Like in Peru (read about it here) we found a number of healthy food places in Ecuador: markets with organic produce, vegetarian restaurants, and others. I’m not yet in the habit writing such things down, but here are a couple we remember.
Vilcabamba – Market with Organic Produce
It is not an organic market as such, but you will find stalls here with organic produce (just ask the vendors). The market is each Sunday morning and it’s best to go early, like around 7 am to have the maximum of choice. There is e.g. one stall that sells different kinds of kale and other vegetables you don’t find much – if at all – elsewhere and I found he generally is sold out by 8 am.
Where: on the platform of the bus station.
Quito – Organic Market
In Quito there is an organic market In Parque Caroline on the 1st and 3rd Sunday of the month (morning hours around 10 am). It is very small but has some nice foods, including homemade marmalades, homemade tamara, and miso.
Quito – Organic Produce at a Super Maxi
Maybe all Super Maxis sell organic produce, but I’m not sure. Here is one where I found a reasonable selection.
Avenida Eloy Alfaro N44-176 and Río Coca
GSP Waypoint (of the workshop next door): -0.163173, -78.467416
Cuenca – Vegetarian Restaurant
Vegetarian Restaurant Sabor de Zen. Good food for a reasonable price. The menu is $2.50, includes a drink (fruit juice or soy milk) and soup. They have a buffet from which you can select 4 items. During one lunch we selected for examples: lentils, different kinds of vegetables, fried banana, corn pancake.
Av. Primero de Mayo 1-81 y Av. Solano
Opening hours: Mon-Sat 11.30am-15.30pm.
GPS Waypoint: -2.91513, -79.01111
Cuenca – The Taj Mahal Restaurant
Taj Mahal restaurant is situated on Calle Larga. Its focus is Indian dishes but offers Pakistani dishes as well. There are a number of vegetarian options, like vegetable or paneer curries.
Cuenca – Organic Coffee at Café de Nucallacta
A coffee bar where you can also buy your fresh coffee beans, ground if you like. The owner has a couple of bean types to choose from. He toasts the beans himself. If you want to see this, check with him to see when that’s possible.
Name: Rumiñahui Duchicela
at Calle Larga 486
Cuenca – Dried Herbs for Tea and Medicinal Use
Across from the Mercado on Calle Larga is a store selling natural products. It is distinct from the general natural product stores in town with all the packages of (dubious) supplements. This shop has a selection of dried herbs/leaves/roots which can be drunk as tea or have a medicinal purpose. Ask specifically for the owner, he can tell you all about it.
I realize there are many more good places in Ecuador to buy healthy/vegetarian food. If you know any, we’d love to hear about them in the comment section below. Thanks.