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World Travel Guide > Guides > South America > Ecuador > Quito

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Restaurants in Quito

Quito’s restaurant scene is still developing but there’s currently a good mix of eating options. In the old town, you’ll find plenty of cheap eateries serving local fare, as well as markets with delicacies such as roasted cuy (guinea pig). Head to Mariscal for trendy, more modern dining.

The Quito restaurants below have been hand-picked by our guide author and are grouped into three pricing categories:
Expensive (over $30)
Moderate ($10 to $30)
Cheap (up to $10)

These Quito restaurant prices are for a three-course meal for one, including half a bottle of house wine or equivalent, tax and service. Service is not usually included and a tip is not usually expected. If service is really good, leave a small tip of around 5% on the table.

Expensive

La Bodeguita de Cuba

Cuisine: Cuban

This Cuban place heaves on the nights when the band is swinging. Waiters graciously move through the dance floor delivering delicious Cuban dishes such as steaming ropa vieja (shredded beef in a tomato sauce). With graffiti-covered walls and two levels to choose from, you can get as close to the rhumba and salsa as you like, but the best dessert at La Bodeguita de Cuba is a cold mojito and a boogie with a Cuban expat.

Address: Mariscal, Reina Victoria 1721, Quito,
Telephone: +593 2254 2476.

Pavarotti Ristorante

Cuisine: Italian

Located right in front of the prestigious Swissôtel in the heart of Quito's financial district, Pavarotti Ristorante is a simple but stylish fine-dining eatery. The food is full of as much Italian flair as the opera singer himself and the tasting meal is ideal for those with an appetite. If that's sounds like it might stretch the waistline, plump for the veal saltimbocca (veal escalope) or seafood linguine instead.

Address: Mariscal, Avenida 12 de Octubre 1955 y Luis Cordero, Quito,
Telephone: +593 2256 6668.

Zazu

Cuisine: International

Probably Quito's most sophisticated restaurant, Zazu serves exquisite seafood, including salmon, lobster, and finely prepared ceviche. There's also Uruguayan steaks, tuna tartare and some inventive pasta-based dishes. The dimly lit interior, wide range of wines and immaculate service make Zazu the perfect choice for a romantic evening.

Address: , Mariano Aguilerra 331 with La Pradera, Quito,
Telephone: +593 2254 3559.
Website: http://www.zazuquito.com

Moderate

Mama Clorinda

Cuisine: Ecuadorean

For a taste of traditional Ecuadorean food in a bright, friendly setting, try Mama Clorinda in the new town. The menu features a range of hefty classics such as cuy (guinea pig), seco de pollo (stewed chicken) and lomo apanado (breaded meat). Though catering more to tourists than locals, Mama Clorinda has been going since 1980 and the food is here is authentic, not to mention delicious.

Address: Mariscal, Reina Victoria 11-44 with Jose Calama, Quito,
Telephone: +593 2254 4362.
Website: http://www.mamaclorinda.com

San Blas Café

Cuisine: Italian

You'll find this small, homely restaurant on a pleasant little golden street in Quito old town. Offering up delicious pastas and pizzas, the portions here are more than generous, the ingredients are fresh and the service from its motherly matron is as good as it gets. Be warned: arrive too late in the evening and the tables will all be full.

Address: , Jose Antepara y Vicente Leon, Quito,
Telephone: +593 2228 6762.

Tianguez

Cuisine: Ecuadorean

If you want to try some local dishes, head to Tianguez near San Francisco Church. This is one of the old town's culinary institutions and, as such, it serves classic Ecuadorean fare with an emphasis on potatoes, beans and plantains. The seats are out on the plaza, which once used to be a tribal marketplace, hence the name - Tianguez, which means 'market' in Quechuan.

Address: Old town, Plaza San Francisco, Quito,
Telephone: +593 2257 0233.
Website: http://www.tianguez.org

Cheap

Cevichería Manolo

Cuisine: Ecuadorean

Cevichería Manolo is a simple, inexpensive place attracting a lively crowd of locals and tourists. Most visitors come here to sample one of the quintessential local dishes: ceviche (raw fish with chilli). The Ecuadorean variety is more like a cold soup, with pieces of seafood marinated in lime juice. Here, it comes with a cup of popcorn that should be added to the soup itself.

Address: Mariscal, Diego de Almagro with La Niña, Quito,
Telephone: +593 2256 9254.

Fried Bananas

Cuisine: International

Near the central square of Mariscal, this comfortable restaurant puts on no airs and graces, concentrating instead on cooking top-notch food. While the menu attempts to be international, there are notable local touches such as Ecuadorean favourite, rice with prawn soup. Save room for the indulgent desserts, particularly the bananas, which come fried in vodka, honey and cinnamon.

Address: Mariscal, Mariscal Foch E4-150 y Avenida Amazonas, Quito,
Telephone: +593 2223 5208.
Website: http://www.newfriedbananas.com

Magic Bean

Cuisine: International

This is a classic backpackers' hangout. If they're not staying in the hostel upstairs, they're popping in for the smoothies, milkshakes and sandwiches. It is also the place to meet fellow travellers or check your email - Wi-Fi is free here. Dig in to spicy huevos rancheros (eggs on burritos with chillies, tomatoes and peppers) or piles of pancakes at breakfast, and wash it all down with a decent cup of coffee.

Address: , Mariscal Foch E5-08 y Juan León Mera, Quito,
Telephone: +593 2256 6181.
Website: http://www.magicbeanquito.com