Eating in restaurants in the historic center where the food sets well, tastes great and doesn't play havoc with my system remains my main concern.
The use of Quito tap water for juices will inevitably cause a revolution in my stomach that I don't take to kindly. To be on guard, I usually avoid raw veggies, juices, tap water and ice.
Also, I always tote my grapefruit seed extract nutribiotic tablets and garlic oil perles, just in case.
Bottled water evens the score, even for cooking in my apartment, but that's just me. I don't know about anyone else.
Does that keep me from enjoying Quito? Are you kidding?
When in the colonial area, you might want to enter the CENTRO CULTURAL METROPOLITANO, that sits side by side with the Presidential Palace. Inside you'll find a patio courtyard that provides a restaurant.
They changed the name from El Buho (The Owl) to Cueva Del Buho (Cave of the Owl) and transformed the coffee shop into a restaurant.
As you enter, turn to the right of the patio to the restaurant, CUEVA DEL BUHO. There, you can enter and order, or maybe use the tables in the patio. Laptop users do this all the time. Around $10 a plate is really mid-scale.
They offer a great selection of delicious food. I like it better than Plaza Grande. I ate for a bit over $10 - their chicken fillet plate... and it was soooo scrumptuous.
While eating in the courtyard you can usually enjoy the arts as you dine.
While you're there, you might want to meander through the free museum. A fee museum up the steps presents realistic drama scenes and more. It's well worth the $1.50 (50 cents for tercer edad--senior citizens.) Ask for English guides Tuesday through Friday if you need one.
Useful translations include: desayuno - breakfast, almuerzo - lunch, cena (pronounced sena) - dinner, en efectivo - in cash, cuy - guinea pig, recto - straight ahead. La cuenta will bring you the charge for the meal. And instead of "thank you." they'll say, "Dios se lo page," which translates, "May God reward you." They also like to say, "Buen provecho," after serving you, meaning "bon apetit."
MEA CULPA restaurant to the left at the top of the stairs - as you enter El Palacio Arcobispal on Chile at the Plaza Grande - rates tops! The hours the restaurant serves greet you at the foot of the stairs.
As you climb the stairs, the waiter leads you into an elegant dining room. I ordered tenderloin steak wrapped in bacon strips, topped with mushroom gravy...scrumptious! It came with steamed vegetables, all for under $17, tip included. To drink, I chose my usual mora (blackberry) juice. As a bonus, if you choose a window table, you get a bird's eye view of the plaza.
I highly recommend this place.
Cafe El Fraile, in the center at the second level of this Palacio past the food court, serves delicious cuisine also. I ate their vegetarian dish, spaghetti and cooked veggies... very tasty, and I trust their juices. And any time I dine there, I'm happy with their food and service.
On the top floor awaits one of my favorite restaurants, Hasta La Vista. I find myself eating there quite often lately. Fabulous view of the courtyard with delicious food. What more could you ask for?
Hotel Plaza Grande Cafe next to the square by the same name in the centro historico on Garcia Moreno Street, serves a great menu any time. The prices in no way reflect the rate of the luxury suites.
For a really unique place, try Restaurant La Casa de Los Geranios for eating deliciously any time. It's in the La Ronda area. I rate this one truly excellent.
Or you can eat AND enjoy a spectacular view.
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