The Taste of Panama City Tour

by Janis on May 1, 2015

We enjoy food tours when we travel to a new destination.  Last weekend, we met our friend James in Panama City, Panama, and looked forward to getting to know the local food culture.

Taste of Panama City TourThe Taste of Panama City Tour offered by Barefoot Panama and Panama Urban Adventures is normally offered every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday in the Casco Viejo neighborhood.

We were only in Panama from Saturday night until Tuesday morning, so tour company owner Kevin agreed (for an extra charge) to take the three of us on a private tour on Sunday night.

Taste of Panama City TourOur Taste of Panama City tour started at the Cafe Unido Coffee Roasters inside the American Trade Hotel. Guide Kevin is procuring our Geisha Coffee, a Panamanian-grown coffee said to be the world’s finest and most expensive coffee.


Taste of Panama City TourAfter our coffees, we walked through the Kevin has lived in Panama City for years, so he is very knowledgeable about the city’s history, culture, politics, food and beverages.

Taste of Panama City TourNext we headed to the La Rana Dorada cerveceria, a local brewery that makes craft beers in the pub. First we tasted four different kinds of beer, served on a charming “beer boat.”

Taste of Panama City TourThen we had a glass of our favorite.

Taste of Panama City TourWe headed to the fish market, enjoying some terrific views of downtown Panama City during the walk.

Taste of Panama City TourOutside of the fish market is Panama’s famous Cevicheria– lots of vendors selling fresh ceviche, and lots of folks eating.

Taste of Panama City TourWe love fresh ceviche (basically raw fish and/or seafood “cooked” with lemon juice and spices.) Kevin got us two different kinds of ceviche to try, and another sample that was more like a seafood salad with mayonnaise.  We spooned bites of each on a saltine cracker. Seriously delicious.

Taste of Panama City TourWe ate our ceviche while overlooking some fishing boats. Casco Viejo is in the distance.

 Ancon Hill, Panama City, PanamaLastly, we walked back to Casco Viejo as the sun was setting, getting a good view of  Ancon Hill, a famous viewpoint in Panama City, Panama.

Tantalo, Panama CityIn Casco Viejo, our last stop was the rooftop bar at Tantalo, an interesting establishment with a restaurant on the first floor, a hotel on the middle floors, and a bar on the roof.

Here we sipped local favorite Ron Abuelo 7 Year Old Panama Rum on the rocks, while taking in the views of the city and of its ‘beautiful’ people.

After our tour ended, we headed down to the first floor dining establishment, where we had a great waiter and a fun tapas dinner.

Our bottom line on The Taste of Panama City Tour offered by Barefoot Panama:

  • Kevin was knowledgeable about the food, culture and politics of Panama City. It was interesting to learn about the city from him.
  • The beer was fun and the ceviche was delicious,while the rooftop bar provided interesting people watching.
  • We found Geisha coffee highly over-rated. We’ll take Malaysia coffee any day.
  • The tour was really light on food; it was supposed to include a chocolate stop. We did not ask but perhaps that had to be skipped since it was Sunday.
  • Kevin’s passion seems to be adventure tours – taking guests hiking, caving and such.  He is a fun and interesting guy, just not a passionate foodie like most food tour guides that we’ve enjoyed in other countries.
  • We found this tour over-priced for the amount of included food and drinks, compared to other food walking tours around the world.
  • Still, it was a fun evening, and the tour gave us a much better sense of Panama City.

Have you visited Panama City, Panama? What was your favorite eating or drinking experience? Please share in comments below. 

If we sound a little tough in our review, check out these other food tour posts:

Eating Our Way Through San Telmo With Buenos Aires Food Tours

Eating and Drinking Our Way Through San Juan, Puerto Rico with Spoon Food Tours – Part 1

Walking and Eating With Chicago Food Planet Tours

Experiencing the Best Food of Penang, Malaysia with Heritage on a Plate

Eating Italy’s Best During Our Milan Food Tour

In Search of Milwaukee’s Best Pizza on Milwaukee’s Pizza Bus Tour

Eating Our Way Through Chinatown with Food Tour Singapore

Eating Our Way Through Budapest With Taste Hungary

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