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There Are Two Panama Cities On This Earth

Updated on August 21, 2014

Panama City, Florida, or Panama City, Panama?

Yes, this Earth has two Panama Cities. They are Panama City, Florida and Panama City, Panama (Central America). I have lived in both. Panama City, Florida was named after Panama City, Panama. That is why there are certain things about them that are similar. For example, they both have a Balboa Avenue (named after Vasco Nuñez de Balboa, the explorer), and they both have a place called San Blas. San Blas in the country of Panama is the name of the Archipelago of islands that the Cuna Indians have inhabited for hundreds of years. San Blas in Panama City, Florida is a popluar beach. And actually, they are both cities that have a proximity to the sea, to the ocean. Panama the country is an Isthmus, and Panama City, Florida is right on the Bay in the armpit of Florida. Just recently, I discovered another similarity and that is that they both have a Napoli Restaurant. I was pleased to just find out that the Napoli Restaurant in Panama City, Florida, offers some very excellent food. It is owned by an Egyptian man, and it is unrelated to the restaurant in Panama, Panama. But, my favorite restaurant in the whole world, is the Napoli Restaurant of Panama City, Panama. It is owned by an Italian Family; they all work right in the restaurant, and they have been serving the City of Panama for decades. If you are lucky enough to go to Panama City, Panama in this lifetime, you must try this Napoli Restaurant, the one in Obarrio. There is another one in a rougher part of town and it serves food that is just as good as the one from Obarrio.. The Napoli Restaurant that is in Obarrio, is situated in a rather well-to-do area. That is the one you should go to, in my opinion. What would I recommend that you have? Let's see, I would recommend "Almejas a la Napolitana," (Clams Napolitan style) and you should ask for pita bread to accompany it, (for dipping purposes into the exquisite sauce), or "Corvina al Ajillo." (Corvina [is a type of bottom fish] in Garlic). But if you are a Pizza lover, you can also ask for the Pizza that your heart desires because they have so many toppings! Of course they have a large menu that would also include the other well-known Italian delicacies such as Lasagna, Spaghetti, Linguine, Cannelloni, Penne, etc. And then, how about Tiramisu for dessert? Even if your budget will only take you as far as Panama City, Florida, you will also find a Napoli Restaurant there, and as the name implies, you can be assured that it will be great food. Any restaurant with a name like that, has to be good! There, you can try a dish called, "Fetuccini in Clam Sauce" which is my favorite.

People have been known to catch the wrong plane to the wrong Panama City. Only when they have arrived have they realized that they were in the wrong place. That has to be a very frustrating situation, plus a waste of time, effort and money.

But either place you go, be it the Panama City of Panama (the country), or Panama City, Florida, you will find very friendly people, great food, beautiful beaches, and people who love to party!

Ave. Balboa, Panama, Panama

Balboa Avenue, Panama, Panama
Balboa Avenue, Panama, Panama

Panama City, Florida


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      Larry Richardson 7 years ago

      I was stationed in Panama twice; once on the Pacific Side (Fort Clayton) and the other on the Atlantic Side (Fort Gulick.)

      I loved the Almejas a la Napolitana at the Napoli Restaurant on Avenida Balboa. I used to go and get a bucket of them and take them back to my quarters on Fort Clayton to entertain guests. And, yes, their pizza was to die for.

      I returned to Panama in 2000, to work with the telephone company to launch a new microwave technology and had the opportunity to revisit my favorite restaurants on Avenida Balboa. It had become much more dangerous than Panama was under Torrijo and later under Noriega. One afternoon, I could not get into the restaurant as the National Guard pulled up with guns at the ready to shoot someone inside the restaurant! I am told that the era of Torrijo and Noriega are referred to as the "Golden Age of Panama".

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      Todd Young 7 years ago

      I used to eat there in the mid 80's while I was stationed at Fort Kobbe. They have the best pizza I have ever eaten. I used to get a shrimp pizza that I loved. I wish I couls get one frozen and sent to the U.S. for old times sake. Pizzeria Napoli rocks.

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      maricarbo 10 years ago

      Yes, when I go to Panama, I cannot leave before sampling the Napoli.

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      Terry Burger 10 years ago

      I've been eating at the old and new Napoli in Panama for 33 years and it gets better every year. I recommend it to everyone I know that's goes to Panama. In a town full of great restaurants, its still be the best for food, service & price.