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Cuenca Restaurants

Cuenca is a great place to eat. The restaurants in the city center are diverse, and there are options that will appeal to every taste and budget. The best restaurants are often associated with hotels, but they’re still quite reasonably priced. The city also has quite a few American-style and European-style cafés where you can find a taste of home. There are also several good vegetarian restaurants in Cuenca.

Regional food in Cuenca is similar to that of northern Ecuador: a lot of pork, corn, potatoes and rice. Cuenca is also a good place to sample cuy (guinea pig), and if you look around as you drive around town, you’ll see women cooking them on sticks over open grills. The San Joaquín neighborhood is known for having very good barbecued meat.

If you’re feeling very adventurous, head to the local market for a meal. There, you’ll see dozens of roasted pigs all lined up: for a couple of bucks, you’ll get a steaming plate of pork with tasty yellow mashed potatoes known as llapingachos. Go ahead and try it if you’ve got a strong stomach, but be warned that recent arrivals in country, and those prone to digestive problems, will want to take a pass.

Nightlife Overview

People don't come to Cuenca to party, though there are plentiful places to grab a beer or coffee and listen to live music most weekend nights. Almost any night of the week, you will be able to find happy hours or drink specials, and there are several places that host weekly gringo nights where foreigners can meet and mingle. There are several salsa clubs and big dance discotecas for those who want to extend their evenings; asking the locals is a good way to find out about the best places to go.










By Christopher Minster
I am a writer and editor at V!VA Travel guides here in Quito, where I specialize in adding quality content to the site and also in spooky things like...
15 Jan 2013

 
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Villa Rosa

Villa Rosa

Villa Rosa is one of Cuenca’s most elegant restaurants, and one of the best that is not affiliated with a hotel. Located in a converted colonial...

Restaurant
Cuenca, Ecuador
Tiestos

Tiestos

Tiestos is pure culinary genius. Besides exquisite family-style food prepared in huge ceramic hot plates, you will find that the chef is extremely...

Restaurant
Cuenca, Ecuador
Wunderbar Café

Wunderbar Café

This funky German-owned café is a crowd-pleaser, both for its international food and for its fun drinking atmosphere. Wunderbar has a menu...

Restaurant
Cuenca, Ecuador

Café Eucalyptus

A staple for many foreigners living in Cuenca, as well as a local crowd, this restaurant offers comfort food you can’t easily find elsewhere,...

Restaurant
Cuenca, Ecuador
El JardĂ­n Restaurant

El JardĂ­n Restaurant

As one of Cuenca's best and most elegant restaurants, El JardĂ­n is a good place to splurge on a fine meal if you're not on too tight a budget....

Restaurant
Cuenca, Ecuador
El Maiz Restaurante

El Maiz Restaurante

One of the most tranquil restaurants in town, El Maiz is located in an old colonial building with a beautiful courtyard, and is a true place to...

Restaurant
Cuenca, Ecuador

El Pedregal Azteca

Craving some deep-fried Mexican? Then check out the town's popular Mexican-owned restaurant, which serves up specialties like flautas,...

Restaurant
Cuenca, Ecuador
Cacao and Canela Café Bar

Cacao and Canela Café Bar

Cacao and Canela is a delightful café serving, as the name suggests, all things chocolate and cinnamon. The menu consists of a long list of every...

Restaurant
Cuenca, Ecuador

San JoaquĂ­n Neighborhood

San JoaquĂ­n is a neighborhood in Cuenca that has emerged as the place to eat carne asada (grilled meat). Lining the dirt roads are...

Restaurant
Cuenca, Ecuador
Café Austria

Café Austria

Café Austria is a charming café, perfect for a slice of Austrian cake and coffee in the afternoon, or for a delicious lunch or dinner. Run by...

Restaurant
Cuenca, Ecuador

Good Affinity Restaurant and Tea House

This vegetarian restaurant is a peaceful retreat from the noisy streets. Owned by a Taiwanese couple, the restaurant is filled with calming music...

Restaurant
Cuenca, Ecuador

Heladeria Holanda

This is unanimously considered the best place to get ice cream in town. Although it has recently changed locations, you can still...

Restaurant
Cuenca, Ecuador

Raymipamba Café Restaurant

Perhaps the most famous restaurant in Cuenca, it is hard not to stop in, if just for a coffee or dessert. With terraced seating and windows facing...

Restaurant
Cuenca, Ecuador

El PavĂłn Real

El PavĂłn Real is a simple restaurant serving a mix of typical Ecuadorian plates and international dishes. It has cheap set-price lunches with...

Restaurant
Cuenca, Ecuador
San Sebas Café

San Sebas Café

San Sebas Café has delicious Arabica 7 coffee, awesome American-style breakfasts that are served all day long, and gourmet sandwiches, wraps,...

Restaurant
Cuenca, Ecuador
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