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Shopping In The Centro Histórico - Shopping Quito - Ecuador

Old town is full of little stores offering shopping for crafts, clothing, and necessities, and often the experience is just as rewarding as your purchase. Whereas in the north of Quito you can find large shopping complexes, old town is full of little family-owned stores, somewhat hidden shops in interior courtyards, monasteries full of culinary and bodily delights, and the occasional modern clothing store. The listings below are just places to get you started. The more you explore old town, the more you will discover.

Tianguez Gift Shop at Plaza San Francisco (right under the church) sells outstanding crafts with incredible attention to detail and quality. They are a member of the Fair Trade Organization and worthy of support.

Homero Ortego P & Hijos is located right in Plaza San Francisco and is one of the most famous and biggest sellers of Ecuadorian straw hats. This small shop sells a small but varied selection of the internationally-renowned Cuenca brand. Benalcázar N2-52 Tel: 295-3337

Palacio Arzobispal is right off Plaza Grande and full of shops selling everything from cigars and coffee to Ecuadorian crafts and some gorgeous furniture. There is also a folkloric show in this center on Friday evenings. Located between Venezuela and García Moreno, right by the Independence Plaza and directly opposite the cathedral.

Charming La Ronda Street is full of art galleries and shops line its alleyway; anywhere from candle makers to small artisan stores teeming with goodies. The best time to visit is weekend afternoons when shops are open. In the evenings the galleries are busier than during the day, live music fills the air, and hot wine and canelazo are served from doorways.

Culinary Delights
For a unique shopping experience head to any one of the convents around old town that sell food and a variety of creams and natural remedies made by cloistered nuns. Monasterio de Carmen Alto sells de-soured lemons filled with caramel crème, sweet wine, anis flavored liquor, cookies, and creams for all sorts of ailments all packaged sweetly and adorned with little nun labels. Located on the corner of García Moreno and Rocafuerte.

Café Aguila de Oro is located directly behind the President’s house on Benalcázar between Chile and Espejo and has excellent coffee which sells for $5.50 a kilo and comes in light, medium, and dark roast. The dark roast will wake you up when you need it most. URL:, Email:

Mercado Central houses stall after stall and row after row of traditional, cheap, delicious food that you can eat at long counters full of locals and tourists. Located on Av. Pichincha, nearby Esmeraldas (ask around if you don't spot it).

Santa Maria is a large grocery store chain where you can find most of the food and necessities you need for your house. The largest one in old town is on Bolivar between Venezuela and García Moreno.

Fashion 21 is the place to shop in old town for local young women searching for inexpensive and trendy clothes. It’s near Plaza Grande and always has full-window displays of fashionable mannequins. Calle Chile Oe-332 Y Venezuela Tel: 2957 753

Eta Fashion is a large, modern store with clothes for men, women, and children. They have a larger location at Quicentro Shopping Center. Calle Guayaquil Y Espejo Tel: 228 8017

Centro Comercial Parqueadero La Merced is a huge, inexpensive clothing market where vendors sell everything from original designer jeans to shoes, lingerie, belts, purses, and knockoffs of these same products. It’s quite large and leads through open air covered stalls and into 3 different shopping centers. The best place to access it is on Chile and Imbabura. Be prepared to dig and know that there are no dressing rooms.


Centro Histórico, Quito, Ecuador


Multicines El Recreo - Movie Theater and Tianguez Gift Shop.

16 Oct 2013

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