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Dining Out

Tipping in Restaurants

Better restaurants add a 10% service charge onto your check (along with IVA tax).  No need to add an additional tip, unless the service has been exceptional, and in that case, you can add a dollar or two to show your appreciation.  Economical establishments do not usually add any service charge, and a small tip or rounding up is always appreciated.

Restaurant Schedule

Finding restaurants open on Sunday can be a challenge, especially for dinner.  Some restaurants do open on Sunday for lunch, but restaurants open for Sunday dinner are few.  A number of the restaurants that do open on Sunday night are hotel restaurants. 

Many restaurants are also closed on Monday, especially those which open on Sunday.  Almost all restaurants are open Tuesday through Saturday.

Restaurants Open on Sunday

Barbecue Palace Lunch – Dinner
Bistro Yaku Lunch
Bogati Lunch
Café Austria Lunch – Dinner
Café de Ñucallacta Lunch
Capitán & Co. Lunch
Casa Alonso Lunch – Dinner
Chocolatería Dos Chorreras Lunch
La Cofradía Lunch
El Confesionario Lunch – Dinner
Cuchi Suco BBQ Pit Lunch
Distrito Lunch – Dinner
Don Colón Lunch – Dinner
Dot.House Lunch
Eat Lunch
Fabiano’s Pizzería Lunch – Dinner
Filippo Wine Cheese & Bread Lunch
Guajibamba Lunch
Hansel & Gretel Lunch
Hotel Santa Lucía Lunch – Dinner
El Jardín Lunch – Dinner
Jazz Society Café Lunch
Joe's Secret Garden Dinner
Kolo Restaurant & Bakery Lunch
Lamian China Lunch – Dinner
Mansión Matilde Lunch
Mayu Smokehouse & Bakery Lunch
Mediterráneo Lunch
Monday Blue Lunch – Dinner
Mozart Coffee Café Lunch
Namaste India Lunch – Dinner
Negroni Lunch – Dinner
Noe Sushi Bar Lunch
El Nopal Lunch
Origami Japanese Kitchen Lunch
Paradise Indian Lunch – Dinner
Parrilladas La Herradura Lunch
El Pedregal Azteca Lunch
Le Petite Jardin Lunch – Dinner
Quo Vadis Lunch
Pizzo Tr3s (Tres) Lunch – Dinner
Roll-It Lunch – Dinner
Rosée Dip & Drink Lunch
Salumeria Vecchia Modena Lunch – Dinner
San Sebas Café Lunch
Sofy Glocal Cuisine Lunch – Dinner
Sunrise Café Lunch
Ta’Lico Cuisine Lunch – Dinner
La Taquería Lunch
Tres Estrellas Lunch
Tutto Freddo Lunch – Dinner
Zircus Restaurant Lunch – Dinner

Restaurants Open on Monday

Alfredo’s Cazuelas Lunch – Dinner
Le Bistro Lunch – Dinner
Bistro Yaku Lunch – Dinner
Bogati Lunch – Dinner
Café Austria Lunch – Dinner
Café de Ñucallacta Lunch – Dinner
Capitán & Co. Lunch – Dinner
Casa Alonso Lunch – Dinner
Chill and Grill Lunch – Dinner
Chocolatería Dos Chorreras Lunch – Dinner
La Cofradía Lunch – Dinner
Cuchi Suco BBQ Pit Lunch – Dinner
Distrito Lunch – Dinner
Don Colón Lunch – Dinner
Dot.House Lunch – Dinner
La Esquina Lunch – Dinner
Fabiano’s Pizzería Lunch – Dinner
Good Affinity Lunch
Guajibamba Lunch – Dinner
La Guarida Lunch – Dinner
Hansel & Gretel Lunch – Dinner
Hotel Santa Lucía Lunch – Dinner
El Jardín Lunch – Dinner
Kolo Restaurant and Bakery Lunch
LaMaría Lunch – Dinner
Lamian China Lunch – Dinner
Mangiare Bene Lunch – Dinner
Marea Cuenca Pizzería Lunch
El Mercado Lunch – Dinner
El Mesón Español Lunch – Dinner
Mi Mamá Coreano Lunch – Dinner
Moliendo Café Lunch
Monday Blue Dinner
Mozart Coffee Café Lunch – Dinner
Namaste India Lunch – Dinner
Noe Sushi Bar Lunch – Dinner
Negroni Lunch – Dinner
Origami Japanese Kitchen Lunch – Dinner
Paradise Indian Restaurant Lunch – Dinner
Parrilladas La Herradura Lunch – Dinner
Parrilladas La Herradura Lunch – Dinner
Raymipampa Lunch – Dinner
Salumeria Vecchia Modena Lunch – Dinner
San Sebas Café Lunch
El Santo Lunch – Dinner
Sinfonía Café Lunch
Sofy Glocal Cuisine Lunch – Dinner
Sunrise Café Lunch
T-Rex Burgers Lunch – Dinner
Tutto Freddo Lunch – Dinner
Tutto Matto Pizzería Lunch – Dinner
Yasu Dinner
Zircus Restaurant Lunch – Dinner

Restaurant Descriptions

Alfredo's Cazuelas

Nice little restaurant specializing in tasty cazuelas, casseroles or stews made in ceramic pots.  The menu is limited, but also offers other dishes such as pasta and ribs.  Located on the first floor of the Forum Hotel.  Because of the hotel, the restaurant is open for all three meals, seven days a week.

Open Monday – Saturday.

Presidente Borrero 10-87 y Mariscal Lamar (Forum Hotel).  Tel. 096-899-0513

Anubis

Great international food, with a mix of North American, European, and Ecuadorian food.  Filet mignon and seafood are specialties.  They offer a nice selection of cheeses, a rarity in Ecuador.  An extensive list of wines and cocktails.  They can get crowded later, so reservations are a good idea.  This is not the place for someone in a hurry, so be prepared to spend the evening enjoying your food.

