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3 Great Places to Eat in Cuenca

I am sure there are many delicious places to eat in Cuenca because, well I’m Ecuadorian and I KNOW (fact) that Ecuadorian food is delicious. Today I want to share three places that really blew my mind while visiting this beautiful city. Fresh ingredients, friendly and courteous staff and amazing flavors and delicious dishes “that rival those in fine dining establishments in NYC” as my friend Tracy from Tracy’s New York Life exclaimed.

 

Food in Cuenca-el JardinPhoto credit: Tracy Kaler

El Jardín

El Jardín has an amazing view of the city and the menu has something for everyone: seafood like ceviche, shrimps, roast, the typical Ecuadorian potato soup called “locro” are just some of the fine dishes we tried (the dishes above are from El Jardín) For dessert, dishes including local fruit like passion fruit and chocolate (which is one of the things Ecuador is known for, cacao production).

Dessert at El Jardin-Cuenca

The view from El Jardín (that is part of the Victoria Hotel) is absolutely spectacular:

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The drink selection included fresh fruit juices, fine wines and my personal favorite, a  fine artisan beer made in Ecuador called Latitud Cero for the latitude of the equator.

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Tiestos

Tiestos is known to be THE place to eat in Cuenca.  This is a place where locals and tourists come to eat, and the decorations are quite lively.

 

Interior-Tiestos-Cuenca

A tiesto is the plate made from clay used to cook food. Tiestos’ menu is delicious, there is great fine wine and the desserts come with hand-decorated plates with fresh jams.  (Watching the chef owner’s wife decorate the plates by hand is part of the experience!)

decorating plates at Tiestos

Photo credit: Tracy Kaler

Casa Alonso at Hotel Mansion Alcázar

Casa Alonso is located at Mansion Alcázar which is a beautiful hotel with a beautiful garden and inside courtyard. The dinner at Casa Alonso uses the finest ingredients and offers delicacies like quinoa encrusted salmon.

cuenca-food-quinoa encrusted salmon

Other treats included lavender ice cream and canelazo — a typical warm alcoholic drink from Cuenca made with a type of liquor called Zhumir (similar to an aguardiente, clear liquor) cinnamon and naranjilla (a fruit that is endemic to the region).

canelazo-casa-alonso-cuenca

 

These are my top recommendations for places to eat in Cuenca! If you have recommendations, share them with me below!

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Diana Limongi
welcome! I'm a Latina working mom from Astoria, NY, mom to a trilingual four-year old. I blog about motherhood, Latino issues, women's issues, work/life balance, food, parenting and raising my multilingual and multicultural son!

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