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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Breakfast on Benalcazar
It was a Sunday morning and El Cafeto and Cafeteria Modelo where I usually ate breakfast while in Quito had not opened yet. I was hungry and remembered that I had seen a few small cafes on Benalcazar that open early so I headed there. I chose a café that advertised about American breakfast outside. I got a coffee, a fruit juice, a croissant, cheese and eggs. The breakfast was $2 (August 2012). It was not bad, bad nothing special either. And it was difficult to read the newspaper by the small round tables. However, if I need an early breakfast I can definitely go here again.
Update July 2013: I came here again for an early breakfast on a Sunday morning. It was open before 8 o'clock. The breakfast was still $2 and this time I could choose between three different juices.
Another early morning it was close though and I went to another cafe down the road. Unfortunately that cafe was not good at all.
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Cafeteria Modelo is situated in the corner of Sucre and Garcia Moreno in Centro Histórico. It is a popular café that has been there since 1950, which makes it one of the oldest cafés in Quito. There is also a second Cafeteria Modelo on Venezuela, but I have never been to that one.
I came to Cafeteria Modelo several times for breakfast (I preferred the coffee and bread at El Cafeto but didn’t want to eat at the same place every morning). Every time I had breakfast at Cafeteria Modelo I ordered Desayuno Combo 1. In that breakfast choice there is bread and butter, eggs, a fruit juice, coffee or tea. It was a good breakfast for $2.25 (August 2012). And the tables have a good size with room for a newspaper.
Twice I have also been at Cafeteria Modelo in the afternoon to eat a chicken sandwich and drink a batido (fruit juice in milk). It was $3.70.
Besides breakfast and sandwiches you can also eat pizza, soup and ice cream here, and Ecuadorian snacks, among others humitas, tamales, quimbolitos and empanadas de verde.
Most mornings Cafeteria Modelo opens at 8, but a Sunday in August it opened later (and I remember it had been the same the previous year). However, I had been there another Sunday shortly after 8 and then it had been open.
Update June 2013: This year I only had breakfast here once. For the same breakfast I had had the previous year they charged me $2.69 ($2.40 + IVA). When El Cafeto was open I always had breakfast there instead as they have much, much better coffee and better bread.
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Lunch at Terminal Quitumbe
Terminal Quitumbe is the big bus terminal in south Quito. I was travelling to Baeza, but before that I needed to eat lunch. I was told that in the adjacent building, to your right when you arrive at the main entrance at Quitumbe, there are several places to eat.
There were several eateries in two rows with tables in between. I choose to order from one that had grilled chicken and French fries. It was served with some salad and I also asked for avocado and got half an avocado. For the meal I paid $3 (August 2012). No drink was included.
In July 2013 I ate at Terminal Quitumbe again, but this time I ordered from another eatery. I ordered Seco de pollo, which was served with rice, potatoes, a few slices of tomatoes and a piece of avocado. The meal was $2.50. To drink I bought a bottle of coca-cola, and it was $1.
Tianguez is a café/restaurant with a good location on Plaza San Francisco. It is situated in the stone arches below the Monastery of San Francisco. I came here because I wanted to sit outside to eat and from the tables at the outdoor area there is a good view over the plaza and what is going on there.
The first time I was here I ordered a coca-cola and Seco de Chivo con papas fritas. Seco de Chivo is a traditional goat stew, here served with a touch of passion fruit. It tasted very good, but I was a bit disappointed that it didn’t come with French fries as it said in the menu, but instead was served with rice and three slices of boiled potato.
The coca-cola (0.5l in a plastic bottle) was $1.20 and the food $6.10. With tax and service it was $9.03 (June 2011).
I came back in August and that time I wanted a big portion of meat, so I ordered the Lomo Cordon Blue, which was served with French fries and some salad. It was delicious. To drink I had a glass of guanabana jucie. This meal, with tax and service, was $14.03 (August 2011), which makes it the second most expensive meal I had in Ecuador.
Tianguez has also got a large souvenir shop with pricey, but good quality artefacts from all over Ecuador.
Update 2012: Altogether I spent quite many days in Quito during my holiday June-August 2012. I came back to Tianguez many times because of the nice setting and the good food. One thing which I don’t like about Tianguez is that there are mostly foreign tourists eating there, and once, when it was a bit colder and I was sitting by a small table inside with a view over the plaza, I was asked to move to a dark corner because they were expecting a big group of tourists with a reservation and wanted to prepare and move tables together for them.
This is what I paid in 2012 (with service and IVA):
Lomo Cordon Blue and a fruit juice $14.03 (same as last year)
Ceco de Chivo and guanabana juice $10.00
Chicken filet marinated in beer and juice $10.86
Camarones and juice $13.14
Chicken wrap and juice $7.68
Locro de Papa and maracuja juice $6 (I think this was the best Locro de Papa I have had in Ecuador)
Update 2013: Also this year I came back to Tianguez a few times. This is what I paid (including IVA and service):
Lomo Cordon Blue and maracuja juice $14.03 (price was the same in 2011 and 2012)
Chicken wrap and a guanabana juice $7.69
Chicken wrap, a juice and a glass of red wine $13.18
One day I also had a very good Ceviche de Camarones, but I have not written down how much it was.
Caravana - fast food
There are several Caravana fast food restaurants on Chile in Centro Histórico. I ate a few times at one situated between Garcia Moreno and Benalcazar. There was a Caravana next door too and there they had hamburgers and fried chicken, but at the restaurant where I choose to eat they had grilled chicken. Everytime I ate here I ordered 1/8 grilled chicken served with French fries and salad. And I had a fruit juice to drink. It was $3.25 (August 2012).
Because I stayed at a hotel further down on Chile the location was convenient for me, and the price of the meal was good. The bad thing was, as in many fast food restaurants, that the plates, cutlery ad mugs were disposable.
In July 2013 I ordered the same (1/8 chicken, French fries, salad and a drink) to take away. It was $3.40. When I came back to the hotel and opened the box I got very disappointed as there was no salad (photo 3) and when I was looking at the drink it was not the limonada I had ordered, but coca-cola, and if I want to sleep I can’t drink coca-cola in the evening, so once more a disappointed.
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