Given that many of Boquete's residents are retired folks who tend to dine in or not stay out too late, the restaurants mentioned below can unexpectedly close early or for the night during the low season, from May to November. Also, in addition to the places reviewed below, several kiosks and cafes offer quick meals and are worth considering.

Worth a stop is the locally famous Fresas Mary (tel. 720-3394; daily 9:30am-7pm), which you'll find on the left side of the road to Volcancito, reached by turning onto the road opposite the CEFATI visitor center. The specialties here are batidos, or fresh fruit drinks, made with strawberries and local fruits such as guanábana (soursop); they also make fresh yogurt and duros, or frozen fruit sherbet. Sandwiches and hamburgers go for $1.50 (75p). Another spot popular with locals is the German-style bakery and pastry shop Café Alemana, located south past the CEFATI building (no phone; Thurs-Mon 11am-8pm), which serves delicious apple and pineapple pies, and other sweets.

The Deli Barú (tel. 720-2619; Tues-Sun 9am-8pm) is a gourmet deli with sandwiches, soups, and salads, and a market with an excellent selection of cheeses, cold cuts, wine, fresh bread, and specialty goodies. For fresh fruit juices and cheap sandwiches in town, try Java Juice on Avenida Central, next to Panama Rafters (tel. 720-2116; daily 10am-10pm). A mango smoothie and hamburger here cost less than $2 (£1). Café Punto de Encuentro (tel. 720-2123; daily 7am-noon), located on Calle 6A S, near Avenida Belisario Porras, and often referred to as "Olga's Place," is the spot for breakfast. Have your omelets, fruit pancakes, and fresh coffee on their pleasant outdoor patio. Restaurante Lourdes on the main avenue serves typical Panamanian fare at low prices. It's definitely not fancy but it's popular with locals.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.