I must confess I thought my days in places like this were long gone but, well what can I say.
I ended up rolling in here on Weds night. It was $9 to get in that covered 2 complimentary drinks.
The place was packed with revelers, all friendly and having a good time and not a sign of trouble. If drinking and dancing with hundreds of others doing the same is your thing, you could do a lot worse than here.
I know its pretty corny going to an Irish in somewhere like Ecuador. However this was my 1st of the trip in S America and I've found this sort of things a useful starting point to get the feel of a place as there will always be English speakers in the clientele (my Spanish is improving but its still at a pretty rubbish standard).
This bar is on Joaquin Pinto, 1 block away from the main social cross section at Reina Victoria and Foch.
Its billed as an Irish and is run by an Irish guy. Its largely what you'd expect. Just a regular bar with a few Guiness logos on the walls and an assortment of sporting jerseys from Gaelic sports. There's a pool table, table football and a dart board. There's no live music though and music is provided by a dj. There's plenty tvs around for showing football from Europe and also North American sports.
It was pretty busy without being over packed. Its started to wind down around 1 am. I was there on my own but I found easy enough to get conversation with other people when hanging around the bar area.
Dress Code: Casual
Other reviewers have commented that Mariscal is the nightlife hub in Quito. That doesn't seem to have changed. I was there at the weekend and it was very lively. The centre of it all is the small square at the junction of Reina Victoria and Foch. There is though plenty happening in the surrounding streets. Things seem to rock until around 3 am.
My guidebook gave a very clear warning about safety around here. Streets that are unlit or unpopulated should be avoided. Even those that are well lit and busy still require vigilance. Street crime is a problem, some of it violent. I was told by the hotel staff that is best to travel by cab if doing anything much more adventurous than rolling from one bar into the next.
The first thing to say about nightlife in Quito is that if you’re looking for lively bars and lots of late-night action, the colonial part is not where you should be staying! Although these days generally considered safe at night (and we certainly didn’t experience or observe anything to worry us), it is quiet and definitely low-key. A pleasant dinner, a stroll through its attractive streets, and a relatively early night are probably the norm for most people who choose to stay here, although La Ronda (see next tip) can be livelier, especially at weekends.
However, the afore-mentioned stroll through the streets can be a real pleasure as so many of the churches are beautifully illuminated at night. My own favourite spots were the Plaza de la Independencia (where one evening our pleasure in the surroundings was enhanced by a performance of traditional Spanish dancing) and one of the streets leading from it – Moreno, formerly known as Calle de Las Siete Cruces. Here in a single block you can admire the cathedral, the small church attached to it known as El Sagrario, and La Compañia. One evening when we wandered along here on our way back from dinner, we came across a bride and groom posing for photos outside the illuminated churches. We weren’t sure if they were newly married and looking to get a series of nice photos to mark the occasion, or if perhaps it was a modelling shoot. Either way, we could see the attraction of these beautiful backdrops.
Next tip: La Ronda, where what nightlife there is has its focus.
La Ronda (also known as Calle Morales) is a narrow street on the south side of the old town, and has become known for its relatively lively nightlife when compared with the rest of that area at least. We found though that this varied very much according to when we visited. On both a Friday and a Saturday night the street was packed with both locals and tourists, and the atmosphere was great. But two evenings later, on a wet Monday, it was almost deserted and we found ourselves the only diners in our chosen restaurant for most of the evening. On our third visit, a Sunday, it was somewhat between the two but really not that busy. So if you want a party atmosphere, come on a Friday or Saturday.
The street is really little more than a pedestrianised lane, lined with old colonial buildings from 16th century onwards. On some of these there are informative illustrated boards, describing the history of the area and some of the artists and writers who once lived there. Today the old buildings have been turned into restaurants (some smart and upmarket, others cheap and cheerful), bars and shops. On a busy evening there are street traders selling gimmicky items such as light sabres and whirling helicopter toys, which seemed to be aimed more at the local market than tourists, but some of the shops have some nice craft items and paintings if you’re looking for something more special. But really this is a place to come and wander, soak up the atmosphere, eat and drink ...
The street is one of the oldest in the city, dating back to pre-colonial times, when the indigenous inhabitants used it as a path to the Pichincha River, where they went to fish, bathe and wash clothing. Later it developed as the route to the San Juan de Dios Hospital, then the home to all types of artists, and later still became a street notorious for crime – theft, muggings and worse. Today however, like much of the colonial quarter, it has cleaned up its act and is regularly patrolled by tourist police who ensure that you need have no fears about visiting here.
We also saw the smartly uniformed soldiers in my third photo here, who were happy to pose for my photo (and for many others!) But I have no idea, and no one could tell me, whether they were here on duty or for pleasure.
My next few tips describe some of the places we ate and drank here, starting with an example of what we drank – a local speciality known as Canalazo.
Dirty Sanchez is unique in the Mariscal area of Quito - or of whole Ecuador. They have Good Music (not just the same *** they play everywhere else), Excelent Cocktails (get a recommendation from the bartender), very Friendly service and last but not least nice Prices. They also run a monthly electronic rave as well as other events like the brownie Festival.