Open Tuesday – Saturday.

Doce de Octubre y Gonzalo Pizarro.  Tel. 098-789-0649
https://www.facebook.com/anubiscuenca   (use Facebook page, regular website is unsafe)

Barbecue Palace

Authentic Indian food made from fresh ingredients.  The menu offers a nice variety of delicious Indian dishes.  You can enjoy grilling barbecue dishes at the table.  The staff is very friendly, and they enjoy chatting with you and telling you about different parts of India.

Open Tuesday – Sunday/dinner.

Av. Paucarbamba 4-114 (Next to Clínica Paucarbamba).  Tel. 099-579-0392
https://www.facebook.com/Indianfoodbbq

Le Bistro

Nice little French bistro located in the courtyard next to the new cathedral.  They have both indoor and outdoor seating.  Charming atmosphere and a pleasant place to have lunch.  They offer tasty crepes and baguette sandwiches.  The crème brûlée is amazing.

Open Monday – Saturday.

Seminario San Luis, next to the New Cathedral at Parque Calderón.  Tel. 099-556-5797
https://www.facebook.com/LeBistro.ec

Bistro Yaku

Located in the patio/garden of the Yakumama Hostel, the Bistro Yaku serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  The menu is contemporary, with beautifully prepared and delicious gourmet food.  The quality of the food is outstanding.  The ambiance is relaxing.  This hidden treasure is a must try.  They sometimes offer live music.

Open Monday – Sunday/lunch.

Luis Cordero 5-66 y Honorato Vásquez (inside Hostal Yakumama).  Tel. 07-283-4353
https://www.facebook.com/BistroYaku

Bogati

If you want to try something different, stop by Bogtai, an ice cream shop chain that specializes in ice cream with cheese.  It is a one-of-a-kind treat.

Open Monday – Sunday/lunch.


https://bogati.ec

Café Austria

Charming little European style café with German food.  Popular with the expat community.  Provides an English language newspaper to read.

Open Monday – Sunday/dinner.

Corner of Hermano Miguel 8-81 y Simón Bolívar.  Tel. 07-284-0899
https://www.facebook.com/Cafe-Austria-250020398355738

Café Libre

Fresh and tasty vegetarian/vegan food.  Located just one block east of Universidad de Azuay.  If you are vegan, vegetarian, or just enjoy fresh vegetarian food, this spot is a must.  The produce is so fresh, the dishes are creative, and the environment is relaxing.

Open Wednesday – Saturday.

Calle del Chirote y Los Cisnes.  Tel. 099-864-9328
https://www.facebook.com/CafeLibreCuenca

Café de Ñucallacta

Great little café with excellent artisan Ecuadorian coffee.  Nice breakfast and lunch, with a tasty selection of cakes, cookies, and brownies.  Good high-speed Wi-Fi and a pleasant environment makes it the perfect place to relax and chat.  You can purchase whole or ground coffee beans to take home.

Open Monday – Sunday/lunch.

Hermano Miguel 5-62, between Honorato Vásquez y Juan Jaramillo.  Tel. 096-311-4958
Second location: Casa Asvoria at Plaza Otorongo
http://cafenucallacta.com
https://www.facebook.com/cafenucallacta

La Caleta

Closed until 2023

Amazing Ecuadorian food.  Staff are students or former students of San Isidro culinary academy.  The plates are served with a beautiful presentation, and the flavors are spectacular.  This restaurant is a definite must–try restaurant.

Open Monday – Saturday.

Mariscal Sucre 13-56 y Estévez de Toral, Hotel Casa del Águila.  Tel. 099-394-1618
https://www.facebook.com/lacaletaec

Capitán & Co.

Tiny restaurant that serves the best seafood in town.  The quality and freshness of the seafood is fantastic.  There are also dishes for non-seafood lovers to enjoy.

Open Monday – Tuesday, Thursday – Sunday/lunch.

Tomás Ordóñez 6-76 y Presidente Córdova.  Tel. 099-688-9993
https://www.facebook.com/Capitán-Co-287961917917427

Casa Alonso

Gourmet restaurant with impeccable service.  Gorgeous dining room located in the elegant Mansión Alcázar.  They use only prime beef from Argentina, so unlike local beef, the steaks are good.  There are also lots of seafood and vegetarian choices.  The duck is very highly recommended.  This restaurant is very pricy.

Open Monday – Sunday/dinner.

Simón Bolívar 12-55 y Tarqui.  Tel. 07-282-3889
https://www.facebook.com/CasaAlonsoByMansionAlcazar

Chill & Grill

Great burgers with unique and interesting combinations of toppings and sauces.  They also offer other dishes, such as ribs, pasta, and salads.  Burgers, however, are their specialty.  Prices are reasonable.

Open Monday – Saturday.

Jose Peralta 8-95 y Alfonso Cordero (near Millennium Plaza).   Tel. 099-279-1332
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Chill-and-Grill-Fusion-Food/406803946049631

Chocolatería Dos Chorreras

Very popular chocolate and coffee shop.  At times, there may be a short line to get a table.  This place is a chocolate lover’s dream.  Scrumptious crepes, waffles, ice cream, churros, specialty desserts, and much more.  They even have hot chocolate with whiskey.  Connected to the Dos Chorreras Hostería near the Cajas National Park.  This is a must try experience.

Open Monday – Sunday/lunch.

