We Eat A Lot of Frozen Treats-Panama Edition

I know. Normally it’s we eat a lot of ice cream, but with the temperatures in Panama City, Panama, well into the 90s, we craved refreshing over creamy. Thankfully, Panama did not disappoint.

Raspado Carts

We had raspados in Belize, and raspado like treats at Disney World, but they were not the same as the ones we remembered from our trip to Panama City ten years ago. Perhaps it’s the ice shaved right in front of you, perhaps the juices are fresher, or maybe it’s just our blatant nostalgia, but at least to us, the raspados (shaved ice with fruit juice and condensed milk drizzled on top) in Panama City, Panama, are the best.

You can’t walk a block in Casco Viejo, Panama City, without tripping over a raspado cart. They are EVERYWHERE. I would wager that it was less than twenty minutes from the time we checked into our accommodation to the time we had an icy treat in our hands.

There is an art to the making of the raspado that is like watching a fascinating ballet.

On the first day I got passion fruit and Shannon got grape. Just to make sure they were as good as we remembered, we both got a fruit punch flavored raspado the next day.

As rolled ice cream has become a trend in our home city, I hope that perhaps someday raspado will catch on.


When I read that Granclement was hailed as the best gelato in Central America, well that was a claim I had to taste for myself.

The shop has a funky- elegant design. It blends the old historic charm with artsy modern.

There were a lot of interesting flavors, and had we had more time, we would have gone back to try a few more.

I ended up settling on lavender, and because the people ahead of me sampled it and then raved, the raspberry.

Shannon got a scoop of the Madagascar vanilla and the orange chocolate.

The gelato was nice and creamy, but what I loved the most was that the flavors really popped. They were so vibrant. There was no mistaking what flavor you were eating.

If you are visiting Casco Viejo, Panama City, you have to stop by for a scoop at Granclement.

Paleteria La Michoacana

Located around the corner from where we were staying, we passed by Paleteria La Michoacana several times during our first day in Casco Viejo.

By our second day, we were lured in by what promised to be refreshing fruitiness. The promise delivered. Our Pineapple and Lime with mint Popsicles were a chilly oasis in the heat of the day.

They were delightful.  So delightful, that we gave in and went back for a second Popsicle only a few hours after our first (Tamarind for Shannon and Strawberry-Mango for me).

Minutes after being handed our second round, the shop really got jumping, and the line remained out of the door for the rest of that day/night.

I later learned that Paleteria La Michoacana is a chain that originated in Mexico. It has already seeped its yumminess into a few areas in the U.S..

Brownie Sundaes on the Panama Canal

This will certainly remain one the most memorable places that we have ever consumed ice cream.

For our first dessert, Uncruise’s Safari Voyager treated us to an on deck brownie ice cream sundae bar.

We were able to fix our sundaes and consume them without missing a second of cruising through the Panama Canal.




  1. Amanda Keeley-Thurman

    May 12, 2017 at 6:12 pm

    Looks refreshing. Are raspados similar to snow cones?

    1. obligatorytraveler@gmail.com

      May 13, 2017 at 2:46 am

      They are similar, but the ice is finer than a snow cone and raspados have a drizzle of condensed milk on the top. I imagine they may be more similar to shaved ice in Hawaii but I haven’t been to Hawaii yet to compare.

  2. Miranda

    May 12, 2017 at 8:48 pm

    I got increasingly jealous the more I kept reading! They all look so delicious; which ones were your favorite?

    1. obligatorytraveler@gmail.com

      May 13, 2017 at 2:49 am

      Probably the raspados because so far we haven’t been able to find anything that was similar anywhere else. I can go out into the city where I live and get gelato and even similar Popsicles, but not raspados.

  3. Kelly

    May 12, 2017 at 8:57 pm

    Omg. I am so hungry after reading this. I really could use a raspado. This shaved ice sounds light but yummy too, with the condensed milk. Also would love to get some of that lavender gelato. So glad the flavors popped.

  4. Tami

    May 12, 2017 at 9:09 pm

    You have to eat the good stuff when you travel! All calorie-free, right?! But seriously, you probably walk somuch, you can afford to eat treats!

  5. Fumiko

    May 13, 2017 at 1:57 am

    Looks delicious!! I want to try panama Icecream!

  6. Amanda Walkins

    May 13, 2017 at 7:03 am

    Love the video for extra insight! And now I want one…wonder if there’s anything similar in Malta. Will have to head out to do some research 😉

  7. Abbi @ Spin the Windrose

    May 13, 2017 at 7:34 am

    Oh yum these look delicious – and there’s so much to choose from!!

  8. Leah

    May 13, 2017 at 11:17 am

    Oh these look to die for!! so many flavours! <3

  9. Anupriya Basu

    May 14, 2017 at 2:54 am

    I love this whole post, because who doesn’t like ice-creams. And, every place has their own kind of ice-creams, I had rolled ice-cream for the first-time today only. This was something new for me.
    In India, we have our own traditional ice-cream, known as kulfi, which I totally love. I am sure, would discover more once I travel more.

    1. obligatorytraveler@gmail.com

      May 16, 2017 at 1:20 am

      Rolled ice cream has made its way to our local city and I’m loving trying all of the different places. I’ve kulfi as our local Indian restaurants, but I’m sure it’s not as good as having it in India.

  10. Becky

    May 15, 2017 at 3:17 pm

    Ooo Lavender sounds amazing I would love to try that! So what was your favourite one?

    1. obligatorytraveler@gmail.com

      May 16, 2017 at 1:18 am

      For the gelato I loved the lavender, although I did try Shannon’s chocolate orange and that was really good. The raspados are for sure my favorite treat in Panama, especially the passion fruit flavor.

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