I had not eaten at Casa Hood during my last visit to Baños, but now when I returned I ate here both evenings I was in town.
The restaurant is owned by an American and the majority of the customers were other tourists, but it is a very nice place. The food is good, as well as the price, and the atmosphere is very relaxed. The restaurant is open 8.00 – 22.15 so you can eat breakfast, lunch and dinner here. On the menu there are Mexican, Thai, Italian and Middle Eastern dishes, besides things like trout.
The first evening I came here I ate Burritos (or was it fajitas) and drank a juice made of maracuja, ginger and alfalfa. It all tasted very good and the meal was filling. For food and juice I paid $8.60 (July 2013).
The next evening I ordered trout, a vitamin juice and a glass of red vine. And once again I was not disappointed. It was a delicious meal! I liked that the glass of vine was filled at least to ¾. For the food, juice and vine I paid $11.84.
Café Rico Pan is a good place for breakfast and when I visited it was full of people eating their breakfast. I had already eaten breakfast, but the rain had been pouring down the whole morning and as I had a cough I didn’t want to do any activities were I was going to get wet and cold. I decided to go to Café Rico Pan, have a cappuccino and think of what to do the rest of the day (I decided to return to Quito where the sun shone).
The cappuccino was good and it was $2 (July 2013).
CJs is situated just half a block south of Parque Central. I came here to eat almuerzo (lunch of the day). For $3 (July 2013) the lunch was good and filling. In the soup there was chicken, yucca, and quinoa, and on the main plate there was rice, a fried potato cake, meat, salad and a piece of avocado. A drink and a piece of water melon as desert were also included in the price.
There were no other tourists there while I visited.
Aromé is a small café on Oriente (near Haflantes) where you can buy different coffees, chocolate, sandwiches and deserts. There are also Fair Trade products like chocolate and coffee on sale.
I came here twice and had American coffee the first time, and I must say it was quite weak, but I heard from someone else that the cappuccino is very good.
American coffee $1
Ice cream $1.50
Hot chocolate $1.25
Aromé also has a small shop on Martinez where I bought small bags with nuts and dried fruits. It was a good selection of fruits and nuts (and luckily no peanuts) in the bags and they were $1.25 (July 2011 and also in July 2013). They are good to bring on a longer hike.
Update July 2013: I came here once to have coffee and a tiramisu. It tasted good but I forgot to write down the price.
There is another article on this site which describes cuy. I don't disagree with anything except the price. There has been inflation; a whole cuy costs $20.
While popular, it is not universally enjoyed in Ecuador. I found it to be very fatty without a lot of meat. I think most Americans would consider it too fatty and , thus, disagreeable. The first time, try not to buy a whole one for yourself. I don't think you will finish it. If possible, buy a small portion or share a whole one among your party..
The info I am told by the people who own where I am staying is as follows. Casa Hood and Café Hood are 2 distinctly different places run by the no longer together halves of a former couple. Café Hood is run by the lady and Casa Hood is run by the gent. Both are in the town centre, only a few mins walk away from each other.
They are quite similar in the sense that both appeal to omnivorous and vegetarian clientele. Casa Hood, going by the clear labelling on the menu, is defo more vegan friendly.
Café Hood opens earlier in the morning.
Casa Hood at time of writing according to happycow online vegetarian directory is straight across the street from a restaurant that is 100% vego called Sativa Studio Café.
Where you pay the admission to visit the waterfall Pailón del Diablo there is a restaurant/cafeteria. After visiting the waterfall, and before continuing my bicycle tour to Baños, I though this could be a nice place to have lunch at. All other visitors only had fresh fruit juices, but asking I was told there was food as well. I had chicken with French fries and a mandarin juice. It was $ 6.75 (July 2011). While eating I had a very nice view over the river below.
I have read there is another restaurant, with view of the waterfall, just on the other side of the suspension bridge, but unfortunately the bridge was closed for reparation when I visited. Also in the village Río Verde, where the parking place is, there are a few restaurants.
There are many tourists in Baños and many of the restaurants and cafés are a bit tourist-oriented and quite expensive. Not always what you want when you visit another country, but Café Hood is a very nice place. The atmosphere is very relaxed, food is good and nice music is played.
I liked their mixed salad because there was a lot of avocado in it. I ordered it twice, but both times without onion. It comes with bread.
This is what I paid in July 2011:
Mixed salad, pasta with pesto (and bread) and jugo de tomate was $7.40
Mixed salad, extra bread and chocolate cake was $4.10
Burritos with chicken, avocado, tomatoes, brown rice, 2 glasses of wine was $12.25
I’m not sure of the name of this place, but it is something with Suiza. There are some pool tables and there is also a book exchange and sofa corner. I was looking for somewhere to have a quick small lunch before going on a canopy tour. I had passed several places with too many people and too long waiting time. There were no other customers hear and I ordered a strawberry smoothie and a sandwich. It was $3.50 (July 2011).
This café is open until late in the evenings, and it is closed on Mondays.
I ate at the restaurant at Posada del Arte together with a nice family from California. The restaurant is small and has a cosy atmosphere. They serve well made Ecuadorian, international and vegetarian dishes . The trout with shrimps that I had was very good , and everyone else liked their meal too. The trout was $7.50 and a glass of wine was $4 (July 2011). No extra charges were added.
The restaurant is open between 7.15 - 22.30.
I was going to eat with some people at Posada del Arte, but it was closed for the evening. We were recommended Café Mariane, which was not easy to find. We did not know it was down a lane and therefore walked passed it first. When we asked for the direction we were directed to the old location of the restaurant. Finally we found it and by that time it was very full, but we got a table in the corner.
At the restaurant they serve good French and Mediterranean food, the interior of the restaurant is cosy and outside there is a nice garden. But I don’t know if we visited the wrong evening, because service was not good. We had to wait very, very long for our food, and it did not arrive at the same time. It seemed to be the same at other tables.
As I didn’t pay for my meal I can’t remember how much it was. It’s not one of the cheapest places in Baños, but it’s not as expensive as in Europe.
Around lunchtime many restaurants in Ecuador has a set lunch menu. On Roqueforte I found Restaurant Buen Sabor which served lunches for $2.50 (July 2011).There was a soup for starter with vegetables, yucca and a piece of meat. On the main plate there was meat, rice and potato. To drink there was a pineapple juice and the desert I didn’t try. The meat was very well done, a bit black, and one of the persons at the table next to mine got a very well done pizza, which was partly black. Well, I have eaten better lunches of the day in Ecuador.
The full name is La Casa Vieja de Dusseldorf. I the hotel has private bathrooms and TV in the rooms but nothing more. But I visited the restaurant several times as it had my favourite breakfast. Muesli with fresh fruit and natural yogurt. Very tasty! It also had excellent fried potatoes, which you should know I don't normally like. The trout was very well cooked and the service was good and quick, something really rare in South America...It also has pizzas, meat dishes and Mexican food.
Prices are 1.5$ for my muesli and no more than 6$ for main dishes.
Wide selection of internationally known coffee specialties made of freshly ground ecuadorean coffee beans. Delicious cakes, cookies and other sweets, vegi salads and snacks, wines, cocktails, healthy fruit juices and much more!
Book exchange, magazines and newspapers, pool, table tennis and several other table games.
Enjoy the unique sofa corner and relax while having a hot cup of aromatic coffee!
Small, friendly cafe run by a Danish woman and her Ecuadorian Husband. Great coffee, sandwiches, smoothies and cakes. Books, magazines and local information
Favorite Dish: Coffee is superb, and zanahoria (carrot) cake just mouthwatering.