Ok, so these bars aren’t actually a secret but they are hidden away in obscure places that you would never find if you were strolling past them. Here’s how you can discover a few of Panama City’s “secret bars”:
Relic is Panama City’s original “secret bar” and part of it is literally underground. The outside fronts as the Luna’s Castle Hostel in Casco Viejo with a barely noticeable sign displaying the name of the bar. Enter through the gates, head down a hallway and then down a flight of stairs and you will be in a large outdoor underground terrace and a cavelike indoor area. During the week it’s a fun, chill, and affordable place to go for a few drinks and then on the weekend it’s packed with partygoers and DJs playing the latest music.
At first glance Jeronimo looks like a contemporary art gallery in a beautifully restored Casco Viejo building. Pull back a curtain at the back of the gallery and you’ll discover a small bar filled with people listening to live music and DJs spinning funky beats.
The black door covered in stickers near La Rana Dorada in Casco Viejo – that’s where you will find Onplog. I would describe Onplog as the coolest basement lair you never had. Low ceilings, walls made of computer parts, vintage TVs, and pallet couches are what you’ll find here. Try to locate the “secret door” within Onplog and you’ll fall into a room of mystical floating umbrellas, pool tables, and vintage airline seats. I also want to highlight that on the third Tuesday of every month they host a special night called Noches Perristicas where you can bring your dog.
There’s no place like home, right? El Sotano (The Basement) and El Apartamento (The Apartment) has transformed a giant yellow house in Bella Vista into a bar and event venue. You can usually find live rock music on the first floor or head up to El Apartamento, which literally looks like an apartment, to listen to chill indie jams and enjoy a few drinks.
La Buat is a secret because it’s a little off the beaten path in Casco Viejo in a slightly sketchy area where there aren’t any other bars or restaurants. They play a good mix of electronic dance music and they are constantly bringing in guest DJs.
What is your favorite “secret bar” hangout in Panama City? Leave a comment below: