Ecuadorian food is diverse, and underrated.
South American food has some similarities but Ecuador enjoys putting its own twist on South American favorites, as well as making some pretty unique dishes of its own.
Each of the country’s three geographic regions, the Amazon, the Sierra, and the Pacific Coast features its own array of local delicacies.
Ecuadorian Dishes on the coast normally contain seafood whereas up in the Andean region you will find more meat, rice and potatoes.
Soups seem to be popular everywhere.
Besides the typical delicacies Ecuador offers its own variety of street food.
If you are adventurous eater at heart, or even if you prefer more familiar options, you are sure to find something to enjoy.
Although street food suffers from bad reputations, Ecuador’s streets offer unique and delicious options.
And if you keep few tips in mind (and let your stomach get accustomed to the food gradually first) it is possible to eat, and enjoy, street food.
Leave your preconceived notions at the border, and make it a point to step outside your comfort zone while traveling through the country.
There are some Ecuadorian street foods that you will find in every region (Coast, Highlands, Amazon, and Galapagos Islands) of Ecuador and almost every city or small town.
There are also some street foods that are very regional and unique to specific cities.
One of the best places to find delicious street food is at ferias or local fairs and fiestas (local festivities).
Other popular places include markets, main plazas on weekends, beach towns, bus stops, and at the exits of local schools.
There are some traditional dishes that are popular at markets and people visit the markets specifically to be able to eat them.
Keep in mind that not all street food is cooked equal and if you are worried about the quality and your health when eating street food, then it’s best to get recommendations from locals.
I have gotten very sick from eating Ecuadorian street food.
But through the years I’ve learnt to recognize the stalls where you can eat safely and the ones where you cannot.
Always check how clean the place is and also the utensils, a good thing is to think about the smell also, does it smell delicious or like something has gone bad.
Many things can be seen just with the bare eye but an Ecuadorian trick is also to check how many people are eating in the place compared to the others next to it.
Usually the fullest, or the one with most buyers, is the best and safest.
1. Make sure the place is clean looking and smelling, as the person selling and preparing the food.
2. Sanitize your hands before eating. Always carry a hand sanitizer with you.
3. Don’t eat mayonnaise, chili sauce, salads or fresh ingredients without cooking, or let them come into touch with your food. Sadly these are the ones with most parasites, and possible diseases.
4. Make sure the utensils are clean, and clean them with paper towel (and if necessary with bottled water) again.
5. Drink only bottled water. Make sure the juices and ice are done from bottled water.
Look where the other's are eating. Usually the place that is full has good food, and it is good quality too. If in doubt ask from the hotel reception where to eat, taxi drivers also normally know good places that they can recommend.