El Espiral Shopping Center
It's easy to wind your way over and up El Espiral Shopping Center, since it's only a block away from the Mercado Artesenal Mariscal Sucre.
The food court greets you before you enter and stays open 24 hours. You can eat at the Coffee Tree before you shop or after you're done, or you can graze all day.
I downed their pita pizza, but they serve an excellent variety, from breakfast pancakes, crepe, spaghetti, quiche and much more with anything you'd like to drink...anything.
El Espiral opens from 10 to 7 Monday through Saturday, where you can wind your way up all ten levels or cheat and ascend by elevator with no stairs or escalator to distract you.
You'll notice cabinas (telephone booths) in the mall and a video game room at the top.
QUICENTRO encompasses a large area to be discovered and enjoyed.
When you finish buying all you wanted and more from the locals, and you get a longing for more, catch a taxi to drop you off at Quicentro, directly across from Atahualpo Olympic Stadium.
Three floors offer a gazillion things to buy with a food court that covers a large area at the back of the second floor and continues at the top.
I ordered their papitas adobe - tiny potatoes baked in their skin, topped with pieces of fried pork and garnished with parsley and a slice of very hot red pepper. Together with my usual hot chocolate, it totaled $4.00, and it was scrumptious.
The large helping doesn't match the small paper plate, and it fills you up nicely.
They offer a great variety of local foods at this mall where it's certainly safe to eat.
The grocery store here - mi comisariato - sits at the very back of the first floor.
Always, malls provide a great place to hang out and maybe spend a little. Higher prices than the mercados prevail here, of course, but you may find a treasure or two.
Awhile back, I bought a pair of gold earrings from Chordoleg, a little mining town southeast of Cuenca...both in Ecuador...for $100 here. I gave them to my daughter as a gift she still treasures.
Then outdoors, you'll unearth more stores.
EL JARDIN occupies Las Amazonas off Mariana de Jesus. I board the trole from Guayaquil Street in the historic area and get off at the Mariana de Jesus stop, then head straight down, past the water company. You can't miss the water company. It displays a big drop of water on the building. Or I take the bus marked El Jardin.
Malls here provide a grocery store which carry those foods from back home that the others don't.
I often spend the day here and at Carolina Park just behind El Jardin.
Good ol' McDonald's and other American and other food booths stand in a row ready to serve you on the top floor.
This shopping mall's eating court offers food for every palate, but so do the other malls. It's just that this one is my favorite.
After dining, I load a taxi trunk with groceries from the Supermaxi grocery store on the second floor and head home. I especially like the excellent carryouts who flag down the taxi for me.
NACIONES UNIDAS Shopping Center - more a center than a mall - brings you more stores inside and out. At the end of Carolina Park on Las Amazonas y Naciones Unidas Street, it goes under the title of CCI for Centro Commercial Inaquito and Caracol...so much for the name.
A Supermaxi grocery store greets you as you enter, and a few top quality stores follow.
Upstairs in the super size eating court, I got a longing for downing a personal size pizza with ham topping which only set me back $1.89. I carry my own water. It tasted soooo good, my mom would have loved it! The price of the pizza...more now.
Most of the booths serve American food with an Ecuadorean touch as TV screens surround you. It's a crowd-pleasin' place, but then, isn't every place where the food is scrumptious? I like that you can go through the doors and eat with a view.
Strolling down a hall with stores to either side, I discovered at the end, a nine-screen multicinema theater that entertains you should you care to watch a movie in Spanish.
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