Ecuador · Expat

Where to eat in Cuenca

On a teacher’s budget. . .

I haven’t lived here that long but I wanted to put together a list of places to eat, like I did in Chiang Mai. And frankly, just a quick google search confirmed that there is not a good list out there.

govindas-lunch

El Tunel on Honorato Vásquez is quite possibly the best al muertzo (lunch of the day) deal. $2 for soup, juice, main course (usually consists of a meat, rice, beans and salad) and dessert. The staff is friendly and the service is quick in an upscale atmosphere.

My first meal and boy, did I need it.
My first meal and boy, did I need it.

Moliendo Café on Honorato Vásquez y Hermano Miguel serves Colombian food and was my first meal here. The al muertzo is a little pricey but you get a lot of food. I prefer their set menu anyway. Good vegetarian options like the patacon pisao dish and lentil burger #23. The owners are warm and sweet like their hot chocolate just right.

Raymipampa Restaurant claims to be the oldest restaurant in Cuenca and for a $2 and some change you can get a good breakfast. Eggs the way you like it, basket full of bread, juice and coffee with the view of the city centre Parque Calderón on Benigno Malo. Huge lunch and dinner portions, busy with locals.

Many a good meal at Kook
Many a good meal at Kookabura with friends.

Kookabura Café on Calle Larga is a delightful restaurant and hotel ran by Aussies Chris and Jenny. I love hearing them say my name when I walk in the door. They are out of my teacher’s budget but I go because of them and because their food is high quality and tasty. Jenny’s desserts are decadent and the coffee is real. (update: although, Chris and Jenny no longer run the restaurant, I hear it is still up and running.)

I like Monday Blue on Calle Larga y Luís Cordero but I recently heard a rumor that the owner is a fan of Hitler. I wish someone would dispel this because Hitler would have killed him too, and their mango juice and patacon dishes are muy bueno.

Inca Lounge & Bistro on 3 de Noviembre y Avenue Solano, overlooking the river serves a killer burger, and the chicken breast with veggies and home fries is rico. They are supposedly going to start breakfast soon too. Lord help my pocketbook and belly – the wrong one is growing.

street-treats
Church side treats near the park.

Tutto Freddo is also at Parque Calderón and Beningo Malo and is a Cuenca favorite filled with turismos and couples alike lavishing themselves in ice cream treats and cheesy pasta. I hate this place because it’s so damn good.

La Cigale’s is a recent addition that is a restaurant, bar and hotel with wifi! Happy hour’s $1.50 drinks after teaching with a burger or chicken wrap is usually what I get. Popular with the younger folks and smokers.

Splurges:

Mansión Alcázar is easily Cuenca’s prettiest hotel serving “high tea” at their restaurant overlooking garden. The common areas are open to the public and are worth a look-see. High tea runs around $5 and includes coffee or tea and cakes. Located on Simon Bolivar y Tarqui.

Tiesto’s on Juan Jaramillo is expensive but worth every dollar. My friend boasted it was one of the best meals she’s had in her life and after eating there I had to agree. Go with a group, dishes are meant to be shared by four; we ordered the steak medallions and it was sooo good.

I fully expect to add more to this list but until then ~ ¡Buen Provecho!

What are your favorite places to eat in Cuenca?

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3 thoughts on “Where to eat in Cuenca

  1. Wanted to add another al muertzo to the list Hotel Principe on Luis Cordero is $2.25 but in a very pleasant courtyard – pleasant staff and overall very good.

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