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No list of the best restaurants in Casco Viejo is complete without including Tantalo. The name refers not to the restaurant, but also to the adjoining hotel. However, you don’t need to be a guest to enjoy the creative menu and stunning ambiance of Tantalo.
The restaurant’s menu combines flavors from around the world and dishes using Panama’s freshest ingredients. The beef tenderloin, the mac and cheese, and the octopus will all keep you coming back from more. Here’s a place where we recommend skipping the wine and opting instead for one of their creative cocktails.
Craving something a little more exotic? Then consider booking a table at Salvaje. This restaurant is well known for its take on gourmet Japanese cuisine with some unexpected twists. You won’t find the same hum-drum sushi rolls here that you’re likely to find at a shopping mall food court. Instead, prepare to enjoy the fun and fanciful flavor combinations.
Try, for example, the mushroom and wagyu dumplings or the cauliflower tempura with scrumptious sauce. Go as a group and order an array of dishes family-style to make the most of your trip. And don’t forget to check out the rooftop bar after dinner for a delicious nightcap as well.
Donde José is definitely one of the best restaurants in Casco Viejo, but it’s also so much more than that. This is one place that’s worth booking a table if you’re looking to impress. Make sure to do so in advance, though, as the dining room is tiny and this restaurant is popular. At Donde José, guests get to indulge in a creative tasting menu that tells the story of Chef José’s history with cooking Panamanian food.
The menu evolves based on the season and what fresh ingredients are in the market. But Chef José’s creative combinations never disappoint. Come ready to eat, but also to learn as the staff describes each dish as it arrives at your table. And if you’re sitting at the bar, you can even delight in watching the cooks work their magic right before your eyes.
It’s hard not to fall in love with Laboratorio Madrigal. Diners have the option of ordering from a pre-fixe menu or ordering a la carte. And you honestly can’t go wrong either way. Favorites include the octopus ceviche, the blackened fish tacos, and the braised beef. The fish of the day is always sure to impress as well. While there aren’t many vegetarian-friendly options on the menu, the kitchen can prepare something off-menu upon special request. This is one spot that’s perfect for a special meal if you’re looking to splurge.