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The 13 Best Restaurants in Bocas del Toro, Panama

Are you looking for the best bars or restaurants in Bocas del Toro?

Bocas del Toro, Panama is a unique series of islands located on the Caribbean coast close to the border with Costa Rica. This area is filled with delicious restaurants and some of the most unique bars that you have likely ever been to.

We love Bocas del Toro and visit this area often. This guide to the 13 best restaurants, cafes, and bars is based on all our favorite places to go. We also included a bunch of food advice such as tipping culture, accepted currencies, where to buy groceries, etc.

So, let’s get to all things food and drinks in Bocas!

Map of Restaurants

Bocas del Toro is a bit different than a lot of places because it is spread over several islands. Several of the places on this list are located in Bocas Town (the main town in this area) on Isla Colon.

But, we also made sure to include great places located all around the islands.

You can also access this in Google Maps here.

Alright, now on to the restaurants and bars!

1. Arboloco

Arboloco serves amazing Caribbean food in an eclectic garden setting. The food here is so insanely good. It has the taste of being invited to a grandmother’s house who has perfected their cultural specialties over time.

I recommend the mixed grill platter to try a few different specialties or the Arboloco Rondon.

This restaurant is located on Isla Colon, but not in the downtown area.

  • Price Point: $$
  • Vegetarian Options? Yes, there are a few vegetarian options. I recommend the Arboloco salad or the West Indian Pumpkin Curry
  • Takes Reservations? You can call them at +507 6521-5844
  • Opening Hours: 4:00 PM – 9:30 PM Thursday through Sunday
  • Rating: 5/5 stars on TripAdvisor

Get More Info on Arboloco

2. The Blue Coconut

The 13 Best Restaurants in Bocas del Toro, Panama

The Blue Coconut is arguably the most popular over-water bar in the Bocas del Toro area. Here you can enjoy cocktails, elevated bar food, swimming, snorkeling in the clear waters, relaxing on beach chairs, etc.

Just be warned, this place can get very crowded and rowdy at times.

  • Price Point: $$
  • Vegetarian Options? They have vegetarian appetizers, some wraps, salads, and quesadillas
  • Takes Reservations? You can call them at +507 6762-2058
  • Opening Hours: 12:00 PM – 6:00 PM daily
  • Rating: 4.5/5 stars on TripAdvisor

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3. Up in the Hill – Coffee Shop

This place is a bit different than the other places on this list. Up in the Hill is a cafe and organic cacao farm located in a remote area.

At the heart, this is a cacao farm tour.

You need to pre-book your experience and the coffee shop (which is more like a cafe with a delicious lunch) is only open to cacao tour guests.

We love this experience because it feels very culturally authentic in an area that can sometimes be a bit too touristy.

  • Price Point: $$$
  • Vegetarian Options? Yes
  • Takes Reservations? Yes. You need to make a reservation. You can get more info on that here.
  • Opening Hours: 08:30 AM – 6:00 PM daily. Closed on Saturday’s and Sundays
  • Rating: 4.5/5 stars on TripAdvisor

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4. The Floating Bar

Another unique bar that is located in the middle of the calm clear waters. It really doesn’t get more tropical and unique than this place.

They serve food here, but I’ve actually never eaten here so I can’t really comment on the quality. Instead, I suggest coming here for some cocktails and to swim in the clear waters.

  • Price Point: $$
  • Takes Reservations? You can call them at +507 6328-9249
  • Opening Hours: 12:00 PM – 7:00 PM daily
  • Rating: 5/5 stars on TripAdvisor

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5. AMARANTO

A nice cafe located in front of Hotel Bocas Town on Isla Colon. This is a good go-to place for breakfast or lunch.

They serve things such as smoothies, pressed juices. bowls, sandwiches, waffles, scrambled eggs, and fruit salads. They also have a nice coffee menu.

Amaranto has a few outdoor tables and there is a bit more seating inside.

  • Price Point: $$
  • Vegetarian Options? Yes, there are plenty of vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options.
  • Takes Reservations? No, but if you need to contact them you can call +507 6670-6864
  • Opening Hours: 07:30 AM – 7:30 PM. Closed on Sundays
  • Rating: 5/5 stars on TripAdvisor

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6. Coco Fastronomy

Coco Fastronomy is an over-the-water restaurant on a large wooden dock in Bocas Town.

