I currently live in a little bubble of California known as San Francisco, were the weather is always 10 degrees cooler, the people are a sight for sore eyes and there are more organic grocery stores than parking spots. I have currently came down with a bad case of the travel bug and decided to venture out of my bubble for a bit down to Central and South America. My first stop: Panama City, Panama. Panama City, a city where the bars are open till the morning, the people speak faster than the beer flows and restaurants are far from few.
Going to new restaurants and local bars is one of my favorite things to do at night in San Francisco. There are always new ones popping up and existing ones adding a new twist. Having been to Panama City before, I have noticed the same thing – especially in an area of Panama City called Casco Viejo. Since visiting last time, I have noticed a plethora of new bars opening as well as resturants. Ones that I frequented before, have different items on the menu and the new ones have a lot more Western dishes as well as English translations.
Whether the architecture is French Colonial or old Victorian, I´m a sucker for buildings/homes that have an old skool type of look. Much like San Francisco, Casco Viejo has remarkable vintage looking buildings that have a worn out feel and look as though they havne´t been touched in hundreds of years. Another big similiarty is the juxtaposition of the new, modern buildings in Casco to the old, French Colonial ones from back in the day. In San Francisco, you can walk down most areas and see houses/apartments that look as though they haven´t been touched since the 1906 earthquake and have a newly renovated complex right next door.
Unlike San Francisco, Casco Viejo doesn´t have a lot of different types of restaurants. I felt that a lot of the options on the different menus were on in the same. I was able to find a lot of different types of foods in other parts of Panama City including Chinese, Middle Eastern, Greek, Kosher, German and Japanese. I have to commend Panama City on being able to whip up tasty treats from other parts of the world.
All in all, I found that both areas of the world have a very unique look and feel to them that one could either love or hate. I´m not sure if you could find yourself in the middle. And if you do, you would probably find yourself somewhere in Mexico. Ok, bad joke…