Baraka — Just a few doors down from Big Donut (below) in El Centro on Bolivar (same side), this is a place for Chicken Sharwarma. We had a large Sharwarma wrap for $2.50 and it was great! Take out or to go. 05/2017



Big Donut

Big Donut — (Now also in Cotacatchi)

Miss the American style donuts? Miss Krispy Kreme donuts? Well look no further than Ibarra. At 7-58 Bolivar in El Centro for take-out only. They have chocolate eclairs, cake donuts, jam filled donuts, caramel filled donuts, etc., and they are delicious, as in Krispy Kreme delicious — no joke!


Coffee: It’s nice to know where a decent cup of coffee can be found–black (or not), no sugar, and doesn’t taste like instant–without having to grab a taxi to either downtown, Supermaxi Plaza, or the Leguna Mall. So if one happens to be near the obelisk and in need of something then & there……..right across from the obelisk, in a bakery called Multikey, is where we found an acceptable brew served in fancy little floral tea cups. They have indoor seating. –03/2017


La Victoria or Victorias coming into Ibarra the back way. My husband and I found it necessary to go gluten and dairy free, so we’ll probably not be eating here any time soon. However, they make ice cream in a Paila on ice with pure cream, into which they then add their flavoring. They supposedly have good sandwiches as well. This place was highly recommended by friends. 01/17


La Botica Cafe, Simon Bolivar 7-92 y Pedro Moncayo. I read about this place in TripAdvisor about 2 1/2 years ago but they were closed–they have odd hours, something like mornings and evenings generally, and at times not even that! Anyway, if one does see them open, the place is cute, they have good espressos, desserts–like their tiramisu–and their food has been rated high–which we have not yet tried. The Tiramisu is good. 01/17


La Tablita Del Tartaro — They are usually in the food courts at the malls and there is a stand alone one in Otavalo. We decided to get the BBQ ribs at the Laguna Mall in Ibarra one day and oh my goodness, did we enjoy those ribs! They came with extremely big steak fries as well. We decided to split a rack of ribs and get a side order of fries. Well…. the side order of fries was gigantic. However, the ribs were so good that we were sorry we did not get a side order of ribs instead! We’d go there again, and next time we’ll order two separate dishes of ribs, each with their own side of fries. 01/2017

–03/2017: We hopped on a bus and traveled to Ibarra just to have these ribs again. They were awesome! At least for Ecuador.


Freaky Monkey Bar & Grill, across from Parque Moncayo. We had one of their daily special deals. We chose the burrito which came with a non-alcoholic drink, a salad with creamy dressing sprinkled with parmesan cheese, as well as, a small bit of guacamole for $4.99. It was delicious. The burritos came mixed with tender chunks of beef and chicken with lots of melted cheese and the limonada was the best that I’ve ever had — very cold and not too sweet. They have regular menu items which consist of various burgers — a Mexican Cheese Burger, Freaky Monkey Burger, Black Burger, etc. for around $7.50 — pasta dishes, various pizzas, a couple more Tex-Mex items, and salads. There’s a full bar and on certain nights they offer two for one drink deals. The place is nice with comfortable seating along with cushioned sofa and chairs in the rear and a small antique book collection–some in English. Not a bad place for our North American taste buds. 01/2017  

Took some friends on 3/31/2017 and they went nuts over the Burrito lunch special–the full version is $6.50–while I had the soft corn taco lunch special which I loved. The lunch specials still come with a drink and their limonadas are still gringo-cold fantastic. Our friends want to return!

