Soon after arriving in Ecuador, it becomes evident that traditional dishes and delicacies are very important. In many different holidays and traditions, a special meal has been developed to represent the occasion, and Easter is no exception. Fanesca is a rich soup that can only be enjoyed in Ecuador and has been created to commemorate Jesus and his twelve disciples. Every ingredient has been carefully thought out to symbolize part of the Holy Week.
But even though this soup is highly specific, many recipes have been developed over the years with subtle differences in cooking style and types of ingredients that are used. So, before trying fanesca in Quito during the Holy Week, it is best to know what the benchmark is.
Casa Gangotena: Quito’s Finest Fanesca
Repeatedly chosen as one of the best fanescas in Quito by the voting public, people continue to visit Casa Gangotena to try our signature fanesca every year from the middle of March to the end of the Holy Week.
So how does Casa Gangotena make the city’s best fanesca? First of all, the restaurant at Casa Gangotena uses an original family recipe from Rosa Vintimilla, the grandmother of Casa Gangotena’s first manager. Over the years, the chefs at Casa Gangotena have perfected it down to the smallest detail.
“It’s all about the true passion and love we have for our work and preparing the fanesca, as well as using premium, locally sourced ingredients,” says Emilio Dalmau, the head chef of Casa Gangotena restaurant.
By premium ingredients, he means that they follow exactly the same procedure that they do for every other meal or drink that is served at Casa Gangotena. Everything is personally sourced by the chefs from the best local suppliers to make sure that it is top quality and fresh. For example, the fish is specifically caught in the rich Pacific waters between the Ecuadorian mainland and the Galapagos Islands.
In addition to the best ingredients and the expert proficiency of a five-star restaurant, the Casa Gangotena staff is a family, and thus they prepare the fanesca as if they were preparing it for their own children. The love, care, and passion that goes into every spoonful and every stir of the pot means that the Casa Gangotena’s fanesca is more than just a soup – it is a deeply-rooted tradition that pays homage to one of Ecuador’s most important days of the year.
Surprisingly, fanesca can vary significantly depending on the process used to cook it, the amount of each ingredient used, and the garnishes that are added to it. Some also don’t add the fish due to personal preference. Although we don’t believe that any other fanesca truly measures up to the culinary delight prepared at Casa Gangotena, there are a few restaurants that have also been acknowledged for their fanesca. Other honorable mentions are included below:
- Alameda Hotel Mercure
- Hotel Hilton Colón
- Honey & Honey Pastelería y Cocina
- Restaurante Pacífico
- Hotel Quito
- La Choza Restaurante
- El Palacio de la Fritada
- Restaurante Patria
- Restaurante Rincón La Ronda
- Restaurante Barlovento Alta Mar
- Hasta la Vuelta Señor
Although there are many different types and styles of the traditional fanesca, nothing can beat the authentic, exquisite fanesca that is lovingly prepared at Casa Gangotena. In addition to being based on an original family recipe, the atmosphere within the Casa Gangotena restaurant emanates the spirit and culture of the Quiteño community and the Holy Week traditions. Be sure to plan to visit the restaurant at Casa Gangotena to try the city’s best fanesca – the Casa Gangotena family will welcome you with open arms and the steaming aroma of fanesca wafting in from the kitchen. Happy Easter!