The 10 Best Restaurants in Quito for Food Lovers
Being a foodie isn’t a bad thing. In fact, it can be pretty darn tasty…especially when you’re enjoying a delicious meal. Whether you’re taking an exciting vacation to Ecuador, are just passing through, or you’ve decided to stay long-term, the same is true: there are plenty of mouth-watering dishes to enjoy.
Quito isn’t just the capital city of Ecuador — it is also the home to countless restaurants, cafes, and bars. That means it won’t be hard to find great food in this big city. It’s everywhere you turn! With so many unique (and scrumptious!) options, you’ll need to choose wisely. Here are our choices for the 10 best restaurants in Quito. They can help you start to narrow down your dining wish list.
- Zazu (Mariano Aguilerra 331 & La Pradera; 02/254 3559) When you’re traveling the globe, you want to experience everything, do everything, and see everything. You probably want to eat everything, too! Okay, maybe not everything…but it’s definitely important to get a feel for the local cuisine. That’s why eating ceviche is an absolute necessity during your stay in Quito. This is a popular Ecuadorian dish made from raw fish or shrimp marinated in citrus juices and topped off with spices and peppers. Delicious! One of the best places to get an order of ceviche is at Zazu bar. They offer an unforgettable serving of ceviche Peruano ($13) that is known to satisfy even the pickiest seafood lover. The rest of the menu offers traditional dishes with a gourmet flair. With an up-scale atmosphere and friendly staff, this is one trendy spot you’ll want to stop by. Average entree price: $24, includes 12% IVA and 10% gratuity.
- La Querencia (Eloy Alfaro 2530 & Catalina Aldaz; 02/244-6654) In the mood to enjoy some authentic Ecuadorian food? Then you’ll want to make a reservation at La Querencia. They are known for their traditional meals — as well as their breathtaking view of the city. During your meal, you can eat outdoors in the garden or watch the city go by from the comfort of the rustic fireside dining room. It’s totally up to you! While there are many food items you can choose from, some of the most popular include: humitas, lamb stew, langostinos, and locro de queso. Be sure to call ahead to make reservations as the restaurant fills up quickly on the weekends. One peek at the menu and you’ll be glad you did!
- Taconazo (La Isabel La Católica N24-515 & Luis Cordero Esq.; 02/244-6669) Unequivocally the best Mexican food in Quito. Located just around the corner from the Swissotel in the artsy La Floresta district, Taconazo serves up traditional Mexican cuisine but with an Ecuadorian flair. Try the Taquiza ($12.50), a bountiful plate of carne mechada, pollo, picadillo, chancho al pastor, chorizo, onion, tomatoes, guacamole, and refried beans, served with warm corn tortillas made fresh daily. They also serve world-class enchiladas ($9.99), nachos ($6.99), tostadas ($3.50), tortas, and mouth-watering chili con carne ($5.50). On those picturesque highland evenings, patrons can enjoy sitting out on the patio overlooking the bustling neighborhood, cocktails and munchies in hand. A good time for all!
- La Locanda (Av. 12 de Octubre 1820 & Luis Cordero; 02/256-7600) Seafood lovers: it’s time to smile. La Locanda is a restaurant you’re going to love. With a warm atmosphere and a memorable menu, there’s a reason this is one of the most popular restaurants in the city. Their focus is Mediterranean cuisine with a Peruvian influence. An offering of unique entrees helps their menu to stand out from the rest. You can also expect to find an extensive wine selection and helpful wait staff. If you’re planning on dining here, though, be sure to dress the part. Tourists and locals alike are expected to wear formal attire. Average entree price: $23.
- Le Petit Pigalle (Jeronimo Carrión & 9 de Octubre; 02/252-0867) You’d be amazed at the places you can find French food these days. Yes, even in Quito, you can enjoy fine Parisian dining. Just go to Le Petit Pigalle. You can order authentic French food made by a real French chef, Gabriel Germaine. Even though all the dishes are traditionally French (escargot and steak tartar, to name a few!) the ingredients are all local to Ecuador. They incorporate the best items of the season into each one of their dishes. The restaurant itself has a cozy and romantic atmosphere — but beware, it doesn’t come cheap. You can expect to pay anywhere from $30-75 per person, including wine.
- Fried Bananas Cafe (Foch E4-150 & Av. Amazonas; 02/223-5208) Despite what the name would imply, you can get an awful lot more than, well, fried bananas at Fried Bananas Café. This spot is near the Plaza Foch in La Mariscal, making it a convenient stop for tourists. The restaurant has a laid-back atmosphere and a varied menu. It boasts traditional Ecuadorian dishes as well as pastas (try the Pasta con Crema Azafran y Camarones for $5.60) and salads. The best part of the meal though, has to be the desserts. They are known for yes, you guessed it, their fried bananas ($2.80)! The prices are very affordable and the location is convenient. Take time to satisfy your appetite at this one-of-a-kind café.
- Voila Bistro Jardin (Av. Coruna N30-88 & Ernesto Caamano; 02/252-1142) If you’re a foodie, then this next restaurant is definitely one to consider. Where else can you say that you ate traditional Swiss fondue…in Quito? At Voila Bistro Jardin, you can fondue the night away. The restaurant is known for its beautiful garden setting. It is also known for having quick service, quality cheeses, complimentary bread, and a wide variety of healthy options. Voila Bistro Jardin truly is a wonderful and affordable dining experience from start to finish.
- Achiote Ecuador Cuisine (Juan Rodriguez 282 & Reina Victoria; 02/250-1743) For chic and modern décor, live music, and gourmet Ecuadorian dishes, look no further than Achiote Ecuador Cuisine. This restaurant specializes in Ecuadorian food and is often recommended to travelers thanks to their delicious meals. Reasonably priced food (between $7-20 for an entrée) and the fantastic locale makes this spot the place to be. Some of the most loved items on the menu include their selection of meat skewers, the potato soup, and of course, the grilled seafood dishes. Yum!
- Theatrum Restaurant & Wine Bar (Calle Manabi, between Guayaquil & Flores; 02/257-1011) It’s time to add a little luxury to your life, one meal at a time. You can do that with ease at the Theatrum restaurant in Quito. This is perfect for a special occasion — or perhaps your last meal of the trip. Why? The restaurant is located on the second floor of the National Theatre (the Teatro Nacional Sucre) in colonial Old Town. Their menu focuses on Mediterranean food, with plenty of seafood and fish dishes made from local ingredients, and finished off with herbs and spices. The red velvet curtains and extensive wine list will make you feel like a VIP. Average entree price: $22, includes 12% IVA and 10% gratuity.
- Café Plaza Grande (García Moreno N5-16 & Chile San Francisco de Quito; 02/251-0777) The last restaurant on our list is the Café Plaza Grande. It can be found inside the hotel of the same name, making it a great (and convenient) place for travelers. They have a lunch and dinner menu that is reasonably priced. The restaurant is also known for its opulent wood-paneled dining room, live music, and excellent customer service. The menu itself offers exquisite Ecuadorian dishes like shrimp ceviche, roast suckling pig and locally sourced steaks, so you can be sure to get a little taste of the country. Whether you want a traditional meal or just a quick sandwich, you can find it all here at the Café Plaza Grande. Average entree price: $17.
Get ready to eat up! During your time in Quito, make the most of every moment…and every meal. Remember, this list of the 10 best restaurants in Quito is just the beginning. Try out a few new favorites or find a special place all your own. The possibilities really are endless.