Freaky Monkey Bar & Grill in Ibarra

at Freaky Monkey Bar & Grill


11-21 Bolivar & Alfredo Pérez Guerrero, very close to the market area, near Pichincha Bank, is a spot for good empanadas, and they are large. It’s an outside hole-in-the-wall with tables and chairs lined up in a narrow courtyard. We’ve eaten their several times and were very pleased. 01/2017


Crazy Wings

Some of us at Crazy Wings

Crazy Wings — Pedro Moncayo 4-60 y Antonio Jose de Sucre on the second floor, downtown around the corner from the really good El Argentino restaurant.  A friend made arrangements with Crazy Wings to open for a couple of Sundays–a day they’re normally closed–just so that us English speakers could get together to watch the NFL playoffs from 1 to 9 pm. They have big screen TVs and the place is quite nice, not to mention, the chicken wings were excellent, especially the Red Hot. The BBQ was good too, but the Red Hot were great along with the large basket of seasoned fries that came with–12 wings with fries for $9.99. (They advertise other flavors of wings as well). They have beers and drinks, and other meals such as burgers and nachos, & more. An American friend actually owned a chicken wing restaurant in Quito and now sells this restaurant his sauce. 01/2017


Cameron ReventadoCamaron Reventado X Libras — Av. Jose Tobar y Heleodoro Ayala Esq. In front of the new Mercado Amazonas. While I wouldn’t rave about this place, I can recommend, because we would go again and I would order the 1/2 pound of fried shrimp for $5.50 all over again. The meal also came with a very very large portion of plantain fries and a small salad. Aji is served from a plastic squeeze bottle. The aji was on the mild side, but great for the shrimp and plantain fries. Easy to get to. All the buses to Ibarra pass it as it’s about one block before the bus terminal, right on the corner, right on the main road there. –12/2016



Bambuza Restaurant



Bambuza — A bar and restaurant behind Supermaxi, on same street as Clinica Moderna. Not only is this an adorable place with its bamboo construction, the almuerzo was quite good. Recommended to us by Brendan & Sarah from near the “Land Down Under”, we decided to give it a try. For $3.00 we had popcorn with some banana chips, a large glass of juice, salsa, a large bowl of creamy soup with potatoes, a fillet of grilled chicken, a cold potato salad w/peas & carrots, rice, and a little dessert. — 11/2016


There’s sushi in Ibarra and it’s owned by friends!  Dir: Bolivar y Velasco esquina N8-9. Email: empanadaschilenaschilesushi@gmail.com. 0987628584

They have sushi rolls of all kinds — 6 starting at $4.00 –California rolls, Smoked Salmon & Philadelphia, Tuna, Shrimp, Vegetarian, Norimaki rolls, etc, etc.  They also serve empanadas chilenas. (Have not tried this place yet). –12/2015


Carrabou Bar & Grill


Carrabou Bar & Grill

On our first visit, we ordered the burrito ($4.00). As it turned out, 2 large burritos came with that one burrito order, and they were delicious!  The beer was extremely cold too. They have pastas, hamburgers, smoked meats–not just grilled–and more. The smoked chicken smelled heavenly, so we must go back and try that! The owner is Canadian and his wife speaks excellent English. They took credit cards, and they have two locations: Av. Perez Guerrero 5-37 y Bolivar, downtown, and Av. Rafael Sanchez 9-56, Entre Ricardo Sanchez y Tobias Mena. A good North American Style Bar and Grill.
Update: Got to return, and the smoked chicken was to-die-for!


Ré Lounge

Re Lounge, IbarraNext to El Argentino in the same plaza, Plazoleta Francisco Calderón/Plaza de Aquila, is also a good place to eat. I really enjoyed the Pasta Carbonara for around $6 and Fred had a dish consisting of various meats and sausages for $13.99. His meat dish was excellent, especially the Lomo Fino part. They also have crepes and burgers. Next time I’d like to try: the 7 Pimienta steak, or the one with 4 cheeses. Good spot.




El Argentino

In Plazoleta Francisco Calderón/Plaza de Aguila, between the El Coyote & Ré Restaurants
For the best steaks we have had in a long time. For $14.50 each we were served a very large, juicey tender steak. Fred had the pimienta steak covered in a creamy pimienta sauce; I had the mushroom steak that was covered in a creamy mushroom sauce along with it’s mushrooms. Four sauces are served with the steaks: a pesto-like sauce, a white cheese sauce, an aji, and a chimichurri, and includes potatoes or fries and a small plain salad. Fred likes his steak rare–it was very rare; I ordered mind medium–it was just right. When we’re in the mood for a good tender steak, this is a good place. One can have a half order for $10.00.

