Located between Colombia and Peru, Ecuador is home to an exquisite and diverse dining scene. On my last trip to Ecuador, I discovered six unique places in Cuenca that provided both gastronomical variety and authenticity. This guide will serve as your map to discover the delicious food Ecuador has to offer. 

1. Restaurante Corvel

Plaza San Blas, Cuenca, Azuay Ecuador (located in  EDEC EP area)

Restaurante Corvel is the gastronomic innovation created by Chef Patricio Coronel, serving up a modern take on Ecuadorian classics. 

I ordered the Llapingacho Corvel and the Pollo Pico de Gallo. What made the Llapingacho Corvel dish unique was that it was topped off with fried cheese and bacon. While the grilled chicken was coated with BBQ sauce and melted cheese. 

Click here to learn how to make your own llapingachos

2. Cappuccino Cafe

Parque Abdón Calderón, Luis Cordero,Cuenca, Cuenca, Ecuador

Carla Pacheco Muevecela

Cappuccino Cafe is located in the historic city center of Cuenca. I had the pleasure of eating a local delicacy, the Humita. The establishment also served a delicious Cafe con Ron (Coffee with Rum).

Fun Fact: Humitas are so common and traditional in Ecuador that special pots have been developed in order to properly cook them. 

Click here to learn how to make your own Humita. 

3. Posada Ingapirca Hosteria Inn 

Calle Larga 6-93, Ingapirca 030356, Ecuador

fish, sauce, rice, chicken, vegetable, meat
Carla Pacheco Muevecela

Posada Ingrapirca Hosteria Inn is located a short driving distance from the ruins of Ingapirca. This authentic yet modern establishment serves delicious Ecuadorian fare and is rated the #1 restaurant in Ingapirca by trip advisor. 

This establishment is the only one on this list that is not located in Cuenca, it's located in the Canar Providence an hour away from Cuenca. 

As an appetizer I ordered an Humita, I am always curious to see how each establishment prepares the dish. For my entree I ordered the Pollo a la Plancha (Grilled Chicken) which was served with mashed potatoes and rice.

4. Good Affinity

Gran Colombia 1-89 y Capulies, Cuenca, Ecuador,

sauce, rice, meat, chicken
Carla Pacheco Muevecela

A vegetarian restaurant serving Chinese fare with an Ecuadorian twist. The restaurant offers both indoor and outdoor seating. The food is served buffet style offering an abundance of choices. I chose the white rice, fried eggplant, beats, broccoli salad, and the fried corn cake.

Keep in mind that the restaurant is only open for lunch, which is very common in Ecuador. 

5. Estancia San Juan Restaurante

Km 22 Vía al Cajas, Cuenca, Ecuador 01016

basil, garlic, sauce, pasta, spaghetti
Carla Pacheco Muevecela

Located near the Cajas National Park, approximately a 10 minute drive. Estancia San Juan Restaurante is known for it's exquisite seafood dishes, all caught locally. This cozy establishment consists of two floors and offers stunning scenic views of El Cajas.

I ordered the Farfulle Pasta, which was creamy and very flavorful. In my opinion the dishes were all quite large, so make sure to bring your appetite and an empty stomach. 

Bonus: The restaurant serves complimentary Canelazos, a hot alcoholic beverage which is very popular in Ecuador.

Fun Fact: Cajas National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site

6. Golosinas Colonial

Ave Remigio Crespo Toral, Cuenca, Ecuador

pastry, sweet, cookie, cake, bread
Carla Pacheco Muevecela

These empanadas are sold at Golosinas Colonial located on the popular Remigio Crespo Avenue. The empanadas were large in size and very delicious, they're available with beef, chicken, cheese and green plantains (known as the Empanada Verde). I ordered the cheese empanadas, they were so good we went back twice to order more. 

Bonus: You can also order Morocho a popular Ecuadorian beverage made from milk and rice served warm. 

You are now ready to dine like a local! 

The food in Ecuador is sure to make a lasting impression and have your tastebuds jumping for joy. Whether you are visiting the ruins of Ingapirca, hiking the Cajas National Park, or taking a stroll through the historic center of Cuenca this guide is sure to keep you full and satisfied.