Panama City has two two branches of the beloved Napoli pizzeria. Napoli is famous for its clam pizza, but I’ve always been partial to its wonderfully charred, greasy pepperoni pies. I consider it some of the best pizza in Panama, but it’s impossible to be objective about it since I practically grew up on this stuff. There are plenty of pastas and such on the menu, but people come here for the wood-oven–baked pizza. Plate-sized individual pizzas are available for about five bucks.
The older and much plainer Napoli (Calle Estudiante and Calle I, one block from Avenida de los Mártires, tel. 262-2446 or 262-2448, 11:30 a.m.–11:30 p.m. Wed.–Mon.) is a good place to grab lunch during a walking tour of Avenida Central. It’s a short walk up from the heart of Central. This branch has been around since 1962 and is an institution. It has an air-conditioned interior and an outdoor seating area where you can look out on what’s left of the street life in this once bustling, now declining, area. (This is not a safe place to wander around at night.) The second branch is in Obarrio.
© William Friar from Moon Panama, 3rd Edition