NEW YORKERS: SOME KEY REASONS WHY YA SHOULD COME VISIT
PANAMANIANS: SEE YOU AROUND AT ANY/ALL OF THE BELOW?
La Botica: The kind of clothing store you should only go to if you want every person on the street stopping you afterwards asking where you got that shirt or that dress or those shoes. God that would be annoying, huh? The owner MARISTELLA is the absolute nicest: click on her for more info. Rec’d by us. Again and again and again. Calle 52 Este Bella Vista. Edificio Bolívar, Local #3
Crimsonette Jewelry: Big, bright, beaded jewelry. And watches! Rec’d by DIEGO BOWIE.
Dorians: It’s a thrift store that doesn’t realize it. Weirdly good denim selection. You figure out the rest. Rec’d by JAMES. Albrook Mall, pasillo de Dinosaurio.
Espacio Vintage: Pretty little shop in Casco Viejo, filled with old stuff and new stuff you can wear at the same time. We first fell in love with the store’s selection of Melissa shoes. A little while back we interviewed GISELA, one of its fly co-owners. The store also sells pieces by CAMILA and FERNANDA and other Panamanian designers. Rec’d again by us and LUISA. Calle 9 and Avenida A, Casco Viejo
Athen’s Pizza: We eat here, on average, twice a week. It’s Christina’s childhood fave. YOU NEED to order a Ladopsomo: don’t ask, just do it. Calle 50, Obarrio, El Dorado.
La casa de las frutas y los helados: Best orange juice in Panama City and real good frostees de piña. Its signs are bright and hand-painted and the drinks are on permanent sale, just like the recession special back home at Gray’s Papaya. The drive-thru line may look long, but the batido-makers have got it under control: you won’t be waiting long. Rec’d by KYLE. Calle 50
Las Clementinas: Pre-fixe, mimosa-laced brunch in a picturesque bed & breakfast-type dining room. Different menu every Sunday. Anyone down for brunch? Rec’d by FANNY & SUELL. Calle 11 y Avenida B, Casco Viejo
Market: Not only does this place have the best martinis either of us have ever had (seriously: don’t get us started) but they cost only $5. The food’s just as good. So’s the ambiance. The only downside of Market is that everyone else likes it just as much as we do – it’s one of the only places in Panama City where reservations are definitely required. But it’s certainly worth making the call (or reserving online here!) Rec’d by MARISTELLA. Calle 47 con Calle Uruguay
Terrae Art Bistro: If you haven’t tried the burgers there yet – you should. They’re all the better because they’re made from organic beef and come with crazy good fries. Out of control lamb-stuffed carimañolas. Rec’d, well, by us. RAISA here is the mastermind behind the place. Paitilla Mall, next to Farmacia El Javillo
El Apartamento: With a vibe that can only be described as “chill” (the good kind), this bar feels like a secret hideout even though it’s been open for months now. It really does feel like your best friend’s bedroom. Plus, drinks are huge and the cheapest in the area (national beers are 2 dollars, mixed drinks average out to 3). While you’re waiting for your drink, you can also order from a propped-up, hand-drawn menu offering Panamanian and Pan-Asian munchies. Added bonuses: great balcony and the live music downstairs at El Sotano. No wonder almost every person we interview has mentioned it. Rec’d by ALEXA, MARISTELLA. Avenida Frederico Boyd y Calle Uruguay, Bella Vista
Divino Enoteca: Excellent wine, classy cheese platters, randomly impressive penne vodka? Make your date take you here. Or take your friend. Flip through the books in their art book library if both of you are so overwhelmed with Divino’s cuteness you can’t talk. Classic movies that have been spotted on the big screen projector: Some Like it Hot, Breakfast at Tiffanys, Roman Holiday. Yes, yes, yes. Rec’d by VALESKA. Calle 4a Oeste and Avenida A, Casco Viejo.
La Casona: Little stone patio jutting out into the beach and a bar down the street. Outside is full of guys with dreads listening to bands perform. Inside has cool decor, no ceiling, and has a bathroom that rivals Diablo Rosso. Only space that you can wander off onto the sand if you like. Rec’d by JAMES. Calle 5, all the way by the water, Casco Viejo
Los del Patio: Always feel like we should spend more time here and it’s clear why – there’s just a lot going on from all kinds of visual art to good good food (souffles! for less than $10!) and drinks in the courtyard. Be on the lookout for art shows here. Rec’d by LIZ, MARISTELLA. Calle 3, across from the Teatro Nacional, Casco Viejo.
Platea: It’s difficult to go wrong with live jazz and a full bar. One time we saw an Amy Winehouse tribute concert here, complete with dancin’ men in white tuxedos. Rec’d by SALVADOR. Calle 1a Oeste, Casco Viejo
Relic: From rugged backpackers to Panamanians in full club clothing, everyone can feel at home at Relic. The outside space is boxed in by beautiful old Spanish ruins. Plus if you happen to find that whole Israeli/Australian thing irresistible, the long tables outside make it easy to meet people. Rec’d by SKYLER. Calle 9na, Casco Viejo.
Villa Agustina: Party people! Paaaarty people! This is where you need to be every Friday. And sometimes Thursdays. It’s like the back patio bar of your dreams. Or like a warehouse party without the warehouse part. Nonstop music, Red Stripe beer for $3 a bottle (we don’t ask questions), people to dance with and people to meet. Rec’d by JAMES. Avenida A, right off of Plaza Herrera. Around the corner from Mojitos.
Diablo Rosso: If we could take you one place in Panama City, Diablo Rosso would probably be it. Art gallery/restaurant/cafe/boutique/movie screening room with the coolest bathroom we’ve ever seen. Go to an art opening or Cena Cine (dinner and a movie) on Tuesdays at 8. Rec’d by MARISTELLA and definitely by us. Avenida A con Calle 7a, Casco Viejo.
Isla Grande: Once we rode in the back of a safari truck to Isla Grande and back. The white sand beaches and blue blue water was more than worth it. One of the closest Caribbean beaches to Panama City. Rec’d by KEYRA.
Pedasí: Beautiful beaches and cute lil town + apparently Brad and Angelina visit for their vacations? Also one of Panama’s Carnavales hot spots. So, who wants to drive over there, like, real soon? Rec’d by KATIE.
Sal si puedes: Everything you never knew you needed crowded into one alley. Eve’s brother once bought a whole sackful of cassette tapes, all now competing to be his new favorite. You’ll probably be able to leave, but maybe won’t want to. Rec’d by ENRICO. In between Avenida B and Avenida Central.
Superbook: There are too many TVs to count and you can bet on sports games while drinking beers at bucket prices. Which apparently is a luxury and something you can’t do in the states? Once we went and fell asleep in armchairs, but word is if you love sports, it’s awesome. Rec’d by KYLE. Calle 52, Área Bancaria, diagonal al Royal Casino.
Teatro Lagartija: We couldn’t write down fast enough all the nice things LUISA had to say about this theatre. So check it out yrself and report back? Calle 3, across from the Teatro Nacional, Casco Viejo.
+ MORE SO MUCH MORE COMING SOON FROM OUR PHUTURE PHOTOGRAPHEES.