Ecuador’s best eating experiences and where to try them
The cuisine of Ecuador varies greatly depending on where you are in the country. Along the coast, seafood reigns supreme, while the Andean highlands feature potatoes, corn, pork and other earthy ingredients.
The Amazon (Oriente region) also has its specialties, including river fish fired up in imaginative ways. Wherever you go, tradition plays a deep role in the cooking, with some recipes predating the arrival of the Spanish colonizers. This guide to dishes and the best places to try them can help you choose the perfect Ecuadorian meal.
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Indulge in the seafood of Guayaquil
The lowland city of Guayaquil on Ecuador’s southwest coast has its own culinary hits, including cangrejo (crab), ceviche (more soup-like than its Peruvian cousin), and various rice and seafood combinations. The city’s most famous dish, however, is encebollado (fish stew). It’s eaten at all times of day (even in the morning as a cure for a hangover) and is usually made with tuna or albacore, along with tomato, coriander and the leaves from the cassava shrub. It may also be garnished with pickled red onion rings, ripe avocado, banana chips or bread, plantain, and popcorn.
Where to try it: The upscale Los Cangrejos de Pepe Loza is a top choice for a seafood feast. Many locals consider La Casa del Encebollado to serve the best encebollado in town — as one might expect for a place that has been named after the dish.
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