Itâ€™ll take more than just a quick glance at this guide book to really figure out what Quitoâ€™s culinary scene looks like from the inside, but in a nutshell: itâ€™s extraordinarily varied. Ranging anywhere from traditional mote or chocho (Andean beans) being served on the curbside for just a few quarters, all the way to Lebanese delights being catered to your table for a much higher (but well spent) price at Balbeek.
For the most part, La Mariscal offers visitors a place to travel across the gamut of the culinary world that Quito has to offer. Given that the neighborhood itself has a reputation for offering affordable lodging to tourists from all over the world, itâ€™s here that youâ€™ll find the greatest variety in prices and dining from place to place, and just over the expanse of a couple of blocks too.
La Ronda on the other hand will veer you away from the rest of the world (in a gastronomic sense) as it funnels you down its cobblestone streets past a number of cafĂ©s and restaurants all set on serving you the hallmarks of Ecuadorian cuisine. Prices here vary as well, but that usually depends on how hungry and restless you are. Grab an empanada or canelazo (a warm, cinnamon-infused alcoholic beverage that is guaranteed to raise your spirits on cold nights) for a dollar or so if you feel like eating on the go; or settle down inside any one of the numerous restaurants to be treated with an array of choices on the menu along with live music, albeit for a substantially higher price.
While wandering throughout the sites of Old Town, be sure to go to the Palacio Arzobispal courtyards. Once the former residence of Quitoâ€™s Archbishop, it's now two conjoined courtyards that host multilevel restaurants. Hasta la Vuelta SeĂ±or is one that has exquisite local dishes and a charming legend that elaborates on its name.
Dinner with a view? Absolutely. Quito has a couple of restaurants definitely worth going to that are perched on the slopes that cradle the city. Worth noting are CafĂ© Mosaico and El Ventanal, both of which have a wonderful vantage point of the city (from the east and west, respectively). It's here that you'll be able to peruse Quito's intricate design of streets and buildings against a mountainous backdrop, all with a drink in hand and food in front. Mind you that at these pricey places itâ€™s the view that youâ€™re paying for rather than quality of the food (which is still filling!).
Venture down the hills that uphold the bohemian neighborhood of GuĂˇpalo to dine at a cute cafĂ© or a yummy pizzeria, like AnankĂ©, for great views of the valley and the church at the bottom of the hill. Or stroll back up to the top and devour one of Quitoâ€™s drunkenly sought hot-dogs at Los Hot Dogs de la Gonzales Suarez.
Lastly, if Ecuadorian or Western fast food is what you crave, then rest assured that any one of the shopping malls around Quito will provide you with your fix at any one of their food courts.
Other Restaurant pages in Quito that may be of interest: Pululahua Volcanic Crater Restaurants, Mariscal Restaurants, Checa Restaurants, Centro Historico Restaurants, Cafes & Bars, CumbayĂˇ Restaurants, Papallacta Restaurants, Tumbaco Restaurants, La Floresta Restaurants, Restaurants Around Quito and GuĂˇpulo Restaurants.