After a hard day of sweating, and swatting at mosquitoes, a big bowl of sancocho is wonderfully restorative. It’s a traditional, tropical, chicken soup, meaty and filling and flavorful.
The Cafetería Manolo, in the Panama City neighborhood known as El Cangrejo (the crab), serves a cilantro-infused broth with juicy chunks of breast meat and pieces of a white yam called ñame, which also thickens the liquid. Celery, carrots, and onions add subtle flavors that round out the dish.
The order comes with a side bowl of sticky rice, just in case you need more starch, and a small dish of lime wedges. Add a tall glass of fresh lemonade, and you have a meal.
Manolo's has an inside, air-conditioned section where the TV blares incessantly—a very Panamanian state of affairs—and a popular covered patio that offers front seats to the parade of very active and colorful nightlife.
Now, here’s the trick: Getting there. Navigation in Panama City is challenging for non-natives, since most streets don’t have signs, and some go by more than one name.
Manolo's sits on the corner of Calle 49B Oeste, also known as Via Veneto, and Calle D, a lane just one block long that runs between Calle 49B Oeste and Avenida Eusebio A. Morales. Calle D parallels Via España, a main street that's on every city map.
This inset may help. It shows the very lovely and affordable Hotel Toscana Inn as a red box just down the street—