Rincón de Alma
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.
Update June/July 2013: I ate lunch (almuerzo) several times at Rincon de Alma during my visit in 2013. The set lunch was $4 and it always tasted good. The lunch included a soup, a main dish and a juice.
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Casa de Lago Café Cultural
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 after a bicycle tour, and it was still a very good place for that. I had a coffee and a brownie and it was $4.25.
I came back another day and had hoped to have another brownie. Unfortunately they didn't have brownies at the moment so I ordered a maracuja 8passion fruit) cake, which actually tasted awful.
Coffee, maracuja cake, a smoothie and a salad was $13.55
Coffee, orange juice and a soup (crema mixta) was $8.25
Descanso del Guia - Restaurant by the harbour
Among the restaurants I ate at in Puerto Ayora (during my visit in 2011) 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.
Update 2013: The first day in Puerto Ayora I came here again to eat lunch. I asked for an almuerzo (set lunch), but they wanted to give me a menu. I asked for the almuerzo again and pointed at other tables were they were eating today´s lunch. Then I got the soup, main plate and juice (photo 4). The lunch was good, but I have not written down how much I paid.
I also ate here one evening. At that time they only served food from the menu. I ordered grilled chicken with rice and a juice. It was $11 (June 2013).
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Calle de los Kioskos
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.
Update July 2013: I went to eat in Calle de las Kioskos again and as it was quite early in the evening and not all places had opened jet I ended up at the same restaurant as two years previous. And I ended up ordering shrimps in coconut sauce again, even though I hadn’t been found of it last time. Well, I wasn’t this time either. I don’t know if it was because I didn’t have any appetite, but the sauce was not good at all and I ate very little of the food. To drink I had a passion fruit juice (maracuja). Food and juice was $11.50 (July 2013).
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.
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.
Update July 2013: The last evening in Puerto Ayora I came to Il Giardino again. I had already eaten a pizza slice but felt that I needed something more, but lighter. At Il Giardino I found shrimp salad with avocado on the menu and that sounded to be perfect. I didn’t feel well (I was eating both paracetamol and antibiotics) so I asked if I could order the salad to take away. That was absolutely okay. For the take away salad, including IVA tax and service I paid $8.54 (July 2013).
Il Giardino: Coffee time treats
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.
D’Mar y Cris
D’Mar and Cris is situated on Avenida Charles Darwin, next to Rincon de Alma (there is a small cevichería inbetween). I came here two evenings and ate the same at both occasions. I ordered fish, which was served with some potatoes and vegetables. To drink I had naranjilla juice once and a passion fruit juice (maracuja) the second time. While I waited for the food I got some popcorn. It all tasted very good and sitting at the outdoor tables I had a good view of people walking by.
The meal and juice, including tax and service, was $16.63 (June/July 2013).
Galapagos Deli is situated on the quiet street Tomas de Berlanga and it was just round the corner from my hotel. So, because the location was convenient and as they opened for breakfast early I had breakfast here almost all mornings while in Puerto Ayora, all mornings except one which was a Monday and then Galapagos Deli is closed.
The breakfast was $5 (July 2013) and it included coffee, a fruit juice, scrambled eggs with ham, bread, butter and jam. It was a good breakfast, but I would have preferred another kind of bread.
At Galapagos Deli they also have sandwiches, pizza, ice-cream, fruit juices and smoothies, cappuccino and more.
A batido de mango was $2.50 and a cafe Americano was $1.75.
At lunchtime you can find several restaurants with cheap set lunch menus in Puerto Ayora, but in the evening it is more difficult to find a cheap place to eat in. Kale, which is situated on Islas Plazas, just off Av Charles Darwin has got fast food for a reasonable price. I ate here one evening and ordered chicken. I got two plates, one with rice and beans, and another with the chicken, potato, fried plantain and some salad. It was a filling meal and it was $6.50 (June 2013).
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Pizza Eat is situated opposite Hotel Sol y Mar on Av Charles Darwin. There are a few tables outdoors, but I sat inside. You buy the pizzas over the counter so you can see how they look like before ordering. I bought a vegetarian pizza slice. There was lots of cheese, zucchini and mushrooms (not canned ones) on top of it and it was thin. It tasted very good, but I think it was quite expensive $3.90 (July 2013).
Restaurant Cevichería Guille
After the second cruise with Cachalote (which I did in 2013) I was going on to Isla San Cristobal. After I had bought the ticket and left my luggage I went to look for a place to eat lunch in. Restaurant Cevichería Guille looked nice I decided to eat there. The restaurant is situated on the small quiet street, Av Opuntia, just behind Av Charles Darwin. There are outdoor tables, but nowhere to sit inside. Inside the open door is the kitchen, a kitchen very much looking like a family kitchen. I ordered Pascado a La Plancha and orange juice. The fish was served with plantains, tomatoes and some salad. It was a good meal and it was $8 (July 2013).
Lo & Lo
When I visited Puerto Ayora in 2013 I often ate breakfast at Galapagos Delí, but one morning, a Monday, it was closed. I went to Lo & Lo which is situated next doors and ate breakfast there instead. I ordered an American Breakfast and it included eggs, coffee, bread, butter, jam and a fruit juice. I had scrambled eggs and they were too greasy. The breakfast was $6 (July 2013), one dollar more expensive than at Galapagos Deli next doors.
I have also eaten at Lo & Lo around lunch time once. That time I ordered Caldo de bolas verde and a strawberry smoothie (batido de frutia). The soup was $7 and the smoothie $3.
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