(The Panama Gringo) I love food. In general Panama has a decent food scene with moderate selection and a variety of restaurant atmospheres. But Panama can be expensive if you eat in many restaurants a lot. I prefer to dine out and make a sport of eating well on a budget. One can only eat so many deep fried empanadas, cheeseburgers and to go cups/bags of fruit and ceviche before they crave a little more variety. In Panama street food and cheap eats are abundant; but after a short while it all begins to taste the same. The upside to most diners and vendors in Panama is that you can still eat lunch for under $5. In some Panamanian restaurants $5 is enough for two people to grab breakfast or lunch.
Tired of the deep fried flavors that I had been eating entirely too often, I decided to try this Indian place that I had frequently passed up in the Bella Vista district. Sabor de India; in the banking district, or Bella Vista neighborhood of Panama City is an amazing little ethnic place. I was so excited when I smelled the place that I ordered several things on the menu. One could have easily been satisfied with one or two items. My bill ended up totaling around $17 after drinks, appetizers and entrees. I could have eaten well and been less miserable afterward if I had only spent around $5 or $6.
I highly recommend trying the chicken kabobs, and samosas covered in this creamy chickpea hummus like sauce. I love spicy foods so I asked the very authentic Indian chef to make mine “un poco pica”or a little spicy, figuring they would kick it up a notch regardless. The chicken masala and naan were very tasty as well. I loved the spinach side and actually ordered an extra cup to go with some bread. Sabor de India on Calle 51 in Bella Vista is well worth discovering if you love ethnic food.