Last Updated: 7/4/17
Most restaurants in Puerto Armuelles only serve lunch, or breakfast and lunch.
Thankfully, the number of restaurants serving dinner is steadily increasing.
From only 3 just a few years ago, to 15 today. And rumors of more in the works.
It is easy to find breakfast and lunch places. So I only share our 2 favorite places to go for those meals.
All the restaurants that serve dinner – some of which serve lunch too – are listed below.
NOTE: In Panama, don’t rely on a menu when ordering. Ask what is available today.
Although they sometimes run out of eggs, we like this place. It is in a quiet location and gets good morning light. It is located downtown, between Supermercado Puerto Armuelles and Iglesia de San Antonio (the tall church in downtown Puerto Armuelles).
We like this place very much. It isn’t much to look at, but they serve good tipica food. It has no sign and can be hard to spot. It is an outdoor “rancho” restaurant located in downtown Puerto Armuelles. It is kitty corner from Supermercado Puerto Armuelles, and sits between a barber shop on one side and fruit stands the other.
For Dinner – (or for lunch & dinner too)
Listed By Neighborhood
I have listed Puerto Armuelles’ dinner restaurants by neighborhood.
Most dinner restaurants open around 5 and close by 9 or 10, except on weekends when some are open later.
Want your meal delivered? Hire a taxi to pick it up and deliver it to you.
Restaurante & Pizzeria Don Carlos
(lunch & dinner)
Don Carlos is located downtown, across from the waterfront park. It serves fish (order it “a la plancha”), pizza, spaghetti, as well as typical Panamanian food. You can eat on the covered outside “porch” or inside with A/C.
Alberto Carbono, the owner, is a charming English-speaking Puerto native with good stories of Puerto’s past. For alittle about him and the Carlos Alberto Carbono waterfront park, go here.
Alberto’s daughters are now in charge of the restaurant. I will have to go and check out if it has changed at all.
Call to pre-order or for take out: 770-7773 or 770-9773.
Open Mon & Wed – Fri 12 – 8ish. Sat – 1-9. Sun – 5 -9. Closed Tuesdays.
Restaurante y Marisqueria Don Juan
(lunch & dinner)
It is just down the street from Don Carlos and kitty corner from the bus station. It has both A/C & a TV. It is a good place to go to escape the heat. They serve good seafood normally, but their food is not consistently good. UPDATE: The last few times I have been, it has been consistently BAD. Very greasy. Others tell me the same thing. I cannot recommend going here, unfortunately.
Open 11am – 11pm, 7 days a week.
Cafe del Mar on the water at the downtown waterfront park. If you are at the park, looking at the water, it is on your left. Cafe del Mar offers tastes you don’t often find outside of Panama City. Their menu includes tastes from Thailand, India, and Mexico. They also serve hamburgers, pastries, ice cream, smoothies and milk shakes. One of the owners, an Iranian, Bernard, speaks English well. You can find more information, photos and see Cafe del Mar’s menu in our review.
Closed Tuesdays. Open Wed – Mon from 11 (sometimes 1) until 9 or 10. Call 6751-5028 for to go orders or to preorder.
2 Restaurants in old Super Jen building (lunch & dinner)
There are a couple of places in the old Super Yen building to get coffee, snacks, pizza, fried chicken, ice cream, and other foods.
It is across the street from Colegio de San Antonio (K-12 school) and next to Andrea’s Internet café (which is also the best place in Puerto to use a computer, get copies, and buy office supplies). The food is okay. The chicken from the chicken place is heavy on cumin and can be very greasy. It is poplar with the student crowd. It is open until 7:30 – 8pm most nights.
Downtown & San Jose Neighborhood
Master Pizza has 2 locations. 1st is on the main road, the part that goes by the San Jose neighborhood. It is not far from the library. The 2nd is downtown, across from the bus station for the fincas. Both offer pizza, hamburgers, and french fries.
Carmen Neighborhood (adjacent to Downtown)
Restaurante Buen Sabor (The “Grilled Chicken Place)
It has no sign out front, except a sandwich board, sometimes, when it is open. It is owned by Senor Curro.
