TOP 10 RESTAURANTS IN BOCAS DEL TORO, PANAMA
I’ve been living in Bocas Del Toro for a few months now and everyone knows how big of a foodie I am, so of course, I had to check out at the best places to eat here. Bocas has been my pescatarian heaven! Because it is an island there are MANY restaurants that serve fish and different types of seafood. There are many different restaurant options from fish burgers to tacos and everything in between. There is something here to fit everyone’s liking, no matter your dietary preferences. Another thing that is pretty cool about the dining experience in Bocas is that it's an island, so most of the restaurants are located on the water, which makes for a fun afternoon out in a relaxing environment. So let’s take a look at the top restaurants in Bocas Del Toro, Panama.
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The first time that I came to this restaurant I came at lunch time only to find out that they don’t open till 5pm. But the owners were there and said they would make me food either way. Ummmm can you say amazing customer service? I was sold with this place at that moment only to find out moments later that they offer the best local flavors too!!! Octo is the perfect restaurant if you’re looking for a quick meal at an affordable price without sacrificing flavor. Don’t be deceived by their small menu, I promise everything is super fresh with incredible herbs and spices. The atmosphere of this place is also perfect to come hang out at later in the evening. Nice local music, friendly service with a calm chill design.
Hands down the best ceviche on the island. Captain Caribe is the perfect mix of Caribbean style and good vibes. The second you walk into this place you will be welcomed by the friendly staff or the owner himself. The owner is super friendly and loves to chat with you. The service is extremely prompt and the food is even better. It’s a great place to come hang on picnic tables, enjoy a couple beers or smoothie with a shot of rum and relax with your friends.
Leaf Eaters (Vegan)
Located on the island of Carenero this restaurant is perfect for those that are looking for a healthy option. It’s pretty much the only vegan place around Bocas and it really is worth all the hype. I’m a pretty healthy eater and choose to eat veggie most of the time, so having a veggie/vegan restaurant around is really important to me when I travel. Leaf Eaters has a great selection of salads and sandwiches, and their desserts are out of this world. The chocolate zucchini cake is to die for.
This is a fun colorful restaurant/lounge where you can come, relax and enjoy the beautiful views of Bocas. La Buguita has a wide selection of breakfast, lunch, and dinner items, but I loved coming here for lunch. They have a great mix of foods ranging from burritos to burgers but my favorite are the mini veggie sliders. The environment is extremely colorful and will put you in a good mood from the second you walk in. The delicious coffee and drinks will keep you there for longer.
This is the best budget restaurant I have ever been to. Not only is the food quality very good but they have a lunch special where you can get an entire meal (chicken, fish, etc.) with rice, beans and a drink for $5. The portions are extremely big and the food is even better. This restaurant is also on the water so the views are perfect to head there for lunch and relax.
A fun restaurant environment, which is also a surf school. Great place to come, relax, then book some surf lessons. The people at Hungry Monkey will make you feel welcomed from the second you walk in. The staff is extremely friendly with their extensive knowledge and island vibes make you want to stay there all day. The fish tacos here are phenomenal!
So I’ve eaten at this restaurant a couple of times, but I’ve only had one thing on the menu. Every time I’ve eaten there I had the lionfish, and here’s why. In the early 90's there was an unfortunate release of lionfish into the Atlantic Ocean causing an invasion of the species till this day. Since the lionfish has no natural predator in the Caribbean waters they have been observed consuming 20 fish per feeding causing harm to our fragile ecosystem. So order the lionfish! Lionfish is extremely tasty, light and flaky. It can be prepared many different ways, I love mine prepared with passion fruit. Cosmic crab is one of the only restaurants in Bocas that offer lionfish, so be sure to check it out, you are helping out the ecosystem by eating it.
For those that enjoy the Japanese cuisines, RAW Fusion is the place to be. I was a little skeptical about trying sushi on an island in Panama but RAW Fusion did not disappoint. They don’t have an extensive sushi menu to choose from but everything they do have is beyond delicious. From their appetizers to their mixed drinks this is the perfect place to relax and enjoy the beautiful ocean views of Bocas.
For the slightly adventurous eaters, this Indian Restaurant will make you want to eat there every day. Filled with many different food options, oriental flavors along with a beautiful Indian décor this restaurant will transport you to another continent. OM Café is the perfect place to relax and dine after a long day of tours and activities. Their sangria is incredible and every food item they have is absolutely divine.
And I saved the best for last, if you are in Bocas you NEED to dine at this place. It is my absolute favorite restaurant in Bocas, I “splurged” and ate here quite often. I promise you, you will not be disappointed. Everything about this place is amazing, from the décor inside, the customer service, to the mouthwatering phenomenal cuisine. Azul is a contemporary restaurant that focuses on fresh in-season products. Azul offers a 6 course meal at a price that is unbelievable, you have the option to choose between a vegetarian menu or a regular (seafood/meat) menu. The food is absolutely phenomenal and they are the perfect portions so you don’t feel stuffed when leaving the restaurant. The best part about Azul, you get 3 starters, 1 main dish, and 2 desserts for only $20. You really can’t beat that ANYWHERE!!!
As you can see there are many different food options perfect to fit anyone’s diet while on the island and these are just my favorite top restaurants in Bocas Del Toro. It’s safe to say that I have not been starving while living here. I hope this post made you hungry and you’re ready to book a flight to Bocas now.
Xoxo Ania Travels 💜
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