Simón Bolívar 10-09 y Padre Aguirre.
https://www.facebook.com/hosteriadoschorrerascuenca

La Cofradía

Very nice pub and restaurant located right next to the San Francisco Plaza.  The service is great, and the staff is extremely friendly.  They serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  The restaurant is beautifully decorated.  They have a nice selection of beers, and the bartender makes good cocktails.

Open Monday – Sunday/lunch.

Presidente Córdova 10-33 y Padre Aguirre.  Tel. 099-874-3058
https://www.facebook.com/lacofradiacuenca

El Confesionario

Deliciously prepared food in a lovely atmosphere.  Located inside the San Luis Seminario plaza, on the second floor.  They offer outside seating on the balcony, overlooking the cathedral and the plaza.  Great place to relax and have some coffee, and a tasty breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

Open Wednesday – Sunday/dinner.

Benigno Malo & Simón Bolívar (San Luis Seminario plaza next to cathedral, across from Parque Calderón).  Tel. 099-579-5891
https://www.facebook.com/pg/ElConfesionarioCuenca

Cuchi Suco BBQ Pit

Amazing barbeque restaurant along the side of Parque de la Madre, with outdoor seating in heated tents.  The meat is very tender with tasty barbecue sauces.  The side dishes are delicious, and include corn on the cob, cornbread, coleslaw, and baked beans.  The jalapeño sausage is also quite tasty.

Open Monday – Sunday/lunch.

Av. 12 de Abril y Francisco Talbot (Parque de la Madre).  Tel. 096-301-2222
https://www.facebook.com/cuchisucobbqpit

Distrito

Tapas restaurant.  They also serve wings and ribs, as well as sandwiches.  Located in the alley next to the New Cathedral in a large courtyard.  Enter alley from Padre Aguirre between Mariscal Sucre and Simón Bolívar.  They have great cocktails, as well as a nice selection of wine and draft beers.  Excellent service in an excellent location.

Open Monday – Sunday/dinner.

Calle Santa Ana (alley next to the New Cathedral).  Tel. 099-844-3209
https://distritocue.com
https://www.facebook.com/distrito.cue

Don Colón

Indoor and outdoor seating, right on Parque Calderón.  Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  For lunch, you can order from the menu, or choose from several fixed lunch combinations.  There is sometimes entertainment in the evening.  The wine prices are a bargain for Ecuador.

Open Monday – Sunday/dinner.

Benigno Malo y Mariscal Sucre at Parque Calderón. https://www.facebook.com/pages/Don-Col%C3%B5n/368832299872441

Dos Sucres

A gourmet Ecuadorian restaurant, and hidden gem.  The chef/owner Daniel greets you and explains each dish on his menu which originate from different regions in Ecuador.  Daniel is deeply passionate and enthusiastic about his cuisine.  Unlike any Ecuadorian restaurant you will find in Cuenca.  The quality and the presentation of the dishes are amazing.  A definite must-try restaurant.

Tuesday – Saturday.

Roberto Crespo 3-56 and Luis Moreno Mora, across from Terrace restaurant.  Tel. 098-453-7693
https://www.facebook.com/dossucres

Dot.House

Modern and trendy Japanese sushi house, which is extremely popular with the locals.  The food is quite delicious.  They offer some interesting and scrumptious sushi rolls and poke bowls, as well as sandwiches and other things.  They give you a variety of tasty sauces to go with your dishes.

Monday – Sunday/lunch.

Roberto Crespo 2-17 y Miguel Cordero.  Tel. 07-283-0040
https://www.facebook.com/DotHouseEc

Eat

Excellent USA style comfort food.  Some of their specialties include classic macaroni and cheese, meatloaf, fish tacos, pulled barbecue pork sandwiches, cheeseburgers, and much more.  The desserts are very tasty.

Open Tuesday – Sunday/lunch.

Honorato Vásquez 6-45 y Presidente Borrero.  Tel. 099-262-4044
https://www.facebook.com/EATCuenca62  

La Esquina

Small Argentinian restaurant.  Excellent, but reasonably priced.  Many of the menu items are “discos” or disk platters for two people to share.  Portions are huge, and you will not go home hungry.  Open on Monday nights unlike many restaurants.  Although the restaurant has two locations, we recommend the restaurant on Calle Larga.

Open Monday – Saturday.

Calle Larga 5-90 y Hermano Miguel.  Tel. 07-284-5344
https://www.facebook.com/laesquinaec  

Fabiano’s Pizzería

Wonderful pizza and other Italian food.  The pizzas are thin crust, and the medium size pizza is quite large.  The pasta is good, and the portions are generous.  The garlic bread knots are very tasty.  Prices are inexpensive.  Can get terribly busy later on, so you might need to wait on a table if you arrive too late.

Open Monday – Sunday/dinner.

Presidente Córdova 4-84 y Mariano Cueva.  Tel. 099-293-8531
http://fabianoscuenca.com
https://www.facebook.com/fabianospizza

Filippo Wine Cheese & Bread

This wine and cheese shop is also an Italian restaurant serving tasty pizza and pasta.  The offer a nice variety of breads, cheeses, and wines.  Nice location in the courtyard next to the New Cathedral.  A great place to enjoy a bread and cheese platter with some wine.  The pizza is quite scrumptious.

Open Tuesday – Sunday/lunch.

Seminario San Luis, next to the New Cathedral at Parque Calderón.  Tel. 098-382-0645
https://www.facebook.com/Filippo-Wine-Cheese-Bread-1625644574405033

Good Affinity

Tasty Chinese vegetarian/vegan restaurant.  Perfect place to enjoy a quality vegetarian or vegan lunch.  The food is delicious, and the prices are inexpensive.

Open Monday – Saturday (closed evenings).

