Close

Rating the Fast-Food Outlets of Ecuador

As my choice for Best Fast Food in Quito .. I'm going with a place I frequent at the QuiCentro Shopping Mall's extensive patio de comidas (food court) on Avenida Naciones Unidas...

    Cajun Exotic

The platos fuertes here are primarily shrimp, chicken and ribs with a choice of sweet sauce or salsa picante (spicy-hot sauce).  The plato comes with two sides which can include boiled veggies, a choice of rices and/or a choice of potatoes.

While many dishes run $7-8 dollars (not including beverage), there is a Jack Daniel's (sic) section with menu items including the new Cajun Wings... for about five bucks.  The wings come with fried potatoes normally -- I was allowed a side substitution of veggies.

The sauce (I do the sweet) is tasty .. the service is typically rapid .. and the staff is friendly. 

The food court is on the upper level of QuiCentro, reachable by elevator.

How do you rate the fast food outlets of Ecuador?

cccmedia in Quito

As a connoisseur of tuna salad sandwiches, which I have eaten all over the world, the best one ever is to be found in Ecuador.

In a shopping mall.

In the food court of the big mall in Guayaquil which also houses the main bus terminal, is the #1 tuna fish sandwich ever. Standard looking looking mall eatery with nothing special about it - except the food. A fresh roll sliced in half piled thick and high with a fabulous tuna salad, lettuce and tomato, and added avocado slices for like an extra dime. Scrumptious.

Would eat again.

Quiznos, philly cheese steak sandwich is real good, they're generous with the meat, it's especially good when it's a 2x1 day. Unlimited re-fill also a plus.

Shawarma joint, near corner of Shylis, and republica del salvador, facing Carolina park, be careful there are other shawaerma places there.

Dominoes Pizza, 6 dicembre, just north of Quicentro, 2 large pies for $20.

All these fast-food joints are good. Try 'em.

Pizzeria el Hornero, which has several branches throughout the city has good pizza and salads. Their menu is actually quite extensive for a pizzeria, but we only tried the pizza and salads so I'll comment on that. Their pizza is sold in squares and the sizes are 8/16/28/32 pcs, or something like that. The pizza was delicious, what was most noticeable was the freshness of the ingredients. The salad was also delicious and one portion is more than enough for two people. As for the service, it was excellent, I know this can vary from time to time and branch to branch, but we had excellent and kind service. They also have promotions nearly everyday, so don't get put off by the menu prices.

Rating wise: Better than Dominoes and Papa John's.

Tom Pollo If you find yourself at 6 decimbre Kywi (ferreteria) Tom Pollo is a nice little place to have some delcious rottesseire chicken. They don't use gas like most places but charcoal to cook their chickens. This place was a pleasant surprise, I had an almurezo meal, basically soup, 1 pc chicken, rice, salad, soda, and sauces. Definitely thumbs up for the pollo carbon.

Inka Burger Truck

This is a burger truck that parks on the corner of Portugal and Republica del Salvador and probably other trucks at other  locations as well.

Great burgers. The Inka simple is 2.75 and the Inka doble is 3.75. Both have cheese, tomatos, etc

They also have wraps, and Fries, papas grande is $2, homemade variety. There's a facebook and menu online.

If you want a burger, you have to wait. These guys have an incredible following.

Don Jimmy's Corvina at Mercado Central

Admittedly I read about Las Corvinas de Don Jimmy on a tourist website, but despite my assumption, I was pleasantly surprised that it wasn’t a touristy place. Today was my second visit, I went there a few weeks ago, and again today with my kids. We each ordered the Don Jimmy tradicional which included a generous chunk of corvina over potatoes, ceviche and choclo (popcorn with roasted kernels). I however opted for rice instead of potatoes.

The corvina was great, the ceviche was good, and the rice was okay. Each set costs $5, and you can order drinks from the adjacent stall, a coke is $ .50. Overall it was a delicious and satisfying meal, and definitely recommendable. The girl who takes orders speaks English, not that it’s difficult to order as there are pictures atop the stall with the limited but delicious selection of dishes. This place is quite old, and established around 1950 something, it’s very popular, and you’ll probably have to wait a little while for a table to empty. They open every day, but close early on weekends, 2:30 on Sundays.

