After traversing the country, visiting the Galapagos Islands, and exploring the food of the different regions of Ecuador, Quito’s restaurant scene has a great variety of places with comfort food and good company. Keep reading for five places to visit during your time eating in the city that hit the right spot.
This Wee Giant of an Irish Pub is owned and operated by folks from Dublin. It’s the place for sports-including hard to find games on weekends.
The menu includes a full Irish breakfast, pancakes, omelets, fish and chips, Shepard’s pie, Irish stew, Quinoa soup, burgers, wings, and heaping plates of fries with chili and/or cheese.
This is the place to sit down with other travelers and a solid group of expats and take a break from the road. Opened ten years ago, Finn’s has grown in size and in spirit-many who come in after exploring the Mariscal return after each leg of their journeys in Ecuador. Local’s end the week around the bar, trading stories with travelers about their time in the country and travels in other parts of the world.
Every Tuesday there is a table quiz with bar prizes put on by a local non-profit, Wednesdays bring 2×1 drinks all night, and weekly live music keeps things hopping. Nine times out of ten, you will come for the food and stay for the craic!
Mexicali is Mexican food done well. Fish, beef, chicken, and veggie tacos sit next to big chimichangas, wings with a variety of tangy sauces-and a hearty chicken tortilla soup.
This is authentic L.A. Mexican food. The owner prides himself on creating dishes that are tasty and filling and often personally takes food back to the kitchen to step the spice up a notch or to try a new ingredient based on customer suggestions. The other thing Mexicali does well is the wings. Thursday nights are all you can eat for $20-a tempting prospect once you’ve tried the different sauces!
The covered outdoor terrace is a great place to kick back, watch sports, or share rounds of margaritas with friends. Weekly events and specials make it a go-to spot for some above the bar Mexican food and good company.
If you’re craving Indian, head to Chandani Tandori in the Mariscal for steaming plates of chicken, shrimp, or veggie balti, Jafri, korma, Madras, and vindaloo curries.
The owners stay true to their roots, hailing from Pakistan and serving a die-hard group of regulars from around the world. Teachers, volunteers, long-term expats, and in-the-know travelers fill up the small restaurant frequently-making it a weekly stop for a meal or to grab take out.
For people out and about and looking for a place to eat on Sundays, this is the spot. Chandani Tandori opens and serves until the food runs out-go early to make sure you’re not stuck looking for another place on a day where most restaurants close early.
Representing the French expats in Quito is Chez Alain, run by a Frenchman and serving cheap and cheerful set meals with soup, a choice of main courses and desserts. The weekly menu is a fusion of classic French food with Ecuadorian fare. It’s a popular place in the Mariscal with expats and locals and fills up at peak hours with the owner at the helm.
The crowd is one of the things that make Chez Alain worth the trip. The casual and traditional atmosphere stands out from the chain restaurants in the area. Expats from all over the world come to eat and stay for relaxed conversations over coffee or wine. Travelers who find the new location on Cordero are warmly welcomed, and often find that they return more than once during their time in Quito.
La Oficina, located in the San Blas neighborhood at the start of the historic district, is the place to go for authentic Buffalo Wings from New York. The owner grew up in Buffalo, and in addition to his wings serves his own microbrew-San Blas craft beers.
This is a hip spot where murals of the city adorn the walls, the tables fill up with merry guests craving great food, and the music is rocking till closing time. Other items on the menu are pizzas made with a quinoa flour crust, hummus, and arepas.
Edward, the owner, is on hand most nights to describe each one of his beers and share a pint or two trading stories about Ecuador. His beers, while being one of a growing number of brands available, are his passion- and he regularly wins awards for his brewing in national competitions.
The small, cozy space opens up into a full theater in the back where weekly screenings of classic movies, live music, and salsa classes are fun nights with other travelers, expats, and locals.
Bandido Brewing in the La Tola neighborhood of the historic center is the endeavor of three American expats who bring their A-game to the food, beer, and friendly, relaxed vibe of the small bar.
Located in a converted chapel, the menu hits the right notes for American comfort food with pizzas, southwest tacos, burgers, wings, deep fried camembert, and hummus and pita.
The guys take their beer seriously and continually come up with new brews for their taps. Try LA GUA.P.A., an American pale ale made with an Ecuadorian tea from the jungle, or the Honey Ginger Saison.
The food and drink aside, Bandido is a great place to relax and unwind with other travelers, locals, and the owners- who are often on hand to chat and help with future travel plans and recommendations. The different rooms of the space are charming and offer a low-key alternative to the booming bass that fills the clubs of the new town.
Bandido has music weekly, check with their Facebook page for the different bands and schedules.
Want more articles about food in Ecuador? Check out these posts-A Place at the Table – Inside Ecuador’s Food Culture, and Places to Eat in Puerto Ayora, Galapagos Islands.