Los Capulies1-89 y Gran Colombia.  Tel. 07-283-2469
https://www.facebook.com/Good-%E7%B7%A3-Affinity-297340573638764

Guajibamba

Cuencanos say that the food in this popular Ecuadorian restaurant is excellent.  You can find traditional Ecuadorian dishes like seco do chivo (goat stew) or cuy (guinea pig).  If you would like cuy, call an hour in advance for prep time.

Open Monday – Sunday/lunch.

Luis Cordero 12-32 y Gaspar Sangurima.  Tel. 07-283-1016
https://guajibamba.wordpress.com
https://www.facebook.com/guajibamba

La Guarida

In the mornings, you can enjoy a tasty breakfast or brunch.  At night, they show movies, or have live music performances.  You will have a truly fun evening along with a delicious dinner.  You need to make a reservation for the evening movies or performances.

Open Monday – Friday.

Mariscal Lamar y Luis Pauta.  Tel. 099-806-8071
https://www.facebook.com/LaGuaridaCuenca

Hansel & Gretel

This restaurant and bakery is a nice spot for brunch.  They offer a variety of mouth-watering pastries, as well as tasty breakfast and lunch menu items.  The coffee is delicious and perfectly made.

Open Monday – Sunday/lunch.

Roberto Crespo 1-32 y Luis Moreno Mora, Plaza Europea.  Tel. 07-288-4376
https://www.facebook.com/hgrobertocrespo
https://hansel-gretel.com

Hotel Santa Lucía

Good Italian cuisine, as well as some Ecuadorian dishes, in two restaurants.  Main restaurant is an especially pleasant setting but more expensive.

Open Monday – Sunday/dinner.

Presidente Borrero 8-44 y Mariscal Sucre
http://santaluciahotel.com

El Jardín

Old style restaurant with an elegant atmosphere and a great view overlooking the river.  Located downstairs, inside the Victoria Hotel.  The waiters are well-dressed, and the service is good.  The prices are reasonable, although it is certainly not inexpensive by local standards.

Open Monday – Sunday/dinner.

Calle Larga 6-93 y Antonio Borrero (Hotel Victoria).  Tel. 07-282-7401
http://www.eljardincuenca.com
https://www.facebook.com/eljardincuenca

Jazz Society Café

Jazz Society Café is the performance venue of The Jazz Society of Ecuador.  Enjoy tasty a tasty lunch or dinner with live jazz entertainment in the evenings.  The jazz performances are in a small intimate setting and are a lot of fun.  You can order food from the restaurant menu and sip on wine as you enjoy the performance.

Open Tuesday – Sunday.

Los Claveles 203 y Los Cedros.  Tel. 096-322-3377
Reservations: jazzsocietyofecuador@gmail.com
https://jazzsocietycafe.com
https://www.facebook.com/JazzSocietyCafe

Joes’ Secret Garden

Open only on Saturday nights.  Fixed menu that changes each week.  Located off the beaten path, in a private home that has been converted into a restaurant.  Delicious food and extremely popular with the expat community.  Meal preceded by a social and cocktail hour and a great place to meet people.  Reservations required via their web site

Open Saturday – Sunday evenings only.

Los Pinos 1-99 y Tres de Noviembre
http://www.joessecretgarden.com

Kolo Restaurant and Bakery

Delicious breakfast and lunch café located on the second floor of a beautiful old colonial hotel.  One of the tastiest breakfast spots in Cuenca.  The owner, Frank, is very warm and friendly, and he will make you feel at home.  The cinnamon rolls and warm chewy chocolate chip cookies are scrumptious.  Be sure to try the tasty pot pies and the savory soups.  Very popular with the ex-pat community.  The restaurant is pet friendly.

Open Monday, Wednesday – Sunday (breakfast/lunch).

Luis Cordero 5-65 between Juan Jaramillo y Honorato Vázquez (upstairs in Hotel La Vieja).  Tel. 099-297-5788
https://www.facebook.com/Kolo-Restaurant-and-Bakery-103331078504416

LaMaría

Tasty upscale organic Ecuadorian cuisine.  Located inside the Casa Yangoe organic market.  Unique gourmet dishes with superb presentation.  They serve some crazy cocktails, with fermented sugar cane.  Free appetizer, homemade bread with a scrumptious topping.  This place is different than you will find anywhere in Cuenca.  This restaurant is a must try.

Open Monday – Saturday.

Benigno Malo 5-16 y Calle Larga, inside Casa Yangoe.  Tel. 098-456-1324
https://www.facebook.com/lamariacuenca

Lamian China

Truly authentic Chinese cuisine, specializing in noodles and dumplings from the Xi’an area of Northern China.  The food here is mouthwatering, and some of the best Chinese food that you will find in Cuenca.  The scrumptious noodles are all hand made.  The staff is very friendly, and they make you feel at home.  If you like Chinese food, this restaurant should be at the top of your list.

Open Monday, Wednesday – Sunday/dinner.

Avenida Florencia Estudillo, across from the planetarium in Parque de la Madre, just east of the stadium.  Tel. 098-636-3066
https://www.facebook.com/Lamian-china-102479718872674

La Madame (Bar)

This beautiful bar is on the second floor of a restored historic mansion, just around the corner from Parque Calderón.  This fascinating bar is one of Cuenca’s best kept secrets.  The bar is divided into several rooms from the original mansion and has some small tables on balconies overlooking the street.  The atmosphere is elegant and impressive.  The perfect place to enjoy a cocktail.  This bar is a must see.

Open Tuesday – Sunday (evening only).

Benigno Malo y Simón Bolívar (north of Simón Bolívar)
https://www.facebook.com/Madamecuenca

Mangiare Bene

Exceptionally good Italian food at reasonable prices.  Located inside the Hostal Posada del Ángel.  Delicious pasta.  They offer mix and match pastas and sauces.

