A Foodie’s Guide to Quito: Culinary Stops on a Walking Tour

Quito, Ecuador’s vibrant capital, is not only known for its stunning colonial architecture and breathtaking views but also for its rich culinary scene. As a foodie, there’s no better way to explore this gastronomic paradise than by taking a walking tour through its bustling streets. In this guide, we’ll highlight the must-visit culinary stops that will take your taste buds on an unforgettable journey. Whether you’re a fan of traditional Ecuadorian cuisine or looking to sample some modern twists, Quito has something for every palate.

Start Your Day with a Traditional Breakfast

Panaderia Ambato

Kick off your food tour with a visit to Panaderia Ambato, a local bakery renowned for its fresh bread and pastries. Try the “pan de yuca,” a delightful cheese bread that pairs perfectly with a cup of Ecuadorian coffee. Don’t miss out on the “bizcochos,” buttery biscuits that melt in your mouth.

Morning Coffee and Pastries

Dulce de Leche Café

Next, make your way to Dulce de Leche Café, a cozy spot perfect for indulging in Quito’s vibrant coffee culture. Sip on a rich, aromatic cup of locally sourced coffee while enjoying a “torta de tres leches” or a “quesadilla quiteña.” This café offers a relaxing atmosphere, ideal for recharging before continuing your tour.

Savory Street Food

La Ronda Street

Stroll down La Ronda, one of Quito’s oldest streets, where you’ll find an array of street food vendors. Here, you can sample “empanadas de viento,” airy cheese-filled pastries that are deep-fried to perfection. Another must-try is “choclo con queso,” a traditional Andean snack of grilled corn served with fresh cheese.

Traditional Ecuadorian Lunch

Mercado Central

For a hearty lunch, head to Mercado Central, where you can immerse yourself in the local food scene. Try a bowl of “locro de papa,” a creamy potato soup garnished with cheese, avocado, and a dollop of ají, a spicy sauce. Another popular dish is “seco de chivo,” a flavorful goat stew served with rice and plantains.

Sweet Treats

Heladería San Agustín

No food tour of Quito would be complete without a stop at Heladería San Agustín. This historic ice cream parlor, in operation since 1858, is famous for its exotic flavors. Try the “helado de paila,” a traditional hand-churned ice cream made with fresh fruit and served in a copper bowl.

Afternoon Pick-Me-Up

Cafe Mosaico

As the afternoon sets in, take a break at Cafe Mosaico. Located on a hilltop, this café offers panoramic views of Quito along with a delectable menu. Enjoy a “tamal de maíz,” a steamed corn dough filled with meat and vegetables, paired with a refreshing “morocho,” a sweet corn beverage.

Evening Delights

La Floresta Neighborhood

Conclude your culinary walking tour in the trendy La Floresta neighborhood, known for its eclectic food scene. Dine at one of the many artisanal eateries offering fusion cuisine. For a unique experience, visit an “hueca,” a small, family-run restaurant that serves traditional dishes with a modern twist.

Late-Night Snack

El Salnés Gastro-Picantería

End your night with a visit to El Salnés Gastro-Picantería, where you can savor contemporary Ecuadorian cuisine. Try the “ceviche,” a refreshing seafood dish marinated in citrus juices, or the “fritada,” a dish of fried pork served with corn and potatoes.

Tips for a Successful Culinary Tour

  • Wear comfortable shoes: Quito’s streets are hilly and often cobblestoned.
  • Stay hydrated: The high altitude can be challenging, so drink plenty of water.
  • Pace yourself: With so many delicious options, it’s easy to overindulge. Take your time to savor each bite.

Conclusion

Quito’s culinary landscape is as diverse and vibrant as its culture. By taking a walking tour, you’ll not only discover the city’s gastronomic delights but also its rich history and warm hospitality. From traditional markets to modern eateries, every stop on this tour promises a unique and flavorful experience. So, lace up your walking shoes and get ready to embark on a food adventure like no other in Quito.