El Argentino

El Argentino


La Casa Del Congrejo


La Casa Del Congrejo

A gringo friend highly recommended this seafood restaurant, and now I am. The plates all start at around $10.00 but can easily be split between two people. My friend and I split a meal two ways, and there was still plenty left over to take home to my husband. Maybe we just weren’t hungry enough that day? Either way, go with an appetite. And the locals evidently love this restaurant as well, because it was busy! Musicians pop in at various times to entertain who make their living, apparently, from tips. Anyway, if one likes seafood, this is a good one. The huge shrimp were great and so were the beans in a tasty sauce.

Update: Fred and I went back and split the #6 — The plate was loaded with large shrimp cooked 3 different ways, with fried corvina, a small shrimp ceviche, plantains, and a side dish of beans and rice. 



La Parrilla del Tio Jessy

La Parrilla del Tio Jessy

There are a couple in Ibarra, and at least one in Otavalo. Good place for grilled meats, chicken, sausages, and grilled burgers, etc. Heard that the one in Otavalo is not as good. We’ll stick to Ibarra.


Olor a Cafe

“La Casa de la Ibarrenidad”, Boliva y Flores Esq . at Parque Pedro Moncayo, Tel: 06 2954505 — The owner is Ginger, born in Montana, but raised in Ibarra. She speaks perfect English. This is a great little coffee shop with delectable pastries. The Americano was made from a dark roast from the Galapagos, plus they have other coffees from Intag. Lots of books are on display, so it’s a great place to just hang out and have breakfast or lunch.

Another cafe is in the same Plaza: El Quinde Cafe, Calle Sucre 5-58/62 y Flores, Parque Pedro Moncayo.  They have a Rancilio espresso machine (the brand we used to sell), various fruit pies and other pastries. Cute. 


One of our favorites for hand crafted ice-cream is La Esquina, an ice cream shop just around the corner from Olor a Cafe at Parque La Merced. The coconut and the chocolate are great. 



Helados Rosalia Suarez

Corner of José Joaquin de Olmedo y Miguel Oviedo
This is a famous ice cream shop(s) where one can watch ice cream made the traditional way. –This place was in a visiting friend’s guide book. It’s fun to see how they make their ice cream by hand, using a heavy brass pot called a paila that they spin on ice. They do the same in the ice-cream shop above called La Esquina.



La Hacienda Cafe Delicatessen

ChocolateMousseatLa Hacienda

Chocolate Mousse at La Hacienda

Corner of Av. Sucre y Miguel Oviedo (same building as the tourist office, A very quaint and rustic espresso shop/restaurant. Our Americano and Cappuccino were excellent, as well as the Chocolate Mousse. The beef empanadas were also pretty tasty. There are other goodies available to go with your coffee, plus they have a full menu, serving breakfast and lunch. Their American-style omelets and sandwiches were gringo good, and their salads superb, and one must try the chocolate crepe — that was exceptional! Update: Actually, their omelettes are not only gigantic, they are to die for–the one with the chorizo! 06/2017



Casa Oriente (Now called Chifa Excellencia–w/ probably a change of ownership) –03/2017

Jose Ledro y Atahualpa, Downtown Ibarra. This is an elegant and excellent Chinese Restaurant for Ecuador. The meals were very large and everything tasted fresh, from the Shrimp Apanada, the Chicken & Vegetables with a fresh ginger taste, the fried Corvina, the Chicken Agridulce (Sweet & Sour Chicken), and the regular sized Egg Rolls, not tiny ones usually seen around here. Good egg rolls! The four of us agreed that we would definitely go there again. –2013