Travel Tuesday: American Trade Hotel and Cafe Unido in Casco Viejo Panama

Casco Viejo

One of the places that I miss terribly back in Panama is Casco Viejo, the old city. During the past several years, this area has really experienced a sort of renaissance. Old buildings are slowly being restored, new restaurants have opened up in old spaces, and a handful of boutique hotels have opened. Although the area is visited by tourists, it still remains an every day hang out for locals.

Casco viejo feels like a world apart from the modern city scape. It’s full of street vendors, unique shops, trendy restaurants, art galleries, and a few food carts sprinkled here and there. What is most amazing, is the the view of the sea as you stroll along.

Raspao--Shaved Ice from a Street Vendor
Raspao–Shaved Ice from a Street Vendor
A Kuna woman selling traditional molas
A Kuna woman selling traditional molas
View of Panama City from Casco Viejo
View of Panama City from Casco Viejo

The American Trade Hotel, an Ace hotel, has been open a little more than a year. Not only is it in a great location, it also offers a number of amenities which include an intimate pool, a gorgeous restaurant aptly named “the dinning room,” a lobby cafe and bar, a coffee shop that exclusively features Panamanian coffees, and an exquisite jazz club.

You could spend days lounging around the pool, feasting on local food, enjoying cocktails in between meals, and staying up late going to jazz performances.

Their brunch is fantastic, and they even accommodate gluten free diners. What to do after a leisurely brunch? Go for a taste of local coffee at Cafe Unido. Sit at one of the many courtyards to enjoy, or take a stroll in the old city to take in its colorful charm.

Hope these photos take you on a mini-vacation to Panama’s old city from the comfort of your desk. Beware—do not scroll down if you are hungry.

The Dinning Room at The American Trade Hotel
The Dinning Room at The American Trade Hotel
Gorgeous Tile Floor
Gorgeous Tile Floor
The Pool
The Pool
One of the many courtyards
One of the many courtyards

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Brunch Menu
Brunch Menu
Bread Basket
Bread Basket
Plantain Empanadas filled with corn and cheese, or spicy shredded pork
Plantain Empanadas filled with corn and cheese, or spicy shredded pork
Patacones with pulled pork, avocado, slaw, and cheese
Patacones with pulled pork, avocado, slaw, and cheese
Scrambled eggs with prawns, chorizo, and hojaldre (fried bread)
Scrambled eggs with prawns, chorizo, and hojaldre (fried bread)
Steak and fried eggs with arepa
Steak and fried eggs with arepa

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Specialty Coffees
Specialty Coffees
Cafe Unido Capuccino
Cafe Unido Capuccino
House made jams: celery & onion, papaya & habanero, & pineapple-cinnamon
House made jams: celery & onion, papaya & habanero, & pineapple-cinnamon
Enjoying a cup of coffee from Cafe Unido
Enjoying a cup of coffee from Cafe Unido
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Author: onevanillabean

I have loved cooking and baking since I was 5 years old. It was the one activity that I would share with all my extended family. Like most people, I love traveling. I love visiting the markets, exploring unknown ingredients, and bringing them back home with me for inspiration. I find that recipes with simple and pure ingredients yield the best results.

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