Open Monday – Sunday/lunch.

Estévez de Toral 8-91 y Simón Bolívar.  Tel. 07-282-6233
https://hostalposadadelangel.com/restaurante
https://www.facebook.com/mangiarecuenca

This beautiful restaurant is on the second floor of a restored colonial mansion, Casa del Parque, across from Parque Calderón.  The restaurant is divided into several small dining rooms.  They serve a high tea, which is a memorable experience, as well as an elegant dinner with an eclectic menu.

Open Tuesday – Sunday/lunch.

Simón Bolívar 7-79 y Luis Cordero, second floor Casa del Parque.  Tel. 099-503-0935
https://www.facebook.com/mansionmatilde
https://architecturalcuenca.com/2020/12/27/casa-del-parque-mansion-matilde

Marea Cuenca Pizzería

Fantastic thin crust pizza made in a wood oven.  The gorgonzola & fig pizza is awesome.  Good desserts.

Open Monday – Saturday.

Estévez de Toral 8-70 y Simón Bolívar.  Tel. 099-530-9959
https://www.marea.ec https://www.facebook.com/mareacuenca

Mayu Smokehouse & Bakery

Bar, restaurant, and bakery, near Parque Calderón, with an extensive menu.  Good selection of beers.  The blackberry cinnamon rolls are amazing.

Open Tuesday – Sunday/lunch.

Seminario San Luis, Calle Santa Ana y Benigno Malo, second floor (across from Parque Calderón).  Tel. 098-494-9934
https://www.facebook.com/mayusmokehouse

Mediterráneo

Delicious thin crust pizza made in a brick oven, and Italian food.  A more upscale restaurant, and not inexpensive by local standards.  The owner/chef is from Italy.  Charming atmosphere and ambiance.  The pizza is outstanding, and they have very tasty desserts.

Open Tuesday – Sunday/lunch.

Honorato Vásquez 7-64 y Luis Cordero.  Tel. 07-284-4138
http://mediterraneoristorantepizzeria.blogspot.com
https://www.facebook.com/mediterraneoristorantebarpizzeria

El Mercado

Excellent Mediterranean food in a lovely atmosphere.  The seats near the window have a magnificent view overlooking the river.  The food is delicious, although a bit on the pricy side.  Reservations are recommended.

Open Monday – Saturday.

Calle Larga 8-27 y Luis Cordero.  Tel. 07-282-3089
http://elmercadocuenca.com
https://www.facebook.com/ElMercadoCuenca

El Mesón Español

Tasty Spanish/Basque restaurant with great tapas and sangria.  Good place for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  For breakfast, they offer international breakfasts from a variety of countries around the world.  For lunch, you can order an Ecuadorian style “almuerzo”.  The dinner menu offers Spanish dishes and tapas.  They have entertainment two nights a week, and Flamenco dancers once a month.  The owner is from Spain and is very friendly.

Open Monday – Saturday.

Presidente Borrero 7-51 y Presidente Córdova.  Tel. 096-906-2808
https://www.facebook.com/elmesoncuenca

Mi Mamá Restaurante Coreano

Korean restaurants are a rarity in Ecuador.  Mi Mamá is a family-owned Korean restaurant, serving authentic Korean, Japanese, and Chinese food prepared by Korean and East Asian chefs, including kimchi, sushi, noodles, rice, soup, dumplings, teppanyaki, porridge and more at reasonable prices.  Try the spicy pork bulgogi.  Open seven days a week, including Sunday dinner.

Open Monday – Saturday.

Mariscal Sucre 4-70 y Mariano Cueva.  Tel. 099-880-7777
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Mi-Mam%C3%A1-Coreano-Restaurante/132021577532147

Moliendo Café

Simple Colombian restaurant is an extremely popular lunch spot.  Cheap, but filling, combination lunches.  The hearty arepas (corn pancakes) are a specialty here.  Topped with anything from beans and cheese to slow-cooked pork or meat and guacamole, they go well with a cold beer or coffee.  The salsa is especially tasty.  Run by a friendly Colombian family.

Open Monday – Saturday.

Honorato Vásquez 6-24 y Hermano Miguel.  Tel. 098-487-1569
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Moliendo-Caf%C3%A9/215650175130325

Monday Blue

Interesting restaurant offers Mexican food, plus a variety of other types food and cocktails.  The walls are covered with an elaborate and eclectic collection of memorabilia from all around the world.  The food is tasty and inexpensive.  They are open on Sunday nights when restaurants are difficult to find.

Open Monday – Sunday/dinner.

Calle Larga 4-13 y Luis Cordero.  Tel. 098-642-3107
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Monday-Blue/134755906676832

Mozart Coffee Café

One of Cuenca’s finest coffee shops.  The coffee is excellent, and they offer a variety of scrumptious pastries and desserts.  The café has a very nice atmosphere and is decorated with lovely artwork.  The perfect place to relax and enjoy some good coffee.

Open Monday – Sunday/lunch.

Simón Bolívar 12-54 y Juan Montalvo.  Tel. 098-313-3655
https://www.facebook.com/mozartcoffeecafe

Namaste India

Very good Indian restaurant.  The dishes are tasty, and the portions are generous.  Prices are reasonable.  The restaurant is open seven days a week, including Sunday night.

Open Monday – Sunday/dinner.

Calle Larga 8-81 y Benigno Malo.  Tel. 098-415-4229
https://www.facebook.com/namasteindiacuenca

Negroni

Ecuadorian fine dining and mixology.  Eclectic menu.  Gorgeous views of the city.  Located on the rooftop of the Vatex store across from Parque Calderón.  This restaurant is quite expensive by Ecuadorian standards.

Open Monday – Sunday/dinner.

