When in Ecuador… eat. And then eat some more. South America is a continent known for its gastronomy, and Ecuador is a prime example. From street food and lavish dinners, to fried stuff, plantain dishes and more, a trip to the country’s capital is a culinary adventure that (if done right) the whole family can enjoy.
Planning an Ecuador family trip? Fly into Quito and eat your way around. Here are just some of the local foods you have to try during your next trip to Quito:
“Quimbolitos” are Ecuador’s version of a tamale. They’re sweet, dense, made of corn flour, topped with raisins and wrapped in an Achira leaf. Very similar, “humitas” have more of a savory flavor; they’re also made from the local corn, called “choclo,” and are wrapped in corn leaves.
Made of plantains, this fried piece of the local culture is stuffed with meat or cheese, and is usually served with a spicy sauce or dip, like ají salsa. Despite its contents, it’s usually served as a standalone breakfast or with a mix of other breakfast items.
If you haven’t picked up on it yet, Ecuadorians love their fried food… and plantains. “Patacones” are fried plantain bites that can be made either sweet or savory, and the base is made with nothing more than mashed plantains, oil and salt. It is best eaten with ají sauce or a mixture of ketchup and mayonnaise.
This is the country’s signature dish, and for good reason: it tops a potato omelette with fried egg, beets, avocado, lettuce and chorizo, and serves it all with a side of salsa. It’s a great introduction to the local flavors, and because it’s so popular, it’s cheap and easy to find, too.
A “batido” is the Ecuadorian version of a milkshake, this time made with fresh fruit and milk, instead of ice cream. Passion fruit batidos are definitely the most popular in Ecuador, with mango batidos coming in at a close second.
These doughy balls are made of cheese, eggs, salt and tapioca starch. They are often eaten with fruit yogurt, are served warm and have a different texture than regular bread.
These Latin-style French fries can be found all over South America, but in Ecuador they’re definitely a must-try. Think of this heavy snack as a French fry “sundae”—one piled high with little pieces of hot dog, mayonnaise, ketchup, different salsas and more.
Don’t know where to start planning? Let Surtrek, the leader in custom South American travel, help.