Restaurants in Cuenca – A Resource List

20/Abril/2012 | 09:21


The famous pastime in Cuenca, or Ecuador, or anywhere really, is eating. So, let´s cut to the chase and offer you some great options for dining in Cuenca. 


The following is a listing of Cuenca restaurants by category of cuisine in alphabetical order. The listings include name, address, phone (where applicable), and hours (where available); prices are estimates based on one full meal (entrée and non-alcoholic beverage, not including the 12% IVA and 10% servicio). The listings aren’t annotated; all these restaurants are recommended by food writers in Cuenca. Restaurants that aren’t included aren’t necessarily not recommended. If you believe a restaurant should be listed, let us know; the list will be updated based on feedback periodically.


Almuerzos – The set-price lunch, or menu del día, is ubiquitous in Cuenca and much of South America. It’s usually served from noon to 3 p.m. Price-wise, almuerzos run the gamut from $1.50 workman’s specials to $5.50 gourmet spreads, though price might not reflect quality at either extreme. The meal often starts with a bowl of popcorn or mote, then typically includes fresh fruit juice, soup, entrée, and a small dessert. 


Cilantro: Juan Jaramillo 8-66 y Benigno Malo, 07-283-4722 or08-913-3647, Mon.-Fri. 9-3, 6-9, Sat. 8-4,$2.75.


Fabiano’s: Presidente Córdova and Borrero, 09-288-1386, Mon., Wed., Thurs. 12-8, Tues. 12-5, Fri.-Sat. 12-10, $2.


Moliendo Café: Honorato Vásquez and Hermano Miguel, 282-8710, Mon.-Sat. 9-9, $2.50.


Nectar: Benigno Malo 10-42 and Gran Columbia (second floor), 07-284-4118, Mon.-Sat. 12-6, $2.50.


Wunderbar – Escalinatas off Calle Larga at Hermano Miguel, 283-1274, Mon.-Fri 11-1 a.m., Sat. 3 p.m.-1 a.m., $5.50.


American –- American food comes as close to authentic as possible, considering the distance from the nearest authentic ingredients. The best American food in Cuenca is found at the gringo-owned restaurants.


California Kitchen: Gaspar Sangurima 6-68 and Borrero, 08-311-1740, Thurs.-Fri. 11:30-4, 6-9:30, Sat. 9-5, Sun. 10-3, $9.


Kookaburra Café: Calle Larga 9-40 and Benigno Malo, 09-087-4202, Thurs.-Sun 8-4, $7.


San Sebas Café: San Sebastian 1-94 and Sucre on San Sebastian Square, 09-419-6588 and 284-3496, Wed.-Sun. 9-3, $6.


Bakeries -- You’ll find a panadería or pastelería on practically every block in Cuenca, selling individual-sized rolls and croissants, many with fillings of cheese, chocolate, and butter. But the one bakery by which all expats swear is the following.


Maria’s Alemania: Hermano Miguel 8–13 at Borrero, 283-4684 or 09-296-3712, Mon.-Fri. 7:30-6:30, $1-$3.



Chinese – “Chifa” is the term used for Chinese restaurant in Ecuador and Peru, believed to be a corruption of chao fan (fried rice); thus, it’s related to the word chaulafán, the Ecuadorian version of shrimp, chicken, pork, or mixed fried rice. Note that many chifas use MSG; the following three don’t.


Chifa Bingui: Remigio Crespo and Esmeraldas, Mon.-Sat. 11-9, $6.


Chifa Gran Muralla: Gran Colombia 22-282 and Unidad Nacional, 283-5874, Mon.-Sat. 12-10, $7

Chifa Hong Kong: Remigio Crespo 3-27 and Armando Tamaríz, 284-2192, 11:30-8:30, $6.


Ecuadorian -- In the Andes, carbohydrates are the rule: rice, corn, potatoes, pasta, quinoa, yuca (cassava), and plantains, accompanied by chicken, beef, pork, goat, cuy (guinea pig), and fish (especially trout and ceviche). Salchipapas (French fries and butterflied hot dog) is the national fast food; tamales, humitas, and empanadas are also very popular. Fresh fruit juice is ubiquitous.


Balcón Quiteno: Sangurima 6-49 and Borrero, 283-1928, 11-11, $7.


