Best Street Food in Quito

What Neighborhood:

Quito is a huge city. Where you chose to stay will most definitely effect your experience. We read a great article describing the best areas/neighborhoods to stay in Quito. 

At the beginning of our trip, we stayed near the historic center to see all there is to see in that area- read our post here for details. At the end of our trip, we had one final night in Quito and we wanted to explore/experience another area of the city. Based on what we read in the article mentioned above we chose La Floresta, said to be an artsy part of town full of great restaurants and cafes.

Where is the Food:

We then came across another great post describing the street food carts in La Floresta park- really called Navarro park when you are looking for it on the map. The post we read said the food carts begin setting up in the evening. We found that when we walked by the area around 3:30 in the afternoon the carts were already serving up food and pretty busy.

What to Order:

The thing to try here is the Tripa Mishqui – or BBQ tripe. It’s a typical meal in Ecuador and something we had never had before. Tripe is stomach, typically from a cow. In this preparation the stomach is cleaned, grilled, cut into small pieces and put back on the grill along with some oil to crisp up the outsides.

The vendors will definitely get your attention as you walk by and will gladly let you sample this before ordering. One order cost us $3 and was a lot of food. You can choose between several options for starches you want added to your bowl, we opted for potatoes (papas). To top it off you get a small bag of carrots, onions, and cilantro to sprinkle on top. The larger pieces we found to be a bit chewy but the smaller pieces were very good, having a grilled meat flavor with no gamey or strong “organ” taste.  

The cart next door was offering morcilla or blood sausage which we had in Spain and absolutely loved! We ordered that as well- one order cost us $2.5o. The large bowl was filled with potatoes and then topped with the morcilla. The morcilla here was filled with rice and a variety of spices- clove and cinnamon stood out to us. While we preferred to morcilla we had in Spain we definitely enjoyed this variety as well and would recommend trying it if you are here.

More Details:

While there were several other food carts in the park we would have loved to try we were quite full after our dinner of $5.50 and decided to end it there. Next to the food carts are several small metal table tops you can stand around to eat. There are also places in the park to sit if you want to find a quieter place to eat after you grab your food. This also seemed like a popular place with locals to “take out” their food and bring it home. We saw several people with the food truck bowls walking away from the park with their food all packed up.

After traveling though Mexico where we seem to constantly find street food and Sunday Markets full of little carts like this we were so happy to find this place. We read several posts about all the various street foods found in Ecuador. During out time there we didn’t find a lot of street food readily available in the historic center of the city or other places we travelled through. If you are in the historic center the Mercado Central would be our recommendation for traditional foods and a good price. The market is full of venders selling a variety of foods for you to try!

Street food is a great way to eat local food when you’re traveling! What are your favorites? What did we miss in Quito? Leave us a comment below.

For more on our trip through Ecuador:

Hiking Quilotoa: around the lake in one day

The edge of the Amazon: visiting Banos

Visiting Cotopaxi Volcano National Park

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