They have very kind and fast service, the food is fresh and good, and it’s worth trying if you are at Mercado Central.

Cosa Nostra Pizzeria

Absolutely delicious pizza, but don’t expect NY/Chicago style variety pizza, do however expect very thin Italian style crust with the freshest of toppings. They have two branches the one I’m reviewing is on Republica del Salvador. The restaurant has a nice ambiance and is actually a full-fledged Italian restaurant with pasta dishes, salads and desserts, but we opted for pizza like most other patrons. Pizzas start around $9 and go up to $17, depending on toppings. The pizzas are on the smaller size and 3 pies are enough to satisfy 4 people. The service is fast and attentive, and as for the customers there is a distinction between the lunch and dinner crowd. The evenings are much more popular with couples and groups and they take their time eating, drinking and socializing. Two thumbs up.

Los Cebiches de la Ruminahui

I found this little seafood gem while practicing my Spanish in the historical center yesterday, more on the practicing spanish on another thread. Anyway there was this old guy with a chef's hat giving out business cards of the restaurant. After a little conversation he walks me to the place which is located near the corner of Olmedo and Guayaquil, not far from Central Market.

I remembered where it was, and went about my business before returning there for lunch. The place was awesome with a lot of seafood dishes and accompanying pictures of most them. I ordered Asado Marinero, which was a hotplate full of clams, few shrimp and piece of fish in the middle. I also ordered white rice with it, and a cold one. The price for the generous hotplate was 8.71 including the rice which upon looking at my bill was not charged for. The menu price was actually 9.75, but this is not the first time this has happened at Ecuadorean restaurants where the actual price is cheaper, maybe lunch discount, not sure and not complaining.

I was definitely satisfied and happy to have found this place. I only wish they would have an option to make it spicy, as there's nothing better than spicy seafood. The choices include a variety of Cebiches with shrimp, octupus, and fishes, in any combination you want , "Platos Fuertes", which basically means dishes with rice, veggies, planta, and your choice of seafood. 

Service was fast and polite. You'll probably see a few tourists, as it's tourist proof with menu in Spanish and English, but it's mostly Ecuadoran folk chowing down on good food.

Columbia (Grill)

Walking past this place, I was like wow look at that burger with all that cheese. They have all if not most dishes advertised on pics. It was nighttime, so that’s my excuse, so I went and ordered single/double hamburgers (hambrugresa) and fries (papas fritas) at the counter and after paying was given a stub to give to the grill section. I waited about 5 minutes when the grill guy calls me over and is telling me what I want on the burgers while holding big metal spoon over what looked like potato salad. I was in awe,  :o  because this guy was motioning to put the potato like salad on the burgers. And to my realization it wasn’t abundant melted cheese on the pic but one of choice of mayonnaise type salads. 

I liked the burgers, but the kids said were just okay. Despite that I will definitely be going back. It’s a serious grill house with many kinds of meats including offal. The meats are displayed in front of you, but you should be there when they select the cuts, so you can choose the freshest.

It’s located in the Mariscal section on the corner of Cristobal Colon and Rabida, you can’t miss it as they have a big cow in front.

I'm partial to Menestras del Negro, though they're quality is not super consistent from one location to another.

Suvlaki (on Shyris)

I first ate at this place at their Amazonas branch, Mariscal area, and was not impressed. At the time I bought the gyro sandwich and it was about $6 which did not have enough meat. So I thought I was done with them because a Greek grill restaurant should be about ample meat. Tonight however my opinion changed. Coincidentally we wanted burgers and tacos from the food trucks that are parked in the middle of the street on Shyris, near Portugal. Unfortunately the two food trucks we were interested in had very long lines, so we decided to eat elsewhere as the kids didn’t want to spend their free time waiting in line. So while walking across the street, of all places, Suvlaki conveniently caught my eyes. Walked past it and an employee was standing outside, after a quick Q and A session, and recommendation of 3 meat (carne) platter which consists of beef kebab, chicken kebab, and tenderloin  we decided to go inside. You can order any combo variety you want, for example, if you strictly want chicken, it’s no issue. The platter also comes with delicious fries and tiny salad. Total per person with a beverage was $10 including IVA.

