The Old Quarter from the rooftops￼
As Panama City’s Old Quarter stirs back to life, its rooftop venues fill with people, music, light, and good food. These days, nightlife in this part of the city embraces the skyline.
By Javier A. Pinzón
Photos: Javier A. Pinzón and Getty Images
No one does atmosphere better than Lazotea in the Old Quarter. Located at Av. Eloy Alfaro and C. 11, it boasts an outdoor terrace around a pool and a quietly tasteful indoor salon. Added attractions include chef Jorge Rausch’s innovative cuisine, featuring unique flavors and his six-course special, and the lively entertainment: live music and a magic show on Wednesdays and Thursdays, a fire show on Fridays and Saturdays, and brunch on Saturdays and Sundays. On Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, a DJ plays music with broad appeal as night falls over the city.
At Isaki, colors and flavors combine to produce the most exquisite Japanese fusion cuisine. Located across from the Church of San José and with a view of the bell tower, the experience of dining at this restaurant is further enhanced by its extensive cocktail list. If you want to enjoy one of Panama City’s incomparable sunsets to the charming background of saxophone music, Wednesday is the day. Music by local bands give you a good excuse to go on Fridays and Saturdays.
This spacious, colorful, and entertaining tropical terrace is generally packed with a young and diverse crowd. You can sit by the pool and admire the sunset while savoring the delicious “Tacos La Neta.” Bring your mat for yoga at 8 a.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Wednesday afternoons feature the celebrated “Corriente latina,” where locals teach foreign visitors how to dance as they all enjoy music and making new connections.
With its 360° view of the architectural gems of the Old Quarter and the gleaming skyline, Tántalo is one of the Old Quarter’s premier rooftop venues. Locals and visitors alike gather here to sip exquisite beverages. Chef Pierre De Janon spoils diners with international culinary treats, fusing flavors from around the world while paying homage to local foods and beverages. The hotel itself is an ode to art, with murals by various artists splashed on the walls.
Relax with a good cocktail in hand and watch the sun go down at this outdoor bar and terrace during the daily happy hour from 4 to 8 p.m. The rhythms of DJ Rhonald Vásquez will ease you into the night and Chef Antonio Tome will delight your palate with delectable dishes prepared with seasonal regional ingredients.
The comprehensive cocktail menu —unique in the Corona franchise— is undoubtedly an attraction at this bar-restaurant. Chef José Aparicio works his magic with Mexican fusion cuisine. Let the sunset and the DJ music wash away the cares of the day. In addition to the outdoor areas, indoor spaces come to the rescue in bad weather. Located across from the Church of San José.
This triple treat includes a sports bar on the first floor, a live music space on the second, and a rooftop with an incomparable view of the Bridge of the Americas and the Amador Causeway. A salsa band or live singer entertain on Saturdays. The kitchen is helmed by chef Stevenson Acevedo, who prepares Asian and international dishes. Bartender Gabriel Seijas serves up varied delights, including the Blu Cocoa special. DJ Ian González brings his music every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, and if you like to sing, Thursday is karaoke night. There are happy hour specials Mondays through Thursdays from 4 to 8 p.m.
CasaCasco perfectly blends history with the avant-garde. The site spreads over five floors that include three fabulous restaurants, a disco, and a terrace where you can nibble enticing appetizers from the restaurants as you marvel at the Panamanian sunset. This new concept merges the best of the culinary world with the most select entertainment under one roof, giving you many options for lovely afternoons and special nights.
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