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Food Tour Panama City – Afro-Panamanian Culinary Heritage

Taste the flavors of Panama City on this unique food tour. A local chef will guide you through 500 years of Afro-Panamanian culinary history and its effect on the heritage and culture of modern Panama!

4.50 out of 5 based on 2 customer ratings
(2 customer reviews)
USD $120.00USD $145.00

Per Person
Type of Tour
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Food Tour Panama City – Afro-Panamanian Culinary Heritage

Afro-Panamanian cuisine is one of the most notorious expressions of rebellion and resilience in Panama. On this food tour you’ll taste amazing food while visiting iconic places in Panama City where Afro-Panamanians have developed an independent economic system to make a living by fishing, cooking, and selling food. Experience the bright flavors of the city with this off-the-beaten-path food tour led by a local Panamanian chef.

Highlights

  • A local Afro-Panamanian chef will be your guide! (Speaks English)
  • Get a proper introduction to authentic Panamanian cuisine
  • Experience iconic neighborhoods in Panama City
  • Visit one of the most famous Afro-Panamanian enclaves in the country

The Food (Included)

  • Lobster ceviche
  • Sea bass ceviche
  • Stan patty beef
  • Plantain tart
  • Orange and raspadura juice
  • Codfish cakes
  • Patacones
  • Rondon
  • Chef’s special
  • Coffee

Tour Information

Duration: 3 hours

Start Time: 10am

Tour Start & End Point: Mercado del Mariscos (map) (Hotel pick-up is available for private tours)

Availability: Group tours run every Wednesday. Private tours run everyday excluding Wednesdays and Sundays.

Weekly group tour ($120 per person): This group tour runs every Wednesday, from about 10am (10:00) to 1pm (13:00). Reservations for the upcoming Wednesday close every Monday at noon.

Private tour ($145 per person): This tour runs with a minimum of 2 people. There is no max number of people. It is available every day of the week, except for Wednesday and Sunday and also runs from about 10am (10:00) to 1pm (13:00).

Itinerary

First stop: Mercado Del Mariscos (Afro-Colonial expression)

One of the most colorful places in the city and a daily source of fresh seafood! Here, you will learn about Panamanians’ unique version of ceviche, and how they basically make ceviche out of anything they can catch in the ocean, including lobster, octopus, and prawns!

Second Stop: Mi Pueblito Afroantillano 

Here you will be captivated by one the best views of the city from the skirts of the Cerro Ancon. Mi Pueblito Afroantillano was built by the government almost 20 years ago, but lack of maintenance and organization have made the place less attractive to tourists. Here you will receive a #BoxDelCoco, a snack box created by La Tapa Del Coco. Your #BoxDelCoco will feature different flavors, baked goods, and a refreshment. You will enjoy your snack box while guide tells you some of the amazing stories about how Afro-Antilleans went from the Caribbean Islands to the isthmus of Panama.

Third stop: Centollo’s Place

For the first time in history, an Afro-Panamanian restaurant has opened its door in a mall! Here, you will get a true sense of Panama’s culinary cultural mix. Seafood, beef, poultry, rices, soups, and more are in the daily diet of the Afro-Panamanian people. Centollo’s has been in business for over 20 years and their success is based on their quality and consistency expressing the best of the Afro-Panamanian culinary heritage.

What’s Included

  • Transportation
  • 10 authentic Panamanian dishes
  • Knowledgeable and enthusiastic bilingual guide
  • Professional photos, retrievable online after the tour

 

Map

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Panama City Panama

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Panama City Panama 8.983333, -79.516667

Kyle Wiggins

Isaac Villaverde

What is the essence Afro-Panamanian cuisine?”

“After years of receiving the same question, I went on a quest to find the answer. The tour is the most authentic representation of more than 500 years of Afro-Panamanian culinary history,” declared Isaac Villaverde—the guide for this tour. Isaac is the founder of the Movimiento Cultural La Tapa Del Coco, an organization that promotes the preservation of Afro-Panamanian traditions with gastronomy at the core of its activities. La Tapa Del Coco, as it’s commonly referred to, has been positioned as a point of reference for Afro-Panamanian development and entrepreneurship recognized by the New York Times, TVN2, and other media.

*Please note that this tour may be guided by another local guide, always providing a genuine approach to the local culture.

  1. Rated 4 out of 5

    (verified owner):

    Do this tour! VERY good food, learned a little about the very visible Afro Panamanian community (both the Afro-Colonials and the Afro-Antilleans), and visited local Afro food sites in Panama City.

    Pluses:

    * We were served delicious food at all 3 sites we visited (fresh ceviche in casual, Styrofoam cups at the ”Woman of Ceviches” shop in the El Mercado de Marisco Seafood Market – one of the best things I’ve ever tasted; flavorful beef and plaintain-stuffed “patties” at the Ancon Hill Mi Pueblito complex; and a full dinner of tender ox tails, fried fish in mustard sauce, catfish cakes, crisp patacones, salad, and a spicy fruit drink at “Donde Ivan”, a local restaurant in the Rio Abajo neighborhood).

    * The food tour guide is a chef himself and personally made sweet and savory patties, which were like empanada pastries, except delicious and without all the grease, patacones (like a mashed, fried plaintain) and sorrel juices for us to eat and drink along the way. No need to eat beforehand because you will receive large samples and a huge meal at the local restaurant. You will not be shortchanged and will be stuffed by the end!

    Cons:

    * I would have liked to slow down and learn a little more about Mi Pueblito.

    * Keteka didn’t receive several email replies to their email request for our details. By the time we got everything straightened out, it was too late to keep our original tour time and we had to reschedule for a later that same day. Not a huge inconvenience and the tour was still very good, but this could have been a miss if we had other plans arranged for that evening.

    Regrets:

    * My long standing fear of being sickened by raw fish kept me from finishing off the ceviche we got at the Marisco market (something about eating raw food seems weird to me. For that same reason, I don’t eat Sushi.) – Even though the ceviche was fresh and tasted absolutely delicious I only ate half of it (which was still a very large portion, actually). BUT … It’s now been 3 days since the tour and I have not had even the tiniest twinge of illness, then or now. The only thing I have is a twinge of regret that I did not finish a great first-time food experiences. ‘Cuz the ceviche was delish!

  2. Rated 5 out of 5

    (verified owner):

    Our tour with Isaac was beautiful. He was very well informed and accommodating. We will definitely recommend this tour to friends that visit Panama City. As an American of Italian descent, I comprehend how food can tell the story of a people. It was beautiful too see Isaac’s passion about his background, his culture’s cuisine and the future of Panama City. Communication was excellent with e-mail exchange several days prior to our tour. By the end of the tour we felt that we had made a new friend in Isaac and his “driver” Anna. I wish him the best in all of his future endeavors. Thank you again for setting us up.

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What Happens After I Book?

After you book your experience, you will receive a confirmation email from us confirming that your payment went through. You will then be connected directly to the tour operator, in case you have any further questions. We are also happy to answer any questions about the tour, or travel in general in your country of destination.

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