Quito's Cafes

If you know a good cafe please recommend.

Le Grand Cafe , next to Supercines, on 6 decimbre. Offers piping hot coffee which is rare in Quito. What's nice about this place is that it's quiet, no music, and a nice place to get your caffeine fix before shopping at Megamaxi or watching a movie next door.

Also the coffee is just right (relative),  not burnt like Starbucks, or Juan Valdez Cafe in Quito. 1.20 medium , 1.50 grande. If you're taking out, across the street is a simple bakery with delicious Croissants, half the price that Cyrano charges.

Definitely time to update this thread. Looking back I wrongly criticized Juan Valdez, because that café has been consistently good ever since, especially the cappuccino, tortas, pies, and cakes. Grand café that I raved about above is only good for the Americano, their cappuccino is tiny for $2.50 and for comparison the Juan Valdez is $3.20 for the grande but you get twice as much.

One café I aso love is called Europa café and it’s right next to the Dann Carlton, a cappuccino costs $3, and it is superb. The ambiance is nice with indoor and outdoor seating, and they have nice little menu. I think it’s actually part of the Carlton, not sure but their sugar packages state so. It’s a little pricey but a nice place nonetheless.

I’m usually not negative but Cassave and I think they have several branches throughout the city is simply horrendous when it comes to cappuccinos. They have nice yogurt, but they currently have a promotion for an unbelievable 2x1 as in two $1.60 cappuccinos for the price of one, we tried it this evening while walking about, and we watered Carlolina park’s grass with what we were served.  Just awful! I mean just hot water, with a bit of milk, a hint of coffee and watery yack!

That’s Quito, if it’s too good to be true then it is, but who would’ve thought a popular place like Cassave.

Good morning, and before I review the next café, I just want to say it’s a nice feeling waking up in peace loving Ecuador. I decided to revive this thread because I know there are coffee aficionados on

El Español is a café/deli/restaurant that offers good molido or ground coffee for $1.50 for medium and $1.80 for large.  I think it’s Arabica because it’s smoother, doesn’t taste as burnt and doesn’t keep me up after drinking it in the evening.  So personally I like it, the grande comes in a large mug and first reaction might be woah, but it’s an illusion as the mug is rather thin and probably amounts to no more than 12 ounces.

El Español also sells sandwiches, coldcuts, deserts, and crepes. The crepes are good and cost between $2.25-$5.00, they are large portions and are either dulce (sweet) or sal (salty) the costlier crepe will include 3 types of cheeses, vegetables and seranno ham.

I like this place, their menu has a nice variety of food and beverages and there are several branches throughout Quito.

Plaza Cafe at Best Western Hotel

This is one of my favorite places in the city and it’s time to share this gem. What I love about this place is that the beverages and food taste great and are reasonably priced. The crepe Florentine (chicken, cheese and spinach) costs half what other places charge but tastes much better and the presentation is excellent. Their Americano while a bit strong also tastes good. The cost for both is $5.50, and mind you this is a 4-star hotel.

Their menu also has waffles, quiche, pizza and sandwiches.

It’s located on Shyris, across the street from Quicentro, and is a great place to relax and people watch.

A head's up guys. Today was the first day that I scolded a young barista at a popular cafe. The reason being I explicitly stated "café fresco" (fresh coffee) at the counter prior to paying. I do so because I caught them a couple of times pouring me coffee from a ready made pot.

So today I ordered my americano grande, and walked to the take-out counter with one eye on the barista. And she did what?! She poured a couple of ready made coffee shots into the cup.

At that moment, I pointed directly at her and hollered, "porrrr favorrr fresco",  :D , saw a lump on her throat, with the words "es fresco" (it's fresh) beneath her breath. So I replied, "no!", at the end I got my fresh cup of coffee. 

If the place is incredibly busy maybe they can get away with that but there were only me and couple of other people ordering. One of the other customers gave me a nod of approval, and a señorita who was waiting for her order just smiled.

Yeah it's not fair if someone is paying $2+ for a cup of coffee, they deserve it fresh. So guys be attentive.

Just a follow-up. I went back to the same cafe, but today the barista wasn't also working the counter. When I saw her I couldn't help myself from smiling. I did however say good afternoon directly to her.

Anyhow she went directly to the grounder today and made my cup of coffee. I think yesterday she lined up the shots because she was working the cashier counter and also making the coffee.

This probably deserves it's own thread about how to give and get respect in these kinds of interactions without hurting anyone feelings and without sounding like a jerk.

In Ecuador there is tremendous respect for those older than you. That's how it is. That elderly man that I give bread to (and other food), young men always hang around him, probably grandchildren, relatives whatever. But they show him tremendous respect, and by seeing me respect they also extend that respect to me.

Hansel & Gretel

This is a lovely cafe that I like to take my wife to. It's lovely for several reasons including decor, ambiance, coffee, hot chocolate and desserts. And definitely the comfortable seating and blazing fast wifi.

IMO it's not a place to go to alone, like Juan Valdez or Sweet & Coffee, but a place to relax with someone on a date or whatever. As for prices a couple of slices of pie, and two hot chocolate will cost around $12, not bad, and perfect for a chilly Quito evening.

They also serve breakfast which I haven't tried yet, but simply by appearances the pancakes and french toast look delicious.

Yesterday, I found one of the most beautiful cafes not just in Ecuador but the entire world. And it's rightfully located in the new financial center building which is gorgeous, and a nice addition to Quito.

I knew they were opening a Sweet & Coffee there, but it was always under construction, so I would just go to Juan Valdez, which pales in comparison to the aforementioned cafe, but yesterday I saw seats stacked atop one another outside, and decided to check it out. 

So what's great about this new cafe? The design is absolutely spectacular, with lovely art, nice seating including plush seats, and ample outside area. What's most striking however is how high the ceiling is, and I think they set a new world record.  :D

Seriously, it's like 15-20 meters high, and without an upper level. I was looking around to see if there were upstairs seating but there wasn't.

As for service, when I walked in, they were still doing some finishing touches as I saw plans spread on one of the tables, so one of the employees told me for take-away only, hey no problem because I just want my coffee.

But while the barista, one with a lovely ear to ear smile, made my coffee I checked out the place.

Two thumbs up, and two thumbs up for the new financial building which has huge open space in the front and the back and I mean huge as in acres. I love such consideration for the public.  :)  What's equally awesome is that you can walk right through the building as there is a walkway the middle.

It's awesome because it serves as a lovely walk, and a short-cut through the heart of iñaquito.

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