The kebabs were delicious and satisfying, the beef was a generous weighty portion, and the three meats probably weighed about 300-400 grams. Definitely thumbs up but opt for this option, or dishes that are not sandwiches if you want to be satisfied.

Alright time to update this thread. As you probably noticed some of the restaurants reviewed here are not only fast food but also casual dining establishments, and Quito has plenty of them. Crepes & Waffles is one such place and this restaurant has several branches in Quito and I think one in Guayaquil. The one I’m reviewing is located in Jardin Mall on Avenida Republica, but the taste and quality is consistent at all the branches we ate at so far. They specialize in Crepes and Waffles as their name suggests but also serve an assortment of other dishes and deserts.

What’s good about Crepes & Waffles, and what makes us repeat customers - the deliciously consistent food, heavenly deserts, good prices and friendly prompt service.  I usually opt for the chicken, mushroom and cheese crepe, but this time ordered the Mexican. It was good, but I prefer a stronger chili kick and bit more cumin taste. Cost wise, it’s about $11 for one crepe and one beverage including IVA. Well worth it and the portions are generous, and for those with room to spare in their bellies (kids in our case), a Nutella coated waffle with ice cream on top should do it.

The Jardin branch also offers nice views of Carolina Park, and Quito’s northeast skyline with Metropolitan Park in the background. Definitely two thumbs up, for lunch, dinner, or just desert.

vsimple :

Alright time to update this thread. As you probably noticed some of the restaurants reviewed here are not only fast food but also casual dining establishments, and Quito has plenty of them. Crepes & Waffles is one such place and this restaurant has several branches in Quito and I think one in Guayaquil. The one I’m reviewing is located in Jardin Mall on Avenida Republica, but the taste and quality is consistent at all the branches we ate at so far. They specialize in Crepes and Waffles as their name suggests but also serve an assortment of other dishes and deserts.

What’s good about Crepes & Waffles, and what makes us repeat customers - the deliciously consistent food, heavenly deserts, good prices and friendly prompt service.  I usually opt for the chicken, mushroom and cheese crepe, but this time ordered the Mexican. It was good, but I prefer a stronger chili kick and bit more cumin taste. Cost wise, it’s about $11 for one crepe and one beverage including IVA. Well worth it and the portions are generous, and for those with room to spare in their bellies (kids in our case), a Nutella coated waffle with ice cream on top should do it.

The Jardin branch also offers nice views of Carolina Park, and Quito’s northeast skyline with Metropolitan Park in the background. Definitely two thumbs up, for lunch, dinner, or just desert.

$11 for a crepe and a beverage?  Sounds very expensive for casual dining.

$11 for a crepe and a beverage?  Sounds very expensive for casual dining.

It’s typical for Quito. My Mexican crepe which consisted of chicken, cheese, lettuce, tomatoes and sour cream costed $9.26 and the smallish Americano coffee was $1.60. Other crepes were similarly priced. In general, casual dining per person consisting of a main dish and beverage costs between $10 and $20, so Crepes & Waffles is actually on the lower end of price scale.

The link below gives a good idea of casual dining prices which are consistent with the $10-$20 range.

http://www.menuexpress.ec/uio/

Wok To Walk

Wok to Walk is an international Asian fast food restaurant with healthy dishes that has franchises in Europe, USA (NYC), Mexico, Colombia and 3 locations in Quito. What makes them successful is their simple but delicious dishes and a great 3 step menu ordering process.  The location I’m writing about is located on Republica del Salvador and across the street from the Sheraton.

You begin your order by:

Step 1) Selecting a base ($4.50), and your choices include egg/rice/ whole wheat noodles, white/whole grain rice or solely mixed vegetables. All bases are served with egg and vegetables.   

Step 2) Selecting ingredients (Choices include: Beef, Chicken, Pork, Bacon, Shrimp, Tofu, Mushrooms, etc) and the prices vary. I ordered the beef for $2.40 and Broccoli $0.75. For 0.50 cents extra you can further top your dish with peanuts, sesame seeds, etc.