Simón Bolívar 8-44 y Benigno Malo.  Tel. 098-167-4745
https://sociedadgourmet.ec/negroni
https://www.facebook.com/negroniec

Noe Sushi Bar

Fine dining for sushi lovers.  This upscale sushi restaurant is not simply a traditional Japanese sushi bar, but rather a new modern fusion style sushi bar.  The menu is very extensive, offering many unique creations.  The presentation is exquisite, and you will find the fish exceptionally fresh.  The food here is wonderful.  Some of the more popular items are the combination platters for two, three, or four people.  This, however, is not a restaurant for bargain hunters.  For many, this is more of a restaurant for special occasions.

Open Monday – Sunday/lunch.

Padre Julio Mottovelle 2-25 y Federico Proano.  Tel. 07-281-2757
http://www.noesushibar.com

El Nopal

Charming little Mexican restaurant in a residential neighborhood.  Some of the tastiest Mexican food around, and the best margaritas in town.  The chipotle sauce is delicious.  Good menu selections, although a bit on the pricey side by local standards.

Open Tuesday – Sunday/lunch.

Av. Gonzalo Cordero 4-31 y Agustín Cueva.  Tel. 07-281-0476
https://www.facebook.com/ElNopalrestaurante

El Oasis

This amazing fine dining vegetarian/vegan restaurant is truly a one-of-a-kind gastronomic experience.  This exquisite and luscious cuisine is extraordinary, and the atmosphere is wonderful.

They accept a maximum of only 12 customers per night, so you usually must book weeks in advance to get a reservation.  There is only one seating per night at 6:00, and you must be on time.

Everyone sits at a communal table, and it is a fun and unique dining experience.  The dining ceremony consists of an 8-course fixed menu, which lasts for 3½ – 4 hours.

The menu is a surprise, so you don't know what you will be eating until you arrive.  The two chefs come out and explain each dish in detail and the theory behind it.

The meal is pricey by Ecuadorian standards, but it is worth every cent.

Open Wednesday – Saturday.

ACalle Mariscal Lamar y Calle Escultor Ayabaca.  Tel. 099-183-7205
https://www.facebook.com/ElOasisCuenca

Origami Japanese Kitchen and Sushi Bar

Tiny, but excellent, Japanese restaurant and sushi bar.  The sushi is delicious, as is the tempura.  Try the vegetable tempura for a tasty alternative to sushi.  This is not someplace to go when you are in a hurry.  But if you are not in a rush, it is worth the wait.

Open Monday – Sunday/lunch.

Calle Larga 9-34 y Benigno Malo.  Tel. 098-722-6797
https://www.facebook.com/OrigamiJapaneseKitchen

Paradise Indian Restaurant

Indian cuisine.  The menu has a good variety of dishes, and food is delicious.  The service is great, and the staff is very friendly.  The prices are very reasonable.  Vegetarian options available.

Open Monday – Sunday/dinner.

Federico Malo 1-160 y Tadeo Torres, in front of Parque de la Madre.  Tel. 098-462-8976
https://www.facebook.com/paradiseindianrestaurantcuenca

Parrilladas La Herradura

Popular steak house that serves huge portions family style.  It is a large restaurant so reservations are not necessary.  Can get a little loud at times.

Open Monday – Sunday/lunch.

Remigio Romero 3-55 y Remigio Crespo.  Tel. 07-288-7540
https://www.facebook.com/ParrilladasLaHerradura

El Pedregal Azteca

Good, authentic Mexican restaurant, and not Tex-Mex.  Live mariachi bands on the weekend.  Try one of the mole dishes.  The mole sauce is outstanding, made from a family recipe using 25 ingredients.  A bit on the pricey side by local standards.

Open Tuesday – Sunday/lunch.

Estévez de Toral 8-60 y Simón Bolívar, one block from San Sebastian Church.  Tel. 07-282-3652
https://www.facebook.com/ELPEDREGAL1989

Le Petite Jardin

Quality fine dining and classical French cuisine in a tranquil country setting.  Located in the San Miguel neighborhood of Cuenca, a 20-minute bus ride from downtown.  Best to call for directions as it is little hard to find.  The owner will send you directions or tell your taxi driver how to get there.  It is worth the trip because the food is truly awesome.  The prices are very reasonable.  Only open on the weekend and reservations are required.

Open Saturday – Sunday/dinner.

San Miguel De Sayausi.  Tel. 07-418-9466, 096-819-1518
http://lepetitjardin.co
https://www.facebook.com/Le-Petit-Jardin-132710540232883

Pizzo Tr3s (Tres)

Scrumptious pizza, as well as some pasta and appetizers.  The menu offers a wide variety of pizzas with truly unique and creative combinations of ingredients, which you will not find anywhere else.  The pizza features a sourdough crust.  Considered by some to be their favorite pizza spot.

Open Tuesday – Sunday/dinner.

Paseo 3 de Noviembre y Escalinata Juana de Oro.  Tel. 099-842-2529
https://www.facebook.com/Pizzo-Tr3s-105818584856715
http://www.pizzotres.com

Quo Vadis

Tiny, but intimate and elegant Italian restaurant.  The food in this charming little restaurant is incredibly delicious.  The owners are from Italy and have been cooking together for many years.  The food is very authentic, and the pasta is one of their specialties.  The owners are very friendly and dining here is a unique and truly memorable experience.  Since they only have four tables, you need to make a reservation.

Open Tuesday – Sunday/lunch.

Honorato Vásquez 7-36, between Luis Cordero and Borrero.  Tel. 096-888-0756
https://www.facebook.com/Quo-Vadis-Gourmet-Italia-Tienda-Restaurant-163955070650815

Raymipampa

Decent local comfort food at reasonable prices.  Food is okay, but not spectacular.  Unbeatable location, beside the new cathedral on Parque Calderón, next to the large Tutto Freddo.  Open 7 days a week, and generally open for late night dining.

