Various: Local snacks
There are all kinds if places to get a snack, from various spots around the city we tried hot chocolate, sweets mostly made with sugar and milk, a fried dough with cheese inside. These were sold by vendors with small store fronts, the sweets sold at small confectionary stores.
Central market: Local food
The central market, in addition to selling meat, seafood, vegetables, ftuit and flowers, has many booths selling local food to eat fir next to nothing. We tried one of the booths recommended by our guide, Las Corvinas de don "Jimmy" and had corvina (sea bass), that was fried and served with either rice or potatoes, ceviche and a couple of other things I couldn't identify all for $4.50
There were ladies selling drinks made with local fruits, we tried one made with mora, a berry that tastes a bit like strawberries and looks like a red blackberry and coconut, delicious! And only $1. We also tried a milk and corn drink, served either hot or cold, only 60 cents.
I will mention that later that evening David got extremely sick and remained so for the rest of our stay in Quito, he thinks it was the milk/corn concoction. Since I ate and drank everything he did, actually even more since I tried the ceviche and he did not, I'm not sure if it can be attributed to what he ate or if it was just his body's reaction to the food. If you have digestive issues, this may not be the place for you to be eating and you might also think about packing some Pepto Bismal and/or Immodium for your visit.
Menestras del Negro: Fast food
Since David wasn't feeling well, I decided to eat fast food instead of dragging him to a restaurant and making him watch me eat. The 1st night I ate at a KFC across from our hotel, it was later in the evening and they had run out of everything but pieces of chicken. The 2nd night I tried Menestras del Negro, they offer different kinds of combos with chicken or steak with sides of beans, rice or plantains and a very small drink, mostly under $5US
Favorite Dish: I got the combo de Carne for $4.50 which was a small piece of steak, not bad really for a fast food place, with a side of rice and beans and a small Coke.
The restaurant Vista Hermosa is situated on the top-floor of a building in Centre Hisórico so from their rooftop terrace you will have great views over the old town and surrounding mountains. The first time I came here I sat outside, but in the evening it can be quite chilly so the other times I sat inside. There are a few heaters outdoors though.
They have both Ecuadorian cuisine and things like pasta and pizza.
There is live music on Wednesday – Saturday starting at 20.30, but I have never stayed that late.
The food is average and quite expensive. This is what I had, and what I paid in 2013:
Seco de Chivo. guanabana juice and tax $15.30
Spaghetti Carbonara, mango juice and tax $17.00
Trout, fruit juice, a glass of wine and tax, almost $25
Seco de Chivo, orange juice, tax $15.58
EL DECK Resto-Loft: first Resto Loft en Quito
It's for me the best surprise in Quito downtown 2014, fresh, young, modern french Restaurant with incredible music and very high service and food. Relax atmosphere with a lot of decoration details. Food is french with italian side and organic components, some vegetarian and raw food too. The have concerts and art expositions sometime, excellent sound! You'll feel home!
Favorite Dish: Everything seems perfect, but I tried Vol-au-Vent Portobello and Magret de Pato, veery good. Great Deserts too, try Creme brulee de Maracuyá for example. The change the Menu every 6 months...Excellent signature's Coctails
- Wine Tasting
- Beer Tasting
When I walked around in Parque Itchimbia in 2012 I looked for Pim’s as I wanted to eat lunch, but unfortunately I couldn’t find it. When I visited Parque Itchimbia again in 2013 I by chance saw that it was situated just below the Cultural Centre. If you are standing at the railing looking out over Quito, you are actually standing on the roof of Pim’s restaurant. It is very easy to miss it!
Pim’s had not opened jet, but opened at 12 (noon) so I waited for a while at one of the outdoor tables. It was very warm to sit there in the sun, so when the restaurant opened I decided to sit inside. I sat down at one of the tables by the windows where there is a lovely view over Quito.
There are a lot of things to choose from in the menu and I ordered Chicken sandwich with avocado (it was served with French fries), orange juice and a coffee. With tax and service it was $15.13 (August 2013).
