On my last day on Galapagos Islands (2011) I had a late lunch and then there was not enough time left of the afternoon to rent a bike or take another walk to Tortuga Bay, so I decided to find a café where I could sit down and read for a while. Casa de Lago Café Cultural was perfect for that. I only had a coffee and sat comfortably in an armchair and read for a while. The coffee was good and the atmosphere relaxed, and I liked the interior.
The coffee served at Casa de Lago Café Cultural is organic. Here you can also, among other things, have breakfast, soup, salad, bagels fruit salads, fruit juices and cakes.
When you are here you can also take the short walk down to Laguna de las Ninfas.
Update June 2013: I came back to Casa de Lago Cafe Cultural one afternoon when I needed to relax for a while and it was still a very good place for that. I had a coffee and a brownie and it was $4.25.
A couple of our travelling companions, Sue and Geoff, had already spent a few days in Puerto Ayora prior to the cruise and particularly recommended the coffee at Il Giardino. So after our visit to the Charles Darwin Research Centre, and a walk through the town, we headed here with them and another of our party, Ian, to sample what was on offer. Despite the good coffee always on tap on the Angelito, and plentiful meals and snacks, it made a pleasant change to sit here, to peruse a menu and to make our choices. I opted for an affogato – that wonderful Italian combination of strong hot espresso and cold vanilla ice cream. Chris had a very good cappuccino, and together we paid $8 including a tip for the very helpful waitress who happily split our bill three ways. Some of the others sampled the cakes on offer (the apple pie was especially praised), and others from our group were enjoying ice creams at a nearby table, but with so much to eat every day on the Angelito, I decided to forego any other treats!
The restaurant also has snacks and full meals, which seem to get good reviews too. It’s not the cheapest place to eat in Puerto Ayora, but it offers an attractive environment, a very central location, good service (from our admittedly limited experience) and lots of choice.
Once we’d finished our coffees, and settled the bill, the five of us went our separate ways, and Chris and I decided to end the morning with a bit of souvenir shopping.
Among the restaurants I ate at in Puerto Ayora I liked this one the best. It was busy at lunchtime and people shared tables. Service was good and there seemed to be several regulars there. The first time I ate here was while I waited for the speedboat to Isla Isabela, and I ordered lunch at the counter and also a mango juice (I didn’t think of that a drink could already be included with the lunch). I paid $4 (July 2011).
Coming back from Isla Isabela I went here again to have lunch. Once again I went to the counter to order lunch and I was told they didn’t have ”lunch prices” on Sundays but a Plato Completo was $5. That was absolutely fine and I chose fish with rice and plantains. A grape fruit juice was also included in the price.
The restaurant is situated on Avenida Charles Darwin, opposite the park and harbour. Next to the restaurant is CABO MAR’s office where you can buy tickets for the speedboats to Puerto Villamil and Puerto Baquerizo Moreno.
Calle de los Kioskos is a part of Charles Binford where there are several small eateries with outside tables in the street in the evening. It was a busy Sunday evening when I ate here, with a mix of tourists (too many) and local families.
I had shrimps in coconut sauce with rice to eat and it was $8 (July 2011). The same meal, but with fish instead of shrimps, was $6. The two meals together with four orange juices where $18.50. My meal didn’t taste very much and could have been better I think.
Garrapata is a restaurant on Avenida Charles Darwin and this is where we had a late lunch on the first day of the cruise, after visiting the highlands and before going to Charles Darwin Research Station. It is a nice outdoor restaurant under a roof, and with a pebbled floor.
The vegetarians in the group got a vegetarian dish and I and the other passengers that were not vegetarians chose between two different dishes, and I took Yellow Finned Tuna. Being by the sea I of course wanted to have seafood! The tuna was served with potato and vegetables, and it all tasted very good. For drink we could chose between several kinds of fresh fruit juices.
Besides our group there were some other groups of tourists at Garrapata, so I think this restaurant often is used by the tour groups.
Rincón de Alma is a restaurant with a good location near the park, on Avenida Charles Darwin. Here you can sit at one of the outside tables and watch people go by. I decided to come here for lunch on my last day on Galapagos Islands, as I had seen, when I passed by earlier, that they had a good lunch offer. I came to the restaurant four minutes past two and were not allowed to have the lunch offer. I was told they stopped serving lunch at 14.00, but I could have anything from the menu. I did not want to buy something expensive from the menu and thought of leaving, but as I was very hungry and I had heard they serve very good ceviche I decided to stay and try the ceviche. I ordered Ceviche de Pescado (fish) for $8.50 (July 2011). The ceviche was served with a plate of banana chips, which were good. But I don’t know what I thought of when I, before tasting the ceviche, pressed all lime into the bowl. Ceviche has already got a lot of lime in it so it definitely became too much lime in it. Otherwise I think it was a good ceviche.
I arrived to Puerto Ayora in the morning with the speed boat from Villamil and checked in at hotel El Peregrino around 9 o'clock. They had just stopped serving breakfast for the day so I went to Il Giardino, which is situated just next door.
I didn't want to have one of the big breakfasts in the menu but asked if I just could have bread, butter, juice (guanabana) and coffee, and that was okay. With IVA and service it was $5.80 (July 2011). Quite expensive for breakfast, but the coffee was the best I had tasted in Ecuador so far (very often week instant coffee is served) and I had a good view over people walking by on Av Charles Darwin.
Their ice cream is also very good. A cup with two flavours was $1.80.
Il Giardino is a restaurant visited mostly by foreign tourist, not a place that I prefer, but they are good to visit sometimes.