The capital of Ecuador is full of surprises. Quito is a huge city located in an exceptional place, in a valley surrounded by volcanoes and mountains that you can admire from countless lookouts. But also, being one of the oldest cities in Latin America, it has a cultural and historical heritage that deserves, at least, a couple of days of your attention.
Moreover, in Quito you will find some of the best places to enjoy the Ecuadorian gastronomy. In the city there are several places to taste their cuisine and, best of all, for all budgets. In Quito there are gourmet restaurants that combine ingredients from la Sierra, la Costa and el Oriente, but there are also traditional restaurants for those who have a tighter budget and still want to eat good food.
Today, in Travel and Exchange, we want to talk about the best places to eat in Quito. Would you join us in a gastronomical ride?
Café Plaza Grande
If you want to give yourself a little gastronomical treat, one of the best places to eat in Quito is Café Plaza Grande, one of the two restaurants of Hotel Plaza Grande. Located on the same name square, the most important one in the city, this hotel is situated in a 16th century manor house, but its current architecture dates from the early 20th century. Its rooms will take you to a Quito from another era and platillos from every region of the country come out of its kitchen. In the menu you can find dishes such as humitas, empanadas de morocho, bolones verdes, encocados, locros de papas and a great variety of fishes, seafood and meats. They also have some vegetarian food like the typical Ecuadorian ceviche made of heart of palm and lupini beans with onions.
Don’t forget to order Los Corridos and Espumilla con suspiros for dessert. The staging of the first will leave you amazed, because a cucurucho (a Nazarene) will come to prepare for you this paila ice-cream so typical from Ecuador.
Address: García Moreno N5 – 16 and Chile corner.
Las corvinas de Don Jimmy
For a more local experience without going far from the city centre, head out to Mercado Central on a working day. On the first floor there are, basically, vegetable, fish and meat stands, but if you go to the second floor you will see a huge food court that is usually full of people. Our favourite and, without doubts, one of the best places to eat in Quito is Las Corvinas de Don Jimmy. We found it by chance, because we saw the enormous line that there was to eat there and the prizes displayed on the counter.
As its name already indicates, its most popular dish is corvina frita (fried sea bass). It might sound weird that we recommend eating fish in an inland city, but Don Jimmy’s sea basses are the most succulent ones we have ever eaten. This place has been open since 1953 and its best-seller is the “Tradicional Don Jimmy”, which includes roasted sea bass, potatoes and mixed ceviche. Of course, dishes are served here with pop corns and fried corn or corncob, something typical in Ecuador. Moreover, at the Mercado Central there are also a lot of natural juices stands at a good price to side such a feast.
Address: Mercado Central de Quito, Pichincha Av., 170136.
Meneses e Hijos
Opened in 1965, this simple restaurant & café is just steps away from Plaza Grande and it’s a great alternative to eat in Quito if you’re looking for something quick and cheap. The café has several rooms, so it is sure that you will find a place to sit, whether you go for breakfast, for lunch or for dinner. In addition to heavy breakfasts, they also have a great selection of breads and pastries, among which we mention the typical empanadas. Ceviches, salads, burgers, pizzas, fried chicken or pasta dishes is what you will find for lunch to fill yourself up without having to look further.
Address: Chile Oe 2-37 | Between Guayaquil and Flores, 170150.
Dulce Placer Ice-cream Parlour
To end up this tour around the best places to eat in Quito, we leave you with a sweet taste thanks to the best ice-cream parlour in town. Dulce Placer is at La Ronda, the most bustling zone of the capital of Ecuador. Situated at a second floor, you can enjoy the views from its balconies while you savor their handmade ice-creams. They have more than 600 flavours, some of them unique in Ecuador, because they are made of little known fruits. One of its strengths is its staff, because they are so nice that they will allow you to taste the flavours that appeal you the most until you find the one that you like best.
Address: Morales 925 and Guayaquil | 2nd floor, Quito 170150
Where can I exchange my currency in Ecuador?
Global Exchange has been present in this country since October 2013. At this moment, they have branches at the Mariscal Sucre Airport, in Quito, and in the José Joaquín de Olmedo International Airport, in Guayaquil, with a total of 4 branches. For further information about the services they offer, check their website.
If you are going to travel to Ecuador and you prefer changing your USA Dollar beforehand, visit Global Exchange. With more than 220 branches at 20 countries, they are your best ally when it comes to managing foreign exchange transactions.