Buenaventura: the new gastronomic destination of Panama

Buenaventura has undergone a culinary transformation in recent months, evolving into a bustling gastronomic hub. While it has always boasted good dining options, new culinary concepts have emerged today, turning it into a vibrant culinary destination.

From the established Japanese cuisine of TaiKai to the youthful energy of Mexican fare at La Vecindad and the revitalized native menu of Criollo, each restaurant strives to entice diners with its unique gastronomic identity.

Gustavo Borja, Director of Food and Beverages, says, “Our culinary offerings cater to diverse consumer preferences. We are continuously innovating and committed to establishing Buenaventura as a culinary destination offering a wide range of experiences, ensuring diners enjoy a unique sensory journey.”

Experiences to Suit Every Palate

Behind each culinary concept lies a distinctive experience. We blend fresh local ingredients with innovative techniques to bring the best of global cuisine to Buenaventura while preserving the unique flavors of local produce.

Chefs elevate dishes to new heights using coconut and various locally sourced ingredients. For instance, incorporating pigeon peas into a Peruvian classic like tacu tacu adds a unique touch found exclusively here.

From concept to concept, let’s delve into the culinary offerings of each establishment and explore some of their standout dishes.

TaiKai: authentic Japanese food with a local flair

TaiKai offers an authentic Japanese dining experience featuring fresh ingredients and modern culinary trends and techniques. Six signature dishes have been introduced as part of the menu’s recent innovation, each showcasing a unique level of preparation and complexity.

Highly recommended are the Pork Belly Confit, infused with oriental flavors, and The Bento Box, a traditional Japanese dish elevated to new heights with our distinctive touch.

TaiKai has already secured a special place in the hearts and palates of our residents.

Palapa: High-end cocktails and tapas

Palapa has emerged as a premier bar destination within Buenaventura, renowned for its exceptional mixology. Today, this is further complemented by a tapas menu that enhances the overall experience.

Highlighted among the top recommendations are the Saril Prawns, a dish blending Afghan and Panamanian cultures harmoniously. Another standout option is the Truffled Duck Roll, which seamlessly fuses local tradition with one of Panama’s most influential culinary influences, China, resulting in an extraordinary culinary delight.

Palapa offers the ideal setting to savor a stunning sunset while indulging in exquisite flavors.

El Faro: the freshness and flavor of the sea 

El Faro presents an enticing option for those seeking fresh cuisine in a cozy ambiance with breathtaking views. Our menu combines the authenticity of Peruvian cuisine with local influences, featuring a diverse selection of ceviches, tiraditos, and other marine specialties, consistently showcasing the freshest ingredients.

El Faro has recently introduced a selection of grilled meat cuts, quickly gaining acclaim alongside our seafood offerings.

Criollo: Fine Dining on the beach

Undoubtedly, Criollo is fast becoming the pride of Buenaventura, aiming to establish itself as one of the premier gastronomic destinations outside of Panama City. It’s a culinary gem that pays homage to international cuisine, artfully blended with local ingredients, resulting in dishes that celebrate the richness of Panamanian culinary tradition. 

Standout creations include reimagined classics like tacu tacu infused with pigeon pea, showcasing a profound respect for native ingredients and a talent for crafting unforgettable culinary encounters.

La Vecindad: The vibrant spirit of Mexican food

This concept is crafted to provide a laid-back dining experience while continuously innovating. It is all about creating memorable moments. The ambiance is designed for sharing with friends or the community, featuring standout dishes like the famous flautas, tacos, mole, and salads.

La Vecindad is set to introduce an exciting new concept: Toast. A selection of sandwiches is poised to tantalize taste buds and redefine the dining experience.

Mansa: A celebration of the world’s cuisine

Where can you discover a delightful venue offering extensive dishes inspired by global culinary traditions? Look no further than Mansa. From artisanal pizzas to sushi, the restaurant’s menu is crafted to satisfy every palate and celebrate culinary creativity. Coupled with a pleasant ambiance and a fine selection of cocktails and wines, Mansa promises an unforgettable dining experience.

And for the children?: The option is Tagua

For those craving comfort food, the poolside restaurant is a top choice, boasting various elevated options ranging from burgers to wraps and beyond. Standout dishes like the Tableño Chorizo Burger, featuring a local Panamanian twist, or the Blue Cheese with Mushroom Stroganoff have quickly become family favorites.

Buenaventura is emerging as a tourist destination renowned for its landscapes and beaches and as a culinary hub offering diverse culinary experiences that reflect its rich and varied culture.

Each restaurant in Buenaventura meticulously crafts its menu to capture the essence of its culinary specialty, ensuring that every visit is memorable. With each dish served, Buenaventura nourishes the body and feeds the soul, beckoning diners to return to this culinary gem of Panama repeatedly.

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