It is 1 block from the downtown playground & 1⁄2 blk from the water. On main road to San Vicente, turn left at the yellow-fronted MELO y CIA store. The restaurant will be on your right.
Their menu is simple: pollo asado (roast chicken) with your choice of papa fritas (french fries), patacones (fried plantains), or steamed yucca. You can now also get chuletas (pork chops), hamburgers, and ice cream.
It tends to be open most nights, after 6pm. If its abierto (open) sign is lighted, it’s open. You can call them at 6821-8249 or 6468-2855 to see if they are open or to order.
San Vicente Neighborhood (adjacent to Carmen)
Hutto’s Bar & Grill
(+ breakfast & lunch – weekends only)
Hutto’s is the restaurant at a waterfront hotel (see photo). The dining area faces the hotel’s pool. It is about a 5 minute walk from downtown. It has A/C.
The specialty of the house is pork. Slow-cooked by the owner himself, Milton Hutto, an American and a gracious host. They serve pizza, hamburgers, salads, and other “American” foods. For breakfast they offer a set menu of: unlimited coffee, scrambled eggs, roasted potatoes, fruit, and either thick cut bacon or sausage. (Milton makes the sausage patties himself.)
Closed Mondays. Tues – Friday: ~5pm. Sat & Sun: 8:30- 10:30 and ~1pm.
Las Juanas (lunch & dinner)
Las Juanas is right next door to Hutto’s Bar & Grill. It is in a beachfront rancho. Go down the driveway to the left of the green house (pictured) to get to it. They serve seafood, chicken and other typical Panama foods. Order, then take a stroll on the beach while your food is prepared.
A word of caution, its seafood can sometimes be surprisingly expensive. Its comida del dia is usually good & cheaper, though often only available at lunch. Phone: 6921-4536
Los Angles Neighborhood
Ari BBQ offers BBQ chicken, sausages, beef, pork chops and more. It is on the main road, near ESPA (the big school across from the fair grounds). It is definitely worth checking out. I wrote a review of Ari BBQ, which includes its menu. Open 7 days a week starting at 5pm-ish. Call to order or for a delivery: 6802-2163.
Rio Mar Neighborhood
On a residential street in Rio Mar, Pilo’s has no sign. It is not far from Enrique (below) and Puerto’s big baseball stadium. A gas station is on the corner where you turn off the main road for Pizza Pilo. All seating is open air. They sometimes have a TV.
Pilo’s makes a good filette (flank steak), which they marinate in papaya juice. They also make a decent pizza, lasagna, and other dishes.
It is closed on Sundays. Opens ~5 M-Sat
Restaurante Enrique (lunch & dinner)
Enrique is a Chinese restaurant. But I wouldn’t necessarily recommend its Chinese food. We think its best items are sopa de marisco (seafood soup) and fried chicken. It has A/C & TV.
Enrique’s is on the main road as you enter town, across the street from a gas station and next to a fire station. It is not far from Pizza Pilo and Rio Mar’s big baseball stadium.
Open 7 days a week.
Restaurante El Pulpo (lunch & dinner)
El Pulpo is a seafood restaurant in the waterfront area of the Rio Mar neighborhood. It is one block back from the water, on the same road as the one-lane bridge connecting Downtown/Pueblo Nuevo and Rio Mar.
It has very tasty seafood. Read our review of Restaurante El Pulpo for more.
Open 7 days a week, noon – 11pm. Phone: 6855-7104
Corozon de Oro (between Pez de Oro & Corazon de Jesus Neighborhoods)
El Rancho – (lunch on weekends)
The sign says El Rancho. But the locals call it Restaurante Luz, because Luz owns it. It is on the road to the Corazon de Jesus neighborhood. It is run by a wonderful family & their staff. It is very popular. On Sundays it can get quite crowded. It is the place to eat seafood in Puerto Armuelles.
Closed Mondays. Open Tues – Fri at 5, Sat and Sun at 11am
(not always open for lunch on Saturdays)
Restaurante Hermanas Bustos –(lunch on weekends)
Located just down the street from El Rancho. It is Puerto’s newest dinner restaurant. They serve the usual Panamanian food. When we went, the service was fast and the food, especially the pork, was good.
Open M-F: 3-10pm, Sat & Sun: 11 – 11pm