Open Monday – Saturday.

Benigno Malo 8-59, at Parque Calderón.  Tel. 07-283-4159
https://www.facebook.com/RestauranteRaymipampaOficial

Roll-It

This restaurant, located just two blocks away, features some interesting Japanese Mexican fusion items.  Their specialties are sushi burritos and poké bowls.  The menu also includes classic sushi rolls and ramen.  The maracuyá (passion fruit) sauce, which they provide on the side, is especially delicious.  One of the few restaurants open on Sunday night.

Open Tuesday – Sunday/dinner.

Calle Larga 8-63, between Benigno Malo and Luis Cordero.  Tel. 098-370-8495
https://www.rollit.ec

Rosée Dip & Drink

Fine dining in a lovely setting along the riverside.  Located just across the river from our home.  The menu is not extensive, but the food is expertly prepared and delicious.  The offer an extensive wine list.  The prices are high by local standards, but it is worth it if you are not on a budget.

Open Tuesday – Sunday/lunch.

12 de Abril y Agustín.  Tel. 093-937-5090
https://www.facebook.com/Ros%C3%A9e-Dip-Drink-By-Villarosa-181861408537489

Sabatino’s Garden

Owned and operated by Mauricio, a Cuencano who graduated from the Chicago Culinary School.  They have good Italian food, and the prices are reasonable.  Just one block west of Otorongo Plaza, with both indoor and outdoor seating.  Open for lunch and dinner.  No need for a reservation.

Open Tuesday – Saturday.

Roberto Aguilar y 3 de Noviembre (one block west from Otorongo Plaza).  Tel. 098-704-2538
https://www.facebook.com/sabatinos.restaurante

Salumeria Vecchia Modena

Authentic Italian cuisine prepared by an Italian chef.  Delicious homemade pasta al dente, and homemade sausages.  The sauces are made from fresh quality ingredients and are wonderfully spiced.  Excellent cheeses and balsamic vinegar, which can be hard to find in Cuenca.  It is a well worth the taxi ride.

Open Monday – Sunday/dinner.

Paseo de los Cañaris y Modesto Larrea.  Tel. 098-763-3506
https://www.facebook.com/SVMCuenca

San Sebas Café

Tasty breakfast and lunch café offering American comfort food.  Excellent food at a great location, on a lovely plaza next to San Sebastian Church.  A nice mix of locals and gringos.  Good coffee with free refills.  Open for breakfast and lunch Wednesday – Sunday.  Extremely popular.  If you get there late on Sunday, you may have to wait for a table.

Open Monday – Sunday/lunch (closed evenings).

San Sebastián 1-94 y Mariscal Sucre.  Tel. 07-284-3496
http://www.sansebascuenca.com
https://www.facebook.com/sansebascuenca

El Santo

Good Mexican food at very reasonable prices.  The burritos, tacos, and chipotle sauce are delicious.0 The make great margaritas, as well.  The chef is from Mexico City.  Fun atmosphere with the decorations on the wall.  The service is great, and the staff is very friendly.  It is easy to walk past this small restaurant without even noticing it.  Located just a block from the condominium.

Open Monday – Saturday.

Calle Larga 9-82, entre calle Benigno Malo y Padre Aguirre.  Tel. 099-274-7145
https://www.facebook.com/elsantocomidamexicana1

Sinfonía Café

Superb coffee shop, offering the best coffee you will find in Cuenca.  The coffee beans are roasted on-site from the finest coffee beans.  Scrumptious brownies and cheesecake.  Located near the stadium and behind Parque de la Madre.

Open Monday – Saturday.

Federico Malo 1-265 (Between Tadeo Torres and Florencia Astudillo)..  Tel. 099-891-9222
https://www.sinfoniacafe.com

Sofy Glocal Cuisine

Small eclectic restaurant offers a tasty menu.  They frequently offer a special theme dinner from different parts of the world, on Wednesday nights.  The dishes, prepared from fresh ingredients, are excellent.  They also make great cocktails.  The owner and staff are extremely friendly, and they make you feel at home.  The restaurant is pet friendly.

Open Monday – Sunday/dinner.

Simón Bolívar 7-79 y Luís Cordero (enfrente de Parque Calderón).  Tel. 099-510-3974
https://www.facebook.com/SofysCuisineCuenca

Sunrise Café

Delicious breakfast and lunch café located just one block from the condo.  This little gem serves one of the best breakfasts in Cuenca, and is very reasonably priced.  A nice mix of locals and ex-pats.  Try the Spanish or Greek omelets, or the stuffed French toast.  Good coffee with free refills.

Open Monday – Sunday/lunch (closed evenings).

Calle Larga 9-40 y Benigno Malo.  Tel. 07-284-0423
https://sunrisecafecuenca.com
https://www.facebook.com/Sunrise-Cafe-Cuenca-1399638657023219

Ta’Lico Cuisine

Authentic Szechuan food, and one of the best Chinese restaurants in Cuenca.  This is not the typical Ecuadorian-style Chinese food that you find in the chifas.  It is difficult to find good Chinese food in Ecuador, and this one of the select few in Cuenca.

Open Tuesday – Sunday/dinner.

Av. Ordóñez Lasso 6-117 y Los Olivos, across from Hotel Oro Verde.  Tel. 099-114-0201
https://www.facebook.com/TaLico-Cuisine-2243729395849668

La Taquería

Very tasty Mexican food at a reasonable price.  The service is good, and the restaurant has a nice atmosphere.  The restaurant is immensely popular and can get quite busy.  Try the “Tacos al Pastor”, which contain grilled pork in a delicious sauce and pineapples.

