Dining in Quito can be a marvelous experience, if you choose the right place. There are three options that, basically, encompass the dining options offered throughout the city:
- The local lunch spot
- Food court
In this blog, you’ll get to know more about each of these options: what they offer, how much they cost, and our personal recommendations. Each of these factors are things to keep in mind when seeking out the culinary experience you want to enjoy in a city like Quito.
The Local Almuerzo (or Lunch) Spot
Approximate cost: Ranges between $2.75 and $5.00 per person
For those folks looking for a casual and quick meal, which they can even take with them as they go about their way, Quito has exactly what they need at an affordable price. Generally, Quiteño’s most standard option for casual dining is the local almuerzo (or lunch) spot.
These spaces offer a wholly pragmatic experience. The menu typically only includes two or three traditional meal options. Usually, what arrives at your table is a hot soup to whet your appetite, a chicken or beef stew with a heaping pile of rice, and a juice or beverage prepared in house.
However, it is worth noting: you get what you pay for, these places don’t offer much beyond a full stomach. Service tends to be rushed, thanks to the high volume of customers. Also, during peak lunch hours, these tiny dives tend to get pretty full and different parties are often obliged to share the same table.
It is also important to consider your palate and your tastes. Given the nature of these traditional recipes, some ingredients and condiments could be not so well received by your stomach. These plates are rarely customizable, too.
The Food Court
Approximate cost: Ranges between $7.00 and $15.00 per person
When looking for a quick bite, another option is to visit the food court at one of the city’s many shopping centers. These places often feature a variety of fast food options. Also, they tend to be very similar to food courts located throughout the world, offering the usual fast food franchises. Also, the prices are relatively affordable.
These spaces tend towards having a crowded, chaotic, and noisy atmosphere, but they can be an easy option for those who work a hectic job and have a set lunch hour or for those with a full day of shopping ahead. For consumers who want to be environmentally conscious food courts are probably not the best alternative, given that utensils, plates, and cups tend to be single use, which can produce a large amount of waste.
Also, just as is the case in many public dining places, it’s possible you may need to tolerate settings that are disorganized and not at all intimate. Unfortunately, you’ll also have to deal with the lines, especially during peak mealtime hours. You’ll need to guard your personal items, as there are a lot of people milling about.
Approximate cost: Ranges between $7.00 and $15.00 per person
If you have time to enjoy something a little more elaborate. Quito offers a great selection of spectacular gastronomic options that invite diners to experience new flavors and sensations while enjoying a pleasant moment in the company of family or friends.
Diners will find lots of different cuisines; Italian, Asian, seafood, traditional Ecuadorian fare and various others throughout the city. Also, chefs from all over the world take advantage of locally-sourced fruits, vegetables, proteins, and spices with which to transform their creativity and passion into exquisite meals that are extraordinarily fresh.
Restauranteurs have selected a wide range of settings and locations that benefit from and highlight the beauty and historical importance of Quito. They have made it their mission to train their employees on how to provide customers with efficient and reliable service.
The average cost of the most elegant restaurants in Quito can reach around $60.00 per person.
Why is it worthwhile to choose a restaurant?
Often, we avoid expensive restaurants and think that fine food “isn’t worth it” when we can find something less expensive and close by. However, high quality gastronomy is something that everyone can enjoy, be it on a special occasion or simply to break up the daily grind by enjoying a moment with friends and family.
Below, you’ll find a breakdown of the reasons why choosing a restaurant is the best option!
Quality of the Food
A really good meal requires a lot of patience and ingenuity, as well as passion for the art of cooking and a specific sense of creativity. Restaurant chefs focusing on haute cuisine are highly-trained professionals who have experience with a wide variety of ingredients, and they use this knowledge to create the best meals that are technically impeccable. They use special equipment and obtain the highest quality products and product from carefully selected providers in order to offer you not just the best food, but also the best flavors.
These culinary artists know the which combinations work best, the precise temperature at which to cook the ingredients, how long they need to cook, and all of the particular techniques to use to coax the exact flavors they seek. This is as much an art as it is a science. Haute (or high end) cuisine truly is worthwhile. It is what transforms any necessary and common activity, like eating, into an extraordinary and intimate experience.
Pistachio-crusted Andean rack of lamb at Casa Gangotena’s Restaurant
High-end restaurants devote weeks to training their servers in order to transform them into professional waitpersons, capable of creating a personal and enjoyable experience for their clients. At these restaurants, if you don’t enjoy the experience, you have a right to some sort of compensation.
