Arts & Life, Special Projects, Student Choice Awards Winner

Panama Joe’s invites you to kick back away from your worries


Panama Joe’s is a Mexican-style bar and restaurant 10 minutes from campus that students at Long Beach State voted as the best place to deal with the emotional aftermath of a breakup.

Dealing with the end of a relationship is an experience many wish would be swift and painless. While these two might not always be available, there are some ways to make it easier to deal with.

Entrance of Panama Joe's at Night
Panama Joe’s was voted as the “best place to forget your ex” due to the good food and ambiance it offers. Photo credit: Porter Aydelotte

“Well, it’s definitely a college crowd,” Denise Carmona, an employee for Panama Joe’s said. “Super fun during the summer.”

According to Carmona, everyone wants good music when they are relaxing after a long day. The music and ambiance are one of the biggest reasons that the restaurant is popular among the crowd of college students and average restaurant goers.

Hosting a mix of popular music artists from the past 20 years and countless ongoing sports games, “laid-back” fits Panama Joe’s.


Aside from the music, food and drinks keep people coming back.

“Great drinks, good food, [it] always surprises people,” said Carmona. “But honestly, I used to be a regular years before I worked here, so I always liked it, and it was always fun too.”

The menu ranges from tacos made with handmade tortillas to enchiladas and burritos.

Crispy Taco y Enchilda
A crispy taco and enchilada is just one of the many affordable food options available at Panama Joe’s. Photo credit: Porter Aydelotte


Panama Joe’s also offers a brunch menu on the weekend from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. that includes breakfast burritos and pancakes.

Need a drink? Panama Joe’s offers a large selection of mixed drinks for almost any occasion with happy hour on weekdays from 3 to 7 p.m.

And there’s no need to worry about blowing the paycheck in one sitting when it comes to Panama Joe’s.

Most of their prices are under $20, excluding a couple of food items—the chimichurri ribeye enchiladas and “La Asada con Salsa”—and large drinks like the Electric Twisted Tea, Shark Bite and Shark Attack.

Panama Joe’s is located at 5100 E. Second St and is open from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. on weekdays and 9 a.m. to 2 a.m. on weekends.

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