Open Tuesday – Sunday/lunch.

Imbabura 5-49 y Cotopaxi, across from Parque de La Paz.  Tel. 099-891-8692
https://www.facebook.com/lataqueriaec

Thai Connection

Delicious authentic Thai food, and the best in Cuenca.  Operated by a man and his wife, who is from Thailand.  Everything is made with fresh ingredients and is full of flavor.

Open Tuesday – Saturday.

Honorato Vásquez 6-39 y Hermano Miguel.  Tel. 098-704-6607
https://www.facebook.com/ronalditob

Tiesto’s

Fine Ecuadorian dining, but it is one of the more expensive restaurants in town.  The food is unbelievably delicious, so it is worth the price.  Try the tasting menus.  The meals are served with an assortment of tasty sauces.  The waiter will explain each of the sauces and recommend which ones go best with each dish.  Each dessert plate is hand-painted with a beautiful drawing using fruit syrups before plating the food.  The service is impeccable, and the food is simply amazing.  It is very popular with both locals and tourists.  Reservations are required well in advance.

Open Tuesday – Saturday.

Juan Jaramillo 4-89 y Mariano Cueva. Tel: 07-283-5310
http://www.tiestoscaferestaurant.com
https://www.facebook.com/Tiestos-173714979316854

Tres Estrellas

Ecuadorian restaurant famous for cuy (guinea pig).  Decorated with antiques like singer sewing machines, old radios, cameras, and vintage tools.  If you would like to try cuy, you should either make an advance reservation or else stop by and order it an hour in advance, to allow for prep time.  One cuy can be shared between two people.

Open Tuesday – Sunday/lunch.

Calle Larga 1-174.  Tel. 07-282-2340
https://www.tresestrellas.com.ec
https://www.facebook.com/salontresestrellas

T-Rex Burgers

Delicious juicy burgers made with fresh ingredients, cooked right in front of you.  Some of the best burgers in Cuenca.  The menu now offers pizza, in addition to burgers.  Cesar, the owner, is very friendly and loves to chat with you.  One night per week he offers a special dinner, which is by reservation only.  The special dinner menus are posted each week on Gringo Post.

Open Monday – Saturday.

Calle Larga 8-63, entre Benigno Malo y Luis Cordero..  Tel. 096-272-0330
https://www.facebook.com/trexburgerspub

Tutto Freddo

One of the best places in Cuenca to go for ice cream, a sundae, or a milk shake.  All sorts of interesting ice cream creations.  Excellent tres leches cake and other tasty desserts.  They also serve meals, but ice cream and desserts are the big attraction.  Located right on Parque Calderón, it is wildly popular and busy, so sometimes there might be a wait for a table.

Open Monday – Sunday/dinner.

Benigno Malo & Simón Bolívar at Parque Calderón.
http://www.tuttofreddo.ec   

Tutto Matto Pizzería

Some of the best thin crust pizzas in Cuenca.  Everything, including the sauce, is made from scratch.  The sauce is delicious, and the crust is perfect.  Not only do they have amazing pizzas, but the pastas and bruschetta are excellent, as well.  Try the Mexican pizza for something unique in Cuenca.  The prices are very reasonable.

Open Monday – Friday.

Solano 8-51 y 10 de Agosto.  Tel. 07-288-2494
http://tuttomattopizzeria.com
https://www.facebook.com/tuttomattocuenca

Yasu

Amazing gourmet dining and wonderful culinary experience.  This restaurant is one of Cuenca’s best-kept secrets.  The restaurant is located in Chef Yasu’s home, and he has no website and does no advertising.  This restaurant is one of my personal favorites.

Yasu now prepares dinners by advance request only, and only for groups of six or more.  The menu can be tailored to your wishes.

The dinners are normally a six-course prix-fixe menu.  Every dish is beautifully presented, and the flavors are luscious.  The prices are quite reasonable, and you can bring your own wine with no corkage fee.

Open Monday – Saturday.

Ricardo Darquea Granda 292 y Manuel Galarza.  Tel. Tel. 098-181-2049
Email: yasuandgio@gmail.com

Zarza Gastropub

Temporarily closed (moving to new location)

Tasty Tex-Mex food and delicious craft beers.  They also offer hamburgers and sandwiches, but Tex-Mex is their specialty.  The soups are also particularly good.  Located just one block from the SuperMaxi Vergel.

Open Tuesday – Saturday.

Alfonso Cordero between Miguel Cordero andy Manuel J. Calle.  Tel. 07-410-3985
https://www.facebook.com/ZarzaGastropub

Zircus Restaurant

Excellent food with a multi-cuisine menu.  The restaurant is modern with a genuinely nice ambiance.  The food is tasty and served with a nice presentation.  They offer outdoor seating with gas-jet heaters.  The restaurant is on the ground floor in the Zahir 360 hotel.  The prices are quite reasonable.

Open Monday – Sunday.

Av. del Estadio y Florencia Astudillo (Hotel Zahir 360).  Tel. 098-707-0070
https://www.facebook.com/ZircusLoungeRestaurant

Zielo

This restaurant offers stunning 360⁰ panoramic views of the city.  This rooftop restaurant has glass domes of various sizes to encapsulate you for privacy or health safety.  The restaurant is on the top floor in the Zahir 360 hotel.  The prices are reasonable, and reservations are required.  It is recommended to stop by and make the reservation in person in the hotel lobby.  You will be required to make a deposit with your credit card or cash when you make the reservation.  The deposit will be applied toward your dining check.

Open Tuesday – Saturday.

Av. del Estadio y Florencia Astudillo (Hotel Zahir 360).  Tel. 098-707-0070
https://zielo.vip