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.
Sorry to say, The Coffee Tree in front of the mall no longer serves the delicious food it used to. Now it's gauged towards the bar crowd. Last time I ate there disappointed me big time. I'll let you know when I find a great food place in the area. For now, it's either the Mercure Hotel or the Hilton Colon, which is pricey.
El Espiral opens from 10 to 7 Monday through Saturday, where you can wind your way up all ten levels with no stairs or escalator to distract you or cheat and ascend or descend by elevator.
You'll notice cabinas (telephone booths) among a large variety of stores in the mall and a video game room at the top as you spiral your way up.
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 top floor.
They offer a great variety of local foods at this mall where it's certainly safe to eat at affordable prices. I especially like their veggie booths.
You can find the grocery store, Mi Comisariato, here as you enter the mall from La Shyris. This mall offers two natural health products stores. One beside Mi Comisariato, and one on the top floor across the food court.
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 spend lots of time here and at Carolina Park just behind El Jardin.
Good ol' McDonald's and other American and local food booths stand side by side ready to serve you on the top floor at the super size food court.
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 helpful carryouts who flag down the taxi for me.
NACIONES UNIDAS Shopping Center - an outdoor-indoor mall - at the end of Carolina Park on Las Amazonas y Naciones Unidas Street, 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.
Down the escalator, you can find a natural health products store.
Upstairs in the 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.
And, 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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