There are a bunch of restaurants that have a similar layout in this area, but most are somewhat pricey for what they are and don’t serve the best food. Basically, they just cater to tourists.

Coco Fastronomy, is the exception to that. The food here is very good!

The house specialty here is the bapes. This is basically their take on a sandwich made with fresh bread that is similar to an arepe. They also have some tasty fish dishes.

In my opinion, their cocktails aren’t the best and are a bit overpriced, so maybe opt for a beer here instead.

  • Price Point: $
  • Vegetarian Options? Yes, there are a few vegetarian options
  • Takes Reservations? You can call them at +507 6871-2323
  • Opening Hours: 10:00 AM – 10:00 PM. Closed on Wednesdays
  • Rating: 5/5 stars on TripAdvisor

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7. Renny Pizza

You can’t go wrong with the pizza here! This restaurant is located in Bocas Town in a beautiful colonial building. You can eat on the property or get a pizza to go.

  • Price Point: $$
  • Vegetarian Options? Yes.
  • Takes Reservations? You can call them at +507 6390-1666
  • Opening Hours: 4:30 PM – 11:30 PM daily
  • Rating: 5/5 stars on TripAdvisor

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8. The Hummingbird Restaurant

The 13 Best Restaurants in Bocas del Toro, Panama

This restaurant is located at the Hummingbird Hotel on Bluff Beach. Here you can enjoy a delicious steak, chicken, fresh fish etc.

I like this place because everything is very high quality, the atmosphere is peaceful, and they staff are great.

On Saturdays, they serve a tasty Argentinian barbecue (which I think is definitely worth a visit).

  • Price Point: $$
  • Vegetarian Options? Yes. There are a few vegetarian options.
  • Takes Reservations? Yes. Call +507 6949 4869
  • Opening Hours: 5:00 PM – 8:00 PM. Closed on Sundays
  • Rating: 5/5 stars on TripAdvisor

Get More Info on The Hummingbird Restaurant

9. Receta Michilá

The 13 Best Restaurants in Bocas del Toro, Panama

An amazing place for high-quality authentic cuisine on Isla Carenero. The head chef, Junia, prepares food with an AfroPanimanian influence. In all honesty, this is probably the best food you will find in all of Bocas.

  • Price Point: $$
  • Vegetarian Options? They usually have at least one vegetarian option on their menu.
  • Takes Reservations? You can contact them at +507 6493-7024
  • Opening Hours: 08:00 AM – 11:00 AM | 12:00 PM – 10:00 PM. Closed on Tuesdays
  • Rating: 4.5/5 stars on TripAdvisor

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10. Merén Pool Club

The 13 Best Restaurants in Bocas del Toro, Panama

The first time we came here was only to get a few cocktails and use the pool.

I assumed that the food would be bar-style food. I was so wrong! The food here is definitely some of the highest quality cuisine in town.

If you want a fun party, I suggest coming here on Saturday for the pool party and brunch.

Just note, you need to spend at least $20 per person at the restaurant or bar to use the pool. Also, this place is part of the Tropical Suites Hotel, so hotel guests have priority. If the pool is completely full they may turn you away.

  • Price Point: $$
  • Vegetarian Options? Yes, there are several vegetarian options.
  • Takes Reservations? Yes. It is a good idea to reserve. You can do that here.
  • Opening Hours: 07:30 AM – 10:00 PM daily
  • Rating: 4.5/5 stars on TripAdvisor

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11. The View at Oasis

The 13 Best Restaurants in Bocas del Toro, Panama

The View at Oasis is a beautiful restaurant located at the Oasis Hotel on Bluff Beach. We like to come here when we want a more peaceful dining experience away from Bocas Town.

They have tables on their covered porch as well as directly on the beach.

The menu here changes daily depending on what is fresh and in season. I always opt for a fresh fish dish here and it is always excellent.

The owners (Wendy and Simon) will take great care of you and make sure you have an excellent dining experience.

