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Restaurants in Bocas del Toro

When visiting Panama’s tourism hot spot in Bocas del Toro, you will find a wide variety of restaurants that cater to both tourists and locals. Along the waterfront are touristy restaurants with great outdoor seating built on docks over the water. These establishments offer standard fare at slightly inflated prices. But, these are great places to get a coffee in the mornings and enjoy the watching the sun reflect off the Caribbean waters.

If you are like me, and are always in search of local joints where the food is cheap and authentic and the clientele is mostly Panamanian, than you should not miss Restaurante Chitre. Located on Bocas’ main strip, this cafeteria style haunt is a well-loved local institution. It may not look like much on the outside (or the inside for that matter), but here you can get a heaping pile of rice, beans the their to-die-for pollo asado for about US$2.50. The ladies who do the cooking know how to make good roasted chicken. The meat was tender and delicious and the sauce was the best I had during my entire month in Panama. Wash down your patacones with a soda and sit at one of the small, slanted tables outside. As soon as you bite into that pollo asado you’ll be glad you visited Restaurante Chitre. The only problem with place is that once you eat there once, you’ll find yourself not wanting to eat anywhere else during your stay on the island.

If you find yourself sick of rice, beans and chicken (though I can’t say I found myself tiring of the chicken at Chitre), the Super Gourmet Market has a great deli with made-to-order sandwiches, potato salad and other deli favorites. Here you can get a huge sandwich with all the fixings for US$5. The grocery store, owned by Americans hailing from Napa, California, also has higher-end groceries, wines and meats and cheeses.