Waitstaff ensure that the food is to your liking and that you have everything you need. They know what beverages or drinks best complement certain dishes and they can help you choose the best option according to your preferences and mood; all of this in order to offer you exactly what you may or may not have known you were looking for.
The waitstaff are the folks who will guide your gastronomic experience with impeccable service, charm, and warm hospitality in order to give you a well-deserved vacation away from home, and more so, they will treat you like a distinguished diner.
No more getting up from the table to refill your drink or get more napkins. No more waiting in lines or discovering another party suddenly sitting at your table.
No gastronomic experience is complete without the perfect ambiance. For some, this final element can even be the most important factor when considering where to dine.
Depending on your mood and interests, high-end restaurants in Quito offer a variety of settings, spaces, views, and sensations that will allow you to enjoy an intimate and relaxed experience that quickly vanquishes any distractions. This is when you can take a moment to appreciate the folks around you and their company.
There is a variety of factors that should be considered when seeking out the most appropriate setting: lighting, music, decor, and even the arrangement of seats and tables, which can vary drastically from one restaurant to another. It is important to keep these things in mind when selecting your culinary experience.
Why dine at a restaurant in Quito’s Old Town?
The answer is very simple: you can enjoy an immersive experience.
The Historic Center of Quito offers impressive views of churches, basilicas, colonial buildings, and surrounding mountains – which are things you can observe whenever you want at a number of dining spots located among the Old Town’s many rooftops.
Another factor is that these restaurants are an excellent place to take a break and relax in the middle of a day full of activities and excursions. Conversely, they can be an excellent spot from which to start off your night before heading off to explore the city’s famous nightlife.
Also, there are some gastronomic options available along the mountain slopes, with views of the city, where diners can appreciate the well-illuminated architectural gems that Quito has to offer.
Casa Gangotena’s Restaurant: Why is it the best dining option in Quito?
Casa Gangotena offers diners much more than a gourmet menu. Upon entering the building, you’ll find yourself immersed in a setting full of history, in the heart of Quito’s Historic Quarter, that is home to a modern take on the best of Ecuadorian cuisine.
The experience of dining at Casa Gangotena’s Restaurant doesn’t just involve food, per sé, it also focuses on satisfying clients through their:
Reimagining traditional Ecuadorian dishes by making use of internationally-inspired, modern techniques.
Our formal restaurant’s classic style, our elegant bar, the bright open space of our interior patio or loggia, and the majestic views of our rooftop terrace.
Enjoy your food with peace of mind that comes with not worrying about your vehicle; we’ll take care of it from the moment you arrive until the moment your experience with us is complete.
It is never too late or too early to enjoy our gastronomic offerings. With breakfast served daily between 7 a.m. and 10 a.m., lunch from 12:30 to 3:00 p.m., and dinner from 6:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m., you’ll always be able to enjoy a pleasant time at our restaurant.
Every day, we celebrate something different at Casa Gangotena! Be it a birthday or simply the joy of welcoming you to our establishment, you’ll always find a discount or special offer of which to take advantage.
Located along one side of the iconic San Francisco Plaza in Quito’s Historic Center, Casa Gangotena’s Restaurant allows you to enjoy a complete experience without leaving the city’s picturesque essence.
Bonus: How can I enjoy a memorable gastronomic experience at home?
Take out food generally implies speed and comfort. We don’t have to leave the house to enjoy a quick and easy meal. However, this is usually not the way to create a memorable experience. For this reason, Casa Gangotena presents Mikuy.
With the characteristic flavors of our Cocina Mestiza cuisine, Mikuy arrives at your doorstep, ready to accompany you on any occasion and treat your senses to delicious feast that you can enjoy as you’d like.
Order delicious dishes from our website, one day in advance. Feel the excitement as you assemble the meal of your choice with the final touches and creative instructions of our chef. Complement your experience with fresh infusions that will bring out even more of the flavors in your food.
Upon receiving your order from Mikuy, you’ll find easy step-by-step instructions and tips for decorating your table, lighting, and even setting the mood with our playlist, specially designed to accompany your meal.
If you’re unsure about wasteful packaging, fear not! Everything you order from Mikuy will arrive in environmentally friendly packaging that you can reuse or recycle with easy. You can read more about our new service, check out the menu, and place your first order here.
[Please note: Though the Mikuy ordering platform is currently provided in Spanish, it includes easy-to-understand images and intuitive buttons. Site support is provided in both English and Spanish.]