Quito has a great variety of restaurants, from traditional Ecuadorean food to excellent international cuisine. We had a few opportunities to try some of the restaurants in town.
The best breakfast we had was at Café Lisboa, just a block away from our hotel. There were three breakfast options – Americano, Andino, and Costeño. All came with eggs, a different side, and fresh juice. We paid US$7 total for our two breakfasts.
For lunch, we loved En Dulce. It’s situated on a street in the old town a little hidden away from the main sites. We were drawn in by the smell of freshly baked bread (which I may add is one of the treats of visiting Ecuador) and ended up going for lunch there two days in a row. They have great sandwiches and a plethora of sweets to choose from. Try the chocolate mousse cake. The servers are also very happy to explain everything. If you spot a 2,000 Colombian peso note at the register – it was our gift to them!
We had another nice lunch on Plaza Grande at Cafetería Fabiolita. It’s located under the cathedral to the left. They had very good sandwiches and fresh juice for US$8 for two.
For dinner, a very romantic place with classic Ecuadorean cuisine is La Negra Mala, located along La Ronda. I tried the llapingachos (fried potato cakes with a side of pork) and a cheese and avocado soup. Both were delicious. Service was great but their credit card machine wasn’t working. It ended up being about US$35 for the two of us.
Another place we tried was Café Mosaico, which had phenomenal views of the city from Parque Itchimbia. When it came to food, it was a disappointment. They offer some Greek dishes – none of which were prepared correctly. I ordered Greek style fries and they were normal fries. I had to tell the waiter I’m Greek and to put some feta cheese, oregano, and olive oil on them. He granted my wish, but that didn’t take away the fact there was no olive oil whatsoever on the Greek salad. The saving grace of the meal was the apple pie, which was excellent. In total, the meal cost US$40 for two.
I had to forget about the bad experience at Café Mosaico, so I decided to seek out another Greek restaurant. This time, I found Suvlaki, a small fast food style restaurant in La Mariscal run by Grigoris from Thessaloniki and his wife Adriana from Ecuador. We had a very nice moussaka, spanakopita, greek salad, and frappe, topped off by a galaktoboureko for dessert. It turned out to be one of the best Greek meals I’ve had in South America. It cost US$20 total.
For Mexican food, we tried El Mariachi Taco Factory. It wasn’t that great. I had fajitas and guacamole. Marisol had tacos. Neither of us were satisfied. We paid US$28 including a beer each.
El Mariachi is located in an entertainment zone called Plaza Foch. There are all kinds of bars, clubs, restaurants, and cafés there for all kinds of tastes. Some of them are overpriced, of course, and you’ll be annoyed by people coming up to you trying to promote their clubs with “specials”. We hung out there after dinner with a couple other friends from Colombia and had a good time.