top of page

Quito Ecuador Restaurant Reviews

After one month in Quito and several dining experiences i felt it was time to share some insights into the food culture in the capital, Quito. First a little look at what a food critic or writer is really all about.

"Food writer" is often used as a broad term that encompasses someone who writes about food and about restaurants. For example, Ruth Reichl is often described as a food writer/editor, who in the course of her career served as the "restaurant critic" for The New York Times and for the Los Angeles Times. R.W. "Johnny" Apple was also described as a food writer, but never served as a designated restaurant critic. Nonetheless, he wrote frequently about restaurants as he traveled in search of good eats. Calvin Trillin writes a great deal about food (among other things) and has been known to write occasionally about specific restaurants, e.g., Arthur Bryant's and Diedee's. But restaurants figure less prominently in his writing than in Apple's. Finally, Richard Olney was also a noted food writer, but rarely if ever wrote about restaurants.

Food critics and "restaurant critic" are synonyms, in practice, although there is still a distinction to be made. Both suggest a critical, evaluative stance that often involves some kind of rating system. The distinction, if any involves the range of possible investigation. "Food critic" has a more contemporary meaning, suggesting that restaurants, bakeries, food festivals and street vendors are all fair game. Jonathan Gold of L.A. Weekly and the Los Angeles Times, who is the first food critic to win the Pulitzer Prize, exemplifies this trend. "Restaurant critic" is the more traditional title and can connote a more restricted sphere of operations — traditional restaurants, with perhaps those serving French cuisine being the examples. The change in practice, if not in terminology, is often attributed to Reichl's arrival at the New York Times, replacing Bryan Miller. In a series of well-documented incidents, Miller complained that Reichl was "giving SoHo noodle shops 2 and 3 stars" and destroying the rating system that had been built up by Craig Claiborne, Mimi Sheraton, and Miller..

Although I don't consider myself a restaurant critic, I do eat out from time to time, and often share my thoughts with Expedia and other similiar platforms. I seem to have a bit of a following, and consider myself fair in my opinions and observations. I have also owned restaurants and other hospitality businesses for over 30 years. I believe I come at this task with a reasonable degree of knowledge.

With that said, here is my top three restaurants in Quito Ecuador. Having spent close to three months in Ecuador. I believe this is a fair Critic. I have chosen three venues, a bakery cafe, one upscale dining room and a multiplex restaurant, cafe and artisan shop.

this tiny bakery can be found in the La Ronda district of the old city, a popular tourist zone in the heart of Quito. This not unlike some of the old bakery style operations from my childhood. Basically, you can get a good coffee here, baked items such as traditional Ecuadorian sweets, breads and rolls. Its a new company established by a young couple from Venezuala. they are looking to expand there repetoire to include Europian style breads, pastries and also off sale items, such as Victory Chocolate. I spent one afternoon working with the Baker, exploring some more advanced techniques in sourdough bread production and artisnal bread making.

Jose Manuel is operated by Chef Wilson, a well travelled Ecuadorian Chef. In fact he operates two locations, one is a cafeteria style operation, the other is the flagship restaurant located again in the historic zone about two blocks from the central square.

I discovered this restaurant on one of my little walk abouts last trip to Ecuador. What struck me as interesting, was the fact that they offer vegetarian options, not often seen in this country, or any other latin American country for that matter. the food is above standard, authentic and well presented. Like most Ecuadorian restaurants there weakness is plated desserts...they basically don't offer them. After a brief chat with Chef Wilson, we have decided to do a workshop to train him and his cooks some basic, dessert presentations that can be branded to his menu. Great Fun!

Elladrillo Que Faltaba is a boutique style restaurant, cafe and artisan shop. This company is very well established with several venues in and around the central park area of historic downtown Quito. The smallest cafe operated by the owners wife sells some of the best breads and pastries I have tried in the whole country of Ecuador. the breads are the closest I have seen to artisnal European style breads. Just around the corner in a huge open air plaza, you will find the seated restaurant area with a multitude of shops surrounding the courtyard. Victory Chocolate will be a featured brand here as well.

It would seem a shame to only include these three operations in my expose, so here are a few are a few more mentions.

  • CCI Food court Mall, I know a food court, but if you want to find places like KFC, McDonalds and such...this is where yo go. you will also find Ecudorian style franchises here that deliver pretty good food, as well as some typical ethnic choices like Chinese, Lebanese and other such things found in most Mall food courts.

  • Panadaria RDC, my go to every morning for coffee and breakfast. Primarily because it is located next door to Hostel Baruch, my place of residence this past month. Great cafe con leche, pastries and very affordable breakfast, lunch and dinner options. This is not however an Ecuadorian spot, but a Colombian venture with over 20 years of success.

  • India Taj Mahel, can,t say I have tried it yet, but has good reviews on Expedia. i will get there soon, as I am very fond of Indian Food.

Thats about it folks. I really love the food in Ecuador, the variety, quality and exceptional value really make this city shine. No where to go, but up from here. And remember to visit our partner site, Scratch Tours for all your travel and tourism updates and information. Also stay tuned for my upcoming review of restaurants in Prince Edward County!

Cheers, and have a great week!

30 views0 comments


bottom of page