20 years

Winning restaurant on Canal run by one of five-star hotels in Panama City

The Miraflores Restaurant, run by one of the top hotels in Panama, is far more than good food; it is an experience, an adventure, for those who have yet to see the Panama Canal in action. If the weather is good, sit out on the deck and shipping making its way through the Miraflores lock seems almost close enough the touch.

I was the first to break the news to Chef Stephane Dias that his restaurant was voted the best in Panama in the latest issue of Lonely Planet. I had heard myself that afternoon from management at the El Panamá Hotel in nearby Panama City. The hotel is operator of the restaurant.

Chef Stephane Dias

Dias is from France. He studied in Paris, Finland and New Caledonia, in the South Pacific. He arrived in Panama two years ago as a tourist…but not in the usual fashion.

He met in Paris the Panamanian woman who is now his wife, and came to Panama to meet her family. And then Panama did something it does to many people: it captured his heart and he decided to stay.

Chef Dias’s favorite meal? Langostino, jumbo shrimp. And if you just want a snack and a glass of wine or beer while sitting on the deck, the ceviche, a raw fish appetizer, is tasty.

The Miraflores Restaurant is about 15 to 20 minutes away by car or taxi from any of the hotels in Panama City.

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