Quito is not only the capital of Ecuador but also a culinary destination that offers visitors an array of flavors and textures. The city’s food markets are the perfect place to explore Ecuadorian cuisine and discover the country’s rich cultural heritage. From the famous Mercado Central to the charming Santa Clara Market, Quito’s markets are a must-visit for any foodie.
Best Quito food markets
1. Mercado Central
One of the most famous markets in Quito is Mercado Central, located in the historic center of the city. This market is a vibrant hub of food stalls, offering everything from fresh fruits and vegetables to seafood, meat, and traditional dishes like ceviche and hornado. Mercado Central is also known for its exotic ingredients such as cuy (guinea pig), a delicacy in the Andean region.
2. San Francisco Market
Located near the iconic San Francisco Church, San Francisco Market is a fusion of cultures and flavors. This market is a popular spot for locals and visitors alike, offering a range of traditional Ecuadorian dishes like locro de papas (potato soup) and seco de chivo (goat stew). You can also find international flavors such as sushi and pizza.
3. Santa Clara Market
For a more local experience, head to Santa Clara Market, a small and charming market located in the heart of the La Mariscal neighborhood. This market is known for its fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as its traditional Ecuadorian snacks like empanadas and humitas. You can also find artisanal products such as cheese, honey, and chocolate.
4. La Floresta Market
La Floresta Market is a trendy spot in the bohemian neighborhood of the same name. This market offers a variety of artisanal products such as bread, cheese, and wine. You can also find international cuisine like sushi and Italian food. La Floresta Market is a great place to grab a quick bite and enjoy the atmosphere of one of Quito’s most vibrant neighborhoods.
5. Otavalo Market
While not located in Quito, Otavalo Market is a day trip worth taking for its incredible handicrafts and delicious food. This market is located in the town of Otavalo, about two hours from Quito. Here, you can find traditional Ecuadorian dishes like hornado and fanesca (a soup made with grains and beans). You can also explore the market’s artisanal products such as textiles, jewelry, and ceramics.