I visited Pim’s during the day and the view over Quito and Pichincha was beautiful. I can imagine the views are great at nighttime as well.
There is a Pim’s at El Panecillo too (but I didn’t see it when I was there), and one in La Floresta and another one in Cumbayá.
Heladería San Agustin: San Agustin – restaurant and ice cream place
Heladería San Agustin was established already in 1858 and it is famous for its ice creams Helado de Paila, an ice cream that is handmade in big copper bowls. The ice cream feels a little bit like sorbet. They don’t only serve ice cream at Heladería San Agustin, but they also have a selection of traditional desserts and food.
It is a popular place and when I visited for the first time around lunch time it was difficult to get a table. I was lucky and someone just left. I ordered Arroz Marinero and it turned out the portions were very large. I could far from eat it all even though it tasted good. The woman who sat down opposite me ordered Seco de Chivo. Her portion was large and looked good too.
This is what I paid in August 2013:
Arroz Marinero $8.95
Limonada $ 1.50
Ice cream (two scopes) $2.50
Today’s lunch by Plaza del Teatro
I had seen that Café del Teatro had opened again and went there for lunch. Unfortunately they had only opened in small scale to begin with and were not serving set lunches. I did not want to sit down and chose something more expensive from the menu. So, I looked for another place to eat nearby and saw a small café/restaurant in the corner of Plaza del Teatro and Guayaquil. I couldn’t see any name of the restaurant. They advertised for set lunches (almuerzo) for $2.
As a starter there was a soup with vegetables, potatoes and maybe a piece of meat. There were three different choices for the main plate. I chose chicken. On the plate there were chicken, rice, green lentils and some lettuce and a slice of tomato. The soup was quite greasy on the surface and the drink didn’t look to inviting. But for $2 it was absolutely an okay meal.
Juan Fogonero is a restaurant situated at the courtyard of Archbishop’s Palace in Centro Histórico (at the same place as Ceviches Pedro and Pablo was situated before). It is a very nice environment, service was good and so was the food.
I ordered skewers with meat from beef and pork. It was served with potatoes and vegetables (broccoli, green beans and lettuce). While waiting for the meal bread and butter were served. With service and tax it was $11.34 (July 2013).
Café Caracol – Not so good breakfast
I was going to make a daytrip to Pasochoa and therefore wanted to eat breakfast early, before most places in Centro Histórico open. I went to Calle Benalcazar where I had eaten an early breakfast at a café before. Unfortunately it was not open jet but nearby Café Caracol was open.
I went inside, asked for breakfast and sat down at a table. I only stayed because all other places were closed. The door to the bathroom was open and it smelled of urine. I was asked if I wanted to have water or milk and knew that that was for the coffee. The coffee was in a tin mug on the table and I poured some of it into my cup and they added water, water that was not even lukewarm. The boiled eggs were dark grey and I could not eat much of them. And I got a toasted sandwich and a tomate de arbol-juice. When I was going to pay I was surprised that it was $3 (July 2013) and the woman told me it was because I had a sandwich and not a humitas. Well, there are both better and cheaper places for breakfast, so Café Caracol is a place that I will definitely not go to again.
Juan Valdez Café
My first intention had been to go to Republica del Cacao but because there were noisy construction work going on just outside that café I went round the corner to Juan Valdez Café on Plaza Foch. On Plaza Foch the two cafes Juan Valdez and La Española is situated just next to each other. They have about the same things so I first went over to the counter of both to see which place seemed to have the best cake. I wanted to have the cheese cake they had at Juan Valdez Café.
I ordered a cheese cake (which was quite good) and a big coffee (decaf) and it was $4.99 (July 2013). The tables are facing Plaza Foch so it is a good spot for people watching.
Juan Valdez share bathroom with all other restaurants and shops in the same building. It is situated on the second floor and you need to leave a deposit at the counter to lend the key for it.
Juan Valdez Café is a coffeehouse chain with origin in Colombia.