El Maiz: Calle Larga 1-27 and Los Molinos, 07-284-0224 or 07-281-2942, Mon.-Sat. 12-9, $9.


Rancho Chileno: Elia Liut and Avenida España (next to the airport), 280-0185, Mon.-Sat. 11:30-9, $10.


Raymipampa: Benigno Malo 8-59 and Símon Bolívar, 07-283-4159, daily 8:30 a.m.-11:30 p.m., $6.


Gourmet – These are the cream of the Cuenca crop, with local celebrity chefs, the best decor, the finest wines, and the most professional service. They also, of course, have the highest prices, but all are worth the occasional splash.


Casa Alonzo: Símon Bolívar 12-55 and Tarqui at Mansion Alcázar, 07-282-3889, daily 5-10, $20.


Creta: Mall de Rio, 288-9084, 10-10, $12.


El Jardín: Calle Larga 6-93 and Borrero in Hotel Victoria, 282-7401, daily 12-3, 6:30-10:30, $15.


Las Monjas: President Borrero 6-41 and Jaramillo (second floor), 07-282-2750, Tues.-Sat. 11-3, 6-10:30, Sun. 11-4. $15.


Villa Rosa: Gran Colombia 12-22 at Tarqui, 283-7944, Mon.-Fri. 12-3, 7-10:30, $12.


Italian/Pizza –- Cuenca has plenty of fine Italian restaurants, though the quest for back-home-style pizza is slightly more problematic. You just have to try lots of pizza to come closest to your taste, though we like La Viña and Fabiano’s the best.


Bertucci’s: Unidad Nacional 30 and Padua, 409-1265 and 288-9297, Mon.-Thurs. 12-10, Fri.-Sat. to 11, $8.


DiBacco: Tarqui 9-61 and Gran Colombia, 07-283-2301, Mon.-Sat. 12-10, $10.


Fabiano’s: Presidente Córdova and Borrero, 09-288-1386, Mon., Wed., Thurs. 12-8, Tues. 12-5, Fri.-Sat. 12-10, $2.


Mangiare: Símon Bolívar and Estevez de Toral (in Posada del Angel), 284-0695 or 282-1360, Mon.-Sat. 5-10, $10.


La Viña: Juan Jarmillo 5-101 Luis Cordero, 07-283-9696, Tues.-Sat. 12:30-4, 6-11, $9.


Mexican -- Azteca serves traditional northern Mexican cuisine, while Pronto Tacos and California Burrito come somewhat close to the Tex-Mex you’re used to from the States. 


El Pedregal Azteca: Gran Colombia 10-33 and Padre Aguirre, 07-282-3652, Mon.-Saturday 12-3, 6:30-11, $8.


Pronto Tacos: Jose Peralta and El Stadio, 09-172-7185, daily 12-10, $6.


Parilla –- This is the Ecuadorian/South American brand of barbecue, serving grass-fed beef and pork (some chicken) hot off the grill served in assorted cut pieces; you can often find grilled vegetables as well.


Otabe Japanese Steakhouse: Remigio Crespo 2-33 and Proano, 09-162-8684, Tues.-Sat. 12:30-3, 6:30-10:30, $15.


Parilla de Hector: Panamericana Sur (300 meters from the road to Banos), 08-489-0159 and 402-4178, daily 11:30-3 and 5:30-10, $12.


Tiestos: Juan Jaramillo 7-34 at Borrero, 283-5310 and 08-723-3063, Tues.-Sat. 6:30-midnight, $15.


Vegetarian – Vegetarian food in Cuenca is basic: vegetables, carbohydrate, and soy patties. However, the choices continue to improve as the world, including Cuenca, embraces vegetarian options and lifestyles.


El Nuevo Paraíso: Calle Bolivar at San Blas Plaza and José Peralta near the Stadium, Mon.-Sat. 11-3, $3.


Good Affinity: Gran Colombia and Capulies, 07-283-2469, Mon.-Sat. 9-5, $4.


Govinda’s: Juan Jaramillo 7-27 and Borrero, 245-0531, Mon.-Sat. 7-4, $5.


Nectar: Benigno Malo 10-42 and Gran Columbia (second floor), 07-284-4118, Mon.-Sat. 12-6, $5.

Ciudad Cuenca

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