There are two places to eat in the hotel, the smart 1822 Restaurant and the more casual La Pepa de Oro coffee shop. We had decided to eat in the former but when we went to check it out it was deserted so we opted for the friendly buzz in the coffee shop. We had expected that this might have a limited dinner-time menu but in fact there was plenty to choose from.
Our waitress was, to be polite, not “in the first flush of youth” and seemed to find managing the orders a bit of a challenge but she was so eager to please and agreeable that we didn’t mind. Unfortunately though the food was a little disappointing, but served in very generous portions. We shared empanadas to start with but these were not as good as those we’d had elsewhere, lacking flavour and being a little greasy. My main course of fajitas suffered from the same problem, although Chris’s club sandwich was better. We were too full for dessert, so finished the evening in the hotel’s cosy bar instead, which had a very good selection of drinks at reasonable prices. And talking of reasonable, our meal was well priced too, at $37 for the two courses and three beers between us.
The next morning we had breakfast in the same coffee shop (included in the price of our stay). This was good, with a selection of hot and cold items served buffet style along with fresh fruit, a wide selection of rolls and pastries, and decent coffee.
Next tip: Guayaquil’s airport.
There are seven locations in Ecuador, four in Guayaquil. The best one I think is the oldest location, in Urdesa Central on Victor Emilio Estrada. It has a vast dining hall, yet still has lots of nooks and crannies where you can feel semi-private. The front is only marked off by grills, so if it is a really hot day, ask to be seated upstairs where it is air conditioned. The best place, though, is in the rear on the street level. Here there is a relatively small area near the salad bar with stone walls and a massive water feature along the back wall.
It is most famous for its parrillada, a selection of cooked meats and sausages served sizzling hot on a hot coal brazier. The best part is that the servings are massive. You can often get 2-3 meals out of one order.
Favorite Dish: By far my wife and I love to order the bifstek chorizo, a truly massive cut that flops over the side of the plate. It can be a little tough in some parts, but is extremely flavorful. Best of all, we can share the one order between ourselves, and still have leftovers for steak breakfast burritos in the morning, if not more.
When we came back from the tour, while the bus was being checked in by port security, I saw this outdoor restaurant with local workers eating supper. This looked very nice to me.
I also took pictures of other restaurants from the bus window (photos 2 through 5). I could also have bought something at the Parque Historic.
Best sushi in town. The restaurant is run by a Japanese man who has been living in Ecuador for more than 30 years. The chef is also Japanese and the restaurant is also a very popular place for the local Japanese community. The sushi was very very yummy!
Favorite Dish: Chirashi zushi (variety of sushi on top of rice) and the assorted sushi plate
Primarily you go to Frutabar because they have the best fresh fruit juices, and the greatest assortment of juices (about 20 if you choose only one type of fruit, but if you choose to mix, the number is...)
The interior decoration of the places is special, with custom made furniture, and also a surfing theme. The music they play is western, not latino, if that is an advantage or disadvantage, each person has to decide....
Favorite Dish: The "Sanduche Hawayano" (Hawaii Sandwich) has lots of chicken fillet, pineapple and a tasty dressing. With it they also serve a tasty sauce. And with it I take any of the fresh fruit juices
Resaca sits directly on the Malecon 2000 and is built up like a typical, touristy restaurant. It might be, but the food is really good, the prices are definitely reasonable, and you can't beat an outdoor table, especially at night, overlooking the lights of the city on one side, and the pitch blackness of the Guayas.
Favorite Dish: It's on a large river that empties into the ocean...so you know the seafood is fresh.
Casa Corea is a hidden gem in this city. THough the decor isn't great (nor bad), the food is authentic. It is owned by a Korean family that not only uses phenomenal authentic recipes, but grows all their own veggies onsite!!! And don't miss the weekend all you can eat buffet.
Favorite Dish: Any of the Bolgogi.
Del Natos is knows as the best steak in Guayaquil. Started by an Argentinian, the restaurant holds true the reputation that Argentinian steakhouses FEED you!
Whenever we go in groups, we order half the number of dinners as there are people, because the servings are big enough for two. For instance, the chicken platter comes with 9 (yes NINE) chicken breasts - for less than $10!! The filet mignon comes with two huge filets - also around 10 dollars.
Favorite Dish: The filet mignon.
Just be aware that in Ecuador the filets come with bacon on top, with a gravy poured on. It might not sound very good, but trust me, it is.
You go to Trattoria del Enrique for two reasons. The first is the fish tank ceiling. The whole ceiling is swimming with large, live fish!! It makes for an interesting atmosphere, and is definately unique - a conversation piece that is well done.
The second is the food, which - maybe I've been away from Italy for too long - is very good!
Favorite Dish: THe true test of an Italian restaurant is the Gnochi - and here, it is good.
It's a suitable restaurant decorated specially to coast local food. Nice persons and warm attention.
Favorite Dish: La Canoa is a special place to eat local food. I recommend to eat rice and beens with beef and platanos. MMM!!!!!
Also you can eat ceviches of shrimps, fish, octopus and more.
Do not forget to drink the Coca Cola... uf, I love it.
There are also juices and chocolats. But the cakes... please, eat a cake and feel heaven.
I like many of them, there is lots of restaurants in Guayaquil, from french, italian, thai, seafood everything you need to fill up your TOMMY
my favorite dish is RAVIOLI with PANGORA(crabe)mmmmmm delicious.
Favorite Dish: But one of my favorite is LO NUESTRO in Urdesa, own by an Urugaye...very nice place not to expensive
Seating indoors or out. The outdoor seating has a view towards the steps on one side and the Guayas River on the other.
The upstair seating offers a good view of the Guayas River during the day. It is even more attractive after dark with the lights from the city. The food was good.