friends having dinner drinking wine and laughing

A Food Lover’s Guide to San Francisco, Panama City

There’s no limit to the delicious and diverse food you can find around Panama City. Whatever it is that you’re craving, there’s a restaurant somewhere that will hit the spot. One neighborhood that has more than its fair share of great dining options is San Francisco.

San Francisco is a popular spot to live and visit for many reasons, and the food is certainly one of them. Keep reading for some of our favorite places to eat out in the area. From gourmet restaurants to casual fare, there’s no doubt the food in San Francisco is second to none.

Higher End 



via Instagram @maitopanama

If you live in Panama City, you’ve most certainly already heard of Maito. This favorite recently made the list of Latin America’s 50 best restaurants. The fun and flavorful menu is based on a familiar concept: Panama. Chef Castrellón takes diners on a culinary adventure through the various different cuisines that have made Panama a gastronomic melting pot. You can’t go wrong with the tasting menu to get a bit of everything. Slow-roasted pork, sancocho stew, and rice in squid ink are just a few of the favorites you might enjoy.



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As you might guess by the name, this is an intimate little restaurant and a great place to enjoy a special dinner out. While they have a regular menu as well, the showstopper here is the tasting menu. Available with either five or 12 courses, it’s a great way to sample a number of dishes. It’s also possible to order a vegetarian or vegan-tasting menu, but you must call ahead to make this request.



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Day or night, Brutto offers a stellar environment in which to enjoy a delectable meal. The bright and airy dining room is all at once stylish and comfortable with both indoor and outdoor seating options. The waitstaff is charming and attentive and very helpful in guiding guests through the diverse menu. Less so than offering a specific cuisine, Brutto offers something for everyone. The sushi, tostadas, and desserts are all creatively prepared and beautifully presented. No matter what you order, it will be a feast for your eyes and your stomach.

5inco Cocina Urbana


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5inco is a fun and hip option if you’re looking for a great spot for dinner and drinks. The simple but modern dining room features fun touches like an open bar and giant modern mural of Salvador Dalí. The servers are pleasant and knowledgeable about the eclectic menu. This is important given the wide range of delectable dish options. From the roasted lamb to the homemade pasta and giant meatball to the pork belly appetizer, you really can’t go wrong. Don’t forget to wash it all down with one of their delicious and creative cocktails.

Casa Escondida


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Just as the name implies, this romantic little restaurant is tucked away in an unassuming Spanish style home. Don’t let the quaint looking exterior fool you though. The chefs at Casa Escondida mean business and serve up a diverse and delicious menu of expertly prepared dishes. Favorites include the octopus appetizer, perfect pastas and the NY strip steak. Many of the meat dishes are slow cooked over open coals out back and have exquisite flavor and tenderness.  



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Azafrán is a masterpiece in simple elegance. The restaurant has a nice ambiance without being stuffy or overbearing. The elegant dining room with high ceilings and well-spaced tables makes this the perfect place to enjoy a meal. You can’t go wrong with any of the seafood offerings, knowing that you’ll be served an incredibly fresh and expertly prepared dish. The wine list is also extensive and certainly worth perusing if you’re in the mood for some vino with your dinner.

Los Años Locos


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There are plenty of places in Panama to get a good steak, and if you’re in San Francisco, this is certainly our top pick. This Argentine steakhouse offers everything you’re looking for in the way of expertly cooked cuts. In addition to meat, there are plenty of delectable appetizers for you and your guests to share to round out the meal. This cozy spot is the perfect place for a relaxing and delicious lunch or dinner with family or friends.  

Casa Tua

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If it’s Italian food you’re after, Casa Tua is the place to go in San Francisco. You’ll feel like you’re enjoying a meal in a friend’s tastefully decorated home as you dine on Italian staples. Regardless of what you’re craving, Casa Tua does it well. A thin-crust pizza is a great way to start a meal and there are plenty of topping options to choose from. Or you could opt for a salmon or beef carpaccio prepared just right. The pastas are all delectable and be sure to leave room for tiramisu and espresso to cap things off. 

Pisco Moon


© Pisco Moon Peruvian’s Cuisine

We’re willing to bet that Pisco Moon serves up the most colorful dishes of any restaurant on this list. This Peruvian restaurant is the perfect place to enjoy delicious plates of ceviche, anticuchos, and causas. The ambiance is also fun and colorful –and the charming and attentive wait staff will take good care of you for the duration of your meal. It goes without saying that no meal at Pisco Moon is complete without a fresh-made pisco sour or another creative pisco-based cocktail. Cheers!

Laid Back

Ciao Bella Pizza


© degusta Sissy M.

Ciao Bella Pizza is a great no-frills place to enjoy a piping hot pizza with both traditional and creative toppings. The pizzas are all thin crust and always hit the spot. In addition to pizza, there are a handful of pasta, calzone, and salad offerings to choose from. They also serve a great sangria, making this a fantastic destination for a casual meal with friends.

Republicano Gastropub y Cervecería


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If you’re in the mood for indulging with a giant burger and a cold pint of beer, this is the perfect place. In fact, there are plenty of people who consider the burgers at Republicano among some of the best in the city. Go classic, or get creative with toppings like fried onions, aioli and bacon. Lesser known but equally delicious are the wings! There are tons of international and craft beers available which makes this the perfect place for beer fanatics.

Tacos la Neta


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This fun and funky spot is a great place to grab a quick bite. While not entirely ‘authentic’ Mexican tacos, these meat-stuffed tortillas will definitely satisfy your taco craving. All of the meat is tender and flavorful, the salsas are fresh and hot and the tortillas are warm. Don’t skip getting an order of queso fundido to share. There’s also a full bar in case you need a beverage to tame the heat of all that salsa.

Taco T


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If authentic Mexican tacos are what you’re after, check out Taco T. Many will swear that the tacos here are just as good as what you’ll find on the streets of Mexico City. All of the meat options are delicious, but definitely, don’t leave without trying the tacos al pastor. This pork cooked on a vertical spit is packed with juicy flavor. The salsas and guacamole are fresh and delicious –and go perfectly with the tacos.

Oink House


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Here’s another contender for the best hamburger in the city. Oink House serves up good-sized portions of burgers, fries and onion rings that are perfect for an indulgent meal. The service is quick, the environment is laid back, and the food is fantastic. All of the above make this a great spot for a quick lunch or casual dinner with friends.

Arro Bistro


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Arro Bistro is a relatively new addition to the casual dining scene in San Francisco. And we are certainly happy to have it! Arro serves up healthy portions of delicious Mediterranean food in a casual but comfortable locale. Dishes combine French, Italian, Spanish, Greek, and even Middle Eastern flavors and preparations. Everything is fresh and the extensive menu ensures there is something for everyone.

Yakitori Panama


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One word. Ramen. Owned by a Japanese expat, Yakitori serves up piping hot bowls of delicious ramen that is sure to please even the most experienced noodle enthusiast. The menu isn’t large, but everything we’ve tried is delicious and hits the spot when Asian flavors are what you’re craving. Wash your soup down with some sake or a cold beer and you’ve got yourself the perfect meal.