Swiss Bistro: Swiss cuisine in a place you never expected

04/Enero/2013 | 13:55

By Jill Sare

[email protected]

Baños has always been the out-of-the-way destination for international tourists visiting Ecuador.  Now it offers out of this world cuisine by two countrymen who have figured out a formula that works not just for the tourists, but the locals as well.

In addition to being popular with foreign travelers, Swiss Bistro is also a favorite dining option for Ecuadorean guests who appreciate quality food and excellent service in a friendly, authentic atmosphere.


Patrick Oswald and Thomas Trauffer, the Swiss owners, are passionate about sharing their love of the culinary arts in Baños de Agua Santa, one of Ecuador’s finest jewels of nature and the adventure tourism capital of the region.

Patrick first came to Ecuador in 1991 to study Spanish and quickly fell in love with this country and its people. He went back to Switzerland to study Hotel Management. During his studies he returned to Ecuador several times for extended internships in Guayaquil and Baños.

For several years Patrick and Thomas had worked together for the Accor Hotel Group in Switzerland and in 2007, while Patrick was managing a newly-opened spa in Baños, Thomas came to Ecuador to join him. Together they launched that luxury resort before deciding to start up their own business.


The first Swiss Bistro restaurant was opened in 2008 and, working together with local personnel they had met in their previous positions, they grew the business in a family atmosphere. Through hard work, attention to detail and affection for Ecuadorian culture they have continued to develop a strong relationship with their loyal staff, the local community, and their restaurant guests.

When people think of Swiss cuisine, naturally fondue comes to mind and Swiss Bistro is the only place in Baños where you can enjoy classic cheese fondue. However, they also offer high quality meats, traditional potato “roesti,” a variety of fish and chicken dishes, and other Swiss specialties. Finish your meal with one their delectable desserts, an excellent coffee, real hot chocolate, or a top shelf after-dinner drink.


The intimate restaurant in Baños was just the start. Even as the first Swiss Bistro was gaining acclaim, work was underway on the renovation of an old farmhouse along the Pastaza River in Cumandá.

Just 45 minutes from Baños along the Route of the Waterfalls, located between Rio Negro and Mera, Patrick and Thomas opened a second location.  Swiss Bistro Cumandá sits in a peaceful country setting where guests Here you can enjoy the same delicious menu and outstanding service in a charming indoor/outdoor dining area, surrounded by lush greenery.  Diners are free to stroll the ample grounds which boast picturesque pathways and bridges spanning streams and lagoons.

If you like sport fishing, you can catch your own meal and the chef will prepare your fish to your liking. Many of the juices are made with organic fruits grown on the property and all dishes include fresh herbs from the garden. Soon organic chickens will be raised in Cumandá to eventually be served in both Swiss Bistro locations.

Also known as “La Finca de la Vaca”, the new Swiss Bistro in Cumandá is located within a 50 hectare nature reserve adjacent to the Sangay National Park. This unique environment offers a wealth of flora and fauna, including many bird species in the densely forested hillsides.

Bird-watchers will delight to a variety of hummingbirds and the music of rushing water will accompany your visit.

A five--minute walk from the restaurant will bring guests to a hilltop pavilion with a thatched roof built in traditional indigenous fashion. Available for gatherings or events, this look-out point offers stunning views of the mighty Pastaza River and the Amazon basin beyond.

The Cumandá location will soon offer camping facilities, natural swimming holes and canopy zip lines. Other upcoming plans include a petting zoo for the kids and the eventual construction of homey, rental cottages to offer lodging for guests who wish to extend their stay in this wonderful setting.


Never content to rest on their laurels, Patrick and Thomas are currently expanding the Baños restaurant to include an upper dining terrace and a relaxing outdoor garden area. Hungry visitors will no longer have to wait for a table.

These dynamic young entrepreneurs also dream of seeing their Swiss Bistro concept franchised throughout Ecuador. If you love Swiss Bistro and want to be a part of it, contact them today.



In the heart of Baños on Calle Luis A. Martinez y Eloy Alfaro

032742262 – 091356052

email: [email protected]

facebook: SwissBistro.Banos

In Cumandá:   Finca de la Vaca, Parroquia Cumandá, Morona-Santiago

033030664 – 092000005

email: [email protected]

facebook: SwissBistro.Cumanda

Getting to Swiss Bistro Cumandá:

By car: 45 km on the road towards Puyo, right turn just after the Cumandá sign, follow the gravel road, cross the bridge, 3 km further,  Swiss Bistro sign on the right

(45 min. from Baños)

By bike: 3-4 hours riding along the Route of the Waterfalls until the entrance to Cumandá follow the gravel road, cross the bridge, 3 km further,  Swiss Bistro sign on the right

By bus: Take the Baños-Puyo bus from the terminal – about an hour to the Cumandá turn-off) From the main road it’s a beautiful 30 minute walk.

Swiss Bistro Specialties:

  Original Swiss cheese fondue

  Meat fondue “Bourguignonne”


  Large selection of potato roestis

  Meat, chicken & fish specialties

  Chocolate fondue

  Traditional Desserts

  Quality wines & spirits


Ciudad Ba�os

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lbrashear - en Diario HOY - Noticias de Ecuador.