Las Espumillas de la Michelena
One day when I went to Fruteria Monserrate to buy a fruit salad to take away it was closed. I went further up on Espejo where I had seen that Las Espumillas de la Michelena also had fruits, to buy a fruit salad from there instead.
The woman making the fruit salad asked if I wanted to have something white and I said yes because I thought it was cream, but it turned out to be something sweet that I didn’t like. Then she asked if I wanted to have cream and yes, I wanted that as I needed to gain some weight. Also the cream turned out to be quite sweet. Some of the fruits in the fruit salad seemed to be canned fruit, like the peaches and kiwi. The fruit salad to take away was $2.50 (July 2013). Okay, it was cheaper than the fruit salad from Fruteria Monserrate, but I prefer the fruit salad from Fruteria Monserrate as it is much fresher and not sweet (there is a possibility to add something sweet though).
At Las Espumillas de la Michelena there are also juices, ice-cream and different desserts on the menu.
Restaurant El Pachanguero: Fried empanadas
On my last day in Quito I passed a restaurant on Flores where a man sold big warm fried empanadas. As I have tasted them elsewhere and liked them I bought one to bring with me. The empanada didn’t have any filling but was dough fried as I waited, and it tasted very good and it was very greasy. The big empanada was $0.50 (august 2011). The name of the restaurant was Restaurant El Pollo Pachanguero.
In July 2013 I came back to this restaurant, but not for the empanadas as I just wanted to have a soup. It was late afternoon, around 17, and when I asked for a soup they said I could get the soup which was included in the set lunch (almuerzo). To drink I got a fruit drink. It was quite weak and I was not sure about the water in it, so I didn’t drink much of it. The soup and drink was $0.80.
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Café del Teatro
Update August 2013: Café del Teatro had still been closed when I was in Quito in June and July 2013, but when I came back in August I noticed that it was opened and went inside to ask for lunch. I noticed it was a bit smaller and they had a shorter menu. No lunch was served, but maybe they were going to start with it again later.
Uppdate 2012: Café del Teatro is now closed. I hope another restaurant will open there soon as the location is good and there are not so many restaurants in Centro Historico with outdoor tables.
Café del Teatro is situated in a corner of Plaza del Teatro. It is nice to sit at one of the outdoor tables here with view over Teatro Sucre and the people walking by.
When I came here in June I wasn’t very hungry and asked for a soup and a fruit juice. While I was eating the soup I was brought a second drink, a pineapple juice, which turned out to be included with the meal. When I went inside to pay I also got an apple. For the soup and juice I paid $3.50 (June 2011). Later I realised that the soup, pineapple juice and apple must have been part of a set lunch.
I came back to Café del Teatro in August to have lunch, and this time I asked for un almuerzo (set lunch). The soup was a fish and vegetable soup, and for main course it was beef stew with rice (there was also a choice of pork) and for desert there was cake. I also got a pineapple juice to drink, but not until I asked for it. The quality of the lunch at Café del Teatro was better than the set lunch at many other restaurants. After the lunch I decided to stay for a while and bought a cappuccino. It turned out that the cappuccino was more expensive than the lunch. The lunch was $2.05, the cappuccino $2.25and IVA $0.52 and service $0.43 (August 2011).
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Jugo de la Sucre
Jugo de la Sucre is a great place to come to, to have fresh fruit juices and batidos (juices with milk), and I visited several times while in Quito. There is a big variety of fruits to choose from and you can also mix them if you like. The juice is served in a glass, but you will also get some in a jar as more juice is made than what will fill a glass. A strawberry batido was $1 (August 2011).
Jugo de la Sucre is open between 7.30 - 18.
Update 2012: This is what I paid this year at Jugo de la Sucre:
Strawberry batido $1
Mortadela sandwich $0.50
Update 2013: This is what I paid this year at Jugo de la Sucre:
Strawberry batido $1.20 and $1.10
Maracuja and orange juice $1.20 and $1.10
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