5 International Restaurants You Won’t Want to Miss in Ecuador

Are you getting ready to take a trip to Ecuador? If it’s your first time, you may be surprised what you find there in terms of food. Restaurants across the country–including in lesser visited destinations–feature menus inspired by international cuisines from places like Turkey, Franch, Italy, and their neighbor to the south, Peru. In short, the culinary scene in Ecuador has everything you could want. After you’ve had your fill of traditional Ecuadorean meals, consider checking out these restaurants in the country’s 3 largest cities:

ZAO in Quito

Everything is so intricately presented at this Asian fusion restaurant that you’ll probably need a moment to take some pictures before digging in. The staff serves great food every day, but if you can coordinate a visit to ZAO during one of their !Sushi Club Xtreme! nights you’ll be in for an extra fun treat–a huge variety of sushi rolls, mojitos, and a DJ spinning tunes.

Photo by Quito via Flickr

Photo by Quito via Flickr

Botánica in Quito

When it’s time for some lighter fare, check out this casual cafe. Thanks to lots of greenery, exposed wood detailing, and its patio-like setting, Botánica has an earthy vibe to it that is both contemporary and calming. You’ll find smoked lomito de cerdo sandwiches, salmon and cream cheese-topped bagels, artfully poured cappuccinos, and more.

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La Taberna Libanesa in Guayaquil

You may be surprised to know there’s a sizable community of expats from Mediterranean countries who live in Ecuador. Naturally, that means there are some excellent restaurants there offering traditional favorites like falafel, mezzas, and hummus. If your taste buds need something unexpected, a visit to La Taberna Libanesa aught to do the trick.

Riviera in Guayaquil

Feel like Italian? Head to Riviera and you’ll find just what you’re looking for. Not only do that have all kinds of pasta, but they make a mean pizza as well. You’ll also be pleasantly surprised to find one of the best wine lists around, and the staff will be happy to make pairing recommendations if you’re not much of an oenophile.

Photo by Eddyl via Wikimedia

Photo by Eddyl via Wikimedia

La Esquina in Cuenca

Come hungry, because the servings at La Esquina are enough to satiate the biggest of appetites. Many of the dishes here are served in scolding hot cast iron skillets, with cheese, dressing, or another dripping oozing over the edges. These are great for sharing–making La Esquina the perfect place for a romantic meal out if you’re traveling with your partner.

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