“Panama’s Kosher Culinary Gems: Aria, Aroma, Lula Casco, Yoss Burger”

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    Panama stands out as a captivating destination, boasting a splendid landscape and a thriving Jewish community. The country provides numerous avenues for accessing kosher food, whether through dining out or grocery shopping. It offers a unique opportunity to witness a vibrant Jewish community flourishing beyond the borders of the United States and Israel.

    Embark on a journey to Panama City, where the fusion of tradition and modernity is evident. With an impressive count of 40 kosher restaurants, comprising 90% of the community’s culinary landscape, along with numerous synagogues and schools, Panama City serves as a remarkable exemplar of contemporary Jewish life.

    The burgeoning kosher restaurant scene in Panama adheres to stringent standards for kosher certification, aiming to simplify the adherence to kosher dietary laws for community members. What sets Panama apart is the extraordinary appeal of its kosher restaurants, both in terms of cuisine and decor, drawing not only Jewish patrons but also non-Jewish visitors. Despite the predominantly Syrian composition of the community, the restaurant options span a diverse and international culinary spectrum.

    My top choice for kosher dining in Panama City


    YOSS BURGER: A Culinary Haven in the Heart of Panama!

    Established in 2019, Yoss Burger Bar has swiftly claimed its reputation as the go-to spot for the finest burgers in town, offering an immersive culinary journey for all the senses. Nestled in the upscale Punta Paitilla neighborhood, celebrated for its opulent skyscrapers and meticulously landscaped parks, Yoss Burger Bar proudly stands as a 100% kosher restaurant, unwavering in its commitment to the highest quality standards.

    This gastronomic gem, situated in the heart of Panama, beckons those in search of not just a meal but an experience, whether it be a full-fledged feast or a quick, satisfying kosher comfort food fix. Punta Paitilla, with its vibrant Jewish community, has blossomed into a haven for kosher enthusiasts, and Yoss Burger Bar takes center stage in this culinary paradise.

    Yoss Burger, New York Jewish Travel Guide

    The menu at Yoss Burger Bar is a testament to culinary creativity, offering a diverse array of choices ranging from gourmet burgers to an assortment of main dishes, sandwiches, and salads. A standout recommendation is the mouthwatering, generously sized grilled burger patty, impeccably nestled between freshly toasted buns. Adorned with layers of crisp lettuce, sliced tomatoes, and rings of red onions, each bite is a symphony of flavors. Complementing this culinary masterpiece are the irresistibly crunchy and golden fries, elevating the dining experience.

    To round off the culinary journey, a must-try is the amazing and delicious Moroccan donut (Fzinges), a perfect sweet note to end your meal on a high. The warm hospitality of the staff adds to the overall positive dining experience, making Yoss Burger Bar a family-friendly destination catering to patrons of all ages. The establishment operates under the kosher supervision of Shevet Ahim Kosher, ensuring a dining experience that aligns with the highest culinary and dietary standards.

    For those in pursuit of the ultimate burger experience, Yoss Burger Bar invites you to visit Calle Ramon H. Jurado 56, Panama City, Panama. Reach out to them at +507 373 3800 or explore their offerings on their website, https://yossburger.com. Any inquiries can be directed to galyam123@hotmail.com. Immerse yourself in an unparalleled kosher dining adventure at Yoss Burger Bar, where every bite is a celebration of flavor and quality!

     Aroma Restaurant

    Embark on a culinary journey at Aroma Restaurant, an exceptional 100% kosher dairy establishment nestled in the heart of Panama City. Aroma seamlessly blends Mediterranean influences, bringing the richness of Israelite culture to life through a symphony of fresh ingredients, aromatic herbs, spices, and vibrant hues in every dish. Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, Aroma provides an authentically delightful experience in a laid-back setting while maintaining an affordable price range.

    The menu at Aroma is a masterpiece of gourmet perfection, featuring flawlessly prepared pasta, pizza, and an extraordinary sea bass available with a variety of delectable sauces or perfectly grilled. From ceviche-filled avocados to pasta with eggplant or tomato and salads bursting with locally sourced produce, each dish leaves an indelible mark on the palate. The option of outdoor seating enhances the overall dining pleasure.

    Aroma Restaurant, New York Jewish Travel Guide

    Aroma Gourmet has earned its place as a favorite among both locals and tourists, transcending kosher preferences. The attentive and amiable waitstaff, known for their professionalism and bilingual proficiency, contribute to the overall positive dining experience. Dalit, the general manager with over three years of experience at both Aroma and Yoss Burger, highlighted the Sweet Brent Salad as a signature dish, featuring Israeli cauliflower and sushi stew. Aroma has also become a sought-after venue for Bar Mitzvah celebrations, offering a harmonious blend of music, dance, and exceptional cuisine.

    Dalit, a stalwart member of both Aroma and Yoss Burger, emphasized that Aroma is not just a dining destination but also a hub for learning. The chef conducts pizza classes for kids, infusing an interactive element into the culinary journey. Aroma Gourmet stands out as a highly recommended choice for diverse occasions, including business meetings, romantic dinners, and special celebrations. The restaurant proudly adheres to kosher standards under the supervision of Shevet Ahim Kosher, ensuring a dining experience that meets the highest culinary and dietary expectations.

