While Quito has an amazing array of good restaurants & chefs — as of this writing, at least according to TripAdvisor: French (27), Italian (55), Thai (5), Greek (6) British (2) etc. etc. — there are a few restaurants that we have enjoyed for various reasons, and we hope to try more as we have grown to love coming into Quito for the day, or a weekend. It’s our US fix without leaving Ecuador–a wormhole to “home”.
Our Quito Restaurant Notes — As time goes by, this list will indeed get longer:
Laboratorio, Lizardo Garcia 124, between the 12 de Octubre y Jose Tamayo. This place was over-the-top recommended to us by American folks. Young chefs come here for 3 month periods to create their menus and show off their talents. Need I say more. This one is most certainly on our must-do list. –06/2017 https://www.laboratorio.rest/
Bon Ga Restaurante (Korean) — Just up from Coral Hipermercado, same southbound side, on Avenue de los Shyris, between Rio Coca y Tomas de Berlanga. We have not tried this establishment yet, but sure want to. Highly recommended by American friends. 03/2017
Chori Gol — Next to El Rancho Goucho restaurant below. This is an Argentina restaurant specializing in grilled meats. The place was packed for a lunch on a Wednesday and remained that way for some time. That, speaks volumes! They grill their cuts right out front. We had the Mixto which was for two people at $14.00, and it came with 2 cuts of beef of our choice, fries, lettuce & tomato. On each table there are two different hot thick red salsas — one is hotter than the other — both were quite good. Quite frankly, our steaks were very enjoyable and had great flavor. Our friends had grilled chicken which they said they liked pretty well, while, two of them did NOT give the sausage sandwich they ordered a thumbs up. My husband and I loved our choice — the beef — and would order that again, and we would like to try the chicken, because the grilled chicken fillet did look heavenly. They also have a micro brew, as well as other brands. They also serve wine. All in all, we’d definitely go again. –12/2016
El Rancho Goucho–Comida Argentina–Mariana de Jesus E6-10 entre Amazonas y Hungria. A tiny rustic eatery across from Mall Jardin serving up grilled meats, burgers, sandwiches, pizzas–they even advertised a stuffed pizza, empanadas argentinas, and more. Our burgers came with 2 delicious salsas — one was a spicy pepper salsa, and one was a fabulous green salsa made from parsley (perrejil) — and also came with good steak fries. Reasonably priced food in a cozy setting, and conveniently located when we want to eat somewhere other than the mall’s food court! –There are many other restaurants right around this place that looked really good as well. –Oct/2016
Calle Irlanda E10-124 y Av. y Austria (y 6 de Diciembre). We found a worm-hole within a worm-hole! While we call Quito our worm-hole to the States, walking thru the doors of this little piece of heaven we found a worm-hole to Paris, as in France’s Paris. (Okay, so perhaps only Trekkies will know what I’m talking about). Seriously, from the chocolate artwork, to the delectable artisan breads, to the almond croissants, to the colorful macarons, to the espresso, the quiches, the picture-perfect cakes, a slice of Europe has been found right here in Quito, Ecuador. All across the board – yum. See their edible artwork at cyril-boutique.com! –And thank you Cota Notas’ Foodie Tour September 24th, 2015 from Cotacachi, for this and the following 2 finds! Also located in Cumbaya at Paseo San Francisco Av. Interoceanica — Cyril 238, Macarons et Chocolats
Fere-E-Punjab Rincon de la India, Juan Leon Mera No. 26-77 y Pinta — Around the same area as Chandani Tandoori restaurant below, in Mariscal.
Excellent and reasonable Indian food in an attractive setting with very comfy seating. The naan was garlicky and fresh out-of -the-oven hot. We ordered the Chicken Korma medium-hot rather than full-hot, but wished that we had requested the full-hot, as the medium-hot was a tad mild for our taste buds. Loved it!
At Av. Coruna N-30-135 y Whimper — Watch them make your ravioli’s — choose the filling and have a sauce of your choice. I chose the smoked trout with cream cheese and a pesto sauce to take home to cook the following day — enjoyed it! Wish that we had gotten an extra French baguette to take home from Cyril! They advertise other pasta dishes, soups, risotto, pizzas, and more. And, they advertise that their ingredients are organic. L’Arcadia has two other locations — in Quito and Cumbaya.
Due Uno Sette — Isla Fernandina N41-121 e Isla Tortuga, within walking distance from Coral. –CLOSED
An Italian restaurant, pizzaria, espresso shop. Open at 9:00 am — see their FB page. For their pizza, come for lunch or dinner when their large brick oven is fired up. They have a buffet on Sundays with, we believe, an all you can eat pizza for $1200. The large lasagna and the spinach ravioli in a cream sauce both were just wonderful. Served with plenty of Parmesan cheese and oregano for sprinkling.
