prepared in inventive ways, plus a few risottos and pastas. The restaurant opens Monday to Saturday and closes on Sunday. Monday to Friday it opens from 11:45am–2:30pm, 6:45pm–10:30pm, Saturday 6:45pm–10:30pm. For reservations call 269-1076. www.lapostapanama.com
Gauchos is an Argentinian restaurant in a Spanish-style house on Calle Uruguay. It is recommended for people who like their steaks big, juicy and tender. Cuts such as the ‘bife de chorizo’, a thick sirloin cut, or the ‘filete en trozo,’ a 16-ounce slice of filet mignon are very popular. They are served with chimichuri, whereas salads and sides, such as a baked potato, are a la carte. The restaurant also serves corvina, langostinos, and salads. Big windows surround the kitchen, so you can watch cooks place the cuts onto the grill, or you can admire the cowhides, black-and-white photos, and paintings of gauchos (Argentine cowboys) that adorn the walls. For information and reservations call 6092-5339.
Ginger Restaurant is located in the Waldorf Astoria Hotel. It offers Asian cuisine with a wide variety of sushi and regional specialties. This elegant two-story restaurant and lounge gets its name from one of the most magical products from Asia; ginger, which is known for its many uses. Do not forget to try the different types of sushi rolls. It opens Monday to Saturday from 5 p.m. For information and reservations call 294-8000.
Habibis’ Restaurant & Bar is the ideal restaurant to discover the flavors of Arabic cuisine, which is characterized by its abundance, since the Arabian custom is to share food among diners. Lebanese food offers diners the possibility of discovering exotic new flavors. Belly dancers add to the lively atmosphere. It opens from Monday to Sunday from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. For more information visit its website www.habibispanama.com.
White Kitchen and Lounge is a restaurant and lounge which also has a discotheque. A long swimming pool runs down the center of the restaurant, surrounded by luxurious leather booths. White umbrellas hang from the ceiling. Depending on the night, a DJ may mix laid-back lounge music above the bar or a special guest will perform live instrumental music. The restaurant promotes art and has murals by local artists and a gallery upstairs that changes every month. The dishes on the food menu are tapas size (so be sure to order a few). For more information visit www.facebook.com/whiteklpanama.
Saril Kitchen & Lounge in the Hotel Le Méridien brings its guests a menu inspired by traditional Panamanian cuisine using local ingredients. Saril presents the flavors of Panama with options “Pa’ empezar” (starters), “El Golpe”(main courses) and “Las Golosinas”(desserts). Drinks are not to be missed, made of course with the signature ingredient, saril, but with modern versions of classics such as saril mojito, saril sour and more. For information and reservations call 297-3200.