  • Price Point: $$$
  • Vegetarian Options? Yes.
  • Takes Reservations? Yes. You can write them on WhatsApp at +(507) 6349-8411
  • Opening Hours: 12:00 PM – 4:00 PM | 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM daily
  • Rating: 5/5 stars on TripAdvisor

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12. Coquitos Beach

This is a fun beach bar located on Isla Caraenero. And when I say “beach bar” it is literally a square-shaped bar with seats with bar stools around it directly on the beach. This place is always lively and always a party.

They serve tacos and pizza, but the real draw is definitely their good selection of tropical cocktails.

  • Price Point: $$
  • Vegetarian Options? Yes. There are vegetarian pizza options.
  • Takes Reservations? No
  • Opening Hours: 12:00 PM – 9:00 PM. Closed Mondays and Tuesdays
  • Rating: 5/5 stars on TripAdvisor

Get More Info on Coquitos Beach

13. Raw Fusion

I think the name of this place is a bit deceiving. The first time I stopped here I expected it to be a vegan raw type of restaurant. Instead, it is actually a Japanese fusion restaurant.

But, don’t worry! There are still a ton of vegetarian and vegan options on the menu.

They serve sushi, rice bowls, and soups in a comfortable setting with a view of the water in Bocas Town.

  • Price Point: $$
  • Vegetarian Options? Yes
  • Takes Reservations? You can call them at +507 6026-7351
  • Opening Hours: 4:30 PM – 10:00 PM. Closed on Mondays
  • Rating: 4.5/5 stars on TripAdvisor

Get More Info on Raw Fusion

Other Things to Know About Eating in Bocas del Toro

The 13 Best Restaurants in Bocas del Toro, Panama
  • There are water taxis that run between the islands. Just keep in mind that they tend to charge a lot more after dark. It can be a bit difficult to eat dinner on one island and still get home to the island where your hotel is located.
  • A fun way to explore the islands around Bocas del Toro and try all the amazing overwater bars and restaurants is by hiring a private boat for the day. This can be done at a lot of the tourism companies in downtown Bocas Town.
  • Just be aware that some of the beach bars can get very full on Friday. There is a thing called Filthy Fridays which is basically a booze cruise tour to a few different locations. It is super popular and the bars get packed!
  • ​​If you would like to buy food, there are several grocery stores in downtown Bocas Town as well as one on Isla Caranero.
  • If you have any food allergies, definitely let your waiter know. I suggest carrying a card with your allergies translated into Spanish to prevent any language-related miscommunication. As someone with a potentially deadly seafood allergy, I get it! The struggle is real. 
  • In our experience, most things are priced in US dollars here but, if you pay with cash you might get Panamian money in change.
  • If you need help getting to Bocas del Toro, check out our complete guide to the border crossing between Costa Rica and Panama.
  • Most places take cash and credit cards, but it is best to check before eating. There is one ATM in downtown Bocas Town if you need it.
  • Tipping is not required in Panama, but if you have had great service it is always nice to leave something extra.
  • I suggest only drinking bottled water while here. If you have a very sensitive stomach I would even extend this to not getting cocktails with ice in them. We love this reusable bottle from LifeStraw. Then just buy big jugs at the grocery store to refill.

Check out our complete travel guide to Bocas del Toro, Panama for more info

Conclusion: Restaurants in Bocas del Toro

In conclusion, we think you will absolutely love Bocas del Toro. Make sure to take advantage of all the unique restaurants and bars to add to your experience.

If you have any questions about any of the places on this list or organizing your trip to Bocas, don’t hesitate to leave them in the comment section below. We are always happy to help you plan!

Costa Rica Travel Details: What You Need to Know

🚗 Should I rent a car in Costa Rica?

Having a rental car will give you the most flexibility when traveling in Costa Rica. This will also allow you to take fun day trips on your own.

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We find that Viator tends to have the most comprehensive selection of activities with secure booking and good cancellation policies.

🍍 I’m overwhelmed with planning. Can you help?

Of course! I suggest joining our Facebook group for specific questions and head to our Start Here Page to get started planning.

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Usually, we have the best luck finding great prices with Skyscanner. Check for flights to both San Jose Airport (SJO) and Liberia Airport (LIR).

🛏️ What is the best way to book my Costa Rica hotels?

We highly suggest Booking.com for hotel bookings and typically use VRBO for Costa Rica vacation rentals.

🗣️What is the main language in Costa Rica?

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