Step 3) Choose you sauce (Free), and the variety is quite international and includes, Tokyo (Teriyaki), Hot Asia, Bali, Hong Kong, Bangkok, Beijing and Saigon.

The prices above include 14% IVA. Beverages are $1.50+. My order for eggs noodles, beef, brocoli, and sparkling water costed $9.15. The food is good, and if you like spicy, the Hot Asia is a good sauce, although I always insist muy picante. The service is prompt and friendly (smiles), and food is cooked in front of you on a wok. They serve the dish in a Chinese takeout food box whether you eat in or take out. The only downside is that they close early at 8:30 like some many other places in Quito. Obviously they're content with income, because I can easily see that place making more money if they're open later.

The other two branches are located at Plaza las Americas and Cumbaya

Today the Morning Call has an ad for a local favorite Chinese buffet restaurant for $7.65 for unlimited food in every category.   This tells me that fast food prices in Ecuador are high by comparison.

mugtech :

Today the Morning Call has an ad for a local favorite Chinese buffet restaurant for $7.65 for unlimited food in every category.   This tells me that fast food prices in Ecuador are high by comparison.

Here are some fast food numbers to justify my claim that fast food prices are similar to North American prices and it’s ironic because this is a developing country.

McDonald’s Big Mac Combo $5.65

Burger King Whopper Combo $7.49

KFC 3 Piece Meal (includes fries and small soda) $5.49

Dominoes/Pizza Hut prices are twice as much, but they do have promotions that make it more plausible, unfortunately they skim on ingredients including cheese even when requesting extra. I’m just glad the kids don’t mind.

The western prices above aren’t limited to traditional fastfood food places, even “healthier” options like Subway and Freshii which my wife loves are more expensive and similarly priced, respectively. As for all you can eat, ha!, good luck with that amigo, especially with only paying  a measly $7.65.

Having said that there are local fastfood places that sell dishes for like $4-5 like Mayflower, which I’ve tried once but not again, there are also grill places that sell plates of beef/chicken, rice small salad, drink for like $6-7.

There are also fast food Mariscal joints that sell grub cheaply, and it’s appropriate at 2:00 a.m when people are inebriated and anything tastes good, some of these places are run by immigrants. There’s also good food there but you have to pay more. I go to a Mexican joint and pay about $7-8 for a huge enchilada that’s more than satisfying, but these are western prices.

There’s also street food, a lot of grilled meat around, and also Empanadas. I sometimes buy cheese empanadas, but only from established kiosks that are popular with locals. We never go near the grilled meats or sausages on the streets judging by hygiene.  I know they use the cheapest meats at their low prices, so let’s not lie to ourselves. I have no issue with quail eggs for breakfast each is 10 cents, and delicious, and only buy from sellers who wear gloves. You eat ‘em with a toothpick and seasoned with salt, pepper, and hot sauce if you prefer. Corn is great, and there’s lot of fried foods but never go near that stuff for obvious reasons such as overusing same oil and this is true everywhere and not just Ecuador.

Big Joe’s Burgers

This burger joint is located on Shyris, across the street from Carolina Park, and between Republica del Salvador and Portugal street. If you love heavy metal you'll like this place as they have a huge big screen tv that plays metal day and night. Their burgers are good too. The Big Joe which consists of  ½ pound beef (2 patties), cheddar and holandes cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, caramelized onions, pickles and Big Joe’s salsa is $7.50, and comes with delicious fries and small soda. The clasica is similar but cheaper at $6 for the combo and includes 1/4 pound beef.

They have a sign that advertises what makes them different from the rest of burger joints and their claim is that they use no more than 4-5% fat while others use 15-20% beef. I don’t know about that, because I make delicious burgers myself and I use more fat than them and theirs is juicer. Anyhow the burgers are good, and if you’re hanging around Carolina area and in the mood for a burger, try them out, and share your review.

New topic

Expatriate health insurance in Quito

Free advice and quotation service to choose an expat health insurance in Quito

Moving to Quito

Find tips from professionals about moving to Quito

Travel insurance in Quito

Enjoy a stress-free travel across Quito

Flights to Quito

Find the best prices for your flight tickets to Quito