They have panini in the morning and Italian pasta dishes and more. For espresso, they offer several different coffees for one to smell and choose from — one nice roast was from The Galapagos. We did NOT order cookies with our delicious coffees but were handed two. They also sell a number of micro brews from Quito. English speaking. On TripAdvisor.
In the commercial district of Quito, Chandani Tandoori serves up some very flavorful Indian food for a good price. Love the Vindaloo and the Tandoori chicken. The naan is huge. It can be ordered separately or chosen instead of rice with a meal. The saag is not bad. They also have a strange sauce made with banana and coconut cream — good with chicken, but it is on the sweet side. The waiter, on the other hand, could cheer up a bit. However, we don’t care, we just love Indian food! Address: Juan Leon Mera No 1312 y Luis Cordero. We take a direct bus from the Carcelen bus terminal. Easy breezy and safe.
For dessert, there is The Cheesecake Cafe right next door for espressos, micro-brews, and of course, various cheesecakes, and more. Liked the cheesecake–with a Graham Cracker crust and a strawberry topping.
The rib Co at La Nina E7-49 y Reina Victoria — Across from an art museum and near Plaza Foch
Thanks to TripAdvisor we got to enjoy some fabulous fall-off-the-bone ribs — $12.95 for 1 lb. of ribs with fabulous rosemary potatoes. And, stuffed my face with, literally the most gigantic burger that I’ve ever physically bit into — The rib Co one pound burger with blue cheese sauce, stuffed with chopped bacon, tortilla chips, cole slaw and cajun seasonings for $13.95. They stick a large knife down the center to prevent it from toppling over, and no doubt, to make it easier to eat!
Certainly not the most cozy of atmospheres, but good burgers and ribs. They also have NY Strip Steak, as well as a main meal salad with a bourbon dressing, plus chicken wings and more.
They have a grilled 1/4 lb burger starting at 5.95 and all the rest starting at 7.95.
Shawarma Persia — Around the corner from Quicentro, between the stadium and Megamaxi, but across the street next to a Chinese restaurant.
A hole-in-the-wall place, not in TripAdvisor. We’ve been here a few times. We have had other shawarma in Quito before, but the chicken had been rather salty. Shawarma Persia has never been too salty and their prices are reasonable. The hummus with naan was always wonderful. They have falafel and other items. The beer — nice & cold!
Tippytea –Mall Jardin
If I need a large mason jar mug of refreshingly cold tea or a comforting hot tea, I will stop here at this tea shop, or take some teas to brew at home. They have a pretty decent selection, from rose, lavender, chocolate mint, oolong, rooibos, and much more. As they claim, teas to fit your mood — feeling anxious, then have a tea to calm the nerves. There’s also a chai tea latte! We purchased some lavender tea to take home along with an attractive tin. We also hung out and drank a refreshingly cold mild-tasting tea made to sooth the soul, called On The Waterfront.
Caffeto Bakery & Cafe – on Eloy Alfaro across from Parque La Carolina
We found this inviting 2-story brick espresso shop, with seating also outside, only because the apartment that we rented thru Airbnb for a couple of nights was just a few doors down. I took notice of their fluffy luscious looking gelato, which they claim they make themselves. One day–not so early in the morning though–I’d like to try a scoop or two! The cappuccino was well made and I very much enjoyed the mini quiche and chicken empanada–on the other hand, my husband did not. They opened up at 8:00 am which we definitely appreciated. Nice place and their other dessert items looked tempting. –Just a few doors down further, is a place called The Coffee Works — which we did not get to try.
Fried Bananas — Foch E4-150 y Amazonas, Mariscal
The appetizer of soft cheese in a honey sauce, cooked and served in a small cast iron skillet–the Raclette, intrigued us. It was something very different and is served with 3 slices of bread. However, while Fried Bananas receives plenty of good reviews on TripAdvisor, we will not return, as it was pricey for what we received. Although, the Raclette may be worth trying at least once. And, in all fairness, their chicken was flavorful; they cooked up their tiny serving of vegetables very well; and their small serving of fried yuca was a great choice for one of the sides.
I do suggest one trying a variety of items on the menu for a better experience and to walk out satisfied, however, the bill will add up! The small avocado soup was $3.20, the Raclette was $4.00, the main meal–Pollo Parrilla–was around $7.00. In our opinion, if one is hungry, that main meal alone may not filling enough. With a soup and the Raclette appetizer, for a single person that’s over $14.00 without a drink. So, while we personally don’t agree with all the hype, one may want to check out this cozy eatery. Who knows, he/she just may agree with all the others. Good service though. The door is always locked, there’s a bell, as the neighborhood is not great.