Panama has not made much of a mark on the world’s culinary scene but it certainly has a few dishes that will satisfy your palate. Much of the food is cooked using coconut, making it abnormally refreshing for a Central American country. Seafood is also very common, especially on the islands of Bocas del Toro and along the coast of the mainland.
Rice and beans are a staple here as with most of Latin America but this rice is infused with coconut, giving it a delicious twist. Patacones, fried fritters of plantain, are another common accompaniment to meals. Empanadas can be bought from street vendors and are like Cornish pasties stuffed with meat, vegetables or cheese.
Breakfast in Panama is usually based around corn tortillas, eggs and perhaps some fried meat. For those who need something a bit less heavy, fresh fruit is usually available. Green vegetables are not particularly common in Panamanian cuisine, instead, root vegetables dominate.
Safe eating while travelling in Panama
Like its neighbour Costa Rica, Panama is much more developed than many other Central American countries. As such, the hygiene and food standards are better than elsewhere on the continent, meaning that it is easy to eat safely. As with anywhere in the world, be wary of street food that looks like it has been sat in the sun for too long and avoid restaurants that look too run down or dirty.