For a coffee or quick breakfast, El Venezolano is a perfect start to the day, or go to New York Bagel, which is packed with locals and expats alike, many enjoying the bottomless coffee with laptops open, which you can pair with pretty good bagels (even by NYC standards) or various Tex-Mex options. For coffee and pastries, the upscale French macaron-maker La Duree has also opened up shop nearby.
For local Panamanian cuisine check out El Trapiche (make sure to try the bistec picado, which at just over $6 will fill you up for the whole day), Del Prado (where the Cuban sandwich is served 24/7), or Manolo’s (taste the corvina a lo macho with patacones). For Afro-Caribbean fare check out El Caribe, where the homemade coconut oil and scotch bonnet pepper-based sauces are a great base for everything. Try the octopus in coconut sauce and go on a Friday for karaoke or the last Saturday of the month for live jazz.
For more upscale dining, whether for a date-night or business dinner, head to Azahar or Rincon Suizo. The latter is by Chef Willy Diggelmann, who has established a name for himself as one of Panama’s top restaurateurs with three different restaurants under his belt in El Cangrejo. Rincon Suizo features a rich Swiss-German menu, with delicious meats, and some very elegant seafood selections. The average entree runs upwards of $22.00, meaning Rincon Suizo is one of the pricier restaurants in El Cangrejo.
This article is part of our Ultimate Guide to El Cangrejo. Download the complete guide by clicking here.