If you’re traveling up and down the Americas, there’s a good chance you’ll land at Panama City’s Tocumen Airport at some point. With so many connecting flights going through, long layovers are common. And you might want to nourish yourself but quickly discover a sad collection of American fast food chains you’d see in a suburban mall going through bankruptcy. However, that was the case when Tocumen only had one terminal. In 2022, it opened a new terminal: Terminal 2. Your Guide had a flight recently out of the new terminal and dared the travel gods by purposefully going to the airport hungry. Here’s the lowdown on what I discovered about the food past security and in the new Copa Club at Terminal 2…
How is the new Copa Club at Terminal 2?
I was there around 10 am in the morning. It’s nice and large but completely full when I was there. I had to wait around to grab a seat.
In terms of food, there was a huge tray of plain bagels, a tray of little muffiny things, dispensers for corn flakes and bran flakes, and some yogurt with fruit. For the number of people in the lounge, there was not much food or space to access the one food area, however, the food wasn’t attracting many people.
There are a couple of coffee machines and soda drink machines around the lounge. The bar was also open in the morning and doing brisk business.
What restaurants does Tocumen's Terminal 2 have?
I’d been to the Copa Club in the old Terminal 1, so I didn’t expect much from the lounge, and I wanted to explore the food options in the entire new terminal. Unfortunately, there weren’t many. Directly below the Copa Club is a bar that serves sandwiches, to eat there or take with you, but the sandwiches had so little in them, they just looked like plain white baguettes sitting on a cold shelf.
I had flashbacks to that traumatic sandwich experience I had on Avianca earlier this year, so I skipped Merkato and went looking for other options…
But there weren’t any besides packaged candy and chips in convenience stores.
Terminal 2 isn’t completely finished and open yet. You’ll see a lot of potential shops are still boarded up but many of them are slated to be designer clothing shops and duty free. Whoever planned out the food strategy for Terminal 2 has a motivational poster in their office that says: “Let them eat perfume.”
There is at least one more restaurant opening in Terminal 2 at Tocumen, but I don’t think it’ll have patacones: It’s an Olive Garden.
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Dead on. I came off an Avianca flight from Bogota in the other terminal in Dec. of 22 as well and took the connection bus here for my Copa flight to Belize and got thru security only to find-WTH?! This terminal opened 6 months ago and yet there is only this ONE restaurant in the ENTIRE terminal! As a former/retired certified Project Manager do they even have any competent ones in Panama??? The prices were outrageous-the likes of you see at JFK or LAX-must be nice to have a monopoly for now.