Quito, the capital of Ecuador, boasts a rich culinary heritage that blends a diverse range of dishes from different regions around the globe. From ancient recipes passed down through generations to contemporary fusion creations, the city’s food scene is a melting pot of stories, customs, and flavors that attract tourists and residents alike. Let’s explore some of the most iconic dishes and culinary traditions that make Quito’s gastronomy truly unique.
Discovering local specialties in Quito
In Quito’s jurisdiction, each town has its own gastronomic specialty that showcases the region’s unique ingredients and culinary traditions. In Guayllabamba, for instance, you can savor “Locro,” a hearty soup made with potatoes, corn, cheese, and spices that’s typically served with local avocado. Meanwhile, in Pomasqui, you can try the succulent “Cuy,” a traditional roasted guinea pig dish that’s considered a delicacy in the region. In Nanegalito, don’t miss the opportunity to taste some of the best-fried foods in the area.
Savoring Quito’s famous roasted pork
One of the most popular dishes in Quito is the “Hornado,” a whole pig roasted in a wood oven that’s particularly famous in the Chillos region. El Tingo and Sangolquí are two towns where you can find this dish served with sides such as tortillas, corn mote, fried sweet plantain, and lettuce salad. The traditional sour criollo, made with chicha, tomato, onion, chili pepper, cilantro, and panela, adds a burst of flavor to the dish.
Indulging in Quito’s sweet treats
No Quito food guide is complete without mentioning the city’s sweet treats. In the center of the city, you can still find places that make traditional sweets of yesteryear, such as snacks, quesadillas, planchados, and moncaibas. Quito’s gastronomic offer also features numerous desserts, including milk, tree tomato, babaco, guava, or fig candies, as well as pristiños, buñuelos, and rice milk. Don’t leave the city without trying some of these delectable delights.
Exploring Quito’s soup culture
Quito is also known for its varied soup culture. Among the most popular soups in the region are the “Caldo de Patas,” a beef leg soup with corn and ground toasted peanuts, and the “Locro de Queso,” a hearty potato and cheese soup with infinite variations. The secret to the flavor of the Locro de Queso lies in the chola potato, a unique variety grown only in Ecuador.