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“Simply the BEST Restaurant Food in Portobelo, Panama.”
Review of Captain Jack's

Captain Jack's
Ranked #1 of 14 Restaurants in Portobelo
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $8 - $23
Cuisines: Asian, French, Italian, Thai
Dining options: Breakfast, Late Night
Restaurant details
Dining options: Breakfast, Late Night
Reviewed May 27, 2013

I spent 11 nights as a guest in Captain Jack’s hostel and took many of my meals in its restaurant/bar. The food at Captain Jack’s is skillfully prepared using fresh ingredients. It is always tastefully presented. It is perhaps a little pricey for the typical hostel goer, but many of the visitors to the restaurant are boaters who have tied up their boats in Portobelo Bay, so you are likely to be dining with a well-traveled, motley group.

I started each day with a breakfast of french toast, fruit and coffee ($4.50) which comes with four slices of honey-covered french toast and usually a good size portion of pineapple, orange and often mango. Coffee is included of course. For lunch and dinner I sampled CJ’s excellent green salad ($6), its delicious red thai curry with chicken and red thai curry with calamari (each $12), its succulent grilled grouper fish with rice and veggies ($15), a special of the day suggested by the omnipresent Jeff, a couple mouth-watering chicken/veggie enchiladas with salad ($10) and the Captain’s and my favorite dish too, the incomparable chicken salad with blue cheese ($8).

It takes upwards to 30 minutes once your order is placed for the food to arrive at your table, but the wait is worth it: you will marvel at the quality of the food at Captain Jack’s and the portions are satisfactorily ample. It was simply the best breakfast/lunch/dinner fare in Portobelo when I visited for two weeks in May of 2013, and I sampled four other Portobelo restaurants for comparison.

If Captain Jack’s has any challenges, it is its ambience in its current location. If you do not smoke prepare yourself to inhale heaps of 2nd hand cigarette and cigar smoke. The recorded music that was often played loudly got a little old too; I think I heard just one song recorded after 1978 in the 11 days I lodged there. I know ‘You Can’t Always Get What You Want’, but do I need to ‘Get It‘ every couple hours? Time to update the playlist, especially if you are having U2’s ‘The Edge’ dropping by one night, as The Edge did in mid-April 2013.

Also the one Sunday morning I tried to get breakfast at Captain Jack’s I waited and waited from 8:30 a.m. until 11:07 a.m. when I finally left. The kitchen never opened nor was there any CJ staff on hand, though breakfast hours are listed from 8:00 - 11:30 with no mention of the restaurant being closed Sunday mornings. (One last tip: the meals might cost a few cents less if less expensive paper napkins were substituted for the humongous paper napkins that now accompany each dish, large enough napkins to substitute for your beach towel if you have misplaced it.)

One last attribute of Captain Jack's: decent free WiFi and power strips to power up your electronics.

Bottom line: for the best food in Portobelo, head to Captain Jack’s.

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Thank James S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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101 - 105 of 140 reviews

Reviewed May 27, 2013

Captain Jack's is a very special place.
The food is great and made to order.
The atmosphere is very pleasant and relaxing. Nice view of the town and the bay.
The COLDEST BEER in town!!!!

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Thank Nighthawk380
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 20, 2013

Marvelous view of the bay and the town of Portobelo itself and along with excellent food such as THe Red Thai Curry Shrimp which is sauteed shrimp cooked with red chili,coco milk,lime and rice as well. Great!!!!!!!!
Salads,sandwiches,soups ,pastas,ribs and a veggies meals are offered too. THere's something for everyone.
And of course endless choices of cocktails,wines and beers.
Try the Screw You.Its Seco rum and OJ

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Thank mike w
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 18, 2013

Spent a day driving up the north corridor to the beautiful bay of portobello whilst visiting a friend in panama and stopped at captain jacks for a long lunch. I don't have enough good things to say about this place. Beautiful setting and views down onto the bay, lovely relaxed atmosphere and wooden decor, perfect cold beer and the food was superb. Having lived and travelled extensively around the Caribbean and central and South America, good Thai food is very difficult to find. Our meal was absolutely superb and incredibly well priced. Delicious spring rolls, gorgeous Thai red curry cooked to perfection and beautifully flavoured and the Thai noodle dishes we also tasted were top drawer. To add to the delicious meal, captain jack provided hours of entertaining and interesting company and I had a brilliant time. A must do if you are in portobello - what is also brilliant is that jack charges 2 dollars for a beer compared to 1.80 at every other blacked out alternative in portobello which sell far worse food. This price differential means that some of the renowned rather offensive and less desirable inhabitants who are known to cause trouble stay away from jacks as they are not willing to pay 2 dollars for a beer, so you can sip away, enjoy the views and have a top class feast of Thai cuisine without a worry in the world.

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Thank Will C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 25, 2013

All our food was good but my husband who is a veggie had to ask for his without Chicken. it was listed as Veggie on the menu but it said it had chicken in it. he said it was only ok.

Thank Groovefetish
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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