Dress Code: don't go naked. (well, as a girl you could ask bartender for a free shot)
This is for the young adults...Its an area the locals refer to as Amazonas... Its located on and on the streets around Amazonas Ave. There are lots of bars and dance clubs... It is very packed on Friday nights, Friday night is the party night here!! Its very fun... I woulnt recommend going by yourself though it could be dangerous. there are usually many police officers around on amazonas but you should still be careful. Dont go onto empty roads late at night... Dangerous people around....
Dress Code: Wear clothes you would wear to go out on a friday night... dancing clothes... whatever you want its really for anyone and everyone!
An awesome place to go to in Quito to have fun. This karaoke is very local… you probably won’t meet any other foreigners there. They have mostly English and Spanish songs of course, but also some in French and Portuguese. Everybody will mix so you will have a great chance to meet new people.
I have a blog where i have more reviews about Quito nightlife by the way :
Nightlife in Quito
Quito nightlife is really great because it's a real mix of everything from latin music to techno or jazz... don't hesitate to come here!
Dress Code: No shorts or sandals!
im one of the owners and have heard about the difficult times at the door. if you had a difficult time please ask for(Sean, John or Jose) But also try to get there early, after 11 we have to shut the door down and let one in when one leaves. Bungalow 6 is a good size club but still just has so much space. we are selective because we want the best atmosphere and safety. We want you to have the best experience at our place and if you dont just let us know. Wednesday is ladies night and 7-10 we only let ladies in(no cover and free drinks) after 10 we let guys in(cover $4 and a drink with that) so guys try to get there around 10. all other nights only cover for guys, $4 and a free drink. ladies free all the time, except if we have a charity event. we have at least 2 of those a month to raise money for children of Quito. its usually $3 cover and you get a free drink and the whole door goes to charity. Quito is a great place and a lot to do here and outside quito, any questions feel free to ask us.......
Dress Code: casual
Yeah, yeah, yeah. I know, it's an Irish pub and I was in South America! Well, I actually didn't visit Kilkenny's because of the Irish pub atmosphere. I came because there was a sign outside when I happened to walk by that advertised that they serve "canelazo". Well, I had heard about the hot Ecuadorean concoction and I figured I should make sure that I try one before I left. A canelazo is basically a sugarcane liqueur (aguardiente), some water, brown sugar, cinnamon and lemon, served hot and makes for a decent sip-myself-to-sleep nightcap. As for the atmosphere in the pub, well, it was pretty mellow, maybe even a little lame. When I think of an Irish pub, I expect a little more lively conversation among total strangers, but oh well.
It wasn't too many years ago that walking around Colonial Quito at night was a risky activity. While I'm not recommending a 3 am excursion, walking around in the evening (before 10 pm) in the blocks around Plaza Grande is perfectly safe and a very relaxing way to spend an evening. You'll be surrounded by beautiful architecture and plenty of cafes to stop and grab a coffee or pastry to keep you fueled up for your walk.
We stayed in a perfect location if you're going to be in La Mariscal (see my hotel tips). We were just far enough away from the heart of the nightlife scene, that we could get a peaceful night's sleep and just close enough, that it was an easy 5 minute walk home from the bar.
The area that is north of Wilson between Juan Leon Mera and Diego de Almagro is jam-packed with nightclubs, bars, restaurants, music venues and dance spots. The locals flock here literally by the thousands, so be prepared for a crowded, drinkfest of young people looking to have some fun.
Sunday through Wednesday things are relatively quiet, but Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights are when all the madness starts. Things get going around 9-10 and don't stop until 3 or 4 in the morning.
Dress Code: Most places are pretty casual, so come as you are (well, taking a shower is always a good idea).
I know some of you are checking gravity at the sight of a nightlife tip from me. At the intersection of calle Mariscal Foch and calle Reina Victoria is a square almost completely surrounded by cafes and bars. Locals tell me it is a great nightlife spot. Even at midday, it is buzzing with tourists relaxing over a cup of coffee and people watching. Even the locals come here at lunch.
Dress Code: I wore simple clothes and they didn't throw me out.
This is not the kind of place I normally go. It’s expensive and quite touristy but it does have a great location and I wanted to try canelazo. All that said, it’s a romantic little place right on the Plaza de San Francisco. The outside seating area offers a great view of the square lit up quite colorfully at night and even has heaters to help keep the chill off. It is also fenced off and has a guard to keep beggars from bothering you as you enjoy a drink that could probably feed them for an entire day.
The food looked to be pretty expensive and we were strictly there for the canelazo, a warm apple cider livened up with aguardiente, a high octane alcohol. It was a lovely warming drink perfect for Quito evenings. We went back a few weeks later only to be told that no alcohol could be served due to the local elections!
Dress Code: You'll need a jacket if sitting out at night in Quito.
As far as I could tell no-one goes outside at night, it seems they're afraid to. I rode through Quito (from the airport) at midnight and it was pretty much a ghost-town. I read that you can go to night clubs in Mariscal, but I was only there during the day, besides, why would I want to hang out in a place they call "Gringolandia"???