    Contact: Paitilla Mall, Local 4 and 5, Panama City. Phone: 507 393-3662 Email: kosher2211@hotmail.com   www.aromagourmetpa.com

    Operating Hours: Sunday to Thursday: 12 a.m.–10 p.m. Friday: 11 a.m.–4 p.m. Saturdays: 7 p.m.–12 a.m.

    Lula Casco: A Hidden Gem in Casco Viejo

    Nestled in a prime location, Lula Casco is a truly hidden gem, offering a unique culinary experience. As probably the only kosher restaurant in Casco Viejo, it stands out with a menu that fuses Israeli street food with a Latin flavor. This culinary haven caters not only to meat enthusiasts but also to vegetarians, ensuring that every dish is crafted with freshness, flavor, and the delightful touch of Chef Ayelet Vahnish Gal.

    As you enter Lula Casco, you’re greeted by the charming sight of a small library, providing a literary escape as you wait for your meal. Adding to the allure is a vibrant mural that beautifully showcases Panama’s diverse culture, featuring traditional attire-clad women and iconic landmarks juxtaposed against modern skyscrapers, including the Bridge of the Americas.

    The menu is a testament to the fusion of Israeli and Latin cuisines, making it a top choice for vegetarians in Casco Viejo. Ayelet, the chef and owner, brings both expertise and friendliness to the dining experience. Speaking to the New York Jewish Travel Guide, she shared her culinary journey, having opened her first restaurant, Darna, with her sister 20 years ago. Trained as a chef in Tel Aviv and Paris, Ayelet’s passion for cooking shines through in each dish, and her specialty—sourdough bread—is a culinary treasure in Panama.

    Lula Casco, New York Jewish Travel Guide

    Despite the challenges brought by COVID, Lula Casco emerged as a testament to resilience and adaptability. Ayelet found the perfect space in Casco Viejo, with an ideal layout and a small kitchen that ensures daily deliveries of fresh vegetables. This became the opportunity she was seeking.

    The menu boasts a variety of delights, with a standout recommendation being the grilled chicken over salad, complemented by a grilled half eggplant—a healthy and delectable choice. Lula Casco offers a diverse beverage selection, including mint tea, natural fruit juices, beers, wine, and sangria. Dessert options range from brownies and chocolate halva to malabi and tiramisu, earning praise as one of the best.

    Lula Casco is more than a kosher meat restaurant; it is a culinary retreat in the heart of Casco Viejo. Under the supervision of Shevet Ahim Kosher, it promises a dining experience where freshness and flavor take center stage. Whether enjoying a leisurely meal or grabbing takeout, Lula Casco invites you to savor the best of Israeli and Latin cuisines in a warm and inviting atmosphere.

    Contact information: Calle 1 Casco Viejo Panama City, Panama Phone: +507 645631 40 IG@lulacasco507.

    Aria Panama: A Culinary Odyssey of Kosher Fusion Excellence”

    Nestled in the heart of Panama City, Aria has been elevating the kosher dining experience for the past eight years, offering a high-end fusion of flavors in a contemporary and sophisticated setting. On a recent trip to Panama City, I had the pleasure of dining at Aria, conveniently located across the street from my hotel. The restaurant has a large, covered courtyard and outdoor seating in addition to its tastefully decorated interior, which includes multiple tables and a bar.

    ARIA PANAMA, New York Jewish Travel Guide

    Jairo, the manager for the past eight years, shared insights with the New York Jewish Travel Guide, stating, “The menu is a celebration of kosher fusion cuisine with offerings for every palate.” Aria’s menu showcases a variety of tapas, both hot and cold, with an intriguing “Oriental Wok” section that reimagines Asian flavors in a kosher style. From Thai-Thai fried rice and Oriental beef fried rice to chicken lettuce wraps and Mongolian beef, the menu is a culinary journey. Aria also serves Angus beef sliders, Texaco Pepito bites, burgers, BBQ chicken sliders, and a grill section featuring ribeye steaks, filet mignon, tender spareribs, and chicken. The restaurant’s bakery crafts fresh bread daily, adding a delightful touch to each meal. Jairo mentioned that the second-floor space is available for bar mitzvahs, birthday parties, and other celebrations.

    At Aria, each dish is meticulously prepared and cooked to perfection. Enhance your dining experience with one of their signature cocktails, carefully crafted to complement the exquisite flavors. The atmosphere and decor contribute to the overall spectacular ambiance, with excellent service creating a relaxing atmosphere, especially when dining on their open-air patio.

    Aria stands out as an upscale casual restaurant offering an innovative selection of culinary delights—a not-to-be-missed destination. As a kosher meat restaurant in Panama City, Aria holds kosher certification under Panama’s Shevet Ahim community, setting the standard for kosher dining in the region.

    For those seeking an unparalleled kosher dining experience:

    Address: C. 56 Este, Panamá, Panama Telephone: +507 387-9999; ariapanama.com

     

    For more information:

    Story by Meyer Harroch, New York Jewish Travel Guide.com, and New York Jewish Guide.com

    For all the details and to organize your kosher trip to Panama, connect with GOBEYOND at +1 (332) 203-6014 or visit gobeyond.pa/en and panamayeshivaweek.com.

    To book your stay at the Sortis Hotel, Spa & Casino, Autograph Collection, or any other hotel in Panama, just get in touch with Go Beyond, your trusted local Jewish travel agency, via info@gobeyond.pa or +1 (332) 203-6014.

     

     

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