Top 5 trendiest restaurants in Quito


Ecuador may not yet be on the radar as an international foodie destination, but there is no doubt that this small country has a lot to offer for even the most intrepid gourmet travelers. At the center of this foodie revolution is the capital city of Quito, with an array of restaurants to suit all the taste buds and budgets, it’s no surprise that Quito was voted South America’s Leading Destination in the 2018 World Travel Awards. Read on to find out 5 of the trendiest restaurants in Quito; travel the world without ever having to leave Quito. 

El Laboratorio – Pop-up culinary experience

This experimental gastronomic concept has featured monthly pop-up restaurants, with different chefs and cuisines from around the world since 2015. At El Laboratorio, you can try everything from Mexican-Ecuadorian fusion to Scandinavian delicacies using local ingredients, to this month’s “Ssambal,” Indonesian and Korean fusion, loaded with flavors and aromas, from two of the hottest cuisines from recent decades. El Laboratorio is one of the 5 trendiest restaurants in Quito, especially amongst the hip young crowd, adding a fresh spin to the local food scene.

Quitu Identidad Culinaria – Go back to Quito’s roots

Quitu Identidad culinaria is a restaurant exploring Quito’s culinary roots, which date back to the Quitu Pre-Colombian indigenous people who inhabited what is today known as Quito before being conquered by the Spanish in 1524. The restaurant focuses on innovative high-end cuisine, using top-quality local products, and promoting sustainable development, farming and fishing practices. You can travel through the flavors of the four regions of Ecuador by enjoying one of four tasting menus offered for a limited number of people from Monday to Friday at both lunch and dinner.

Zazú restaurant – Creative Ecuadorian cuisine

Zazú, founded by Chef David Picco, was the first restaurant from the Z group, a gourmet restaurant group specializing in fine cuisine. Zazú with its quiet ambience and impeccable design offers seven-course tasting menus, as well as a la carte options such as ceviche, soups, fish and more. This contemporary creative cuisine inspired by Ecuadorian culinary traditions, is not only one of the trendiest restaurants in Quito, but it also has been internationally acclaimed, featured in CNN and Andrew Harper Traveler, amongst other top publications as a must-try when visiting Quito.

Z-food – Dine at a Quito fish market

The Z Group stuck gold again with this restaurant, a reference for fresh seafood and fish in Quito with its commitment to responsible fishing and fair trade, using fishing techniques that do not damage the marine ecosystem. Z-food is set up like a fish market with an open kitchen; you can watch as the chefs prepare the fish and seafood, and even pick out your own fresh fish. With its relaxed ambiance, it is a Quito favorite amongst families on the weekends, and perfect for a delicious lunch during the week, with a great selection of white wine and champagne.

Osaka – Nikkei cuisine at its finest

 What happens when two of the finest cuisines in the world combine? It’s called Nikkei cuisine, and it’s the fusion of fresh Peruvian ingredients with the perfectionism of Japanese cuisine, born from the descendants of Japanese immigrants who moved to Peru. Quito’s Osaka restaurant offers fine Nikkei cuisine, with minimalistic Asian design and dedicated service from the staff. Osaka can also be found in other cities in South America such as Buenos Aires, Asunción, Sāo Paulo and Bogotá, among others.

Thanks to these five restaurants, Quito is putting itself on the map as a must-visit culinary travel destination. Exploring the flavors of these restaurants is yet another reason to visit the capital city on your next trip to Ecuador.

Carlos Beate is the Commercial Manager at Andando Tours. Andando Tours offers exclusive traveling experiences, specializing in sailing around the Galapagos Islands and overland along the magnificent Avenue of Volcanoes on the Ecuadorian Andes.

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Comments (7)

  1. Steve says:

    Pop-ups are great. As they are new they often capture the spirit of the moment. Also, as there’s rarely any intention to make a long-term restaurant they tend to be daring and experimental. They provide the impetus to take food forward.

  2. Karen says:

    Simply stunning pictures. With food of this quality I don’t thing that it will be long before Quito is registering on the international foodies’ radar screens.

  3. Janet Gordon says:

    It is a sign of the times that Osaka is so highly rated. It seems to me that Nikkei cuisine is really trending at the moment. Last week I was talking to a London chef who had quit his job to go travelling to Japan for a few months to do some cookery courses, even pick-up a job, to develop his skills. He thought Japanese cuisine was the most exciting food in the world and wanted to get in on the act.

    • Carlos Beate says:

      Japanese cuisine is definitely exciting, and mixing it with peruvian food transforms it into something else!

  4. Chris H says:

    I keep thinking of that old saying, “It just looks too good to eat.” The presentation of some of the dishes is fabulous, I’m not sure that I could bring myself to eat them after all the card and love that’s gone into the preparation.

  5. Mike Watkins says:

    I’m hoping to book a big trip to include several days in Quito for the end of February and the beginning of March 2020. I was delighted to read this post and pleasantly surprised by how much is happening on the culinary scene in Quito. I’m looking forward to a very different meal for every night that we are there.

    But you say that El Laboratorio is a pop-up Restaurant. Will it have popped back down by the time I make it to Quito or are there any other great pop-ups emerging?

    • Carlos Beate says:

      Hello Mike,

      Thank you for your comment, I am glad to read that you will be coming to Ecuador. Actually we are planning to update this one by December as there are other new restaurants that we would like to recommend and recently opened in Quito.
      Don’t worry about the Laboratorio, you will find it anyways. By pop-up they mean that every week a chef that specializes in something different will be preparing dishes there. For example one week it will be one specialized in that food, by the next week someone that specializes in national food. So you will always be surprised when you visit.

      I am sure you will enjoy the gastronomical experience in Quito.

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